Google Analytics is a fine (and free) web analytics program, but maybe you’re in the market for an alternative. Perhaps you’re uncomfortable with Google having access to your web traffic stats. Or, maybe you’re just looking for a backup for data if Google’s tracking goes awry. There are plenty of web analytics companies that would gladly take your money for one of their paid solutions. But, if you’re like me, you would probably prefer to explore some free alternatives first. Here are three free web analytics alternatives that can help you replace or supplement Google Analytics:
- Yahoo Web Analytics – Unsurprisingly, Yahoo offers a free analytics package to compete with their rival, Google. Their features are pretty similar to Google Analytics, including custom reports, data filters, and integration of PPC campaign tracking. However, they do have one important feature that tops Google: real-time tracking. Unlike Google Analytics, which has a 24-hour lag in data, you can get near-real time stats with Yahoo Web Analytics. Installation is pretty simple, too – you just cut and paste a code snippet into each one of your pages, just like Google Analytics.
- Piwik – Piwik is an open-source alternative to Google Analytics. You can get trendlines, charts, and basic reports that are straightforward and easy to use. All of your key stats are there (keywords, top search engines, traffic stats, referring sites, goal conversions, etc.), but customized filters and reports are conspicuously absent. If you just need basic site stats, Piwik should do the job, but if you need enterprise-level analytics solutions, it might not be entirely up to the task. However, since it is a server-side installation you’ll be able to get your stats in real-time. Also, it is an open-source project, so if you (or your developers) are pretty code-savvy you should be able to do some extensive customization. Installation is a bit more difficult than the major web analytics tools, because you need to install the Piwik program on your web server. Once you complete installation, you can either add code tags to all the pages you want to track, or have a Piwik analytics installation plugin do it for you.
- Open Web Analytics – Another open-source alternative to Google Analytics is the appropriately-named Open Web Analytics. This program is similar to Piwik, in that it is open-source and must be installed on your web server. There are easy installation options for WordPress, so it might be a good option if your site is based on that particular content management system. Open Web Analytics reports provide all of your key information – hits, unique visitors, visitor location, and the like. They also offer some cool information options like visitor click streams, heatmap site overlays, and tagging user locations in Google Maps or Google Earth.
So there you have it: three great alternatives to Google Analytics. Got any more suggestions? Let’s hear about them in the comments.