5 alternatives to Google analytics

5 alternatives to Google Analytics 2024

Our Top Picks

Fathom is a privacy-focused platform that supports general analytics, eCommerce tracking and google ads.

Visit Fathom Read Review

Hubspot Marketing Hub is a powerful platform that combines website analytics with popular marketing tools.

Visit HubSpot Read Review

Mixpanel is great for SAAS businesses that need to track customer journeys through their product.

Visit Mixpanel Read Review

Google Analytics has been the powerhouse of analytical tracking for many years. This is largely due to it being free and offering many powerful features that can benefit businesses and marketers. 

In recent times, Google Analytics has come under fire for not being fully compliant with various European privacy protection laws. This is because all data that it tracks is stored on servers that live in the United States. We are now seeing some countries ruling it illegal to install Google Analytics on websites where businesses operate within their territories.

I can only imagine that over time more countries will follow suit and Google will either need to update its platform or risk a significant loss of users.

Although Google Analytics is certainly the most popular tracking platform, it doesn’t mean we aren’t spoiled for choice when it comes to alternatives. In this article, we are going to explore 5 Google Analytic alternatives that meet the demands of privacy protection laws and offer great functionality.

Some of these recommendations do not offer free accounts. You must pay a small fee to use the product. Remember Google Analytics is only free because you and your data are the product.

Before we jump into the platforms, first let’s go over what analytical tracking is and why it is important. 

If you would like to skip straight to the product details, click here.

What is analytical tracking?

Analytic tracking allows a website owner to see crucial data on how site visitors are using the website. It tracks important information such as

  • How many people visit the site
  • How many people visit individual pages
  • The percentage of people leaving the site without clicking through to a second page
  • How long people are staying on the website
  • Where in the world website visitors are located
  • And many more things.

To add analytic tracking to your site you must sign up for a service like Google Analytics and add their tracking script on the desired site. The script will gather all the necessary information while your visitor explores your site. It will send the data back to Google servers to be processed and accessible for you to see in your analytics console. 

How does tracking website usage help businesses?

For a website to be successful you need to understand what is working and what isn’t. Analytics will give you that insight into your website performance. You can’t make logical decisions to improve conversion rates or any other metric if you don’t have the data to compare the outcomes of changes. Without the data, you are playing a dangerous guessing game that will cost your business time and money.

By tracking user data you will have an in-depth view of how visitors are using your website and what type of information/marketing they are reacting to positively and what might be increasing your bounce rate.

One of the best features of modern analytic tracking platforms is the ability to set up custom reports and have the information automatically delivered to your inbox each week. This means you get the information you need in an easy-to-read report without needing to access the often complex analytic dashboards.

Analytic tracking is all about keeping businesses informed so they can make good decisions that will help support business growth and increased revenue.

What are GDPR and other privacy protection laws?

The GDPR is a new set of regulations that protects the privacy of individuals and their personal data.

It mandates that organizations must keep records of their data processing activities and have the ability to demonstrate compliance.

Organizations are required to notify the relevant authorities if a breach occurs which could result in a risk to individuals.

The GDPR is designed to harmonize legislation across all member states, making it easier for businesses to operate in the EU without having to deal with 28 different sets of rules.

The GDPR will impact analytic tracking for websites because it requires companies that use services like Google Analytics to implement additional consent from website visitors before using their data for analytics purposes. 

Many third-party services also use cookies to track your web usage for advertising and content optimization purposes.

This level of user consent is usually in the form of a cookie popup dialogue where the user can either accept all cookies that the website may utilize, deny all cookies, or customise which cookies they would like to have saved to their device.

Cookies are small files that are downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. They then store information about your activity on the website so they can recognize you when you come back. This enables websites to tailor the content they show and provide a more personalized experience for the user.

Cookies are also used for marketing purposes, like tracking what products users are looking at in an online store and using this information to show them similar products or products that might be of interest.

