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WordPress Analytics: Is Google Analytics the Best? Explore Alternatives Here

written on 20-3-17-Tue 12:29
Home Content optimization WordPress Analytics: Is Google Analytics the Best? Explore Alternatives Here
1. MonsterInsights
2. ExactMetrics
3. Heap
Top Heap Features
Heap Price
4. Matomo
5. Parse.ly
Integrating Parse.ly
Parse.ly Social Media Channels Engagement and Activities
Personalised Interaction
Parse.ly - The Currents Feature
Parse.ly – Downsides
Who is Parse.ly ideally suited to?
6. Mixpanel
Mixpanel Price
Who is Mixpanel best for?
7 . Clicky Analytics
Top Clicky Features
The Best Clicky Features
Clicky Price
Who is Clicky best for?
So, which is the Best Analytics Solution for WordPress?

Wordpress Analytics

Obtaining the knowledge and power of knowing how your users on your website engage with your content is key to online success.

And one of the ways to get this knowledge and power is to install Google Analytics within your WordPress platform.

Probably the most well-know, and the most universally-used free analytics tool, Google Analytics standard package delivers a thorough, in-depth choice of analytical features, both for standard and mobile-optimised WordPress websites.

Google Analytics enables your business to monitor your advertising return on investment, as well as track your social networking platforms and applications.

However, there are alternatives to WordPress analytics plugins. By all means, go ahead and trial our Google Analytics plugin for your WordPress site, but bear in mind that there are others out there. Others that may serve your business analytics needs better. Others that opt for a different tack when it comes to data analysis.

So you can make an informed decision about how to analyse your all-important website data, we’ve covered some alternatives to Google Analytics plugins in this here article.

Ready? Let’s go. 

1. MonsterInsights

Wordpress Analytics

MonsterInsights is the most active and widely used Google Analytics plug in for WordPress. Part of the reason is the simple onboarding of this particular plugin and integration.

Using the dashboard, you can quickly discover how your visitors are navigating your WordPress website, and what they are searching for. Use this data to decide on content additions to your website, and where the best place for it is.

Google Analytics’ content menu shows you in a simple format – which of your pages enjoy the lowest bounce rate, and which have the highest. Work out why your visitors are bouncing more on some pages than others, and consider if your content answers your potential customers queries and concerns.

MonsterInsights give you the power to enable multiple tracking features simply, no code required.

There are two versions of the MonsterInsights plugin – a free version (hurrah!), and a premium (paid) plugin available to download . The premium version offers advanced tools such as:

  • Ads Tracking
  • Author Tracking
  • E-commerce Facilities

It’s worth noting at this point that the paid and free versions are the same to install.

2. ExactMetrics

Wordpress Analytics

Another free analytics tool, ExactMetrics used to be known as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.

The simple interface of ExactMetrics enables you to see all your website data from within your WordPress dashboard, so it’s all there in one place, without having to navigate elsewhere for your valuable data.

ExactMetrics offers you these key features:

Demographics reports

  • File tracking
  • Event tracking
  • Enhanced link attribution
  • Superior customer support

3. Heap

Wordpress Analytics

Heap originated as a tool to give less technical users easy access to enable them to get hold of their own website analytics, as well as their mobile apps and Cloud services.

Boasting an impressively fast and easy integration, Heap is very user-friendly.

Top Heap Features

Heap offers product analytics, compared to other tools which offer a more broad overview.

The features in which you can map individual visitor behaviour, and colour code accordingly is really good.

Heap Price

Heap offer three pricing tiers (all plans include a free 14-day, no risk or obligation trial). Pricing is on application via their website.

Free – for young businesses and start-ups

  • Limited yearly sessions
  • 3 months data history
  • 1 user license
  • 12 Project
  • Silver support
  • Event Visualiser
  • Properties
  • Unified Identity/Segments
  • Event Verification
  • Single Sign-On
  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Onboarding and Implementation

Startup – for startups under 20 employees

  • Limited yearly sessions
  • 1 year data history
  • 10 user licesnses
  • 5 Projects
  • Gold support
  • Heap Connect Data Warehouse Connection
  • Role based permissions
  • Onboarding and Implementation
  • Event Visualiser
  • Properties
  • Unified Identity/Segments
  • Event Verification
  • Single Sign-On
  • Two-Factor Authentication

Enterprise – for businesses that rely on customer data and behavioural analytics

  • Custom session volume
  • Minimum 1 year data history
  • Custom user licenses
  • Custom projects
  • Platinum support and services
  • Heap Connect Data Warehouse Connection
  • Role based permissions
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Custom Onboarding and Implementation
  • Event Visualiser
  • Properties
  • Unified Identity/Segments
  • Event Verification
  • Single Sign-On
  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Solutions Architect

Who is Heap best for?

