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10+ web analysis tools to help you understand your users [including 5 Google Analytics alternatives]

May 7, 2020 by Hotjar team

If you want your visitors to keep returning to your website—to increase traffic, improve conversion rates, and ultimately grow revenue—you need to understand what’s happening when they reach your site. And if you’re like more than 29 million other website owners in the world, you’re probably using Google Analytics to try to figure things out.

Google Analytics has been around since 2005 and is the most-used web analytics solution in the world. But even with all of its popularity (and functionality), you’re still searching for an alternative solution—or a complementary tool—to help you understand your users.

❗️ Spoiler alert: the solution you’re looking for may be less about finding alternative tools, and more about finding the right combination of tools to give you a clearer picture and better understanding of user behavior.

And another spoiler: with the powers of Hotjar and GA combined 💥 you can easily connect the dots to uncover the most important insights about your users, so you can make the right changes at the right time—and have the greatest impact on the user experience.

In this piece, we’ll help you decide which web analysis tools might be best suited for you based on the type of data you need. We’ll include possible alternatives, and tools to complement the web analysis giant (Google Analytics); we’ll cover:

While GA is great for capturing and tracking traditional data—like traffic, time on site, top content, and bounce rates—it can’t cover every use case as a standalone tool. For example, if you:

  • Want to be able to narrow your focus to individual user data
  • Are looking for real-time analytics to give you instant insights
  • Need to capture all user data (instead of samples or snippets)
  • Want to be able to send targeted, automated messages to visitors

you’re going to need a different solution (or at the very least, you might need to pay for the premium version of GA, which comes with a hefty price tag). Below are five of the most popular GA alternatives for collecting traditional data:

1. Woopra

Woopra dashboard
Image source: https://docs.woopra.com/docs/what-is-woopra-product-capabilities

What it is: Woopra describes their software as a “customer journey analytics” platform for teams to track user information across journey touchpoints. Their tools work with over 50 integrations, including Intercom, MailChimp, and Slack. Woopra lets you target and connect with individual users to take real-time action while the customer is still on your site.

2. GoSquared

GoSquared now dashboard
Image source: https://www.gosquared.com/analytics/

What it is: GoSquared offers real-time user analytics with automation and in-app messaging, and describes their platform as “web analytics without the training course.” User data is anonymized by default, and their software integrates with tools like Slack, Segment, and Zapier. Key data is represented in dashboards for real-time analytics, trends, and ecommerce analytics.

3. Matomo

Matomo media analytics
Image source: https://matomo.org/media-analytics/

What it is: Matomo calls their product an “all-in-one web analytics platform.” They collect 100% of user data, and offer 100% data ownership and user privacy protection. Matomo lets you evaluate the entire user journey by tracking key data and more, with tools like media analytics, CRO features, historical visitor profiles, and SEO metrics. Their software integrates with over 100 other tools, like WooComerce, WordPress, and Confluence.

4. Clicky

Clicky dashboard demo
A snapshot of Clicky’s demo page: https://clicky.com/stats/?site_id=32020

What it is: Clicky’s tools can be used to “monitor, analyze, and react” to traffic in real time. Their software tracks traditional key data and individual users’ actions, and includes features like heatmaps, an on-site analytics widget, and uptime monitoring. Clicky lets you customize the platform based on what you want to see and how you want to see it.

5. Mixpanel

Mixpanel flow
Image source: https://mixpanel.com/behavioral-analytics/

What it is: Mixpanel describes their software as “self-serve product analytics.” Their tools analyze and measure user behavior by tracking key data, and let you create user profiles to understand individual users’ pain points in their customer journey. Features like web and mobile messaging and behavior targeting let you narrow your focus, and Mixpanel’s Flow feature displays users’ paths from one event to the next.

Note: we use Mixpanel at Hotjar to understand how people use our product. For example, we use it to see how many users click on a certain feature, and to get a better understanding of the user journey from point A to point B.

