Top 10 Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4 alternatives
Olga Mirgorodskaya, Creative writer @ OWOX
Maryna Sharapa, PR Manager @ OWOX
We’ve selected analytics systems that will help you if not replace Google Analytics then at least supplement its capabilities and bypass its limitations.
What are the issues with Google Analytics?
Browsers limit the use of third-party cookies
Browsers and platforms limit the lifetime of third-party cookies. This affects the availability of important identifiers for analytics systems, such as Google Analytics Client ID. Because of this, a significant amount of information on the effectiveness of advertising channels will already not be available in 2024.
Google Analytics is not GDPR compliant
After the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, Google Analytics users in Europe faced a problem. Google Analytics has become illegal for website operators to use in several countries due to decisions by European data protection authorities, as it does not comply with the GDPR.
Now, businesses must remove Google Analytics from their websites or face fines for violating the GDPR. Users of Google Analytics operating in the European Union or serving customers in EU countries should take immediate action to ensure that no personal data is transferred to servers in the United States or find an alternative analytics platform that complies with the GDPR.
In addition, to comply with GDPR requirements, websites must use Consent mode. That is, a website must not identify users who do not want to share cookies. And this leads to the following problem.
Consent mode reduces the number of conversions for which a traffic source can be identified
As a result, advertisers will continue to collect user activity data, but they won’t be able to determine which interactions with ads lead to conversions. The average share of users who reject cookies on websites with Consent mode implemented is 30%. Depending on the type of website, this share can reach 40%.
Ad blockers affect Google Analytics tracking
More than 27% of users install apps to block ad content, and this share is growing every year. Most users who install ad blocking apps will not reach your site, as your advertising messages will be blocked. But about one-third of users who install ad blockers will still visit your site through organic or unblocked content. Such users and conversions are invisible for Google Analytics, however, since sending data to Google Analytics is prohibited.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 analytics services that will help you solve the problems described above.
1. OWOX BI
OWOX BI is a no-code digital analytics platform to collect, normalize, prepare, orchestrate, and analyze all your digital marketing data with ease.
With OWOX BI, you can collect first-party data; clean, map, normalize, and blend it with marketing data across all channels and devices; make it business-ready; and create cross-channel reports in minutes.
Many analysts are used to the Google Analytics data schema. Now that Google Analytics is banned in the EU, Google Analytics users must find a GDPR-compliant alternative and learn an unfamiliar data schema. With OWOX BI, however, you don’t have to learn a new schema. OWOX BI provides you with the familiar Google Analytics Universal data schema for hits and session transformation data.
In addition, OWOX BI automatically imports data from advertising accounts in a format that is convenient for analysts to work with:
- Recognizes UTM tags and dynamic parameters in ads so they can be merged with user actions on the site
- Updates historical data to ensure that data in reports is as up to date as possible
- Converts ad costs into a single currency
- Provides analysts with high data granularity to build any reports without restrictions
With OWOX BI, you will be able to:
- Collect data in Google BigQuery with full GDPR compliance. OWOX BI provides secure first-party data collection on your personal domain and sends all your data directly to a location of your choice in the EU.
- Be confident in the quality and completeness of data. With OWOX, errors, data silos, ad blockers, and cookie consent won’t be a problem anymore. OWOX BI collects each hit you previously sent to Google Analytics in your Google BigQuery EU storage in near real time and without sampling.
- Build analytics around the user, not browsers, devices, and campaigns. All user behavior data from your site, as well as data from various devices and applications, is merged into a single cross-device user profile. OWOX BI attributes cost data at the session level. You are no longer limited to evaluating marketing effectiveness within the scope of an advertising campaign and can correctly calculate unit economics. Evaluate the effectiveness of advertising for different cohorts, regions, landing pages, and product groups.
- Build any reports in a couple of clicks without coding and complex data transformations. With OWOX BI, you get up-to-date and unified data ready for further segmentation and reporting. There’s no need to prepare a data set for each report. Just decide what metrics you want to see in your report and OWOX BI will automatically create it.
2. Piwik PRO
Piwik PRO Analytics Suite is an analytics platform with a focus on data privacy and security. It allows you to analyze user behavior on websites, in mobile applications, and on your local Intranet. Piwik PRO offers functionality similar to Google Analytics: event tracking, session metrics, custom dimensions, funnel analysis, custom reports, multi-channel attribution. Even Piwik’s interface is reminiscent of good old Universal Analytics:
However, there are significant differences:
- The built-in Consent Manager allows you to comply with data privacy and security laws such as the GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.
- Full control over your own data. Piwik PRO offers multiple storage options to choose from: five public cloud services, private cloud storage, or the user’s own server.