Heap is a helpful tool for business owners who are seeking advanced analytics software that caters to people who know their way around data. Heap is great for product teams who need more in-depth analysis about what their visitors are doing once they encounter their product or service online, and the next steps they take in the sales funnel.

What’s the Difference between Heap and Google Analytics?

The main distinction between Heap and Google Analytics is that Heap is concentrated on automated events monitoring, whereas Google Analytics can only track page views automatically.

4. Matomo

Wordpress Analytics

Matomo, previously known as Piwik, is a leading open source Google Analytics alternative that lets you track user interaction on your website with ease. It comes with all the features you can think of including, events, goals, eCommerce, logged in users, heatmaps, a/b testing, and a lot more.

Just like WordPress, Matomo comes with both self-hosted and cloud-hosted versions.

With self-hosted Matomo, you can track user interactions on your site by installing it on your server. If you need hassle-free website tracking, then you might want to use the cloud-hosted version of Matomo, so you can skip the technical steps and enable website tracking quickly.

The self-hosted Matomo is free of cost. The pricing for cloud-hosted Matomo is based on pageviews tracked across your websites and  mobile apps .

For the cloud-hosted version, the pricing starts at $7.50 per month for 5 websites up to 50,000 pageviews.

5. Parse.ly

Wordpress Analytics

Boasting statistics on their website such as a 400% increase in subscribers by their customers, Parse.ly is definitely a contender if you’re considering investing in a service to analyse your content marketing efforts.

Parse.ly offer a simple dashboard to analyse the performance of your content over multiple platforms and channels. Giving you valuable insights as to how to interact with your website visitors, and therefore create content they are interested in seeing, when they want to see it.

Integrating Parse.ly

Integration with this particular tool is straightforward, offering a plug-and-play set up, and Parse.ly is compatible with apps such as IoS and Android. If you have a custom-built website, this is catered for too – Parse.ly can be integrated with all CMS systems, including custom CMSes with simple code integration. 

Serving up real-time and historical data analysis at the touch of a button, you will be able to ascertain:

  • Where your users are arriving from
  • How to increase users
  • How to interact your audience

All very valuable insights, which are sure to drive any marketing campaign you can conjure up in exactly the right direction.

Content Analysis on all Platforms

It’s not good enough to be able to analyse your website content.

To remain relevant as a business, you need to be able to analyse your content delivered across all your social platforms.

Parse.ly can analyse your data on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more. Not to mention data analysis of search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc).

All your content is available for analysis purposes. Be it articles, blogs, website landing pages, home pages, image galleries, Podcasts, Video content, the lot.

This data interrogation enables your business to really drill down into which of your content is working for you, and which isn’t, so you can focus your attention on best performing channels that are delivering the best return on your investment.

Parse.ly Social Media Channels Engagement and Activities

Using the user-friendly Parse.ly dashboard, sources of traffic to your website are displayed, with the inclusion of traffic from your social platforms.

Social referrers is defined by any traffic that comes to your site(s) from:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Google+
  • StumbleUpon

Personalised Interaction

The latest phrase in marketing – personalised experience.

Parse.ly gives you the tools to personalise your newsletter, website and app content for your users, offering a personalised experience chock-full of value for them. This is done by predictive analysis, and recommends content accordingly, experiences tailored to each individual reader.

This platform boasts an impressive claim that Parse.ly’s content recommendations can be available to your business within minutes after integration. Nifty!

This is all well and good, but how much is Parse.ly going to set you back? Three options are available to you.

Starter (recommended for teams of 5 and under) $500/month

  • Up to 250k MUVs (Monthly Unique Visitors)
  • Web Analytics
  • 5 Seats
  • 3 Months’ Data Retention
  • 1 Website
  • 30-day free trial

Features:

  • Real-time Analysis
  • Customised Historical Analysis
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Emailed Reports
  • Content Grouping
  • Referrer Analysis
  • CMS Integration
  • Support Portal Access

Growth (recommended for teams of 5-20) $1500/month

  • Up to 500k MUVs (Monthly Unique Visitors)
  • Web Analytics
  • 20 Seats
  • 6 Months’ Data Retention
  • 1 Website
  • Priority Support

Features:

  • Real-time Analysis
  • Customised Historical Analysis
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Emailed Reports
  • Content Grouping
  • Referrer Analysis
  • CMS Integration
  • Support Portal Access
  • Email Support
  • Dedicated Success Manager
  • Basic Data Exports

Enterprise (recommended for Premium brands) Price on Application

  • Unlimited MUVs (Monthly Unique Visitors)
  • Multi-channel Analytics
  • 100+ Seats
  • 1 Year Data Retention
  • Multiple Apps and Websites
  • Premium Support

Features:

