A Google Analytics Alternative for the New Generation
Gone are the days when having a basic website was enough to stake your claim in the internet world. Now, site owners are using web analytics to store data and compile reports about visitors’ behaviour and actions, and using this information to customize their sites and advertising. With over a billion websites in existence, actively managing and optimizing your site is essential to improving the user experience and increasing your web traffic and search engine rankings. In short, web analytics tools help you ensure your message is reaching as many people as possible in your target market.
Google Analytics Is the Market Leader, But Is It the Best?
When it comes to web analysis, Google Analytics is the default choice for new and experienced users alike – even those of us at Headnet have used this digital tool for several years. The program’s slick interface, intuitive features, and the fact that it is free, give it tremendous appeal. However, the old saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” applies here – despite seeming like a bargain, Google Analytics has some serious faults that potential users need to consider.
Google Analytics’ biggest downside is how it manages the data it collects from your website. Data, after all, is capital – for you and for Google. While you are using Google Analytics to improve your site’s standing and usability, Google is collecting and aggregating data on your site visitors that it then sells to its partners. Google can even link these data to specific users, and to other Google services, making it possible for them to target advertising toward an individual. Google has been scrutinized over these practices, which raise valid questions about the protection of users’ data and privacy rights while using the web.
Piwik Puts You in Control
The Open Source web analytics tool Piwik is an emerging competitor that generates valuable statistical data and web activity reports, but offers the protection of anonymity for your site visitors. With Piwik, each session is assigned an anonymous ID that is used to collect data about the web activity, but cannot be traced to an individual. The service can be installed directly on your server, or securely hosted – in either case, Piwik gathers data and sends it to your own database, giving you ownership and control over how your site’s information is used.
Piwik’s use of anonymous IDs ensures your visitors have the privacy they expect when visiting your site, and that they will not be monitored by third parties or targeted by outside advertisers. In addition, the tool is simple to use and install, provides the data you need for site optimization, and can be integrated with a number of other systems. Additionally, the service and its instructions can be translated to danish.
Should You Make the Switch?
While Piwik is a strong contender in this market, Google Analytics may still be the best web analytics solution for many users, especially those who are interested in social media integration or have small web marketing budgets. However, if you are serious about protecting the privacy of your site visitors and the integrity of the data you collect, Piwik can provide the information and analysis you need without putting your users at risk.