Best Website Analytics Tools (Top 5 Google Analytics Alternatives)
Website analytics give you insights into how you’re driving traffic to your site and what your visitors do once they are there. No matter how big or small, every website (especially money-making websites) should have some sort of web analytics installed.
Many website owners will head straight to one of the most popular free web analytics tools, Google Analytics. However, with privacy concerns on how Google uses the data and GDPR compliance issues, lots are looking for Google Analytics alternatives that offer a privacy-first software experience.
This is where my list of the top 5 tools for web analytics comes in. These analytic tools are fully compliant with GDPR, take a privacy-first approach by automatically anonymizing data, and offer a complete view of your visitor’s journey from first entry through to exit.
Take a look and see if one meets your data-driven needs.
1. Matomo Analytics
An ethical alternative to Google Analytics, Matomo is an open-source analytics software that’s easy to use and comes packed full of features. It’s used on over 1 million websites in over 190 countries, including Ahrefs, Nasa, and United Nations.
Matomo Analytics gives you the flexibility to customize what data you want to track and display in your reports. You’ll be able to set advanced privacy protection rules to ensure you’re compliant in the countries you get your website traffic.
You can change settings to adhere to specific requirements in different countries, including the ability to anonymize IP addresses and let users opt out of web analytics tracking.
As Matomo doesn’t use data sampling (unlike GA), you’re not making decisions based on estimates. You’ll get real-time reporting with real data, showing you what’s going on and when. With 100% ownership over your data, you can decide what you want to do with it, and it can help you gain more traffic in the process.
Compared to other tools for website analytics, Matomo is more like Google Analytics in the extensiveness of the data you can see but with more ways to control privacy.
When it comes to the data you can track with Matomo you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
- Visitor Profiles
- User Tracking
- Event Tracking
- Content Interactions
- Media Analytics
- Custom Reporting
- Real-Time Tracking
- Geo Location
- Custom Alerts
- Conversion Optimization including Heatmaps & A/B Testing
Regarding pricing, you can sign up for free to Matomo and enjoy a 21-day free trial with no credit card required. You can also see a live demo on their website, letting you look under the hood at all that’s on offer.
You’ll be able to test out all the Matomo cloud analytics offers. When your trial ends, pick between continuing the Cloud-hosted plan from $23/month (£17/month) or getting access to the Self-hosted analytics platform, which is free to download and install on your servers.
Everything is included in the cloud-hosted plan, except you are set to limits based on how much monthly traffic you have, the number of websites you can track, and data retention.
On the other hand, the self-hosted plan eliminates all the limits, except you’ll get no built-in support, and you’ll have to pay extra for activity logs, a/b testing, custom reporting, funnels, heatmaps, SEO web vitals, and more.
For most, the cloud option is the best.
2. Fathom Analytics
Fathom is another Google Analytics competitor that offers a privacy-first website analytics tool for small businesses, enterprise companies, governments, and beyond.
It’s GDPR compliant, and when you use Fathom, you don’t need to add a cookie notice to your site as it’s a cookie-free analytics tool, helping you gain traffic your competitors might be scaring away.
How Fathom Analytics works means you’ll be able to see 100% of your data even if the end user is using an ad-blocker, which GA doesn’t allow you to do. With real-time analytics, you’ll see how your visitors interact with your site, what pages they are looking at, and more.
A small embed script that loads from the closest server to where your visitor is coming from will help with your site load speeds and SEO strategy.
It’s a basic analytics software that encompasses many factors you’ll be looking for and is accessible from within a single page.
- Campaign & Event Tracking
- Device & Browser Tracking
- Country Stats
- Free Uptime monitoring
- WordPress Plugin
- Unlimited Data Retention
- Export to CSV
Not only can you see a live demo on the Fathom website you’ll also be able to get a 7-day free trial.
After your free trial ends, you will move on to the selected plan you signed up with, starting from $14/month for up to 100,000 page views, or get two months free if you pay annually.
- $14/month – up to 100,000 monthly page views
- $24/month – up to 200,000 monthly page views
- $44/month – up to 200,000 monthly page views
3. Plausible Analytics
Plausible is a cookie-less web analytics software that’s hosted in the EU. This lightweight analytics offers another alternative to GA and the other website analytics tools on this list by taking the same privacy-first approach that Matomo and Fathom offer.
With Plausible analytics platform, you get an easy-to-use, uncluttered analytics dashboard that covers all areas many businesses want to track. You’ll be able to see the number of unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, and average visit durations much like you would in Google Analytics.
You can also drill down into the data finding out what search terms brought people to your site from different sources and which locations worldwide are the most popular for driving traffic.
You can set up basic Goal Conversions to track events on your site and monitor how your on-site campaigns are doing by click rates.
As it’s cookie-less, there’s no need to scare off your visitors using a GDPR consent banner either. Plausible is a simple analytics tool that will do most of what many of us need if you’re looking for customer journeys and more in-depth analytics reporting though you won’t find that here.