  • Real-time Analysis
  • Customised Historical Analysis
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Emailed Reports
  • Content Grouping
  • Referrer Analysis
  • CMS Integration
  • Support Portal Access
  • Distributed Content Integration
  • Twitter Integration
  • Native Mobile Integration
  • Video, OTT, and Podcast Integration
  • Homepage Overlay
  • Site Benchmarks
  • Conversions
  • Dedicated Success Manager
  • Basic Data Exports
  • Server-side Analytics
  • Data Auditing

The Enterprise plan comes with extra features too, specific to your needs, such as:

  • Email and phone support
  • Dedicated success manager
  • Single-sign-on (SSO) and SAML
  • Raw data warehousing and API access
  • Premium solutions like conversions and segmentation

Parse.ly - The Currents Feature

Parse.ly are staying ahead of the curve with their new feature: Currents.

Currents helps you understand which of your content is being actually read, not just searched for or shared. Parse.ly understand that searches only tell part of the story, and they want to give you the full picture.

Picture this. Your business can gain the knowledge from news sites around the globe. The knowledge to understand the biggest sources of traffic for those specific news stories, and also how this type of topic has performed in the past.

You can therefore capitalise on this data and choose the most meaningful channels in which to deliver your content, the ones which are going to give you the best return on investment.

Choose your ad campaigns accordingly, and invest your money in a much more targeted way.

Currents are an add-on feature to Parse.ly’s main gig, pricing as follows:

Starter – Free

One Seat

Access to yesterday’s data

Updated data every 24 hours

Top 10 Rows

High-traffic news alerts for 1 item

Pro - $99/month

  • Two Seats
  • Access to last 30 days of data
  • Updated data every 15 mins
  • Top 500 Rows
  • High-traffic news alerts for 10 items
  • Geographic segmentation
  • Sort by demand
  • CSV Exports

Unlimited – Price on Application

  • Unlimited Seats
  • Unlimited News Story Alerts
  • Combination Queries
  • Access to last year of data
  • Updated data every 15 mins
  • Unlimited Rows
  • Unlimited Alerts
  • Geographic Segmentation
  • Sort by demand
  • CSV Exports
  • Site Comparisons

Parse.ly – Downsides

It wouldn’t be much of a review if we didn’t also delve into some bad points of this content ROI tool.

A disadvantage of Parse.ly that we have found is that you can’t analyse what users search for on Google to reach stories. This however partially solved by their addition of currents.

The archive data only goes back as far as one year, which could pose a problem for businesses who require more historical content data analysis.

Who is Parse.ly ideally suited to?

Due to the variety of price plans available, Parse.ly has an easy entry point for any small start-up entrepreneur or business, and levels available to huge corporations to scale up to.

Parse.ly is best suited to media-based companies, as it offers an expanse of detailed analytics on which of your readers are reading what, and when. And what they are likely to want to read in the future.

It may be that for ecommerce businesses, Google Analytics or Chartbeat could be a better bet, as these services offer detailed tracking of users through your sales funnel.

6. Mixpanel

Wordpress Analytics

Mixpanel offers very user-friendly set up of funnels and events, and many users have found the step-by-step instructions easy to follow and implement.

You can determine with Mixpanel which channels are optimal for lifetime or long-term retention, so you can focus on these channels, rather than just promote initial conversions.

Being able to track a mobile and web user at the same time is wonderful. As well as this, user-centered tracking integrates business CRMs to the patterns of actual people. This in turn allows you to use Mixpanel to send targeted messages to these actual people, individually or collaboratively.

Mixpanel Price

After a free demo experience, Mixpanel offers three price plans: Starter (Free), Growth (from $89/month), and Enterprise (custom pricing)

The Starter package is free for lifetime, and includes

  • 1,000 monthly tracked users
  • Unlimited employee accounts
  • 90-days’ historical data
  • Core Analytics
  • Exploratory Reports
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Custom Dashboards for Mobile, Website, TV and Email
  • Monitoring and Alerts
  • Infrastructure, APIs, and integrations
  • Advanced Data Management
  • Codeless Maintenance
  • GDPR Compliance

The Growth package includes:

  • 12 months’ historical data
  • Plans up to 25,000 monthly tracked users
  • Unlimited Employee Accounts
  • Core Analytics
  • Exploratory Reports
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Custom Dashboards for Mobile, Website, TV and Email
  • Monitoring and Alerts
  • Infrastructure, APIs, and integrations
  • Advanced Data Management
  • Codeless Maintenance
  • GDPR Compliance

Enterprise includes:

  • 12 months’ historical data
  • Plans up to 25,000 monthly tracked users
  • Unlimited Employee Accounts
  • Core Analytics
  • Exploratory Reports
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Custom Dashboards for Mobile, Website, TV and Email
  • Monitoring and Alerts
  • Infrastructure, APIs, and integrations
  • Advanced Data Management
  • Codeless Maintenance
  • GDPR Compliance
  • B2B analytics
  • Customisable historical data

Who is Mixpanel best for?

