GA4 is continuing its inevitable march to take over from Universal Analytics, and the 1st July 2023 is coming up quickly. Moving to GA4 is relatively painless, but getting to grips with the reporting and integrations is another matter. If you’re still having difficulty you can use our free guide to GA4 to help you along.
There are alternatives though, so if you are staunchly against GA4 or Google Analytics in general, there is an alternatives for you out there.
Those listed below usually have free versions, but many are limited to a smaller number of users or pageviews per day. This will be fine for some users, but bear this in mind when looking at the plans available.
Matomo is an open-source analytics tool, originally called Piwik. There is a Pro version for larger site (see below), but the basic version is great if you are interested in hosting your own analytics or paying for the cloud hosting.
Hosting your own analytics will cut down load speeds and make sure that you can keep all of your data forever. It does require some knowledge to set up as well as a server of some description though.
This is also probably the closest to Universal Analytics that you can get. The learning curve is basically non-existent if you’re used to UA and you can import your existing UA data as well, making a great continuation as it is phased out.
People who want to keep their Universal Analytics info, particularly if you have a long history. Also, those who don’t mind setting up their own server for hosting the analytics.
After the open-source version became Matomo, the proprietary version – Piwik Pro – has developed into a full analytics suite. It has developed from the free version to include more interactions, reports, integrations and more.
Easy to use as with it’s free cousin, and well supported due to the large usage worldwide. These integrations can bridge the gap between the free versions and other products such as Data Studio, Zapier, etc.
Larger websites who still want to work together closely with other Google properties, including Search Console, Ads, Data Studio, etc.
A light-weight and open-source analytics tool, Plausible isn’t free, but starts at 9 Euros a month, so won’t break the bank. It also works well with popular content management systems like WordPress and can import your previous UA data.
Those with full in-house teams, startups and others who might be starting small but have big ambitions.
Focusing on solutions for sites, apps and physical locations like warehouses, Mixpanel helps with some of the biggest names around – like Uber and Yelp. It is arguably more marketing led rather than raw analytics led, but this is great for busy marketers.
This is scalable, secure and integrates with a lot of other apps and services. It may be a little costly to get everything set up, but the usability more than makes up for this.
Larger in-house marketing teams and more complex businesses.
There are a lot more services available than those listed above, but there are also a lot of business types. It can be quite difficult to get what you need – especially if your business is young – but take your time to select the right one for you. If you are still unsure, we can help you decide and give further guidance with our support packages.
Here are a few points which should help guide you when you are deciding:
- Make sure you aren’t oversold and you are buying what you actually need and will use.
- Keep your data retention time-frames in mind to see wider trends.
- Try and own the data you generate and keep in mind how it can be used should you cancel a service.
- Check integrations with what services you already use, so you don’t incur more costs or the cost of moving more services.
- Make sure the tools are suitable for you people rather than having to spend hours on further training.
- Ensure the integrations are where they are needed across your website, apps, physical locations and other considerations.
It might not be perfect, but Universal Analytics has been a staple of digital marketing for many years, and it’ll be disappointing to see it go.