Google Analytics may be the hegemonic site analytics tool of the moment (or decade), but it is by no means the only tool you can use to unpack and examine your website metrics. In fact, the use of multiple analytics programs to analyze your site traffic can provide you with a valuable venn diagram of site information and visitor activity.
My favorite alternative (or rather, supplement) to Google Analytics is Piwik. The interesting thing about branching out into analytics programs other than those offered by Google is that they can give you access to some of that pesky “not provided” information that we’ve all come to know and love. Piwik is my favorite alternative to Google Analytics because it is open-source (which means that it is free and the latest stable version can be installed on any server), with unlimited tracking capabilities and support for over 100 search engines.
Another great open-source web analytics software is Open Web Analytics. OWA was designed to be an alternative to Google Analytics, and offers a heatmaps feature – the demand of which is increasing in popularity in 2014. OWA is a server software – so it’s designed to be installed and run on your own hosting solution, however it does offer tracking with WordPress and MediaWiki.
Finally, a great wordpress-friendly web analytics program that excels in real time data is Clicky. Clicky is also easy to install as an available plugin through the WordPress CMS, or you can install it manually on any website. Clicky also offers responsive Heatmaps, and also allows you to track users at an IP level, and track usernames and emails, as well as providing real time reports.
Clicky offers free installation for up to three sites, or 100,000 daily page views – which can be great for an individual site owner looking to track a site or two – but the free installation unfortunately does not include access to the heatmaps feature.
Of course, there are many paid and enterprise-level website analytics programs that can give you a wealth of additional information, reports, and data-pools. However, these three analytics programs, used simultaneously, or individually in conjunction with Google Analytics – can help you chart your visitor interaction across a variety of metrics.