In the past decade, it is safe to say that Google has grown exponentially. And ever since they launched Google Analytics back in 2005, it has grown just as quickly as the company.
Google Analytics has become nearly ubiquitously used by websites and business owners looking to track and analyze visitor data. BuiltWith.com has registered almost 29 million websites that are actively using Google Analytics to understand their traffic better.
That’s great and all but we’ve come to a point where some have found themselves wondering, is Google Analytics truly the best option for a site owner or company? Are there other solutions that offer more privacy, better data, or a better user experience?
Those are the questions we’re going to answer in this guide. We’ll dive into Google Analytics, what you should look for in other options, and we’ll give you our picks for the top 5 best alternatives to Google Analytics that are worth trying. Let’s get started!
Do I Really Need Google Analytics?
Anyone who tells you that Google Analytics isn’t helpful doesn’t know what they’re saying. Using Google Analytics, you can analyze traffic sources, customer behavior, user data, and how each of your pages is performing.
After all, there’s a reason that nearly 29 million websites use it—it works!
But do you need it?
You need to be using some in-depth tools to analyze your web traffic. If you aren’t, you are missing out on some data that could make the difference between beating your competitors and going out of business.
However, just like there are alternatives to Google Drive, there are loads of different web analytics tools out there. So, you don’t have to use Google Analytics if you want to be a successful company, you have other options. Most people use it because it’s free rather than because it offers some advantage over the other tools on the market.
Why You Should Consider An Alternative To Google Analytics
There are plenty of positives to Google Analytics. It’s comprehensive and free, which makes it seem pretty good—especially if you’re a new company with a limited budget to spend on an analytics platform.
However, there are concerns that everyone who is thinking about using Google’s product should know about and take into consideration before they commit to using it.
The first concern about Google Analytics is the privacy issues related to data ownership. Google handles most of the search queries on the internet, and the amount of power they have simply due to the number of people who use their business’ platform is enormous.
Google Analytics data is liable to be used to deliver targeted Google ads to your site’s visitors. Simply knowing that their site is harvesting personal data from their visitors is enough to make many companies avoid Google Analytics entirely. However, many others feel ethically neutral with regards to data collection.
But the problem doesn’t stop there. Most sites using Google Analytics have to display a privacy banner to allow the visitors to consent to data collection and cookies. For Google Analytics to collect data from that visitor, they must give consent through the banner.
However, the vast majority of users don’t click that “accept” button, which means that the data you’re able to collect for them is drastically limited. This is a serious problem for website owners—especially since they’re using Google Analytics to collect customer data in the first place!
A second issue with Google Analytics is that it is complex to learn. Until someone is capable of analyzing the data that it delivers, it is useless. The data Google Analytics provides is so broad that beginners to the field of analytics will find it nearly impossible to make practical decisions at first.
Other tools recognize that most website owners don’t want to go back to school for a data analytics degree to run a successful website. That’s why they have simplified the process of gathering data and making data-driven decisions to increase traffic and interactions.
Alternatives To Google Analytics
We’re going to take a look at 5 of the best Google Analytics alternatives that offer a more straightforward user experience and more comprehensive privacy options. Using one of these tools, you can start making decisions based on traffic analytics tomorrow if you need to.
As we discuss these analytics tools, we’re going to look at their user experience and standout features. We’ll also highlight why we think it’s a good Google Analytics alternative and what type of business owner would be interested in using it over the other companies listed.
Matomo is an extremely privacy-oriented tool. It is an open-source product designed to help you better understand user behavior. Their whole business model runs on the idea that you should your data——not Google. They also offer great features that help you run your website more effectively, so it’s a win-win.
Matomo User Experience
Matomo offers a simple and easy-to-understand dashboard, which helps new users get up to speed faster. The primary dashboard includes metrics like visitors over time, traffic from social networks, visits in real-time, browser data, and a visitor map.
