5 Reasons We Need To Move Away From Google Analytics!

January 13, 2024

Google Analytics dominates the web analytics landscape, used by 85% of websites. Common practice has long dictated that setting up Google Analytics is a crucial step immediately after securing a domain and hosting. This habitual integration has persisted for years, almost without question. In this blog, we take a closer look at why it's time to challenge this routine and consider moving beyond Google Analytics.

1. Delayed Stats

In Google Analytics, it may typically take between 24 to 48 hours for visitor data to be reflected in sections beyond the active users' view.

This delay is a standard part of data processing and should be considered when evaluating analytics reports. It's crucial to understand that real-time reporting in Google Analytics provides a snapshot of current active users, but other data aggregations, like visitor demographics or behavior patterns, require more time for accurate compilation and display. This is due to the extensive processing and validation steps Google Analytics undertakes to ensure data accuracy and reliability.

2. Shady Data Privacy

Google Analytics has raised privacy concerns, particularly in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. Some EU countries have declared the use of Google Analytics illegal, even with a consent notice, due to concerns about non-compliance with GDPR. This poses a significant issue for website owners, as non-alignment with GDPR standards could lead to substantial fines. These rulings highlight the increasing scrutiny over how personal data is collected and processed, emphasizing the need for website operators to be vigilant about adhering to privacy regulations.

3. Complex Ul

Google Analytics, with its myriad of detailed reports and extensive setup process, can be daunting and excessive for many individual users and small to medium-sized businesses.

The need for substantial training and time investment to effectively navigate its features, despite being a free tool, is evident in the numerous courses and certifications dedicated to mastering it. This level of complexity, while indicative of its comprehensive capabilities, suggests that Google Analytics may be more intricate than necessary for simpler analytics needs.

4. Low Data Retention

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has introduced changes to data retention, with user data now being stored for a duration of 2 to 14 months. This is a departure from the previous Universal Analytics version, where data was retained for up to 26 months. Significantly, the phasing out of Universal Analytics also means there's no option to save or import historical data into GA4. These modifications highlight the need for users to quickly adjust to the new system and plan their data analysis and storage strategies accordingly, keeping in mind the shorter data retention period offered by GA4.

5. Lack of Modern Features

The lack of advanced features like website heatmaps and session replay in Google Analytics is a significant limitation.

  • Click Heatmaps visualize the most clicked areas on a webpage, offering insights into user engagement and aiding in optimizing content placement.
  • Scroll Heatmaps display how far users scroll down a page, crucial for determining if key content is visible or overlooked.
  • Time-Spent Heatmaps show where users linger the longest, indicating what content captures their interest.

Additionally, Session Replay is a missing feature in Google Analytics. It allows you to view recordings of user sessions, essentially replaying their interactions exactly as they occurred. This tool is invaluable for understanding user behavior, troubleshooting issues, and enhancing user experience. It provides a real-time view of how users navigate, where they encounter difficulties, and what actions they take on the website.

Introducing SiteBehaviour: Google Analytics Alternative

Recognizing the pain points in current web analytics tools, we developed SiteBehaviour, a software that offers a comprehensive solution to the limitations of Google Analytics. SiteBehaviour is crafted to address a variety of needs:

  • Advanced Heatmaps and Session Replay: Unlike Google Analytics, SiteBehaviour includes click, scroll, and time-spent heatmaps, plus session replay for in-depth user behavior analysis.
  • Data Retention and Real-Time Metrics: We offer an extended 7-year data retention and immediate dashboard updates for live user activity.
  • Legal Compliance and Privacy: Our commitment to GDPR and CCPA compliance ensures ethical data use without third-party selling or unauthorized commercial exploitation.
  • Simplified Yet Comprehensive: Designed for ease of use, SiteBehaviour alleviates the complexity typically associated with powerful analytics tools.

SiteBehaviour is not just an alternative to Google Analytics; it's a response to its shortcomings, offering advanced features and a user-centric design to enhance your web analytics experience.

Jashan Singh
Software Developer