At this point, Google Analytics is basically the standard website tracking and analysis tools for the majority of webmasters and business owners, no matter how big (or small) their sites may be.
This makes sense, as the product not only comes branded with the Google trademark, which many savvy Web professionals are naturally inclined to trust, but it’s also free, so no matter what, the price is right. However, in addition to all of that, Google Analytics is also just a strong, useful tool that provides in-depth data and powerful analysis. So, why would anyone NOT want to use Google Analytics?
Good question. See, there are actually a couple of reasons why Google Analytics could be kind of a drag for users. To start, it can be a complex solution for some, especially those with little experience, that comes with a pretty substantial learning curve, meaning it’s not really ideal for smaller businesses. Plus, despite the fact that it comes with many different features, it doesn’t necessarily have all of the capabilities that certain businesses may need. And on top of it all is the fear (more pronounced in some) of giving Google too much information.
Fortunately, there are plenty of choice alternatives to Google Analytics available today, just in case Google’s got you down. Check out the top 20 below:
Woopra is probably the most well-known Google Analytics alternative, largely because it offers many similar features. But Woopra is interesting, because it is a comprehensive timeline for every user, meaning it will track everyone 24/7, from anonymous visitors to converted unique customers with real-time profile information. It will also generate reports and automatically send out emails to invite customers back to your website at a later date.
One of the more unique features of the Mint analytics platform is Birdfeeder, which allows users to see click-through rates and feed subscription stats from a single location. In addition, it will break down Google searches (both regular and image searches) easily, rather than requiring users to tweak certain filters to see specific information. Mint also offers extensible, real-time tracking.
Web pros can record and replay every single one of their site visits with SessionCam, including each mouse and scroll on their sites. This is an excellent tool for those who want or need to track their visitors through every step they take on their site. SessionCam also lets users see forms as they’re being filled out, and provides access to heatmaps, Web analytics, conversion funnels and field drop-off reports.
Real-time statistics seem to be all the rage with analytics professionals, and Clicky is another solution that offers them. The real appeal of Clicky, however, is that it was designed to be the simplest Web analytics solution available for Web workers with any level of experience so that all of that data makes more sense to them than ever before; most notably, it allows users to fully modify their dashboards.
Like many other solutions on this list, and Google Analytics, Gauges will analyze Web traffic in real time, track every visitor on a site, show users exactly which pages they’re on and where they each came from. It’s also an intuitive and incredibly user-friendly platform thanks to a single-dashboard interface that displays data in visually stimulating and easy-to-read charts and graphs that allow users to quickly see the status of any visitor’s activity, as well as how their content is performing and which pages (or posts) are doing particularly well with heatmaps.
In order to be as easy to read and utilize as possible, Chartbeat provides users with two different information dashboards, one for real-time data and one for historical data, which provides information about yesterday’s site visits and user interactions. The real-time dashboard, on the other hand, includes features like scroll mapping, page density, social metrics (e.g. retweets) and the ability to monitor moving, reading and idle visitors.
The four core features of Inspectlet are its visitor screen capture capabilities, eye-tracking heatmaps, real-time analytics and the ability to create customized metrics. It also allows users to watch their visitors as they navigate, click, scroll and type on their websites, giving users a birds-eye view of what is happening on these sites as it happens. Users can also utilize conversion funnels so that they can define a series of pages that lead to a goal; then, they can see where users drop off on the way to this goal and use that data to improve conversion rates.
Reinvigorate is a pretty simple real-time Web analytics and heatmap solution that comes with an array of features, including the ability to track a visitor’s activities and page views as they happen. It also comes with granular graphing, detailed visitor stats, referral traffic reporting, page-level details and globally distributed tracking capabilities.
This analytics solution (named after the best animal, no less) offers the ability to track business-specific metrics, or “events,” which can include software installs, newsletter views, media consumption or anything else you can get to trigger an API call. As a result, businesses can personalize their websites based on individual user behavior. And this is all in addition to more standard metrics, as well.
Another highly popular Google Analytics alternative is KISSmetrics, a solution that helps makes the analysis process more personal by letting users track and visualize the visitor life cycle; this is a better way for site owners to observe and pinpoint individual user behavior and how it has changed. KISSmetrics also provides real-time conversion funnel analysis and visualizations that display a site’s ability to convert users based on its goals.
The open source Web analytics solution Piwik lets users install it on their own servers and store their data in MySQL, which makes it an ideal Google Analytics alternative for larger organizations with a dedicated IT staff. In addition to MySQL, Piwik can also run on PHP. However, the software’s easy-to-use interface is entirely Web-based, though it comes with a number of different plugins to simplify the installation process.
Not only does Mixpanel feature real-time mobile and Web analytics, but it also comes with killer conversion funnel features that allow users to retroactively create (and analyze) funnels quickly. Mixpanel helps its customers track retention by providing graphs that show them how often customers have returned after their initial visits, which can, of course, provide invaluable data on how to adjust your site to entice repeat visits. Price structuring with Mixpanel is based on how many events are tracked, with the free version tracking up to 25,000 data points.
Technically, Engine Ready is offered as “search marketing software,” but for the most part it is just a solid, cheap and, most importantly, simple analytics solution that is useful for websites of all shapes and sizes. The solution’s easy-to-read and understand graphics are represented with different colors, making it a piece of cake for even the least experienced site owner to analyze how their customers are navigating through his/her website with common, essential metrics.
This open source Google Analytics alternative is available as downloadable software that users install directly on their servers, ultimately providing them with more control and ownership of their sites’ analytics data. Otherwise, its pretty similar to GA, as it comes with most of Google’s key features. However, it also adds the ability to track mouse movements and heatmaps.
GoingUp! is a great Web analytics solution for growing websites, as it offers a solid selection of basic tracking features, as well as a developer API, heatmaps, tag clouds and various SEO tools. Plus, it comes with plugins that work with a number of popular blogging solutions, including WordPress and Blogger.
Customers using VisiStat will be able to track the visitors on their websites and monitor their behavior in real time to unlock crucial insights about their sites. Moreover, the simplified interface promises to translate complex data into easy-to-understand information that reports on popular Web pages, unique visitors, page views, keyword trends, referral links, geo location and more.
As you can see, Google Analytics isn’t the only option you’re stuck with when it comes to finding great Website analytics software. What other solutions would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section!