Google Analytics has always been and will always be the classic choice of analytical tool for websites. Not only because it is free but it gives you an array of features that helps you test, track and measure customer behavior on your site. But sometimes having just one tool isn’t enough especially when your business is rapidly growing. It is good to be able to cross check data from different tools. Most web analytics tools usually display trends and not exact numbers and thus an alternative tool will help assuring our conclusions.

Also, ever since the not provided count has been increasing and Google is expected to have 100 percent encryption of its organic search keyword data. Also, there are rumors that Google Analytics may stop being free. Even if the rumors are not true, it is always better to have a backup and not rely on Google Analytics alone.

What are the web analytical tools to choose from? What are the features in them that can be beneficial to you? These are the things you are going to learn in this post.

But first, let’s give you a short bullet checklist on how to choose the best analytic tool for you.

  • List out the goals need to be achieved from the information available on the tool. Check whether the tool can help you achieve your goal.
  • Check if the features match your web analytics needs. Check if it is easy to understand and use (what kind of learning curve is involved).
  • Check if it fits your budget and it is in line with your expected ROI.
  • Check if it has a free-trial period so you know for sure what you are investing on.

Listed below are the top analytical tools that will help you understand and improve your website’s various elements, for higher profits.

1. Clicky

alt Clicky Website Analytics Report Sample

Pros:

  • Easy to Interpret: Unlike Google analytics, the website visitor information has been laid out in a easily understandable interface.
  • On-Site Analytics: You get a live view of every visitor activity on your site, with an on-site analytics widget in the corner of your website. This widget is visible to only you and not the public.
  • Usability Testing In Real Time: The tool offers real time heatmapping. However, you can view heatmaps only for visitors who have completed a specific goal.
  • Alerts: This tool offers you uptime monitoring and hence you do not have to depend on third-party uptime monitoring tools. You can also set alerts to be notified of conversions, campaign visitors, logged in visitors and more.
  • Twitter Analytics: If your brand is active on Twitter, this will be like a one-stop-shop system for you. It monitors and summarizes any mention of your brand.
  • Flash Free: The tool is 100 percent flash free and thus can be easily accessed via phones and tablets.
  • Dedicated iPhone Version: While Google Analytics is only available for Android phones, Clicky has a dedicated app for iPhones as well.
  • Spy: The Spy button on Clicky reports is a way to see what your website visitors are doing in real time by offering a scrolling list of pages they visit and their location on a world map. Here is a list of apps and plugins that support Clicky.
Cons:
  • It may not be the first choice for bigger websites, as all of its in-numerous features are quite basic.
  • There is no step-by-step goal tracking of keyword traffic that your website receives, unlike in Google analytics. You get stats of incoming keywords only.
Pricing:

It’s Free. It is free for one website and below 3000 daily page views. The pricing starts from $9.99 per month and $79.99 per month.

Learning Resources:

Clicky comes with an online helpdesk that convers many common questions and problems about the tool. It also has a dedicated discussion forum for users to discuss and solve common issues.

You can also contact the support team at support@getclicky.com.

User Review:

Here is a review for Clicky by Tom Ewer.

2. Piwik

alt Piwik Website Analytics Report Sample (image credit – piwik.org)

Pros:
  • Android and iOS apps: Piwik offers both Android and iOS apps for smartphone access of your web analytics report.
  • Import Log Files: Most of Piwik’s features are similar to that of Google Analytics, such as, goal conversion tracking, real time data updates, events and campaign tracking and so on. However, if there is something that sets it apart from GA, it is the fact that there is no limit on data storage. By default all historical visitor data and reports are kept.
  • Customizable User Interface: Customize and create dashboard to fit your needs.
  • Track Multiple Websites: Piwik is an open source web analytics platform that must be hosted on your server for free access. You can track multiple websites without worrying about extra costs. If your site is on WordPress you can work with the WP-Piwik plugin. And here is a quick installation guide for those who intend to host this tool on their own servers.
Cons:
  • Not a very organized and user-friendly interface.
  • Many features are similar to Google analytics. It could be a viable alternative if you stop using GA.
Pricing:

It is free if hosted on your own server. Piwik Cloud starts at $65 per month for upto 100,000 page views. Piwik Cloud also comes with a 30-day free trial.

Learning Resources:

Piwik comes with a exhaustive user-guide and various help videos.

User Review:

Here is a review for Piwik by Sharon Hurley Hall.