🤓 Read more → in August ‘19 we polled 30+ expert growth strategists, marketers, SEO and ecommerce managers, designers, and content creators, and learned which 27 web analysis tools they can’t live without. If you’re looking for GA alternatives, you might find something useful in there as well.

5 behavior analytics tools that work as complements (not alternatives) to GA

Whichever traditional analytics tool you end up using, you may still find yourself with an incomplete understanding of who your customers are and what they need. That’s where behavior analytics tools come in: behavior analytics tools fill in the gaps left by ‘traditional’ data you commonly get out of Google Analytics, and help you figure out how to give your website visitors their best possible user experience.

Each of the following tools has been designed with user behavior and conversion rate optimization (CRO) in mind, and has its own elements of traditional and behavior analytics:

1. Hotjar

Example of a Hotjar recording
Click on the gif to see the full recording!

Hotjar (that’s us! 👋) is an easy-to-use, industry-leading behavior analytics solution that helps your team understand what’s actually happening on your site. Hotjar helps you learn directly from your visitors: with tools like heatmaps and session replays, and voice of customer (VOC) widgets like Incoming Feedback and on-site surveys, you can identify what needs to change on your website so your visitors can have the best possible online experience.

From our Free Forever plan and onward, you can share insights with an unlimited number of team members, which makes Hotjar perfect for teams of all sizes, including UX and CRO professionals, marketers, and analysts.

Founded in 2014 as a fully-remote company, today we are trusted by over 560k users worldwide.

hotjar-team-2019
Some of the Hotjar team at our 2019 Winter Meetup

🤓 Learn more → find out how to use Hotjar and GA together so you can gain clearer insights on customer behavior and improve the user experience (UX) for your website visitors.

2. Mouseflow

mouseflow heatmap
SOURCE: HTTPS://MOUSEFLOW.COM/STATIC/MOUSEFLOW_BROCHURE_1.PDF

Mouseflow describes their product as a tool primarily for marketers. With features like heatmaps, session replays, funnel and form analytics, and feedback polls, Mouseflow can help you understand user behavior and learn how to improve the user experience.

Read our full comparison of Hotjar vs Mouseflow so you can decide which tool is best for your team.

3. Contentsquare

ContentSquare MultiDevice
SOURCE: CONTENTSQUARE PRESS KIT 2019

Contentsquare’s tools help enterprise companies improve the online experience for their users. Their digital experience analytics platform (DXP) tracks large volumes of user behavior and delivers data that can be used to increase conversion rates and revenue.

Read our full comparison of Hotjar vs Contentsquare so you can decide which tool is best for you.

4. Lucky Orange

lucky-orange-live-visitors-tab
SOURCE: HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=4Q_MN58O4OW&FEATURE=YOUTU.BE

Lucky Orange describes their software as “a realtime usability and support tool for website owners.” Their software captures 100% of user data with tools like live chat, co-browsing, and ‘Keep me tracking’ (a feature that automatically upgrades your plan based on number of pageviews), and is good for real-time intervention and individualized support.

Read our full comparison of Hotjar vs Lucky Orange so you can decide which tool is best for you.

5. FullStory

fullstory-dashboard
SOURCE: HTTPS://WWW.JOTFORM.COM/BLOG/INTERVIEW-WITH-FULLSTORY-FOUNDER/

FullStory designed their software as a digital intelligence platform to help companies fine-tune their customer experience. FullStory captures and indexes 100% of user behavior with tools like heatmaps, session recordings, bug tracking, and funnel and form analytics.

Read our full comparison of Hotjar vs FullStory so you can decide which tool is best for you.

