Do you give your website’s metrics, data and analytics the attention they deserve?
We all generally realize the importance of analytics, and feel that we should be doing more with the information it provides, yet many of us aren’t sure how best to access it.
Google Analytics is great and it’s free, but there are some alternatives. In this article, we will look at four of them:
Clicky is a direct alternative to Google Analytics. It provides a lot of similar features and some additional ones. For example, it supports heatmaps to view where people are clicking, easier access to the most important data, easier event tracking, etc.
The user interface is dated but it is simple to use and easy to navigate around.
Key Differences Compared to Google Analytics
There’s a lot of similarities with Google Analytics but the data is presented in a different way. There are also some differences in functionality, here are the key ones:
Quicker access to content
When you log in to Clicky, you immediately get some really useful data. For example, you can look at a breakdown of content from external websites that are sending you traffic. With Google Analytics this would take four clicks, unless you set up a custom dashboard.
Heatmaps - You can view a heatmap, which shows where your visitors are clicking on your site. This is useful to find the focus areas and to assess whether your calls to action are working.
Onsite widget – The code you add to your site places a widget there that is only visible to you. This shows you how many people are on your site at the time. It’s useful if you want to track unusual activity, e.g. a lot of people on your site or not many at all!
Bounce rate calculation – In Google Analytics, if visitors arrive on one page of your site and leave five minutes later, that is considered a bounce. But if they have spent five minutes there, it means they have probably read the content thoroughly, so should this really be called a bounce? With Clicky, it’s only considered a bounce if someone spends fewer than 30 seconds on your site.
Twitter analytics - You can set up keyword tracking for Twitter and review the results within Clicky.
Built-in URL Shortener – This means that you can track clicks on links without setting up Google Event Tracking. It makes it much easier to track the links people click on.
Uptime monitoring – Automatic checks that your website is up and running.
Visitor detail – You can drill down to find out all the actions that visitors take when they arrive on the site. This is really useful to get to know what your visitors are doing.
You can use a limited version for free with up to 3,000 page views. The pro pricing starts at $9.99 per month (30k page views) and goes up in increments to $37.99 for 200k page views.
After the review I decided to stick with Google Analytics as it’s a tool I’m used to and it’s free.
Kissmetrics is not really an alternative to Google Analytics, it adds an additional layer to Analytics that is not provided by Google. As they say on their website, ‘Google Analytics tells you what’s happening. Kissmetrics tells you who’s doing it’.
So, the focus is on the people who arrive on your website and the actions they take.
The best way of describing Kissmetrics is with an example. Imagine if you sold products and services on your site. Here is some of the type of information you might like to track:
- How many people clicked on the ‘buy now’ button.
- How many people made a purchase.
- What these people did before they bought (i.e. where they came from, what pages they visited, etc.)?
- How much money you got from the person who made a purchase.
- How many people cancelled their subscription, and after what length of time.
- The activity of people on your site before and after they are a customer.
- The number of people who signed up for a newsletter and subsequently bought a product or service.
Kissmetrics is designed to support all of this and more. If you are selling products or services, you need to have these types of analytics set up for your product or service.
You start by defining your KPIs (key performance indicators), then build your funnels (the steps people need to go through to help you with your KPIs) and, finally, set up the events you want to track.
Here is an example of a funnel; you can track all of the phases within this funnel:
There are some events you can easily set up within Kissmetrics, but there is also possible development work you would need to do. For example, if you want to track the actual revenue received after a sale you may need to integrate Kissmetrics analytics with your eCommerce provider in order to display this type of data.
The starting price is $150 per month which tracks up to 500k events, $250 per month for 1 million events and $500 per month for anything over 1 million.
Kissmetrics is a powerful tool and it’s best suited to businesses selling products or services through their site. The type of information you can track easily within Kissmetrics is information you really do need to track, so if you don’t use Kissmetrics you need to find an alternative!
Mixpanel is similar to Kissmetrics, so if you are deciding on one of these tools you would need to do a full evaluation of both, because sometimes it’s a matter of very subtle differences.
For example, Mixpanel supports funnels, so you can create funnels related to your product or service sales and then track all the events that happen within that funnel (e.g. clicking on a button, signing up to an email list, etc.).
Here are some nice features of Mixpanel:
Notifications - You can view customer interactions with your product and then initiate email communication or push notifications with these customers directly within the product. For example, set up a filter to view all customers who have searched for certain products and send them a personalized email telling them about other, similar products they may be interested in.
Segmentation – There is some very useful segmentation in Mixpanel, to drill down for specific events. An example given is a flight search. You can view the details of everyone who performed a flight search, but then you can drill down and focus on the Enterprise users that performed the search. When people are searching for flights you don’t want the search to have too many results so it’s easier for them to find what they want. With this in mind, you can filter further and compare results that had a lot of search results returned (e.g > 30) with those that didn’t have so many.
The cost is based on data points, each of which relates to an event. For example, someone clicking on a button you are tracking is classed as an event.
Starting with a free service for up to 25,000 data points, it goes up to $150 dollars per month for up to 500k data points and $350 for 2 million, with further price increases for a higher number of data points.
A nicely designed tool and if you like this and Kissmetrics you would need to do a full review to see if there’s any particular tool you prefer because the functionality is quite similar.
Statcounter is a direct alternative to Google Analytics and comes in a free and a paid version.
The first thing you’ll notice about Statcounter is that they have an extremely poor user interface with no design put into it. But there is good information provided and the information is easy to access.
Some of the key differences between Statcounter and Google Analytics are:
Link clicks – It automatically tracks which links people are clicking on within your posts. This is useful information, but difficult to obtain if you use Google Analytics.
Log activity – Statcounter provides you with a lot of activity data, which means you could analyze and parse this data to produce your own reports.
Free for up to 250k page loads per month and then pricing goes from $5 to $119, depending on page load and log size.
If you have a preference for the user interface and simplicity of Statcounter then use this, alternatively use Google Analytics. I’ll be sticking to Google Analytics.
There are many Google Analytics alternatives but I’ve yet to find a complete replacement. Typically, you will use Google Analytics alongside another application.
So I hope in this post we’ve ruled out a couple for you and got you considering whether you would benefit from an additional one such as Kissmetrics or Mixpanel, depending on your business.
Would love to hear your comments!
About the author
Author: Ian Cleary is the Founder of RazorSocial and is super passionate about helping people leverage tools and technology to improve effectiveness of your social media presence.