If you’ve been using Google Analytics and don’t want to lose your data, you can import it directly into Matomo.
Matomo’s UI is considerably leaner than Google Analytics’. If you love data and have experience digesting the information overload from Google Analytics, this may be a drawback. For those who like a simpler design and feel overwhelmed by tons of data, Matomo is an excellent choice.
Matomo Standout Features
Matomo was designed with user privacy in mind, so it makes sense that they have some of the best privacy features on the market.
GDPR is the code of laws protecting privacy rights in Europe, so websites with any traffic from the EU need to be GDPR compliant. Matomo includes a suite of GDPR tools to make sure that you’re compliant.
They also offer advanced privacy features like disabling IP tracking, cookie-less analytics, and options to control nearly every other aspect of your users’ privacy.
Why Matomo Is A Great Google Analytics Alternative
Matomo is an excellent alternative to Google Analytics because it puts you back in the driver’s seat. Instead of giving up your ability to control how your users’ data is used, Matomo gives you complete control and allows you to treat your customers well by protecting their privacy.
Up to 50,000 page views per month, Matomo will only cost you $29/month. Packages go all the way up to 50,000,000 views or more at $11,900/mo. However, since it is an open-source analytics platform, there is a completely free plan if you know how to host it on your own servers!Click Here To Get Started
Like Matomo, Woopra focuses on delivering all the data you need without unnecessary complications. This tool helps you understand the typical user journey through your site, making it particularly useful for sales-focused sites wanting to increase conversions by analyzing user behavior.
Woopra User Experience
Woopra is all about usability and practicality. Its user interface is easy to understand and easy to master, which means that you won’t be wasting time figuring out the system’s intricacies—you can get right to work.
The dashboard focuses on useful custom reports that help you make your site better immediately. The journey reports, trends reports, cohort reports, and retention reports are all easy, even if you are new to analytics.
Woopra Standout Features
Woopra is centered around a handful of key reports that give you the information you need to improve performance. The two most important are the journey reports and trends reports, which both analyze and evaluate website traffic.
Journey reports help you understand the customer journey through each of your pages, including how users interact with your free trials, customer support, and help pages. By understanding how each of these factors affects conversion, you can make laser-focused adjustments.
The trends report helps you understand how your key metrics are changing over time and the factors that are affecting them. By looking at this report, you can see how various portions of your site are used over time.
Why Woopra Is A Great Google Analytics Alternative
Woopra is an excellent product that’s focused on the individual visitor. The data that it provides is very relevant, and it’s organized so that it’s easy to find and use.
By contrast, Google Analytics is difficult to learn due to the massive amount of data you need to sift through to find actionable insights. Woopra solves this problem by helping you see where the sticking points are on your customers’ journey by using their reports features.
Woopra has a free plan with up to 500,000 actions per month. An action is defined as “any event tracked by Woopra.” If your company needs more, you can contact the company to determine what package you might need, but the first paid package costs $999/month.Click Here To Get Started
StatCounter allows you to follow your visitors’ paths through your site without distracting you with unnecessary data. It makes an excellent analytics software for those new to web analytics because of the shallow learning curve and purpose-driven platform.
StatCounter User Experience
With one of the simplest user interfaces of any web analytics tool, StatCounter provides an enjoyable user experience without compromising on data.
StatCounter’s web dashboard is sleek and straightforward, showing various reports like engagement, traffic, and location data.
Even though the user interface is one of the simplest available, StatCounter still offers all of the data that you need to make good decisions for your website.
StatCounter Standout Features
One of StatCounter’s most impressive features is the visitor activity page, which shows real-time analytics so you can see how each visitor interacts with your site. Watching a visitor as they interact with your website enables you to understand just how your typical visitor interacts with each of your pages.
Another great tool is the visitor alert, which allows you to set alerts when a specific visitor comes to your website. If there is an important client, these alerts make sure you don’t miss their visit.
