Knowledge base article

12 Free Google Analytics Alternatives

7 minutes reading time

Ever since March 2022 people have started wondering, what are we going to do next? You know, the date on which Google announced it was going to deprecate Universal Analytics. We are getting closer to the depreciation date of the first of July 2023. So, if you have not decided what your next web analytics tool is going to be, you are running out of time. Especially so because you would like to have some historic data to be able to compare with.

Luckily there are many free alternatives to Google Analytics. We have tried out these tools so you don’t have to. Let’s have a look at which are available on the market today, so we can help you find the one that’s right for you.

Why would you need an alternative to Google Analytics?

When you run a small website it is great to use a free web analytics tool. Because of the low traffic volumes paying to analyze your site might not be worth it. Google Analytics is one of these great free tools for web analysts. It comes with a lot of features compared to other free tools. But Google Analytics has some limitations apart from the fact that UA will be deprecated.

The Google Analytics script is quite heavy

Compared to other web analytics tools the script of Google Analytics can be quite heavy. This means it will slow down your website. Have a look at your page speed insights and you will probably see Google Analytics scripts as one of the largest factors which slow down your site.

Google Analytics samples data

Google Analytics uses only a subset of your website’s data to analyze and determine the results. This means GA narrows down its processing load by sampling data types. This means that you increase your chances of bias in decision-making. It also becomes harder to make sure you have a significant sample size to base your decisions on. So your results are less accurate.

Some consider GA4 to be non-GDPR compliant

The answer to the question “Is Google Analytics GDPR-compliant?” remains ambiguous. The Austrian, French, Italian, and Dutch data protection authorities (DPA) have ruled that the use of a default setup of Google Analytics is illegal under GDPR.

One of the key compliance issues with Google Analytics is that it stores user data, including data about EU residents, on US cloud servers. To make matters worse, Google LLC is a US-owned company and is subject to US surveillance laws, such as the Cloud Act. This gives governmental bodies access to data.

Google Analytics comes with a learning curve

Despite its power, Google Analytics is a complex tool with a steep learning curve. In most cases, site owners only use a small fraction of its metrics to analyze their website. Keeping track of all these metrics becomes a full-time job for business owners.

Google Analytics is blocked by many browsers & plugins

As the use of ad blockers among users has increased, Google Analytics has become less accurate. Reports show that 42.7% of internet users worldwide use ad blockers. These plugins block the Google Javascript code because it’s the most prevalent. Other tools will be blocked less often.

What should you look for in a free Google Analytics Alternative?

Once you have decided that you want an alternative for your Google Analytics setup, you need to know what to look for. That can be a daunting task since there are so many different features and attributes to consider. To select the proper tools I would advise you to at least consider the following attributes.

Web Analytics features

Let’s start with the most obvious one, the features. Most tools come with a set of features that are oriented toward a specific use case. For example user engagement reports and customer journey reports for product analytics. Or heatmaps and session recordings for UX analytics. Think of what you want to measure and analyze before diving into the deep end. More features is not always better. You might want multiple specialized tools that do a few things great, instead of many things just okay.

Data privacy regulation compliance

Apart from features data privacy compliance should be high on your list of considerations. As mentioned before, look for a tool that complies with the GDPR and CCPA if you want to avoid a headache. Large fines have been given to companies that did not handle customer private data correctly.

Many tools that comply with these regulations will state it clearly since it’s a selling point nowadays. Even though you should make sure that you check that they comply with the standards set in these regulations. For more information, you can read this article.

Training options

Some web analytics tools come with a steep learning curve because of all of their capabilities. In that case, it is crucial to have access to an extensive base of training options. You want to understand your tool as best as you can to get the most value out of it.

In the case of Google Analytics, there are many training options available on places like course platforms, Youtube, and blogs. Not all tools have similar resources. Therefore, it is important that you consider the training options before choosing a tool.

Pricing of analytics tools

Last but definitely not least, you should consider the price of the tool compared to the functionality it offers. Many tools base their pricing on the number of monthly events like pageviews. Luckily these paid solutions come with a free trial ranging from 7 to 21 days.

Besides the paid website analytics tools there are also free tools like Google Analytics. The downside of these tools is that they usually come with fewer features or more limits compared to their paid alternatives. But there are also some great free alternatives that are not limited. Let’s have a look at them.

What are the main free Google Analytics alternatives?

Web analytics tools come in many different shapes and sizes. We have split up the tools into categories based on their features and what they are usually used for.

Free Marketing Analytics tools

Marketing analytics is the process companies use to capture and analyze customer data to make better decisions. Customer analytics tools give you insights into where your users came from and how they are interacting with your website or app. These insights power businesses’ sales, marketing, and product development efforts and studies show that companies that use customer analytics are more profitable.

Great options are:

  • Matomo
  • Piwik PRO
  • Microsoft Clarity
  • Clicky Analytics
  • Simple Analytics
  • Statcounter
  • Panelbear
  • Hitsteps

Free Product Analytics tools

Product analytics is the process of analyzing how users engage with an online product or service. It allows product teams to track, visualize, and analyze their users’ engagement and behavior data. You can use the insights to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of your product. It is a great tool to optimize your product or service to increase your retention rates.

Great options are:

  • Woopra
  • Mixpanel
  • Heap
  • Amplitude
  • Pendo

How to choose the best analytics tool for you?

When it comes to choosing the right tool for you there are many things to consider. We spoke about different features, data privacy pricing, and more. Only to really discover the tool that matches your needs best, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions.

  • What are your most important (business) goals?
  • How do these goals translate into milestones and KPIs?
  • Who are your stakeholders and what do they need?
  • Which other systems are you using, and how do they complement each other?

Over time your goals will probably change, so it’s important to review them periodically to stay aligned with your business goals and to measure what matters.

The takeaway

If Google Analytics fails to meet your needs or if you are worried about privacy, you should definitely look into the many free Google Analytics alternatives.

Keep in mind that “the most popular” does not necessarily mean “the best” and certainly not “the best for you.”

Not sure where to start? List out what you dislike about GA and what you want in an alternative, then use the New Metrics Analytics Quiz to see which tools might work best for you.

Profielfoto Freek Kampen

By Freek Kampen

Data & Analytics specialist and co-owner of New North Digital. With a background in online advertising, I solve tracking and data issues for entrepreneurs and agencies.


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