2 additional data tools you might find useful

In addition to the insights you can get from the tools we’ve already mentioned, here are a couple of tools designed to help you manage, store, and analyze large amounts of business and customer data:

1. Stitch

Stitch data dashboard
Image source: https://www.stitchdata.com/blog/choosing-a-business-intelligence-tool/

Stitch is a cloud-based extract, transform, and load (ETL) solution for data teams. Stitch collects your business data and moves the information to multiple destinations where it can then be analyzed and organized by business intelligence (BI) tools like Tableau, Python, and the Google Data Studio.

2. Segment

Segment-in-action.png
Image source: https://youtu.be/WqNn3v3Kke4

Segment is a customer data platform (CDP) that collects raw user data and creates customer profiles from multiple touchpoints. Segment captures, organizes, and moves your customer information to data warehouses without extra configuration or additional integrations.

FAQs

Quantitative and qualitative data can give you insight into what your website visitors are doing, and why they’re doing it.

A simple way to think about web analysis is to think about the opposition between traditional (quantitative) analytics and behavior (qualitative) analytics:

  • Traditional analytics gives you insight into what is happening on your site
  • Behavior analytics gives you insight into why it’s happening

and consider how you could potentially use data from both types of tools to create the best possible experience for your users.

Quantitative data is a collection of numerical information that answers questions like how many? or how often? Quantitative website data can be measured—it can tell you what is happening on your website, but it cannot tell you why.

When you think about quantitative data and traditional web analytics, you might automatically think of Google Analytics (you obviously wouldn’t be the only one). GA and other quantitative web analysis tools (like the five we mentioned earlier) can tell you how many visitors reached a landing page, how many times they clicked through a funnel, and where they dropped off or exited your site.

Qualitative data (also known as categorical data) is a collection of non-numerical information that can be observed, recorded, and categorized. Qualitative website data can’t be measured, but it can help you understand who your visitors are, and why they take a specific action or follow a common online customer journey on your site.

When you think about qualitative data and web analytics, you might think about researching, surveying, and then arranging insights about your website visitors into categories to learn how to improve their customer journey. For example, the qualitative insights you get as a result of asking open-ended questions could tell you exactly who your audience is, why most customers prefer one product over another, or why visitors are abandoning their shopping carts.

In order to create an online experience your users will love—an experience that keeps them returning to your site again and again—you need to understand your users.

To understand your users, you need to know what they’re doing on your website. And even more than that, you need to understand why they do what they do on your site, and what it is that keeps them around (or makes them decide to check out a competitor’s site).

Website analytics tools collect, report, and analyze your website users’ information and online behavior based on quantitative data and qualitative insights.

Whether they tell you what’s happening or show you why something happens on your site, the ultimate purpose of web analysis tools is to help you grow revenue. But to get the full picture of website analysis—so you can take the right actions on your site at the right time for your users—you’ll need to consider the insights from both quantitative and qualitative tools.

Based on what you learn from complementary web analytics tools, you can make informed decisions about what your customers are doing on your website, what they’re looking for, why they’re looking for it, and how to help them find it.

There is a variety of data you can track to measure your site’s performance, depending on which website analysis tool you use. Start by tracking key data: traffic sources, bounce rates, pageviews, exit pages, and session duration. Once you have a general idea of what your users are doing on your site, you can begin to search for answers to the questions of why.

Quantitative web analytics tools can answer questions like how many?, how often?, or how much? For example, you can find out how many visitors reached a landing page, how often they clicked through a funnel, and how much time was spent on your site before they dropped off or exited.

Qualitative web analytics tools can answer questions like who?, how?, and why?, and can give you insight into your users’ behavior after they’ve landed on your site. For example, you can learn who your visitors actually are, how they navigate from one touchpoint to the next, and why they take action—or don’t—across your site.

You’ll never reach the point where you’re done learning about your customers, but you can start putting what you’ve learned to use right away. Some of the best ways to use what you learn from web analytics are to:

Start learning from your users today

Uncover the insights that matter so you can make the right changes for your users.

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Hotjar team

100+ Hotjarians, 25+ countries, 1 goal: to give you and your team the insights you need to create experiences your users love.