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Why I don’t use Google Analytics

First of all I’m a web developer who builds websites for small to medium websites.  I also develop start-ups with relatively low traffic.   My opinions are meant for this market and whilst they could be applicable to high volume sites I cannot speak for something I haven’t done.

This article sums up the reasons why I rarely log onto Google Analytics and how I track my website instead using a web-app called Clicky.

In no particular order here are my reasons

Clicky Visitor Details

Individual visitor monitoring
Tracking individual visitors has too many benefits to list and Google Analytics doesn’t support it.   One of my favourites ways to exploit it is when I make an affiliate sale I’m giving an IP address usually of who made the sale.   I can then plug that into Clicky visitor filter and monitor exactly what that visitor did before leaving the site.    Clicky shows what outbound links they clicked on, the time spent on each page and useful information about the visitors location and operating system.

Clicky lets you track your individual visitors in realtime also using a feature they named Spy.   Spy shows you what page the visitor is on, where they are on the map and what they have downloaded and clicked.   It’s a very fine tuned Javascript page which makes monitoring real time users a breeze, make sure you check out on the demo on the homepage.

Giving less tech savvy clients access
After building a clients brand new website or analysing their existing somewhere along the line some of your clients will want to see their statistics.    If you were lazy you could just screenshot the numbers and email it off, this still involves a bit of effort.    If your feeling energetic you could setup a user and ask your client to setup a Google account so they can be a user of the Google Analytics account.   Clicky actually lets you just have a public url to see all statistics and they have an example of this on their home page.   Email that to your clients and your done.   You will find clients can find any information they want with less hassle then Google analytics due to the intuitive usability.

Clicky Public Demo

If you generally sell website traffic though a report or web-app then look no further.  Clicky allows you to white label their app and brand it as your own and sell it for whatever price you can!  They also let you host it on your own domain and edit the CSS and logo.

Aggregated Data
GA and Clicky offer the same aggregated data and the latter does it in a more convenient way.

See users completing your goals in real time!

Goals and Campaigns
I have a feeling Google Analytics has slightly more functionality and I invite a Clicky representative clear this up(please).   Though I would still much rather setup a funnel on Clicky than Google Analytics.   Clicky also contains features that can assign a monetary value to a goal and gives you great reports on expected income.   As I keep saying, it’s the ease of use that makes Clicky so much better and an example is below where it highlights in your visitor list with an icon of your choice that a user has completed the goal.

First thing I hate about Google Analytics is the splash pages requires you to click “Access Analytics”, second the next page isn’t much better and the percentage increase/decrease in traffic on mine is always inaccurate because they take so long to update their servers sometimes.    Clicky not only presents more information but it looks great plus you can also customize it to look however you like.

Why waste my time!?!

Google Analytics Dashboard, they wasted a lot of screen space at the top

Twitter Tracking
Not as important to this comparison  but quite useful, Clicky includes Twitter tracking and I’m sure at a later date it will include more aggregated social media data.  Though it does boast quite a good looking report.

Great looking UI for tracking your brand

I understand a lot of people have been using Google Analytics for quite a long time and its free!   Clicky is not free after you start added multiple websites, but the value added saves time.  But of course “Time is money” and I believe you will save more and make more by utilizing the benefits of this beautiful web app.

I would love to hear any feedback on things I might be missing in Google Analytics that would give me extra value over Clicky.  I install both on most of my sites still because they both load asynchronously.

Leave a comment about what tracking software you use.

p.s. If a Clicky admin reads this could you elaborate on how much of goal tracking and funneling you have integrated in comparison to Google Analytics.

Update:  A Clicky admin answered my question almost immediatly

Google’s goal system is a lot more powerful. Ours is fairly simple in comparison but it meets the needs of almost all our users. It’s only every once in a while that someone makes a feature request for goals that we don’t have  - Sean

Popularity: 77% [?]

posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2010 by admin in Rants

2 Responses to “Why I don’t use Google Analytics”

  1. MJK says:

    Um, is this for real or are you spruking and aff link?

  2. Antoine says:

    I like your analysis, going on the field of saying publicly GA is not clear and 100% awesome, and sometimes paid solutions are worth it.
    What about measuring with the same tool you spend ads campaigns ? how weird is that ?
    Your post has good ranking on keywords "google analytics doesn't"

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thomas davis