Why StatCounter Is A Great Google Analytics Alternative
StatCounter is a great web analytics tool because of the number of practical features it offers. In addition to the data it provides, features like visitor alerts, email reports, and paid traffic analysis are also beneficial.
In addition to the great tools and data, StatCounter is simple and easy to use. The price is right at just $9/month for 100,000 views, with options to go up to 100,000,000 views for $399.Click Here To Get Started
Fathom set out to streamline the process of data collection without giving up quality. The result is a super sleek dashboard, advanced privacy features, and top-of-the-line data. This is a perfect solution for both beginners looking for an easy program and advanced users looking for a program that helps them protect their visitors’ privacy.
Fathom User Experience
Fathom has consolidated all the data that you need to get a picture of your sites’ health into one dashboard. That means that you can learn about your visits, views, bounce rate, and historic data without ever clicking anything.
Another great thing about the website’s simplicity is that it only requires a bit of tracking code on your website to get started. Fathom is a very user-friendly tool, which makes it perfect for beginners.
Fathom Standout Features
In addition to its simplicity, Fathom is also very comprehensive. Its privacy features are state-of-the-art, so it’s GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, and PECR compliant right out of the box. It also doesn’t require a cookies banner on your site, which means that you will be getting accurate data without scaring your visitors away.
Fathom enables you to collect data from users even if they have an ad blocker installed, and it provides real-time data on your website.
Why Fathom Is A Great Google Analytics Alternative
Fathom offers all the data you need to make the most informed decisions possible, but it organizes everything clearly and simply. This organization helps users understand their data without spending hours combing through seemingly arbitrary data points.
It also has some of the most advanced privacy available, which helps you respect your customers by ensuring their private information stays that way.
Fathom’s pricing starts at $14/month for up to 100,000 page views and goes up to $74/month for 2,000,000 views.Click Here To Get Started
5. Simple Analytics
Our final web analytics tool is Simple Analytics. This program is so focused on making their platform friendly that they’ve even included the word “simple” in their name!
Simple Analytics User Experience
Simple Analytics operates around a single, easy-to-understand dashboard. The dashboard includes a monthly traffic view, real-time visitor information, referral domains, pages viewed, device information, locations, and browsers.
All of the different aspects of the dashboard are interactive, so you can click on each data point for more information. This is the simplest tool on this list, and it is undoubtedly the easiest to learn.
Simple Analytics Standout Features
Due to operating without cookies, Simple Analytics is GDPR, CCPA, and PECR compliant and does not require a cookies banner. It is also capable of getting around ad blockers and still providing the data you need.
While most tools will show you that a visitor was referred from Twitter, Simple Analytics shows you the tweet that referred them. This is an excellent feature because it allows you to see what kind of tweets generate traffic to your site.
Why Simple Analytics Is A Great Google Analytics Alternative
Simple Analytics is an extremely simple tool to learn, but it’s still comprehensive enough to help website owners get insights into their traffic sources. These insights help increase traffic and conversions. My favorite part about this tool is how privacy-focused it is. With Simple Analytics, you retain 100% data ownership.
While StatCounter and Matomo offer similar privacy features, Simple Analytics’ prices start at just $9/month for up to 100,000 views, which is an excellent price for the service you get.Click Here To Get Started
The Verdict: Alternatives To Google Analytics
If you are looking for the most comprehensive tool that gives you the most privacy options, data points, and insights on that data, I recommend Matomo or Woopra.
If you’re new to website analytics and you want to dip your toe in without getting hit by a tidal wave of information, start with Simple Analytics or Fathom. StatCounter falls between these two ends of the spectrum, offering a blend of simplicity and detail.
There are many good Google Analytics alternatives out there, but these 5 companies offer the best blend of privacy, simplicity, and comprehensiveness.
At this point, the worst thing you can do is nothing. I highly recommend signing up for a few free trials or demos of these tools. After trying a few, you will have a much better idea of what your website needs and how these programs can help you accomplish that.