3. Open Web Analytics

alt OpenWebAnalytics Website Analytics Report Sample (image credit – openwebanalytics.com)

Pros:
  • No Data Logging Limits: It is open source and must be hosted on your server. There are no data limits and you can use it on unlimited number of websites.
  • Detailed Snippets Of Latest Visits: You get individual and detailed snippets about each latest website visitor on your site that shows you location, browser type, pages viewed, visit length and referral source.
  • Features That Are Not Found On GA: This tool offers you three features that you will not find in your regular GA report. These features are click heatmaps, mouse movements recording and playback and DOM click tracking.
  • Built-in Installs: For those websites based on WordPress and MediaWiki, you have a built-in install with extensive instrumentation.
  • Analytics Data Under Your Control: Since you host this on your own server you will retain control and ownership of your own site’s analytics data.
Cons:
  • It takes some extra time to install.
  • No mobile apps available.
  • No data export feature from the user interface. Data can only be exported from your database.
Pricing:

It is absolutely free. It just needs to be hosted on your own web server.

Learning Resources:

Open Web Analytics has a Help & Support section and also support forums to interact with other users of the tool.

User Review:

Here is a review for Open Web Analytics by J.P. Habaradas.

4. Kissmetrics

alt Kissmetrics Website Analytics Report Sample (image credit – kissmetrics.com)

Pros:
  • People Tracking: This tool gives you an event-based analytic package that conveys data beyond just page views. It gives you details of each customer activity and answers to questions what, why and how for that particular activity, right in their reports. Hence, it is more productive for businesses that deal directly with customers, such as an e-commerce business.
  • Unlimited Reports: You get unlimited reports and unlimited A/B split tests.
  • User Segmentation: Unlike other tools of this genre, Kissmetrics provides information of every individual website visitor even before they become a customer. This data is stored so that you can use these for future marketing campaigns and segmenting your customers.
  • URL Parameters: The tool allows you to track click on your links by adding parameters to the specific URLs, with no additional Javascript code required. Read this section to know more.
  • Mobile App: It has a mobile app called My Analytics.
Cons:
  • The real time metrics is not very accurate.
  • Since the pricing is slightly on the higher end, it is not fit for websites with insufficient budgets.
Pricing:

Starts at $150 per month for 500,000 events per month. It also comes with a 14-day free trial.

Learning Resources:

Kissmetrics offers a dedicated learning center, developer portal and other documentation required to get fully acquainted with the tool.

User Review:

Here is a Kissmetrics comparative study with Mixpanel by Sacha Greif.

5. MixPanel

alt MixPanel Website Analytics Report Sample (image credit – mixpanel.com)

Pros:
  • User Engagement Stats: This tool is very similar to Kissmetrics and its main features are based around statistics that allow you to learn more about every individual website visitor.
  • Rich Features: It offers advanced segmentation of your website visitors, event tracking through funnel data, retention reports of engaging and returning customers and a targeting system that groups users with similar profiles.
  • Better Real Time Data: Compared to its current competitor Kissmetrics, this tool offers better real time data and in an easy-to-understand user interface.
  • Customer Retention: Using this tool you can retain your lost customers or customers who are on a free trial, by sending notifications on the web or mobile. You can schedule the notifications on the tool.
  • Email: As a new feature, the tool allows you to set a pre-composed email message and send it to customers.
  • Mobile App: It has a mobile app.
Cons:
  • Since the pricing is slightly on the higher end, it is not fit for websites with insufficient budgets.
  • Setup is not easy. You need technical support or knowledge to fully integrate API tracking with this tool.
Pricing:

Free for 25,000 data points or for 1000 profiles.Pricing starts $150 for 500,000 datapoints or 50,000 profiles per month.

Learning Resources:

Mixpanel provides a Mixpanel University which is an archive of helper videos for the tool. It also offers developer documentation and answers to common questions related to the tool.

User Review:

Here is a list of user review highlights for Mixpanel on TrustRadius. To read each review fully you will need to log in with your LinkedIn account.

