Google Analytics is a must-use tool to track your website traffic. Nearly 55% of all the websites online use Google Analytics; that's huge!
There are some features that Google Analytics lacks, which forced the web admins to search for an alternative.
In this article, we will tell you why you need Google Analytics alternatives and which ones you might find worth trying.
So let's get started!
The popularity of Google Analytics Amongst Website Owners & Businesses
In the era of digitization, almost every business is busy building its online presence.
It becomes crucial for businesses to check whether their website fulfills their business goals or not.
For this, they require a robust web analytics software that answers some significant questions such as:
- What do people do when they visit my website?
- How long do they stay?
- What pages do they visit?
So, what makes Google Analytics (Aka – GA) popular among website owners and small businesses? Let's dive in.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics software. It helps businesses gain deeper insights into their website performance, such as
- Overall website traffic
- Where's the traffic coming from?
- Which keyword draws the most traffic?
- Which pages bring more engagements?
And much more.
Not only this, the data can be further drilled down to see the page views, bounce rates, retention rates, and session durations.
But, despite having a huge customer base, many web admins view Google Analytics as a complicated tool.
So if you're one of them, the following reasons might be one of your problems with GA.
Why Would You Need An Alternative For Google Analytics?
From a business perspective, a free analytical tool from the biggest ad-tech company is a delight. Yet, it does come with some limitations.
Let's address some of GA's downsides that make it a secondary choice for some webmasters.
#1. It's a Bulging Script that Affects Your Website Speed
Do you know? Google Analytics adds extra weight to your web pages like any other website element.
So, when you integrate GA with your website, you add 45 kb of page weight to each page load – slowing down its loading time.
For those who are cautious about their website speed, Kbs matter!
#2. It Uses Sampled Data Resulting in Biased Insights
Google Analytics uses only a subset of your website's data to analyze and determine the overall results.
This means GA narrows down its processing load by sampling uniform data types.
Let's take an example to understand it better.
Suppose you need to count the number of trees on a 100-acre land where the distribution is uniform. If you're smart enough, you would count the number of trees in 1-acre and multiply it by 100.
Likewise, GA samples your website data to reduce its processing time. But, unlike the example given above, your website visitors are not reasonably uniform.
Every visitor has their own buyer's journey, and sampling won't provide you with accurate and actionable insights.
#3. Free Plan Doesn't Have Access to Raw Data
With Google Analytics, you can access aggregated data presented to you in a summarized format instead of raw data.
This might make things difficult for marketing experts who rely completely on raw data. Why so?
As per marketing experts, raw data comes directly from the source and remains unfabricated. Thus, perfect for in-depth insights and accurate results.
Also, since you have unprocessed data, you can mold it as per your needs and perform advanced evaluations.
You can also visualize raw data. For instance, you can export it to business intelligence and visualization tools such as Tableau and Sisense.
By doing this, you connect many data sources and then clean, shape, and model your data set into your desired report.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics allows you to work with raw data only with its paid version. But still, some blockers prevail, and you somehow don't get 100% data.
#4. Overwhelming for Majority of Webmasters
Google Analytics is a powerful but complex tool with a significant learning curve. Most site owners use only a fraction of its metrics to analyze their websites or businesses.
Google Analytics has 125 items in its left navigation bar, which generate different reports to get you diversified insights. These items track more than 290 other metrics combined.
That's too much.
Analyzing all these metrics is a full-time job and becomes overwhelming for business owners.
Many GA users create custom dashboards with only a few valuable metrics and ignore everything else that GA does.
#5. It's Blocked by Many Plugins & Browsers
It's fascinating that top web browsers like Firebox, Brave, and Apple Safari have blocked Google Analytics from tracking visitors' activities.
Yes, an experiment conducted by Wesley Aptekar-Cassels showed that out of 1,253 sample users, 565 blocked Google Analytics.
The breakdown was as follows:
Here's the breakdown according to the OS used:
|Operating System||% Blocking|
The rapid growth in the use of ad blockers among users has hampered the accuracy provided by Google analytics.
As per reports, 42.7% of internet users worldwide use an ad blocker.
So now it's clear why the embed script provided by Google often gets blocked from tracking users' movement across platforms.
The lesser data it collects, the more fragile the results are.
#6. Shift from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4.
This is probably one of the main reasons many web admins are looking for alternative web analytics tools. Google Analytics has announced that they will be retiring Universal Analytics from July 2023, and to use GA4, website owners need to set up GA4 code on their websites.
Some of the users' experience with GA4 has not been the best as it has its own steep learning curve. It also involves unlearning the concepts of Universal Analytics, which has taken a bit of effort to learn.
Users may consider checking out some other tools before Universal Analytics is discontinued and make an informed decision on whether to move to GA4 or opt for a new tool.
Let's now look at the best Google Analytics Alternatives.
Clarity is a free-to-use web analysis tool from Microsoft. It helps businesses and website owners get valuable insights into how real visitors engage with their websites.
Why is Microsoft Clarity Better than Google Analytics?
- GA's free plan puts a cap on the volume of recordings and sessions. At the same time, you can use Clarity for free and also record every session.
- Clarity's filtering control and advanced customization help you segment data. In comparison, Google Analytics doesn't provide you with data segmentation.
Features of Clarity
- Advanced Heatmaps: Create instant heat maps to see which areas on your page drive the most engagement and which pages need improvement
- Session Recordings: Record and share all your sessions with your team members to discuss potential issues, and work on improving them in real-time
- Powerful Insights: Discover meaningful user behavior and make data-driven decisions with in-depth insights powered by machine learning
100,000+ customers trust Microsoft Clarity, making it the 15th most popular tool on the internet in the audience measurement category.
Why is Fathom Better than Google Analytics?
- Fathom helps you gain better insights into your business performance while respecting your privacy.
- Bypass Ad-blockers: The embed script configured with a DNS record allows you to bypass ad-blockers by using a unique subdomain for every site
- Privacy Regulations: Respectful to privacy laws such as GDPR, CCPA, PECR, etc.
- Quick Loading Time: Its web analytics script loads faster due to custom domains serving in 70 locations worldwide
If you want to learn about all your visitors (not just half) and still hail visitors' privacy, you can trust Fathom's web analytical services.
Plausible is a lightweight open-source web analytics software. It offers website owners valuable and actionable stats with its easy-to-understand analytics.
Why is Plausible Better than Google Analytics?
- Google Analytics collects too many data points. This makes it difficult to understand and requires proper training to get the most out of it. Whereas, Plausible cuts through all the unnecessary data and makes it easy to use, understand and make data-driven decisions.
- Plausible is an open-source tool. Its source code is readily available on websites like Github and can be self-hosted. On the other hand, Google Analytics is a closed platform, and you might never know what goes behind the scenes. All you can do is trust Google.
- Simple Metrics: Get all the key metrics to analyze your website in a simple and easy-to-understand dashboard
- Lightweight Script: Embeds a lightweight script (<1Kb) to your web pages without harming your website speed
- Privacy Focused: Carry out site measurement anonymously without annoying your visitors with cookie/GDPR consent banners.
Plausible is a team-oriented analytics tool trusted by 30,000+ customers globally.
Why is Cloudflare Better than Google Analytics?
- Cloudflare provides you with all essential data quickly under one dashboard. In contrast, Google Analytics presents multiple dashboards with many unnecessary metrics, making it complex to understand.
- Cloudflare web analytic software is non-invasive and respects your visitors' privacy.
- All-in-One Dashboard: Get all essential stats from your website in a single dashboard within a minute
- No Cookie Banners: The software doesn't track your visitors' movement across websites or collect personal information
- Lightweight Script: Embed a lightweight script into your web pages to track performance without hampering your website speed
Cloudflare is a great Google Analytics alternative if you want to analyze your web vitals quickly and easily.
Gaug.es is an analytics tool that helps you monitor and track your visitors in real-time. It offers highly accurate and live data for businesses of any size.
Why is Gaug.es Better than Google Analytics?
- Gauges provide you with data in real-time. All your stats are automatically updated within seconds without hitting the refresh button.
- Gaug.es is easy to understand. You don't need to be a pro webmaster to use the tool.
- Real-Time Data: Get access to every new visitor as soon as they come in without refreshing or synching with live site analytics
- Top-Content Analysis: Automatically analyze your top-performing content with its powerful tool and create content based on data-driven insights
- Geo-Tracking: Get to know where your visitors are coming from with real-time air traffic data
Gaug.es has a trusted customer base of 50,000+ customers globally. If you're looking for an easy-to-use tool, Gaug.es is the solution.
Matoma, previously known as Piwik Web Analytics, is an open-source web analytics tool. It gives in-depth reports on your website visitors, your most viewed page, the keywords driving the most traffic, etc.
Why is Matoma Better than Google Analytics?
- You can use Matomo without cookie consent banners, but this doesn't apply to Google Analytics.
- GA's Terms of Service clarifies that using its services gives them the right to keep and use the data you collect for personal analysis. In comparison, Matomo gives you 100% ownership of your data.
- Visitors Profile: Evaluate every action taken by a visitor on your website and compile it into a full-blown visitor's journey map.
- Seamless Integration: Easily integrate with 100+ software, including content management systems, eCommerce websites, and web development tools
- Limitless Tracking: Track what you want and how much you want with no cap on maximum sessions or numbers
Matomo is a fantastic alternative to Google Analytics. It has over 2,900,000+ global customers and ranks as the 4th most popular site on the entire internet in the Audience Measurement category.
Since it's an open-source self-hosted solution, you can get Matoma on Kamatera for as low as $4 per month.
Clicky is a privacy-friendly web analytics software. It's one of the best alternatives to Google Analytics due to its user-friendly interface and easy implementation.
Why is Clicky Better than Google Analytics?
- As we said earlier, Clicky has a user-friendly interface. This makes it easy to use and requires minimal knowledge to understand and work with.
- Clicky allows for quick and relevant data viewing in real-time, enabling users to extract insights and act on them instantly.
- Onsite Analysis: Track visitor's journey across your site and launch heatmaps without even leaving your website
- Uptime Monitoring: Receive real-time alerts when your site goes offline and take immediate action to resolve it
- Referrer Spam & Bot Filtering: Aggressively filter out bots and spams from your data to get accurate insights
In contrast to Google Analytics, Clicky is an easy-to-use web analytics tool. If you like the Google Analytics interface and are looking for a similar alternative, Clicky might be the one.
W3counter is another free web analytic software. It helps businesses learn more about their website visitors, build a customer base, increase sales, and track business growth.
Why is W3counter Better than Google Analytics?
- W3Counter doesn't have a steep learning curve. It's quick to understand and easy to use.
- User-Friendly Dashboards: Clear and simple dashboard to extract data without any manual or training
- Track Visitors Journey: Learn more about your visitors, see where they live, what languages they speak, and what kind of devices they browse your site on
- Identify Traffic Sources: Easily identify key traffic sources and what content your visitors are looking for on your website.
W3counter is one of the best alternatives to Google Analytics. Its intuitive dashboard provides an overview of your website performance at a glance.
Another popular alternative to GA is Simple Analytics. As the name suggests, Simple analytics gives you insights into some simple yet impactful website tracking KPIs.
Why is Simple Analytics Better than Google Analytics?
- If you ever get concerned about your company and visitors' privacy, Simple Analytics is your privacy-oriented alternative to Google Analytics.
- Compared to GA, Simple Analytics is a lightweight tool, and its script doesn't add extra burden on your web pages.
- Attractive Dashboard: A clean and simple dashboard interface that allows you to overview your website performance in one go
- Email Reports: Delivers your website performance reports in your inbox or send in reports directly to your clients with a click.
- Tweet Viewer: See the exact tweet from where your traffic is coming from in real-time
- Bypass ad-blockers: Setup a subdomain link and simply add a DNS setting to get 100% data with its advanced Bypass ad-blocker
Simple Analytics is a privacy-focused Google Analytics alternative. If you are keen on the privacy of your data and your visitors' data, this is the tool for you.
MixPanel is a powerful web analytics tool that comes with an easy-to-understand interface.
It's a leading Google Analytics alternative that requires you to have no expertise or training to extract meaningful data from the tool.
Why is MixPanel Better than Google Analytics?
- Seamless cross-device tracking and reporting across multiple user sessions.
- MixPanel collects unsampled and accurate user data for real-time analysis.
- Interactive Reports: Learn more about your product and your audience with visualized data charts and figures
- Limitless Segmentation: Get to the roots of your problems with its reliable ad-hoc analysis tool
- Data Integration: Use its powerful connectors to set up and explore product and user behavior without SQL
With over 1M+ customers, MixPanel ranks as the 8th most popular website on the internet in the audience measurement category.
If you're wondering, what's the best Google Alternative, the answer is – it depends.
It depends on what type of alternative you're looking for. Do you want the one that's easy to use? Or do you want the free one?
Here's a table that might help you figure out, what's the best GA alternative for you:
|Easy to use and source data from||Plausible, W3Counter, MixPanel|
|Best free alternative||Clarity|
|Tools that respect privacy||Fathom, Cloudflare, Simple Analytics, Matoma|
|Carbon Copy of GA, but better||Clicky|
Try the one you think might be the right fit for your business, and increase your website traffic with the suitable Google Analytics alternative.
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