Is It Time to Rethink Our Addiction to Google Analytics?

Google Analytics Options


Learn about your Google Analytics alternatives

Google Analytics is used by 28 million websites. Why? It works and it’s free. Or it’s free and it works. Depends on your point of view. However, there are other website analytics options that protect user data, are easier to use, and only charge a nominal license fee. Maybe it’s time to ditch what is comfortable and find a tool that may better position your company’s ability to protect customer data.

Google Analytics Violates GDPR

Google Analytics is currently under fire in Europe and its use has been outlawed in Austria for breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This ruling may catch on in other European countries. The key issue is the data being sent to the U.S is being improperly protected against potential access by US intelligence agencies.

While this doesn’t affect companies that are not doing business in Europe, this may be a good time to review why your business is using Google Analytics, document your requirements, and investigate other options on the market.

Doing so allows you to differentiate your business by showing that you respect and protect your prospect and customer data.

In a recent poll of 1,000 U.S consumers, more than half stated they are not comfortable sharing their personal data for a better website experience.

Moving away from Google Analytics demonstrates that you’re listening to your customers and are taking proactive measures to protect and respect prospect and customer data.

In addition to demonstrating respect, it can position your business to comply with regulations in the U.S that are coming from different states. California, Colorado, and Virginia each have their own data and privacy regulations scheduled to be effective in 2023.

What Are Your Website Analytics Requirements?

Before you jump in and start looking at different alternatives to Google Analytics (although we know you’ve already peeked), brainstorm a list of requirements that you have for your next analytics platform.

Don’t just copy the features of Google Analytics. You probably don’t use them all. Focus on creating a list of features that you are currently using and those you’d like to have. It’s time for blue sky thinking.

To help you get started, here’s a list of requirements that we have for website analytics platforms:

  1. List the website metrics you want to measure, such as visits, pages viewed, time on site, conversions, etc.
  2. Select the acquisition data you want to be able to report.
  3. What reports do you want, such as automated dashboards to in-depth reports?
  4. Does the tool need to integrate with your existing marketing tech stack?
  5. Should it be compliant with major data regulations like GDPR and CCPA.

Once you have your list, follow these steps:

  1. Create a matrix of your requirements.
  2. Establish your review team. If possible, find users from different functional areas with different requirements for the data provided. Don’t forget reporting and customer needs.
  3. Make sure your requirements can be tested.
  4. Set up a grading scheme that each member of the team can use to provide a grade for each requirement.
  5. Select 3 to 5 solutions for review. Each solution should pass an initial review and budget requirements.
  6. If possible, set up a test environment of each solution and provide each user access for testing. If test environments are not possible, schedule live demos with the solution provider and the review team.
  7. Once each reviewer has completed their review matrix, schedule time to review your findings as a team and select a final candidate for beta testing.
  8. Beta test your final selection.
  9. If it passes the test, create a plan for migration.
  10. If possible, import, backup, or save your historical Google Analytics data and disconnect from your website(s).

How to Find Alternatives to Replace Google Analytics

To find alternatives to Google Analytics, you can start by searching on Google Analytics alternatives. But this returns 175 million results… not that useful!

To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a list of 5 Google Analytics alternatives. These candidates are compliant with different data regulations, are used by organizations you trust, and are affordable.

The list of potential Google Analytics candidates includes (in no particular order):

  • Matomo
    Don’t damage your reputation with Google Analytics. Matomo is the ethical alternative where you won’t make privacy sacrifices or compromise your site.

  • MixPanel
    Unlock valuable customer insights to better convert, engage, and retain users with Mixpanel’s powerful, self-serve product analytics. Try it free.

  • Plausible
    Plausible is a lightweight and open-source Google Analytics alternative. Your website data is 100% yours and the privacy of your visitors is respected.

  • Fathom
    Privacy-focused website analytics from a sustainable company. A GDPR compliant, Google Analytics alternative.

  • GoSquared
    Grow your business with marketing automation, live chat, and real-time analytics.

As mentioned, there are many other options. You’ll find options with different feature lists and for different budgets. The key is to establish your requirements first and then finding the solution that best fits your needs. Start making your list and start your search for a new analytics platform.

About the author
Kevin Hawke is the COO/Partner at Know Agency. As the COO at Know Agency, Kevin uses his 20 plus years of digital marketing experience to deliver success to our clients. Prior to working with Know Agency’s list of industry-leading clients, Kevin worked with a variety of brands – including AT&T, General Motors and Campbell Soup.  In addition to leading key projects, Kevin uses his technical experience to provide a finely tuned, nimble operating infrastructure. He takes pride in Know Agency’s ability to expand and contract quickly to meet client resourcing and budget needs. Kevin started as a technologist and thrives on solving technical challenges and delivering results for our clients.

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