Website Analytics Tools – Beyond Google Analytics
Let’s start by saying that Google Analytics is a great, completely free, website analytics tool. Praise be to Google for giving it to us.
Let’s continue by saying that, as good as it is, it may not be enough!
So, first of all let’s see what it is good at:
- Tracking how many visitors your website gets
- Identifying where those visitors come from, i.e. as a result of following a link on another website or in an email
- Providing a geographical breakdown of your audience, where are your pages most appreciated?
- Highlighting which keywords bring visitors to your website, and which don’t
- Pinpointing which pages get the most visits and which ones your visitors spend the most time on
- Providing a breakdown of the types of device used by your visitors, e.g. mobile, desktop, tablets
All of the above is good, but there are problems.
Firstly, Google actually only shows you a part of your data – much of it is removed under the spurious pretext of protecting users privacy. Secondly, and this is the big one for me as an Internet Marketer, you can only see your own data, not that of your competitors and, to be honest, knowing your own numbers is largely pointless if you do not know how those numbers compare with those of your competitors.
So, lets say you get 10,000 visitors a month, Great! But why aren’t you getting as much business as you might expect? The answer, (possibly), is that your competitors are getting 150,000 visits per month, or more, so your 10,000, whilst it may sound like a lot, is small by comparison to the average for your competitive landscape.
What then can the business owner, or website proprietor, do to overcome these problems? The suppression of your own data by Google is difficult to combat because they are too big to be persuaded by arguments of fairness or entitlement – they employ an army of lawyers to protect their interests and you would simply be banging your head against a very painful wall.
The data, your data, will stay suppressed until they decide otherwise and, since it is in their interests to keep control over what you can and cannot see, it is unlikely to change anytime soon.
There are, however, alternatives to Google Analytics that fill in some of the gaps outlined above, including their own Analytics 360, previously known as Premium but the cost of that solution will place it out of reach of all but the largest or wealthiest of companies.
Below you will see some of the alternatives that we have reviewed or assessed and, as ever, there are more to come. The most important thing is to be realistic about what you need analytics for and to accept that in order to get what you want you may need to invest both time and money.
Tips and tricks to improve your Web Analytics.
How to Master Google Analytics
Master Google Analytics with this course offered by our partners Digital Marketer and make smart, data-driven decisions about your digital marketing campaigns.
Get Certified in Analytics & Data Mastery
Training for Digital Marketers, by Digital Marketers
Take your knowledge & skills in Analytics to the next level and get certified with this Digital Marketer Certification Course. It's self study, online, and you get this really cool badge of certification when you pass the final exam.