Cookies help us improve our website by providing information about how people use it, what they're interested in, and what we could do to improve their experience. Cookies never contain any personal data, but they do enable us to measure how effective our marketing campaigns are and where visitors come from.

Third-party Cookies are a hot topic at the moment as tech companies are slowly blocking their functionality in the operating system and eventually modern web browsers. A perfect example of this was when Apple released increased privacy protection for iOS 14. You can read more about that here.

In recent years, governments have become more aware of the implications of tracking huge amounts of user information and where that data is stored. This data is then used by big tech companies to promote products, services and content based on your web browsing patterns.

5 alternatives to Google Analytics

Although Google Analytics has the market share it isn’t the only analytic platform available. There are plenty of lesser-known platforms that offer many great features that compete with Google Analytics and meet the requirements of GDPR and other privacy laws.

In the list below, we will explore 5 alternatives to Google Analytics and look at the pros and cons of each.

Fathom

Fathom Analytics
Fathom

Fathom is a great Google Analytics alternative that is privacy focused and affordable. They allow you to store your data in the EU which meets the requirements for GDPR and other privacy laws. Their tracking isn’t cookie-based which means ad blockers don’t work on their scripts, giving you greater insight and more accurate data.

Their platform is simple and certainly easier to use than Google Analytics but doesn’t quite have the same level of power and customization.

Plans limit page views but also support up to 50 sites which means it works well for those who run an agency or business that has multiple sites. Plans start at $14 USD a month for 100,000 page views. High-volume plans are available for high-traffic sites offering 10s of millions of page views a month.

Some of Fathom’s best features include:

  • Works with all content management systems and web frameworks
  • The tracking script is smaller and loads faster than Google Analytics
  • Free uptime monitoring on each plan
  • Unlimited data retention
  • Export any data as a CSV file
  • UTM and event tracking - track ads, newsletter and eCommerce

Pros

  • Privacy-focused analytics that lets you store data in the EU
  • Allows you to see all your data as it can’t be blocked by ad blockers
  • Cookie free
  • Tracking support for ads and eCommerce
  • Your data is yours and not sold to other providers
  • Multiple sites can be added to a plan
  • Simple clutter-free interface

Cons 

  • No free plan (7-day free trial)
  • The free trial period is a little short to analyze significant data

Fathom is a great bang-for-buck alternative for Google Analytics. It is affordable and multiple websites can be added under a plan. This makes it perfect for small-medium businesses that might operate more than one website. This pricing structure is also great for digital agencies who wish to host their client analytics. I feel that Fathom is the go-to analytics platform for those who put privacy before anything else.

90
  • Best For Small - medium business/digital agencies
  • Price From \$14USD p/m
  • Annual Discount 2 months free
  • Free Plan Available No
Visit Website

You can learn more on the Fathom website.

Matomo

Matomo Analytics
Matomo

Matomo is an open-source alternative to Google Analytics which means the core code base is freely available to use. With access to the code base, it’s possible to make modifications and add customized features that your business may wish to implement. This makes Matomo very unique when comparing them to other platforms on this list. It is used by some of the largest companies and organizations in the world including NASA, the United Nations, Ahrefs, and Amnesty International.

Matomo offers two types of environments. Cloud and on-premise (self-hosted). Cloud is when you log into the Matomo dashboard via their official website while self-hosting allows you to install the platform directly on your web server giving you full ownership of the data. This is another unique feature compared to other platforms on this list.

Matomo offers several pricing models. The simplest is a cloud platform with a monthly subscription starting at $20 USD for 50,000 hits. A hit can be either a tracked page view, an event tracking, a download, an outline, an onsite search or a content tracking request. Monthly plans increase in price depending on the number of hits you require.

The core self-hosted version is free and isn’t limited to hits. You can install the platform on your server and use it as much as you like without paying a dime. This doesn’t mean it’s a complete solution, however. To enable more power tracking features on the self-hosted platform you are required to purchase add-ons at significant prices. The benefit is that you are not limited to hit numbers, so for high-traffic sites, this could be financially beneficial. 

