Google Analytics Alternative
‘vs’ makes it sound as if there’s a head-to-head battle between A1WebStats and Google Analytics. The reality is that they both work in quite different ways and so should be considered complementary to each other and therefore both installed on your website.
Google Analytics, compared to A1WebStats has the following benefits:
- It’s free.
- It’s possible to analyse more interactions (for example, how long people have been viewing a video, or how many people opened a PDF).
- It has pretty graphs.
- It links directly to systems such as Google Adwords.
- And more …
So why would you consider using A1WebStats in addition to Google Analytics? Here are some of the things that Google Analytics don’t do (or make it very hard to do) …
- Give you an instant view of who is on your website now, or very recently.
- Show you each individual website visitor path, including what each person typed to find your website, which pages they visited, and how long they spent on each page.
- Show you the names of companies/organisations that have visited your website, and how each of those people navigated through your website pages.
- Make it easy to get detailed reports about website-related traffic that’s of interest to you. For example, being able to view all website visitors who came in via another website, and how each of those people navigated through your website.
- And more …
The biggest difference between A1WebStats and Google Analytics is the ability to look at every single visitor in detail. For example, the screenshot from A1WebStats below shows that on 3rd November 2011, at 12:23, someone from Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, searched Google for ‘hotel consultant’. It goes on to show how long the person spent on each individual page. There is also the option to click on the ‘3 day(s) since last visit’ link to see when that company has been to the website before …
Detailed views of individual website visitors like that in the example above are a core strength of A1WebStats and are something that Google Analytics won’t (and probably never will) let you do.
Google Analytics is great if …
You want to get a general picture of website traffic. If you’re interested in how many website visitors land on a certain page or how many people came from a particular source, or how long people spent watching a video … and various other elements of data analysis … then Google Analytics can help you in various ways.
Where does Google Analytics fall down?
Let’s say that Google Analytics has told you that you’ve had 100 website visitors who have landed on a particular website page, and you want to know more about those visitors. Google Analytics will (if you know what you’re doing) let you pull out some other information about those 100 website visitors. For example, what brought them to that landing page, or what keyword phrases they searched for. However, it won’t let you dig deeper than that – it won’t get a really good feel for how each of those 100 visitors interacted with your website. Only with such information can you really understand what is and isn’t working within your website.
Is Google Analytics bad?
No, of course not! Google Analytics has a lot of power within it and, with time invested in getting to know how to get the best out of it, Google Analytics can be extremely useful. It’s also fair to say that Google Analytics does a lot of things that A1WebStats doesn’t do. However, it’ll never do many of the things that A1WebStats does.
So which should a typical business choose?
The answer is: both.
Google Analytics is free and there’s no harm having it running on your website. If you want to find out information that Google Analytics is better at helping with (e.g. how long someone has viewed a video) then it makes sense to have that ability.
A1WebStats isn’t free (beyond the 30 days free trial) but it’s highly valuable when wanting to get information that’s of most immediate interest to the business.
If, for example, you wanted to get a view of all website visitors in the previous day, and wanted to know what each person searched for, how they found your website, what company they were from (where it’s possible to track this), and how each person navigated through your website, then that’s really important information to have (and that Google Analytics can’t give you).
If your company is proactive and is focused on making the website work better for you, then A1WebStats will become your best friend. If your company believes that SEO/driving traffic to your website is the key to success then A1WebStats may not be right for you – it’s what happens to the traffic once it arrives at your website which is important, not getting pure numbers of people to the website.
We provide A1WebStats as a free 30 day trial so that you can experience the difference between A1WebStats and Google Analytics.
If you have any questions at all then please do contact us – we’ll be happy to help you.