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Website Analytics Tools

4 Website Analytic Tools Better than Google Analytics!

It is nearly impossible to talk about website measurement without hearing Google Analytics in the same sentence because it is the most well known & popular solution. This leads many unsuspecting marketers & webmaster to jump in headfirst without a second thought. Today you discover why this could be a huge mistake and alternative options so big brother isn’t looking over your shoulder.

Why Not Google Analytics

Your first question is likely; why not use Google Analytics since it is free until you hit five million page views per month? Well the price is free; however, that is made up by giving your most valuable data over to your biggest competitor from an online marketing standpoint. If you think Google isn’t looking at the data you are sending them; then you are naive which may ultimately bring your demise. Probably not as a new site; nevertheless, if you ever become a force in your industry watch out because it will be too late.

Free Self Hosted Option – Piwik

For those with no budget you will want to use the wonderful open source, truly free program: Piwik. The reports are similar to Google analytics and the documentation does a good job of helping you along. For the tech savvy you have the advantage of customizing your installation since it is open source with a nice API for application integrations. For non techies some hosts even offer a one click install via Simple Scripts now.

Piwik analytics

Piwik analytics

Self Hosted $30 Option – Mint

Do you have a really small budget and still want the security of Piwik but with less technical knowhow then consider snatching up Mint. The big advantage of Mint over Piwik is that you get some support since you are spending money. Plus it is really affordable at a onetime flat fee of $30; although major version upgrades could have an unknown cost impact; minor updates (1.0 to 1.2) are included as part of your original fee. The real time reports are simple so you don’t get confused too.

Mint analytics

Mint analytics

Awesome Non Techie Alternative – Clicky

Clicky is similar to Google Analytics in that it requires the same amount of technical chops which is you know how to copy & paste into the global template of your site. My three favorite things about Clicky are real time stats, mobile friendliness and super easy to understand reports even for analytics newbies. There is a free option or if you want all the features it will set you back $60/year for the Pro version (which is the one I recommend).

GetClicky Analytics

GetClicky Analytics

Especially for Bloggers – PostRank

Some of the biggest blogs on the web are using PostRank including Mashable so that should give you an idea of the quality. The other nice thing about PostRank is that it keeps track of how prominent you are and can help you get in front of other influential bloggers. Start with the free personal version or the free trial then make a decision of if you need a paid plan. I have not used the paid plans so I cannot offer insight into the value add.

PostRank analytics

PostRank analytics

Now you have 4 extremely cost effective options that don’t require you to give a set of marketing intelligence house keys to Google. You can sleep soundly without wondering if the “don’t be evil” mantra is still followed.

I would love to hear about your experience with any of these web analytics tools or others you have used in the comments.

Mark Simon is the SEO Director for Underground Elephant where he currently focuses on generating B2B & B2C refinance leads. During his free time he pursues his passion for aviation on Aviator Drool and makes rounds on the guest blogging circuit.

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{ 41 comments… add one }

  • Indrajit bauli March 18, 2013, 4:43 am

    After reading this post i have decided to install piwik on my website and want to see the difference before i make any comments.

  • Cesar Felipe December 7, 2012, 6:01 pm

    why you use google analytics on your website? if it’s so bad?

  • ben March 9, 2012, 12:28 am

    i want to change my google analysis,it’s boring to see it everyday.and believe there should be one better than google.
    ben recently posted..Google Checkout Gateway for classipress themeMy Profile

  • Jeff Gross October 14, 2011, 2:56 am

    After reading this great article I’ll try register with Clicky. Thanks Mark on short and precise information.

  • Fabio August 26, 2011, 4:02 am

    Just seeing the above article after a tweet this morning, its nice to have other options but disappointing that since Google have took over Postrank you cant sign up.

  • Peter Horvath June 24, 2011, 6:18 am

    Maaan, Postrank has benn acquired by Google as well. What a shame… :)

  • Luis May 17, 2011, 3:19 pm

    I found this application to be quite useful to meet some requirements I couldn’t with Google Analytics: reportingsuite.com

  • Suraj April 25, 2011, 8:12 am

    I tried Clicky and PostRank, both are awesome, I loved the live traffic feature of Clicky, but it’s little heavy and keep blog loading sometimes, currently using PostRank analysis for monitoring social media activities on mail blog.

  • Erwin Konig March 21, 2011, 1:36 pm

    I never knew that you have to pay for Google Analytics when you hit five million page views per month…

    One thing that i find unreliable about Google Analytics, is that you can get fake data if you put the code for a website on other websites too… this happens when somebody tries to sell you add space on their website, and they provide fake proofs of traffic. That’s why whenever I want to have traffic proof from someone I never consider Google Analytics 100% reliable.

  • hyderali March 15, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Thanks Mark for the tools.

