CMS Scot Web Design & Development: Blog: Measuring Website Traffic & Visitors

Google Analytics – is there an alternative?

If you already have a website the chances are that you will be using Google Analytics (GA) to measure your traffic. If we rebuild a site for a client using GA then we’ll ensure that the transition is smooth, your statistics will suffer no interruption.

GA is a beast of a product, offering insight and analysis of where your traffic comes from, how it arrived, which devices are in use, how long visits last, and how your visitors behave. That’s a massive over-simplification, and you probably know that. So why do we offer an alternative to our clients?

GA costs nothing to install, but the answer to ‘Why?’ will inevitably lead to the famous ‘If something is free, you’re the product‘ quote; Google are many things, but they are by and large an advertising company and they need your data, they need ‘big data’ in order to map, predict and monetise your behaviour, your profile.

There are now a few services that don’t track you, they don’t set tracking cookies that last for 10 plus years, they don’t use an invisible pixel to see where you’ve been and know where you’re going – they are not looking to serve you ads and/or content based on your profile. We use Plausible Analytics (plausible.io) and also like Fathom (usefathom.com).

Neither of these services use cookies, both are lightweight (an important factor in site speed) and both are GDPR-compliant and respectful of privacy regulations and rights. We use Plausible because they’re EU based.

If you’re running split-run testing (A/B tests) with complex sales funnels, if you’re doing a lot of PPC work, then you’ll likely need and want GA. If you response to this was ‘A/B what now?’ then you might want to look at an alternative.
Since Google long-since stopped letting you know where a great deal of your traffic came from (in terms of search queries and the like) and what you’re really interested in is clear, clean and understandable reporting on how your site is faring over time, then services like the two we’ve just discussed may be just what you’re looking for.


About Us: We’re a small and serious team of experienced designers and developers, ready to talk to you about any web project. You may already have a site that needs a re-design or added functionality; you may be starting a new business or project, or perhaps your business is growing and you need help with progressing things online.