Add-ons are between €29 - €499 Euros per year and you will need them if you require any of the following tracking capabilities.

  • Activity log
  • WooCommerce analytics
  • Search engine keyword performance
  • Funnels
  • User flows
  • A/B Testing
  • Custom reports
  • Heatmaps and session recording

What I love about Matomo is that it offers more functionality than Google Analytics and is a combination of both it and Hotjar.

Pros

  • Open source and flexible platform
  • A free self-hosted version is available
  • Offers a massive amount of data capture
  • Multiple pricing options to suit business needs
  • Privacy-focused and GDPR compliant
  • No data sampling

Cons

  • Self-hosted add-ons need to be purchased individually

Matomo is powerful too for businesses that require in-depth insights and analysis of their web-based products. It offers a unique 'buy what you need' model for hosted environments which can provide cost savings and ultimate ownership of data. What I love about Matomo is that it combines the functionality of many other tools into one platform, keeping all your analytical data in one place.

93
  • Best For Medium - large business
  • Price From \$20USD p/m
  • Annual Discount 17% off
  • Free Plan Available Yes
Visit Website

You can learn more on the Matomo website.

Heap

Heap
Heap

Heap is a digital insights platform that captures the customer journeys of a product. Its low-code implementation means you can analyze your customer's complete digital experience to help improve conversions and retention. Heap offers some powerful features including session replay, data segments, custom dashboards, interactive charts and much more.

Heap will automatically identify key friction points that cause customer drop-offs and allow you to watch session replays without the need of trawling through hours of video. Unlike other replay tools, Heaps session replay is fully integrated with its analytic tools. This means you get the data that is most impactful to your product in the shortest period of time. 

Heap also offers integrations with many third-party services such as eCommerce, CRMs and marketing automation. These bi-directional connections allow you to maximize the potential of your data across all your business tools.

Heap offers several plans including a free tier. The free tier is limited to a single project and only offers basic analytics, however, does allow for unlimited users which is a huge plus. No pricing is given for paid plans and requires you to contact their sales team which I find frustrating.

Pros

  • GDPR, CCPA and HIPAA compliant
  • Advanced tracking of user journeys
  • Analytics integration directly with session replays
  • Automatically indicate friction points in your product
  • Bi-directional integrations with popular third-party applications
  • Free plan available

Cons

  • No pricing available for paid plans
  • No advertising conversion reporting

Heap is becoming a popular choice for startups and small businesses due to its easy design interface and non-technical tools. It offers solid analytical tracking for web and mobile applications. The one thing I dislike about Heap at this present time is the lack of information on their website about cost. I feel this is important information that business needs to determine if the product is a viable option. The process of talking to a sales representative seems like a waste of valuable time.

85
  • Best For SAAS businesses
  • Price Not specified
  • Annual Discount Not specified
  • Free Plan Available Yes
Visit Website

You can learn more on the Heap website.

HubSpot

Hubspot Marketing Hub
HubSpot Marketing Hub

I don’t think HubSpot needs much of an introduction but just in case you’re new to the world of business, it’s one of the best CRMs around. The platform offers so many great features that can benefit every business including, customer management, marketing, sales, customer service and… website analytics. It is truly a great all-around piece of software that is powerful and user-friendly.

Website analytics is part of the Marketing Hub package which offers many offer features such as email marketing, lead management, social media, live chat etc. Because all these additional features have access to your analytical data, it means you can customise marketing campaigns based on this data. This certainly gives HubSpot a competitive edge over other platforms.

HubSpot Marketing Hub offers a few pricing options which also include a free plan. This plan would work well for most solopreneurs or freelancers. Paid plans start at $45 USD a month and Hubs can be bundled together for additional discounts. Prices increase once you have over 1000 contacts and are sold in increments of 1000. The beautiful thing about HubSpot is the expandability of the platform with hundreds of integrations with bi-directional sync.