- Easy one page navigation
- GDPR compliant – no cookie banner needed
- Easy one-line install
- Lightweight – good for SEO
- Web Metrics
- Custom Event Tracking
- Track up to 50 Websites
- 100% Data Ownership
- Email / Slack reports
- Unlimited Data Retention
- Integrate with Google Search Console
You can try Plausible for free with their generous 30-day free trial. There’s no credit card needed; simply sign up, add one line of code to the head of your website, and you are up and running. Being so lightweight at under 1kb, you can even run it alongside your current analytics to test.
If you’re happy with what you find, then paid plans start from £$9/month or get £$90/year with yearly billing. With that, you get up to 10,000 pageviews, track up to 50 websites, and all the features I’ve mentioned above.
Pricing changes depending on how many page views you get. Just note that page views aren’t per site but include all pageviews across all your sites.
4. Simple Analytics
The name Simple Analytics pretty much says it all. It’s a simple one-page analytics system that lets you do everything from a single dashboard.
Click on any tracked items, whether its device, browser, or page URL, and all the data on the page changes to reflect your choice, much like how Plausible works.
Simple Analytics has more in common with Plausible than with the likes of Matomo.
You’ll find the many web metrics you see across all the other analytics platforms, including the number of visitors, page views, time on page, live visitors, referrals, pages, devices, countries, and browsers.
You can select the date range you want to analyze and get weekly or monthly email reports sent to you. As no identifiable data tracking is involved in how Simple Analytic works, it also bypasses ad-blockers, which GA has a hard time doing.
As only the essential data collected, Simply Analytics is GDPR, CCPA, and PECR compliant, so there is no cookie banner to worry about displaying for your European visitors.
One great feature is that you can see what Tweets generated traffic to your site along with what pages brought in visitors from search engines like Google, a feature that’s not common among the others.
Unfortunately, as far as I can see, there’s no custom event tracking available, which would be a nice added touch.
- Cookieless – no cookie banner needed
- Weekly or Monthly Email Reporting
- One page dashboard
- Essential Web Metrics
- Unlimited Websites
Simple Analytics Pricing
You can sign up for a 14-day free trial of Simple Analytics; no credit card is required. After which you’ll be able to choose which plan you want to take. Each plan differs in terms of the number of page views and users.
- Starter – £19/month – < 100K page views and 1 user
- Business – £59/month – < 1Million page views 10 users
- Enterprise – Custom Price – > 1 million page vies > 10 users
5. GoSquared Analytics
If Simple Analytics was one of the simplest web analytics tools online, then GoSquared Analytics is one of the more feature-filled offerings.
GoSqaured Analytics rivals Matomo and Google Analytics, thanks to the wealth of data it can provide.
When it comes to how much web traffic your site gets and the data associated with that traffic, you’ll have the same web metrics as others.
These metrics include pages, referring sites, total visits, timeline, location, and devices, as well as engagement, events, campaigns, and languages.
You’ll be able to drill down into various metrics to see what pages are performing best and where the traffic comes from. Much like Simple Analytics, you’ll be able to see which Tweets drove traffic to your site to see if your social media campaigns are working as expected.
With a responsive web design, there’s no need to download a separate app. Simply log in to your account via your mobile phone or tablet browser and see your stats in real time.
- Real-time Web Metrics
- Event Tracking
- UTM Campaign Tracking
- Timeline Annotations
- Responsive Dashboard
- GDPR Compliant
- Instant Comparisons
- Privacy Controls
- Unlimited Data Retention
- Email Reporting
GoSquared Analytics Pricing
If you want to take a closer look at what GoSquared Web Analytics offers, you can book a demo or sign up for a 7-day free trial.
Regarding paid plans, each differs based on the number of page views and projects (websites) you want to track.
- Starter – £9/month – 100,000 page views + 3 projects
- Standard – £24/month – 500,000 page views + 5 projects
- Pro – £49/month – 1 million page views + 10 projects
- Scale – £99/month – 2.5 million page views + 20 projects
What are the best Google Analytics Alternatives?
Depending on what you want from an analytics software and what you want to keep track of will depend on how complex of an analytics solution you want to purchase.
Of course, your budget also comes into play, and how much traffic you are getting can affect which ones you can afford as many charges based on the number of page views.
Two of the easiest to use and will cover most website and business owners in terms of tracking are Plausible and Simple Analytics. They offer easy-to-use interfaces that can drill down into the main metrics like most viewed pages, device, and location.
If you’re after more complex analytics and event or campaign tracking, then Matomo and GoSquared Analytics are good choices. Both offer many of the same features like Google Analytics and are affordable alternatives.
One feature that stands out from Fathom is the free uptime monitoring with the potential to alert you if your site goes offline for any reason. Good if you don’t already have that feature built-in to your hosting or content delivery network.
Overall there are many web analytics alternatives that’ll help keep your site compliant and your visitor’s privacy into account for a more well-rounded experience for you and your visitors.
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