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11 August 2021 by Niki Kozak

No. I don’t want to sell my customers’ data. What are the alternatives to Google Analytics?

Google analytics are usually the first analytic platform which website/e-shop owners (or marketers) add to their or client’s website. I totally understand this. Google Analytics are widely used and they’re free – in the financial terms, I mean. And for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, let’s deep dive into this topic.

Are Google Analytics really free?

Google Analytics are a great solution for many websites and e-shops. They provide lots of reports, insights and you can install them on your website within a few minutes. Besides this, there are many integrations and platforms which make the installation even easier (e.g. GTM). So, you might say, this is an ideal analytic platform for my website, right?

Well, not really. Have you ever thought about why GA are free? Is it because Google has enough money and doesn’t need to earn more? No! No way! GA aren’t actually free, you pay for them. You pay for them by providing Google your data. Google gathers all the data you and your customers generate (via the code you install to your website) and use them for earning money.

There’re two main ways (maybe some more?), how Google is monetizing the data:

You’re not a customer anymore, you’re a product!

This actually means that you’re no longer their customer, you’re basically a product (they are making money out of you). Well, it’s great you have insights into your business thanks to GA but do you really want to share all your business/personal data with Google? I don’t think so. You never know when, how and by whom your data will be abused. It might happen tomorrow, in ten years or even in twenty years.

Any alternatives to GA out there?

So, the obvious question is: Are there any other analytic platforms which don’t sell your data? Of course! I did a little bit of research recently and found a couple of companies which look really promising. I’ve added all of these alternatives to my website to try them out. Keep reading and find out what analytics I’ve tried and what’s my experience.

Simple Analytics

These are the first analytics, I’ve installed on my website. I really like the simple design and I also enjoy the neat dashboard, which shows you page views, referrers, devices, countries and else. No more useless data – you don’t need anything else to get basic information about your visitors. The price is very affordable, $9/month when billed annually. What’s great is that you can use them on multiple websites for the same price!

Plausible Analytics

I’ve also added these analytics to see how they’re working. What I really enjoy is the main lightweight dashboard with all important data about your visitors such as the number of unique visitors, total pageviews, sources, top pages and else. Everything is crystal clear and there are no unnecessary reports. The price isn’t flat since it depends on the number of monthly page views (starting at $60/year/10K page views). And again, you can use them on multiple websites!

Ahoy Analytics

I use these analytics on one of my side projects (check out my baking blog Soufflé is not Muffin). These analztics are powered by your own database. That means you have complete control of the data, but will need some developmnent skills—you also need to use SQL to to query (and visualize) the collected data. So, these analytics are more suitable for people with some technical skills, but I think it’s also great to mention them.

Great news! If you use any of these alternatives, you don’t have to place a cookie banner to your site, because these analytics aren’t based on cookies! So, say Au revoir to the annoying cookie banners!

Alright, I know you have to pay (I mean real money) for installing any of the alternatives above mentioned (apart from Ahoy Analytics), but I hope that I’ve showed you why Google Analytics aren’t the best choice for your business or your personal website.

Happy to hear you thoughts on this topic!

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