- Native integration with the customer’s existing data platform allows you to collect and merge data from various sources: contact forms, web analytics, mobile applications, CRM systems, and transaction systems.
Comparison of Piwik PRO and different versions of Google Analytics:
HubSpot is a marketing solution that goes way beyond the basic data analytics that Google Analytics offers. It includes CRM and CMS functionality, plus tools for marketing automation, data analysis, SEO optimization, sales management, email, etc.
A distinctive feature of HubSpot reports is the connection of marketing information with CRM data. By unifying lead data from the first touch to the sale and beyond, marketers can make better decisions that directly impact the business processes.
The analytical capabilities of HubSpot Marketing Analytics are more modest than those of Google Analytics. HubSpot provides information about page views, sessions, traffic sources, time spent on the page, exit/entry rates, and bounce rates.
Unlike Google Analytics, you will not find reports on the user funnel, devices (desktop and mobile), regions, and user demographics.
Woopra is a comprehensive customer journey analytics tool. It helps link all user interaction points to your website so you can increase engagement and retention.
Key differences between Woopra and Google Analytics:
- Woopra focuses on identifying users by name or email. For example, if a user accesses a site from Chrome and later from Safari, Woopra will merge the two profiles so you can see the user’s full history.
- Woopra offers one-click integration with other systems. Sales data from a CRM is often associated with email addresses, so you can easily import it to enrich your Woopra profiles.
- Woopra allows you to use deep detailing in reports and does not limit their number. You can set up any funnels to see where users leave and how many conversions they bring.
- Woopra has real-time tracking that Google Analytics doesn’t have and updates instantly, unlike Google Analytics.
Matomo is a comprehensive web analytics platform that’s an alternative to Google Analytics. The product sets itself apart from its main competitor due to its open source code, 100% data protection, and strict confidentiality.
- Reveals conversion paths through visualization of entry/exit points, page-to-page transitions, and other actions on the site.
- Evaluates Google, Bing, and Yahoo keywords thanks to integrations with the relevant search consoles.
- Synchronizes with e-commerce platforms: WooCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, etc.
- Tracks the dynamics of various indicators: visits, bounces, actions on the site. It helps you understand how they change, taking into account geolocation, browsers, devices, and seasonality.
- Analyzes traffic sources and forms, monitors goals, and conducts A/B tests.
Heap is a digital insights platform that allows you to measure every user interaction with your site down to individual clicks and swipes.
In addition to standard tracking metrics such as page views, unique visitors, and bounce rate, Heap has other useful features including heat maps, custom dashboards, and advanced segmentation.
Heap’s intuitive interface makes it easy to change the appearance of dashboards and add new widgets or reports as needed.
Heap works through a browser, so it does not require software installation and coding.
7. Fathom Analytics
Fathom Analytics provides simple and useful website statistics focused on user privacy.
Fathom collects trends and information, not personal data about specific website visitors. It only tracks these metrics:
- Number of unique site visitors
- Page views
- Average time on the site
- Bounce rate
- Best pages
- Best traffic sources
- Country, device type, and browser
- Goals configured by the user
- Analysis of traffic sources, site interactions, and page traffic
- Notifications for traffic spikes and drops
- Details about users: language, geolocation, browser, provider, etc.
- Traffic forecast based on historical data; bounce rate calculation using proprietary formulas
- One-click data exporting; clear and reliable API
Clicky is a real-time web analytics tool that shows user visits and displays a click map on the site along with visit duration.
- All reports are in real time
- Tracks the actions of each visitor
- Heat maps by pages, users, and segments
- Site health monitoring
- Excludes of bot traffic and referral spam
- Handles split testing
- Ability to set goals, including dynamic and long-term
StatCounter offers a simple interface for basic real-time website analytics. It positions itself as a Google Analytics analogue that’s understandable for owners of small businesses that are not well versed in digital marketing and analytics.
- Ability to study users’ paths on the site
- Analysis of all important indicators over time: visit duration, repeat visits, popular pages, number of percentage of visitors that bounce, etc.
- Statistics by geography, browser, operating system, etc.
- Separately, StatCounter offers to track paid traffic from Google, Facebook, and Twitter to detect click fraud
Google Analytics is without a doubt a great web analytics tool, but it’s not the only one. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you can try one or more of the alternatives mentioned above.
When choosing an alternative, pay attention to the following:
- The type of data you want to collect
- Protection and security of your data and your users’ data
- Available integrations
- Open source versus proprietary software
- How easy it is for non-technical users to use the tool
Choosing a Google Analytics alternative is not difficult if you keep in mind the features that are important to your success and the goals you hope to achieve.