Google Analytics is the default choice within web analytics for many webmasters, however there are many interesting alternatives on the market.
Did you know that Yahoo is working on a analytics program that looks very promising, or that there are many free analytics programs that offers integrated SEO reports or real time reporting?
In this post we’ll give you an overview of the exciting options within free web analytics.
Google Analytics (GA) is the default choice of many webmasters, since it’s easy to install, and provides reliable and detailed statistics.
The reason why Google is giving away a tool like GA, is to increase the awareness of the value of online advertising among website owners, and thereby hopefully generate more Adwords revenue.
There is nothing wrong with this approach, but it means that GA is great at some things, and not so great at other things.
Logically enough GA is one of the best tools on the market for campaign tracking and campaign ROI calculation. However if you have a social site or a blog, the lack of eg. real time statistics can be a problem.
In the lineup in this post, I have found potential alternatives to Google Analytics that each have some interesting approaches to web analytics.
Clicky is focused on delivering easy to overview statistics i real time. Clicky has an API so you can access and integrate the data within other applications. Clicky has a very extensive list of features and can be a alternative to Google analytics even on campaign tracking, where Google Analytics is normally very strong.
Woopra is a JAVA based desktop client, that offers extended statistics. Woopra has strong features for blogs, like
Woopra is currently in public beta, but you can apply to be a tester, and then see if you’re lucky to be invited to the beta test.
Chartbeat is not entirely free, but they have a 30 day free trial, so they qualify in some sence to be on this post. The interesting thing about Chartbeat is the social dimension of this tool. You can see in real time what content is most used at your site, and thereby also modify the content, so you get the best out of your visitors.
To empower you in this optimization process, Chartbeat offers some unique engagement metrics, that gives you detailed insight in how users are interacting with your content – eg. how far they are scrolling don on your pages.
Piwik.org is a open source web analytics program, based on PHP and MySQL. This means that you need to install this program on your own server, which has some advantages -eg. less dependency on 3th party services, no delivery of data to 3th party services, better control over response times.
The package delivers a nice set of standard analytics, including real time tracking, but the downside is (to some), that you have to install and maintain the service on your own server .
Open Web Analytics
Open Web Analytics (OWA) is a open source web analytics program, just like Piwik. OWA is based on PHP and mySQL and you have to install and maintain it on your own server. From a analytical point of view, OWA covers all the basic needs, including real time statistics.
Sometrics offers the program Social analytics, that provides analytics specially targeted to social latforms like Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and Friendster
GoingUp was on of the surprises in this lineup to me. The user interface is very appealing, and the features includes standard web analytics metrics as well as SEO reports and statistics for social sites. One of the most impressive features is the Heat Map functionality, that enables you graphically to see how users are interacting with your content. You should really check out this tool…
Yahoo! Web Analytics
Yahoo bought the compagy Index Tools in 2009, and is now launching Yahoo! Web Analytics (YWA) based on the Index Tools platform. So far YWA is only available for Yahoo Small Business ecommerce solution, or bigger Yahoo advertising customers. Hopefully Yahoo is soon going to offer this great tool to a greater audience, since this looks like a very worthy competitor to Google Analytics. YWA offers real time statistics, user demographics, and very detailed campaign tracking.
Statcounter is one of the old players in the tracking game. The statistics is pretty basic, and the UI has lot’s of commercials.
Sitemeter is a very basic web analytics solution. The free version has a limited set of metrics included. You can upgrade to a premium version that contains more features. However most of the features in the premium version is available as free metrics form some of the other solutions in this post.
103bees is specialized in metrics around SEO and viral marketing. The tool has SEO rankings included in the dashboard, as well as some interesting Long Tail content reports
GoStats has a nice set of features, including the path analysis, that’s missing in Google Analytics
Hitstats provides all the normally required metrics, and presents them in a very nice user interface.
Shinystat has a free version for personal and non commercial sites. The free version includes basic statistics, and has a number of both visible and invisible tracking code scripts.
Stat24 includes both statdard features as well as some more advanced features, including heat map. For increased SEO benefits, Stat24 has a seo friendly where sites tracked by Stat24 can be included.