Mixpanel is most valuable for businesses whose desire is to monitor revenue over a long period of time, and/or understand how their prospective customers view their product and services.

A disadvantage of MixPanel is that it’s not quite so simple to set up, compared to the set up of MonsterInsights.

7 . Clicky Analytics

Clicky’s ROI tool platform is used by nearly 990,000 sites globally for real-time monitoring, analysis, and responding to their website traffic. Clicky offers valuable insights to make content amendments and altering your users’ journey, and how they navigate your website.

Top Clicky Features

  • Customised Dashboard
  • Spy Feature Updates
  • Heatmaps
  • Dynamic Goals
  • Split Testing
  • Google Search Rankings
  • Meticulous Visitor Statistics
  • Location Tracer
  • Uptime Monitoring
  • Track Javascript and Flash events
  • Website Uptime Status
  • Multiple File Formats
  • Create sub-user accounts with access to specific sites
  • Track visitors who have disabled JavaScript
  • 100% Flash free for a great experience on your phone/tablet
  • Track outbound links
  • Track downloads
  • Detailed historical data
  • Alerts via email/mobile
  • Twitter analytics - monitors and summarizes conversations about your web site or other topics of interest
  • Built in URL shortener with detailed visitor metrics

The Best Clicky Features

All of the data on Clicky is in real-time, and constantly updated.

Clicky’s interface is really user-friendly, and super fast to set up. It does also have a good value for money price-point, considering the extensive features Clicky has to offer.

This enables you always have an overall view of the interactions on your website in real-time, and the changing analytics.

The Spy Feature in Clicky retrieves the data of live traffic feeds. This is a great tool. It integrates users that are currently on your website, visitors who clicked on links (and which ones), visitors who searched for something specific on your website, all in real-time. Hours of fun!

Clicky Price

Clicky is free for a single site with under 3,000 daily page views, and pro-plans are available with access to more in-depth features.

Free

  • Single Site
  • 3,000 daily page views
  • Individual visitors and actions
  • Real time data 
  • Basic segmentation
  • Customisable dashboard
  • API access
  • Widgets

Pro - $9.99/month

  • 10 Sites
  • 30,000 daily page views
  • Individual visitors and actions
  • Real time data 
  • Basic segmentation
  • Customisable dashboard
  • API access
  • Widgets
  • Sub-User accounts
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Engagement reports
  • No ads
  • Email reports
  • Track outbound links
  • More data history
  • Spy feature
  • Split testing
  • Better bounce rate

Pro-Plus - $14.00/month

  • 10 Sites
  • 30,000 daily page views
  • Individual visitors and actions
  • Real time data 
  • Basic segmentation
  • Customisable dashboard
  • API access
  • Widgets
  • Sub-User accounts
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Engagement reports
  • No ads
  • Email reports
  • Track outbound links
  • More data history
  • Spy feature
  • Split testing
  • Better bounce rate
  • Heatmaps
  • Uptime monitoring

Pro-Platinum - $19.00/month

  • 30 Sites
  • 100,000 daily page views
  • Individual visitors and actions
  • Real time data 
  • Basic segmentation
  • Customisable dashboard
  • API access
  • Widgets
  • Sub-User accounts
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Engagement reports
  • No ads
  • Email reports
  • Track outbound links
  • More data history
  • Spy feature
  • Split testing
  • Better bounce rate
  • Heatmaps
  • Uptime monitoring

Custom – price on application

  • Up to 1,000 Sites
  • Up to 20 million daily page views
  • Individual visitors and actions
  • Real time data 
  • Basic segmentation
  • Customisable dashboard
  • API access
  • Widgets
  • Sub-User accounts
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Engagement reports
  • No ads
  • Email reports
  • Track outbound links
  • More data history
  • Spy feature
  • Split testing
  • Better bounce rate
  • Heatmaps
  • Uptime monitoring

Who is Clicky best for?

Clicky works for all businesses, be it small start-ups and blogging sites to larger corporations, who could benefit from the Enterprise package available.

Wordpress Analytics


So, which is the Best Analytics Solution for WordPress?

The answer to which is the best WordPress analytics plugin really depends on your businesses’ needs.

When it comes to website tracking, every solution takes a unique style. Compare the different features, and see which you think is the best fit for your business model and approach. Consider exactly what you’d like to track in terms of content, and find the tool that will do this for you. 

Once you’ve got to grips with the features of your chosen analytics tools, and learnt your way around the dashboards, ensure you are taking the next steps to translate this valuable new-found data to make improvements to your online content, increasing the happiness of your users, and making your analytics meaningful.

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