    Well, I know Google Analytics provide very insightful data which other can’t except paid ones. My Fav is GA only but I know its also not 100% accurate which others are too. But it is advisable that you should use atleast two or three analytics tool to track the data of your site. You can differentiate & compare the data you get from both the tools. I’ll soon use Piwik tool as its seems to be more worthy than any other.

  • Dana March 15, 2011, 8:28 am

    Never think about being need the analitycs tool beside Google Analytics. But — yeah, as you said, if our website is big enough, we may need to keep the data from big G.
    Dana recently posted..Angry Birds Rio for Android on Amazon AppstoreMy Profile

  • Ben Johnson March 15, 2011, 8:14 am

    I use statcounter free account, but the only negative thing I found is, it prevents getting more results because of the smaller log size.

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi March 15, 2011, 6:53 am

    I’ll pass on these ones man. Google analytics is the way to go for me. Isn’t Piwik like Awstats?
    Udegbunam Chukwudi recently posted..How To Fix BlackBerrys Yahoo Messenger Service Not Enabled For This Handheld ErrorMy Profile

  • Karan March 15, 2011, 6:18 am

    Postrank seems to be interesting.

  • stevenpapas March 14, 2011, 4:55 pm

    Awesome post Mark! Statistic tools are extremely usefull as a feedback of our businesses. I ‘ve heard a lot about Post Rank lately being more dependable index, than google’s Page Rank itself.
    stevenpapas recently posted..Garmin GPS 60CSx Handheld Navigator ReviewMy Profile

  • Satrap March 14, 2011, 2:21 pm

    Great list Mark. I have been using Google analytic from the beginning and I always thought about how Google can simply use this data, especially form big big sites and companies.

    I never even knew about any of the 4 alternatives you mentioned. Time to give them a try. Thanks.
    Satrap recently posted..How to Make Money on CraigsListMy Profile

  • Jan Husdal March 13, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Thanks for these great tips, although I don’t see why Google is worse than others in collecting data. That said, I’ve been with Clicky for two years now and in my opinion it is even better than Google Analytics, as far as the user interface and ease of use and useful statistics are concerned. Google is way better when it comes to the ability of drilling down into your stats and discovering trends, but is rather tedious to work with. I hadn’t heard about Piwik or Mint before, but they look interesting. My site was already present in PostRank’s database, so signing up provided me with a lot of data, but I’m still unsure how to use it, besides seeing the engagement impact of my posts, but that is very useful though.
    Jan Husdal recently posted..Book Review- Fraud RiskMy Profile

  • Dimitry March 13, 2011, 10:31 am

    We’re already tested a Piwik, Mint and Clicky analytic services for our clients. It’s a good thing if you have a choice. It is a question of taste, I like the red color and someone like a orange. But I think that Google services are still the best for SA market. Also I don’t think that Google can damage your SERP or your online business if you send a some amount of analytic data. How and why?

    • Mark Simon March 14, 2011, 10:15 am

      Nothing in the article states it could damage your SERP. It is about sending competitive intelligence data to a competitor with lots of capital.

  • Alex March 12, 2011, 10:07 am

    Hmm, where did you saw that Google analytics is free until you hit 5 million pageviews a day? Because I crossed that threshold a long time ago and Google didn’t asked me for money or something :).

    Anyway, like I said I use Google analytics and slimstat standalone version, which brings in a lot of info, actually more info then I can usually analyze, that is why I only look at some important stuff and now even using this two seems a little too much.
    Alex recently posted..Haine si stilMy Profile

  • Mani Viswanathan March 12, 2011, 8:55 am

    I would still stick with Google Analytics because I feel that it provides the most accurate data. Piwik looks a good alternative though.
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..Gmail Adds the Click to Call Feature Inside MailsMy Profile

  • Vijayraj Reddy March 12, 2011, 6:50 am

    i have used Postrank and the stats they provide are really good and engaging…
    Vijayraj Reddy recently posted..How to Make Money from Domain ParkingMy Profile

  • Bican Valeriu March 11, 2011, 4:58 pm

    I checked Piwik (online demo) and Clicky but I will remain with Google Analytics

  • Bican Valeriu March 11, 2011, 4:51 pm

    What I like the most (seems to be more “pro”) is Clicky but I will try Piwik.

  • Mark Simon March 11, 2011, 2:03 pm

    @Sandeep

    Google is ultimately an ad company. They are data driven and test everything. Most likely they are looking at the data in “aggregate”.

  • Sandeep March 11, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Ok, not everybody is a force in the industry… but i would love it if you could add some light on the statement

    “If you think Google isn’t looking at the data you are sending them; then you are naive which may ultimately bring your demise”

    sorry if im being too nosy, im just curious
    Sandeep recently posted..4 Great Methods to Deep Linking Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  • zezebel March 11, 2011, 11:30 am

    Try Postrank before and I do think it is much better then GA. Never try pro version yet. The only problem is sometimes the load time is a little bit slow.

