Comparing analytics tools isn’t easy.
Should you install Clicky or Google Analytics? Or perhaps, something else?
These tools include dozens of features and vary in ways that aren’t immediately obvious.
In this comparison of Clicky VS Google Analytics VS Independent Analytics, we’ve extracted the most important differences, so you can make the right choice for your site (without spending the rest of the week on this).
With that said, here’s how they stack.
Clicky VS Google Analytics
Both Clicky and Google Analytics have been around for a long time. In fact, Clicky has been around for over 15 years as a consistent alternative to Google Analytics.
While Clicky’s interface hasn’t changed much over the years, it’s still a dependable and widely used platform. It also gives Google Analytics a run for its money when it comes to functionality.
Let’s take a look at why you might want to choose Clicky instead of Google Analytics.
Why use Clicky?
Clicky has a lot of advantages over Google Analytics 4, but we’ve picked the most important considerations to cover here.
In the past, Clicky used first-party cookies the same way Google did, but now cookies are disabled by default. In addition, no personal information is stored in the database.
Similarly, Google Analytics 4 uses first-party cookies by default but has the option to disable them. Both tools are less accurate without using cookies.
On the other hand, GA has been outlawed in numerous EU nations because other Google products utilize this data. With Clicky, you can be certain that your data isn’t being mishandled and used in other ways.
In other words, you cannot achieve GDPR compliance with Google Analytics, but you can with Clicky.
When it comes to functionality, Clicky has a few unique advantages over GA.
For instance, Clicky includes a heatmap feature that shows where visitors are looking.
It also has built-in video analytics that reports how many times embedded videos on your site have been played.
While Google Analytics has more powerful segmentation and metrics than Clicky, most small businesses aren’t going to need these features. The vast majority of users only need the basic metrics and dimensions, like Users and Landing Pages.
In contrast, Clicky’s unique features, like video analytics and heatmaps, are easy to use and immediately valuable for everyone.
Ease of use
Google Analytics has always been tough to use, and the new version has made things even harder. There are fewer pre-made reports, and the process of creating custom reports has become much more complex.
Clicky doesn’t have the most beautiful interface, but it’s functional and simple to use.
You can clearly see your site’s performance on the summary page, and it’s easy to dig into any metric for more info. All you have to do is click on any metric you want to explore more to reach a detailed report.
Why you shouldn’t use Clicky
Now that you’ve seen how Clicky exceeds Google Analytics let’s cover some of the reasons why you might want to look for a Clicky alternative.
A major reason to choose Google Analytics is the huge number of integrations. Virtually everything integrates with it, from email marketing services to eCommerce software.
Clicky, on the other hand, has very few integrations despite the availability of an API.
If you like Zapier, Google Analytics has over 5,000 integrations, whereas Clicky has none.
As I mentioned already, Clicky’s interface has barely changed over the years and now looks quite dated. It could be easier to navigate and easier to learn, but it works perfectly fine once you get used to it.
I have to give Google Analytics the “W” for this one, as the GA 4 interface is modern, clean, and robust.
Another area where Google Analytics surpasses Clicky is its ability to spin off custom reports and save them for later. This is a major change with GA 4, which has fewer pre-made reports than previous versions.
With Clicky, there aren’t nearly as many metrics, dimensions, and other controls for saving such reports.
You’ve seen a good comparison of the analytics tools, but I have one more option to introduce you to before you make your choice.
Clicky VS Independent Analytics
If you need to achieve GDPR compliance or you have simple needs for your analytics, Cicky is most likely a better choice than Google Analytics.
But before you make the call, you should also take a look at Independent Analytics.
Independent Analytics is another alternative to Google Analytics and is suitable for the same audience as Clicky, except for one major difference…
The biggest difference between Independent Analytics and Clicky is that IA is a WordPress plugin. In other words, if you don’t use WordPress, then it’s not even available for your site, and you should choose Clicky.
But if you use WordPress, Independent Analytics is likely a better choice.
Independent Analytics takes seconds to install as a plugin, doesn’t require you to add a tracking code yourself, and you don’t need to create an account anywhere.
Since it runs inside WordPress, it has access to your site’s data, too, allowing it to display properties like the page type and even post authors and categories.
This kind of integration isn’t possible without custom development in other analytics solutions.
Since Independent Analytics runs on your site, it doesn’t load any external files. In fact, it doesn’t load any files at all.
Independent Analytics has an inline tracking script that makes a single request to your own site’s REST API to record the visit. This has virtually zero impact on your site’s performance, making it the fastest solution available.
Even better privacy
As a solution that runs entirely on your site, Independent Analytics creates and stores your data on your server. If you live in the EU, you don’t have to worry about your data being stored anywhere else – it will be stored wherever your hosting resides.
You also get excellent data portability because the analytics are stored in the WP database. This means the data can be saved and restored by any backup plugin.
There’s also a PRO version that includes real-time analytics, campaign tracking, and WooCommerce analytics.
Which analytics tool is best?
Now that you’ve seen the best and worst of these tools, here’s a final recommendation.
If you need to use segmentation and advanced metrics and dimensions for custom reports, Google Analytics will work better for you than any other tool.
If you need your site to be GDPR compliant and you have simpler needs for your analytics, then it depends on whether you use WordPress or not.
If you don’t use WordPress, go with Clicky for your site.
If you do use WordPress, we think Independent Analytics should be your top choice.
I hope this overview of Clicky VS Google Analytics VS Independent Analytics helps you make the right choice. If you have any questions, please post in the comments section below.