Is HubSpot GDPR compliant? Well, this is where things get a little bit more complicated. The platform itself follows GDPR regulations but how they track website usage does not. This is because the platform uses tracking cookies that must be stored on a user's device. This in itself doesn’t mean HubSpot analytics isn’t GDPR compliant but does mean you need to get user permission to store the tracking cookies before you process their personal data. 

HubSpot offers great features that tackle GDPR compliance in your account and continue to work on ways to ensure their work practices are GDPR compliant.

Pros

  • Tracked data can be used by other Marketing Hub features
  • Platform expandability
  • Eliminates the need for multiple tools and platforms
  • Great free plan available
  • Hundreds of integrations with third-party platforms
  • Great support and onboard training
  • Perfect for businesses of all sizes

Cons

  • Plans can become expensive depending on the required features and contacts
  • Steeper learning curve than other platforms

As a platform, I can only say great things can be said about HubSpot. It is truly one of the best CRM platforms available on the Internet. Having Marketing Hub not only do your site analytics but then feed that data into marketing campaigns and other HubSpot tools demonstrates its amazing capability. Unfortunately, HubSpot can become expensive once you grow out of the free plan.

91
  • Best For Medium-large business
  • Price From \$45USD p/m
  • Annual Discount 10% off
  • Free Plan Available Yes
Visit Website

You can learn more on the HubSpot website.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel
Mixpanel

Mixpanel is an advanced analytical tool that allows you to create custom reports to see all the relevant data you require for your product. It is defined as a product reporting tool so it doesn’t support features such as advertising conversion reporting. 

Mixpanel’s key focus is analyzing user funnels so product teams can see exactly when and why users drop out of their workflow. Discover the actions users take after they sign up or before they make a purchase, and learn what your power users do differently than everyone else. You can also find the top user flows throughout your whole product to see where people get stuck. 

The best part is having all your data presented in a logical format that your marking and sales team can understand. The interactive reports make it a breeze to interrupt and consume data.

Two of  Mixpanel’s best features include limitless segmentation and built-in A/B testing. The combination of these not only allows you to see exact data based on very specific criteria but also test multiple scenarios and identify where improvements have been made. Although not unique features to Mixpanel, it is certainly much easier to set up and interpret the data than other platforms. This is a primary focus of Mixpanel, to empower users to easily create funnels and reports with a simple learning curve.

Mixpanel offers 2 premium plans starting at $25 USD a month. They also have a very feature-rich free plan that would suit many small businesses. Reporting types are limited in the free plan with the exclusion of advanced analytics but all core reports are included as well as monitoring and alerts. All plans allow you to select whether you want your data stored in the EU or US.

Pros

  • Interactive reports
  • Team boards and alerts
  • Advanced data segmentation
  • A/B testing
  • Scalable infrastructure
  • Third-party data integrations

Cons

  • No advertising conversion reporting

Mixpanel is a fun tool to use for product journey analytics. Interactive reporting makes the data easily consumed not to mention the user interface is clean and easy to use. The free plan offers some generous tracking limits and would be perfect for any startup with a low budget. The ability to create limitless segmentation also means you can uncover hidden trends that would be very difficult to see on platforms such as Google Analytics.

89
  • Best For SAAS businesses
  • Price From \$25USD p/m
  • Annual Discount Yes
  • Free Plan Available Yes
Visit Website

You can learn more on the Mixpanel website.

Conclusion

Analytics is a very important part of running an online business or product. The information it can provide is a valuable source that can impact your decision-making process greatly. As privacy is becoming more of a focus, we will continue to see new options available that are certainly worth considering. Just because a product is the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your business. 

We have explored 5 great products that could replace Google Analytics for many use cases but it’s important to do your own research before making a decision to jump ship. 

Do you have a platform that you would like to recommend? Feel free to drop in the comments below to keep the conversation going.

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