Let’s be honest, Google are one of the most powerful companies in the world. It has over two thirds market share in the US search engines and around half the market for website and social traffic software. They are also the owners of YouTube, and have given us the opportunity to, amongst other things, read e-mails, find the nearest fast food joint, write documents and download applications onto our phones all via one website. Inevitably, there have been questions about data security and its dominance, but it’s hard to ignore them, even if their voice recognition software is as useless as its predecessors. For me, this is because of their commitment to a clear website and the absence of pop up adverts, unlike a certain competitor of theirs.
But what if you’re a Chief Executive or Head of Marketing that’s against Google’s tax avoidance, or doesn’t have the $150,000 to pay for the premium analytics package, which includes a dedicated Account Manager and the ability to track up to a billion page views, as opposed to ten million for the free version. What other options are available to you? Here’s a few that might be interesting:
Used by over 400,000 websites, Piwik, an open source offering similar to Mozilla Firefox and Wikipedia, appears to have some advantages to Google’s offering. First, you can track unlimited page views. Second, the data you collect is real time, as opposed to a minimum four hour delay. Third, you own the data you collect, and finally, there appears to be more support options. However, there doesn’t appear to be any emphasis towards SEO or PPC campaigns. It is free though!
This is the tool with the the second biggest market share at present. It comes at a bespoke price though, depending on your organisation’s requirements, which in my view, already puts it at a disadvantage to Google. But it does provide phone and video support, plus a drag and drop interface, so its not all bad.
Third in the market share share list, Quantcast can boast a range of impressive clients, including GE, Time Magazine and The Sun. It is also the second biggest analyser of data, after Google, and also offers data on services which aren’t tracked using cookies, although its accuracy can be questioned and they’re not exactly transparent on pricing.
Since I had a moan about analytical products for a fee, here’s another package that doesn’t cost anything, for the first 30k actions anyway. In addition, Woopra gives marketers the ability to watch a single user’s path through a website as it happens.
Finally, I present to you something that’ll cost a small business $49 a month. Is it worth it though, given that the data it provides doesn’t include page views and bounce rates, (when a visitor only visits one page before on your site before going somewhere else)?
There are numerous other analytical platforms available to digital marketers, including some run by huge companies such as Adobe, IBM, Facebook and gulp, Yahoo. Personally though, as I mentioned previously, why would you want to shift away from Google Analytics, apart from moral considerations, when almost everything you might need in your organisation is already on one platform?