Analytics can make a massive difference to the success of your online strategies. We all have our own experiences and ideas but analytics gives us the clearest view of what works and how. Knowing what works can reveal ideas you hadn’t previously considered that can lead you to success.
There are various analytics platforms available, some free and some paid, each offering a different set of features and addressing different needs for businesses. At Revelate we have experience working with all the major platforms across our customers sites and can advise you on the best way forward so you get the best information to help make your marketing decisions.
- Google Analytics
- Matomo Analytics
- Piwik Pro
- Adobe Analytics
- Unleash The Power of Analytics
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics platform available today. It is a completely free service from Google that integrates well with the rest of Googles tools such as Google AdWords and Google Search Console. It uses a tracking code installed on your website to give you the data on how your site is found, how customers use your site and what pages are most popular. 85% of all websites that use analytics use Google’s offering and for many it will work very well detailing all the important data points required.
The service from Google is free, however it does take an experienced analytics person to set up and configure correctly and manage the data going forward. While Google Analytics has the benefit of operating for almost 20 years and fixing any problems that came up during that time, it does also come with the complications of 20 years of development for a product that they aim to please every website owner with.
Benefits of Choosing Google Analytics
As one of the longest running analytics platforms and with all the benefits of Googles engineers it’s no surprise that Google Analytics is one of the most comprehensive analytics platforms. As the standard analytics platform that most businesses use, especially at first, it also integrates with most other parts of your digital toolbox easily. It provides a wealth of information on your website and how it’s used from where you get your traffic, which points users exit your site and how users move through your website.
Google has also launched a new version of Analytics called GA4 which has been a radical shift in how it’s analytics service works. Rather than tracking user sessions they will now be tracking “events” this can be clicking a link, entering information in a form or almost any interaction you decide to set in your analytics setup. This can give you even more information on how your site is being used than the old Universal Analytics system that had been in place for almost a decade before.
GA4 has also integrated machine learning into the new system which Google says will be able to predict how likely users are to take future actions. This can help businesses by allowing them to create a group of customers that Google suspects are likely to commit a purchase action in the next week / month and then focus marketing efforts like Google Ads towards this group.
The Drawbacks of Google Analytics
A major reason to not use (or stop using) Google Analytics is that it is not GDPR compliant. Several EU countries (including France and Italy) have essentially banned Google Analytics in its current form with more likely to follow. Google has rolled out Google Analytics 4 in response to this, but it still falls short of being GDPR compliant and GA4 has been widely disappointing with the changes it’s made making the tool less useful for marketing professionals. For instance you used to be able to get conversion rate information, a key data point for e-commerce companies, but it has now been phased out in GA4.
Which brings us to the second pain point of Google Analytics, it still requires the cookie banner to pop up for every visitor to your site. A frustrating start to any potential customers journey is dealing with an annoying pop up which is made even worse if you decide to opt out as it’s usually a full minute to navigate through the options.
Another issue is the data has become less accurate and less useful. Google routinely hides the keywords people use to find you behind text that says “not provided”. In years past Google showed you every keyword used to reach your site allowing you to focus on your websites strengths or identify weaknesses to be worked on but this is now much harder to do. And with GA4 it now uses machine learning to guess what users who refuse to accept cookies have done on your site which can lead to incorrect data in your analytics logs.
What is Matomo Analytics?
Matomo Analytics is a newer entry into the market having launched in 2016 and has quickly become a very popular platform for those looking for an alternative to Google Analytics. Their service is now on over 1.4 million websites, in over 190 countries including nearly 10% of the top 10,000 websites. The developers of Matomo started with a very different vision of what an analytics platform should be with them prioritising data ownership, open source code, privacy and security.
Key to this is the ability to host your own instance of Matomo on your own server meaning no one else has access to your data and your data never leaves the country which avoids all sorts of GDPR issues.
Free – Self Hosted
The starter self hosted plan is free of charge but does require you to have your own server to install it on which you can get with your hosting plan for your website.
From €19 Per Month – Cloud Hosting
If you’d rather have Matomo installed on their cloud service or you wish to use the additional tools available to cloud users you can use their paid service.
Benefits of Matomo
The biggest benefits of Matomo for EU based businesses is that it avoids a number of things that are landing Google with record fines for data privacy breaches. In fact the French data protection agency (CNIL) has specifically said that as long as Matomo is set up correctly by businesses then it is not only abiding by GDPR it does not have to use the cookie consent banner.
Matomo also includes a heat map feature and session recordings so you can view how users are using your site which can be especially useful when you are making changes to the site to see how well they are working.
There is no machine learning in Matomo’s data, there’s no guessing at what users might have done based on data samples you have 100% real world data at all times.
Drawbacks of Matomo
The biggest drawback is that the cloud hosting is not free like Google Analytics is. While the benefits of making extra sales should eclipse the small cost of the cloud hosting not everyone wants to pay for a service when a similar one is free. While the self hosted service is free, it is missing some features that the cloud hosting version does have. While you can add them to the self hosted package it does come at an increased cost.
