Google Analytics is synonymous with the term “analytics,” especially when talking about websites.
Its use is so widespread that you may not have even considered using an alternative, but this isn’t an all-or-nothing choice. You don’t have to choose between Google Analytics or no website analytics at all.
But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Let’s start from the top and address this question head-on.
Do you have to use Google Analytics for your website?
No, you don’t have to use Google Analytics for your website.Not every website needs Google Analytics. There are great (free) alternatives available now.Click to Tweet
You can design, build, and run a website perfectly well without it. However…
There are many reasons why you should install some kind of analytics solution on your site.
Why you should use website analytics
Without any analytics tool, you won’t know how many people are visiting your site, and you’ll have an extremely hard time figuring out what content or products are successful.
Whether you’re publishing articles or products, it will be challenging to gauge your success without any data on your performance.
At the very least, you’ll want to know the following:
- How many views and visitors your site is getting
- Where your visitors are coming from
And to be fair, you will naturally have questions down the road that require more info, like, “How many people read that blog post I published in April?”
But just because you need an analytics tool doesn’t mean you should install Google Analytics.
Why you shouldn’t use Google Analytics
Google Analytics might be free, but it’s an enterprise analytics solution. For bloggers and small business owners, it is needlessly complicated.
Furthermore, it slows down your website and violates the GDPR because your data is stored on their servers, where they use it in ways that violate privacy laws.
The good news is that there are some excellent alternatives to Google Analytics that comply with GDPR and don’t slow down your site.
Recommended analytics tool for WordPress
If you use WordPress, check out our free plugin, Independent Analytics.
Independent Analytics adds a beautiful and intuitive analytics dashboard right inside the WP admin. You don’t need to signup for an account, and there is no configuration required.
Unlike other analytics solutions that show a list of your URLs, Independent Analytics can show you your page titles, authors, categories, and more in its reports.
This is possible because Independent Analytics is designed from the ground up for WordPress. Other tools, like Google Analytics, monitor your site from the outside, but Independent Analytics runs inside WordPress.
It also complies with GDPR laws because no personally identifiable information is stored, and your data is created and saved entirely on your server.
Lastly, it won’t slow down your site because it doesn’t load any external resources and makes a single REST-API call after the page is finished loading.
Basically, we think it’s pretty awesome, and we hope you do too!
Have any questions? Feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to chat.
Recommendations for other CMS’
If you’re not using WordPress or don’t want to install a new plugin for your blog, then the best solution is either Simple Analytics or Clicky.
Simple Analytics addresses the same concerns about privacy and the complexity of Google Analytics. As the name implies, their platform is way simpler and more accessible.
Clicky is free for your first 3,000 daily pageviews, which is pretty generous, and pricing is only $10/month to track 30,000 pageviews/day. While you may have to pay at some point, it is way cheaper than other analytics programs like Simple Analytics.
Record site analytics without Google Analytics
So there you have it!
You don’t need Google Analytics for your website. In the past, there were hardly any alternatives, but now there are loads of great alternatives to choose from.
If you use WordPress, we hope you’ll check out Independent Analytics:
Thanks so much for reading this post about whether or not you need to use Google Analytics for your website, and feel free to leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions.