Google dominates the digital world and because of this many slightly less savvy marketers, website developers and online business owners tend to stick with Google products even if there are other useful alternatives available. This trend can apply especially to Analytics, which we’re going to talk about, and Adwords/Adsense.
The truth of the matter is that, while Google’s Analytics package is extraordinarily powerful and versatile (and free to use!), it doesn’t necessarily offer every metrics gathering tool your business might need. In fact, some of the alternatives –partly because they’re competing with Google AND charging money for their offers– actually have some very cool and useful extra features to offer.
Furthermore, some of the alternative platforms also have slightly different ways of guiding you through their data for clearer results on what you need to do for your website.
Some Additional (Potential) Limits with Google Analytics
Before we get down to our list, you should consider some of the following as reasons why you might want to avoid depending on Google’s system too much:
So, without further delay, here are 9 alternatives to the Google giant’s Analytics system.
Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard is quite new on the analytics scene and has been offering its services only since 2012. Some of the features that work to its benefit are its limitless visitor tracking capacity (compared to Google’s cap of 10 million per month) and its 24-hour customer support, which Google’s free Analytics doesn’t really offer.
Yahoo! Marketing integrates with Google Analytics data as well as with stats from Yahoo! Merchant Solutions and Yahoo! Web Hosting, making it a fine alternative for users of other Yahoo! products.
Clicky is both cheap and extremely easy to use. In fact the company labels itself as the simplest online analytics service you’re likely to find. While this leads to a lack of some of Google’s deeper, more technical metrics, the simplicity and focus on really crucial site analytics data is a refreshing difference from Google’s services. Furthermore, Clicky’s simpler interface even offers some visitor data features that Google doesn’t offer and with Clicky, all information is real time.
Clicky is free to use for sites that have less than 3 million visitors per month and after that, packages start for as little as $9.99 per month.
Reinvigorate let’s you track analytics indicators in real time across web, mobile and social media platforms. Their are quite sophisticated without being overly complicated to navigate. The company offers tracking on a single account for up to 3 sites with less than 500,000 monthly visitors and after that plans go from $10 to $20 and move into custom plan territory for companies with larger needs.
The edge Foxmetrics brings to the table is its ability to track metrics that are specific to certain events in your particular business. By installing the FoxMetrics API, you can get metrics collected for things as specific as newsletter downloads, software installations and use or consumption of certain specific media. Basically, the API can be tailored for detailed analytics of any event that will trigger it.
The FoxMetrics package includes the above specific event tracking API as well as more typical analytics tools. Tracking for up to 25,000 distinct events is free and premium packages start at less than $10 per month.
Mint is an incredibly simple analytics tracking system with a simple interface, simple setup and simple report collation systems. Tracking options with Mint include the more well known features found on Google Analytics and a couple of bonuses in the form of a viewer that tracks subscription patterns to any feeds you have running and a tracker that measures your site visitors’ varying screen sizes for maximal content placement intel.
Mint costs a onetime $30 per website activation fee and after that it’s free to use for as long as you like.
Piwik stands out from most of the entries on this list because it’s an open source tool that offers completely free analytics at all levels. Piwik gives you many of the same tools as Google Analytics, including customizable dashboards, but in real time and without a limit to its tracking capacity. Piwik has been around since 2008, downloaded well over 1 million times and also offers an installable WordPress plugin.
Open Web is yet another open source offering that deserves being described. Basically the open source community’s answer to the proprietary Google Analytics; Open Web feels very similar to Google’s platform and offers almost all of the exact same features.
A couple of detriments to Open Web (when compared to its Google counterpart) are its inability to deal with custom mobile analytics features and its lack of A/B testing options. On the other hand, Open Web isn’t cloud based; instead you download it directly to your own servers and retain full control of your analytics data.
2. Specialized Tracking Tools
Not all useful analytics come in the form of online metrics. Specialized, targeted analytics is also available for offline conversion tracking when someone picks up the phone to call your business.
Call tracking is a platform that revolves around using specialized assigned phone numbers to monitor the success of specific online and offline advertising campaigns.
Call Tracking platforms such as AnalyticCallTracking.com are particularly useful for measuring large volumes of conversion and useful metrics for various digital campaigns. This takes specialized tools such as this one beyond the realm of what even the major analytics platforms such as many of those listed above can do.
What makes the Kissmetrics platform unique is its excellent capacity for tracking individual user behavior and your clients’ overall user life cycles. In terms of tracking conversions and behavior on a highly detailed per-user level, Kissmetrics beats a lot of other analytics services despite its smaller size.
Pricing starts at $30 per month with no free option, although there is a free trial period that carries no obligations or billing process.
What Should you Do?
With all of the above options and all of their varied internal features, it’s easy to get overwhelmed about how to approach your analytics metrics. To simplify things a bit for you, approach all of your analytics from this angle before you do anything else: Have a plan for what you want your business to do and create a well researched list of the key metrics that will let you realize and monitor your plan in the most effective way possible. Go with whatever analytics platform let’s you do that in the easiest, most practical way.
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