6. Woopra

alt Woopra Website Live Analytics Sample (image credit – woopra.com)

Pros:
  • Real Time Reports: Get to know your live customer activity with this tool.
  • Detailed Customer Profiles: Just like Kissmetrics and Mixpanel, this tool offers details about your customer interaction with your website. So if your customer added something to the cart or just saw some item in your product line, these profiles will actually list that activity in plain English. The report would say something like “Saw listed item “iPhone covers”.
  • Collect Customer Data and Customize: With the detailed overview of each customer visiting your site, you can add their names to profiles for identification and integrate customer data directly into Woopra’s profiles to segment and customize them.
  • Build Funnel Reports: Discover where customers drop off on the path to conversion and get rid of conversion killers.
  • Get Notifications: Receive notifications on important customer activity.
  • Mobile App: It has a mobile app.
Cons:
  • The dashboard may be a bit overwhelming for beginners.
  • You may need technical support to configure this tool as the tool itself prompts you to click a button that says ‘send instructions to me engineer’ during setup.
Pricing:

Free basic account with a limit of 30,000 actions per month (actions refer to any action taken by the customer on the website). Pricing starts from $79.95 for 400,000 actions per month.

Learning Resources:

Woopra offers you an extensive documentation on setup and installation.

User Review:

Here is a review of Woopra by Kevin Webster.

7. GoSquared

alt GoSquared Website Analytics Report Sample (image credit – gosquared.com)

Pros:
  • Pro E-commerce: This tool has a specific segment dedicated to track and analyze data from e-commerce websites. It gives you data such as estimated revenue of the month, percentage of increase or decrease of revenue from last month, categories and products that receive higher traffic and the referral sites and so on.
  • User Engagement: It gives you user engagement metrics on an individual level. Real Time Analytics: This is yet another that is known for its real-time analytics tool. In fact the site offers a live demo of one such report here.
  • Time On Site: Unlike GA and other platforms that give the visitors time on site based on an average data, GoSquared provides accurate data through a tool called Pinging. Chat Support – You can chat with your site visitors while they are on your site.
    CMS Support – Plugins that support this tool for CMS’s like WordPress, Shopify, Drupal, Joomla, RapidWeaver and Magento are available.
Cons:
  • When you pass your monthly limits, there is an overage fee at the same rate of page views and transactions of your existing plan.
  • It does not have a mobile app, but the creators of this app claim that the tool is responsive on mobile and tablet screens.
Pricing:

Pricing starts from $28 per month (monthly basis) or $22 per month (yearly basis) for 200,000 page views. The tool offers a 14-day free trial.

Learning Resources:

GoSquared offers a separate page for searching help and support related issues. It also offers FAQs, Getting Started articles and developer API and tracker documentation.

User Review:

Here is a GoSquared review by Jordan Merrick.

8. Chartbeat

alt Chartbeat Website Analytics Report Sample (image credit – chartbeat.com)

Pros:

Real Time Stats – You get to know major happenings from your site in real time.

  • Page-By-Page Level Stats: Get page-by-page level stats for each of your top 20 pages. Check the traffic and visitor engagement on each page.
  • Social View: The tool offers social stats in real time. It gives you a good overview of Twitter links and @mentions and Facebook page likes and shares. You can also join the Twitter conversation right from the tool.
  • Mobile App: It has a mobile app.
Cons:
  • Lacks efficient backup storage and tracking of historical data. If you are just into real time stats this tool is good for you, otherwise not.
  • Social view is limited to Twitter and Facebook stats alone.
Pricing:

Pricing starts at $9.95 per month. You can avail a 30-day free trial period before signing up.

Learning Resources:

Chartbeat offers a extensive documentation along with FAQs.

User Review:

Here is a review for Chartbeat by John McElhenney.

9. GoingUp

alt GoingUp Website Analytics (image credit – goingup.com)

Pros:
  • Provides SEO Tools: This probably is the only free web analytics tool that comes along with some free SEO tools.
  • Alexa Rankings: This also may be the only tool that keeps a track of your website’s Alexa ranking and includes that in your website analysis report.
  • Heatmaps: The tool uses heatmapping technology to show where the visitor is clicking.
Cons:
  • It cannot be used as a stand-alone web analytics tool as some of the features of the tool are not robust.
  • Load times of the backend user interface is not impressive unless you have top speed internet connection.
  • It does not have a mobile app.
Pricing:

It is free.

Learning Resources:

No specific learning resource available for this tool, but it has a live chat on the website.

User review:

Here is a review for GoingUp by Big Cloud Media.

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These were the top Google Analytics tool alternatives that will help you analyze and understand your website traffic better. It always better to have more than just one tool that tells you about your website traffic, especially when your business is expanding. Use the free trial period on the paid tools before you subscribe to any one of them, or stick to the most fitting free tool from the list above.

Let us know in comments which of these analytics tools you have used and what you think about them.