Matomo also does not have the machine learning that google Analytics does, for some this is a good thing as all the data is based on real visitors, but it does also mean that you won’t get predictive analytics which can be useful.
What is Piwik Pro?
Piwik Pro is a leading web analytics platform that enables organizations to track and analyze user behavior across their digital properties, including websites, mobile apps, and other digital channels. The platform provides a comprehensive view of user engagement, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about their online strategy. Piwik Pro’s market is generally for larger businesses or ones who are very focused on making the most of their analytics data to build advantages and it’s pricing does reflect that.
Piwik Pro is built on an open-source framework, which means that the source code is freely available to anyone who wants to use it or modify it. The platform is highly customizable, allowing organizations to tailor their analytics tracking to meet their specific needs.
The platform collects data from multiple sources, including cookies, web beacons, and custom tracking codes. This data is then processed and analyzed in real-time, providing organizations with immediate insights into user behavior.
€450 per month
Piwik Pro is aimed at companies who have the size and the team with the ability to leverage data insights into real competitive advantages
Benefits of Piwik Pro
Piwik Pro offers several advantages over other analytics platforms, including Google Analytics. Here are just a few of the key benefits:
Complete Data Control: Piwik Pro is fully customizable, giving organizations complete control over their data. Unlike Google Analytics, Piwik Pro allows organizations to host their data on-premises or in the cloud, giving them complete control over their data security and compliance.
Advanced Features: Piwik Pro offers a range of advanced features, including heatmaps, session recordings, and form analytics, that go beyond what is offered by Google Analytics. These features allow organizations to gain deeper insights into user behavior and optimize their digital properties accordingly.
No Data Sampling: Unlike Google Analytics, which samples data for larger websites, Piwik Pro provides complete data analysis for all websites, regardless of size. This means that organizations can get a complete picture of user behavior, even for high-traffic sites.
Drawbacks of Piwik Pro
While Piwik Pro offers many advantages over other analytics platforms, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:
Steep Learning Curve: Piwik Pro is a complex platform that requires some technical expertise to set up and use effectively. Organizations that lack technical resources may find it challenging to get started with the platform.
Cost: Piwik Pro is not a free platform. While the open-source version is available at no cost, the enterprise-level platform requires a subscription fee. This may be a barrier for some organizations that are looking for a low-cost analytics solution.
What is Adobe Analytics?
Adobe Analytics is a leading web analytics platform that enables businesses to track and analyze user behavior across multiple channels, including websites, mobile apps, social media, and more. The platform collects data from a variety of sources, including cookies, web beacons, and custom tracking codes, and provides businesses with real-time insights into user behavior.
One of the key strengths of Adobe Analytics is its customization options. The platform allows businesses to tailor their analytics tracking to meet their specific needs, including custom dimensions, metrics, and events. This level of customization provides businesses with a highly personalized view of their user behavior, allowing them to make data-driven decisions about their online strategy.
€450 a month
Adobe Analytics are another targetting larger companies or companies with the desire to put analytics at the heart of their digital marketing
Benefits of Adobe Analytics
Adobe Analytics offers several benefits that set it apart from other analytics platforms. Here are a few of the key advantages:
Real-Time Analysis: Adobe Analytics provides real-time analysis of user behavior, allowing businesses to respond to changes in user behavior quickly. This level of responsiveness can be crucial in highly competitive industries.
Advanced Reporting: The platform offers a range of advanced reporting tools, including data visualization, predictive analytics, and anomaly detection. These tools allow businesses to gain deeper insights into their data and make informed decisions about their online presence.
Cross-Channel Tracking: Adobe Analytics allows businesses to track user behavior across multiple channels, including websites, mobile apps, and social media. This provides businesses with a comprehensive view of user behavior across their digital properties, allowing them to optimize their online presence accordingly.
Specific Features of Adobe Analytics
Adobe Analytics offers a range of advanced features that help businesses gain deeper insights into user behavior. Here are a few of the key features:
Segmentation: Adobe Analytics allows businesses to segment their user data based on a variety of criteria, including demographics, behavior, and device type. This level of segmentation provides businesses with a highly personalized view of their user behavior.
Path Analysis: The platform offers path analysis tools that allow businesses to track user behavior across multiple touchpoints. This provides businesses with insights into the customer journey, allowing them to optimize their online presence accordingly.
Attribution Modeling: Adobe Analytics offers advanced attribution modeling tools that help businesses understand the impact of their marketing efforts on user behavior. This provides businesses with insights into the most effective marketing channels and allows them to optimize their marketing strategy accordingly.
Drawbacks of Adobe Analytics
Cost: Adobe Analytics is a premium platform that may be cost-prohibitive for some businesses. The platform’s pricing is based on usage, and businesses with high levels of traffic may face substantial costs.
Learning Curve: Adobe Analytics is a complex platform that may require some technical expertise to use effectively. This can create a learning curve for businesses that lack technical resources.
Picking the right analytics platform for your company will depend on exactly how you plan to use it. At Revelate we can help you choose the one that will perform for you best and set it up in a way that delivers the correct information to keep you on the front foot in regards to making the correct decisions and anticipate changing trends.