  • Alexis March 11, 2011, 11:04 am

    I got your point. Google analytics is giving me all stats I need for my site to grow.
    It seems to me those alternatives will definitely make sense for a site with lots of traffic.
    To be honest I did not even know that there were so many alternatives to Google Analytics.Thanks for sharing.
    Alexis recently posted..Blog Commenting RocksMy Profile

  • Mark Simon March 11, 2011, 10:30 am

    Shiva,

    Yes any hosted analytics service such as Clicky or GA could access your data. The difference is Google is becoming a competitor for more & more businesses plus it is the major source of traffic for a great deal of sites. I agree Postrank best serves alongside another analytics tool.

  • Daniel Sharkov March 11, 2011, 9:51 am

    Hey Mark,

    Definitely some interesting alternatives. From the analytic tools you mentioned here, Piwik seems like the best choice. Will check it out. I still believe that the good ol’ Google Analytics is going to stay my way to keep up with different stats though.
    Daniel Sharkov recently posted..5 Good Reasons to Blog Your LifeMy Profile

  • Melanie Baker March 11, 2011, 9:32 am

    Sooo… would it be a good thing or a bad thing to mention that we offer Google Analytics and FeedBurner integration in PostRank Analytics? :)

    The idea behind that is, of course, that PostRank’s business is social web analytics — all the good stuff that’s happening with your content OFF of your website (80% of your engagement). But at the same time, that’s not the whole story, so the GA and FB integration gives you the 360-degree view by providing the ON-site analytics as well (and works with goals and other metrics you can set up).

    The free (Influencer) and paid individual (Personal) Analytics accounts are the same from a functional standpoint. Influencer accounts are free as a thank you and incentive for those who sign up for our PostRank Connect service (http://connect.postrank.com). With the larger Business and Agency plans, the main difference is additional sites/pages that you can track.

    • Mark Simon March 11, 2011, 3:15 pm

      Melanie,

      I’d love to see PostRank integrate with Clicky :-)

  • Emil A. Georgiev March 11, 2011, 9:07 am

    So far I have used a combination of GA and StatCounter. I guess, I’ll give Piwik a try -).
    Emil A. Georgiev recently posted..Worth A King’s CrownMy Profile

  • Andreas March 11, 2011, 9:03 am

    I am forced to use google analytics because it integrates all the other valuable google properties so that you have everything under one roof. I think this is google’s masterplan, to make as many users as possible dependent on their services.

  • semmy March 11, 2011, 8:13 am

    Hello Mark this is really nice lists!! Thank you very much!! I’ll try it one of thous. I’ll compare with the Google Analytic. Thanks again!
    semmy recently posted..7 Basic Copywriting Tips To Increase Your SalesMy Profile

  • Robert Dempsey March 11, 2011, 5:40 am

    Great post. This is the second time I’ve heard not to install Google Analytics on a site as they get a lot of your data. I’ll have to see if there is an impact on Google rankings one way or the other, unless you can point me to a post with exact figures – that would save a lot of time.

    I use Clicky (Pro version) and PostRank. As I was correlating data between Google Analytics and Clicky is struck me how pageviews are mostly meaningless nowadays as what we really need to measure is engagement (PostRank) and actions taken on the content (Clicky). So ultimately the question isn’t should Google have our data, it’s do we need Google Analytics in the first place?

  • Ankit Kumar March 11, 2011, 4:02 am

    Hey thanks for a Great post. I’m searching for alternatives of google analytics.I will try both Clicky and Piwik.
    Ankit Kumar recently posted..Dohack First Month Traffic ReportMy Profile

  • Affan Ruslan March 11, 2011, 1:39 am

    Yeah, I’ve tried clicky before and it seems better than google analytics since it offers more options. Enough said
    Affan Ruslan recently posted..Tips kekal selamat menggunakan facebook daripada digodamMy Profile

  • Shiva March 11, 2011, 12:29 am

    Hi Mark,
    I think the best from the list is Mi…err…I mean Piwik cos it is free as well as offers good analytics. Mint is also good but I think it is a little bit pricey for small time bloggers, but I surely recommend it for a startup. Clicky is average and I would rather stay with Google Analytics than get Clicky because if you are changing from Google Analytics to another analytics tool because of Google being able to access your data, don’t you think Clicky would be able to do the same thing. Although the added advantage of having Clicky is that it is realtime, I think it really does not provide precise results as Analytics does.
    And about Postrank, well I think it is a social media engagement analytics and I am sure it does not track traffic and visitors so I think it really cannot be touted as an alternative to GA. I am using it alongside Google Analytics and it is a great tool and must have for any blogger.
    ,
    Regards
    Shiva
    Shiva recently posted..The Wonderful Argument on Paid LinksMy Profile

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