The forced migration to Google Analytics 4 hasn’t been an easy ride for marketers.
Some advertisers are finding it so difficult to navigate that they have abandoned the tool and jumped ships to a rival platform – a move that would have seemed unthinkable not too long ago.
But what GA4 alternatives are marketers genuinely switching over to?
Below, we take a look at the up-and-coming analytics platforms that are proving increasingly popular among former Google Analytics devotees.
Tech engineer Mark Phillips explained why he is now using Plausible instead of GA4:
- “I had ended my subscription to Plausible a couple of months ago for no reason other than I didn’t need stats any more.
- “Then I started doing some work for a client this week, and was so pained by how awful GA4 is, I resubscribed.
- “The UX of Plausible is such a delight!”
Cost: Plans start at $9
Plausible is a popular GA4 alternative because it is easy to use, complies with he EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is relatively low cost. It also tracks valued basic data such as pageviews, session duration and referrer information. The disadvantage is that its functionality is quite basic.
One marketer, who wished to remain anonymous, told Search Engine Land:
- “GA4 is an unfinished product that was rushed to market.”
- “We will likely pivot to Semrush, and use first-party data collected from customers instead of bothering with GA4.”
Cost: Prices start from $195.95 a month.
Semrush has always been a popular tool amongst marketers, but now, some are making it their go-to data analytics tool instead of Google Analytics. In addition to monitoring the performance of keyword rankings, content gaps and backlink profiles, this platform can be used to analyze your competitor’s traffic trends, keywords and more.
Lee Foot, eCommerce SEO, explained why he is now using Matomo instead of GA4:
- “We’ve subscribed to Matomo for day to day quick checks.
- “We’re keeping GA4 for Google Ads and API stuff but that’s about it.
- “Seems really good so far, familiar interface and have just imported all our legacy data in.”
Cost: Free if hosted on your servers.
Matomo provides real-time data, a customizable dashboard and detailed reports, making it a very good option for marketers who were fans of Universal Analytics. On this platform, users are given complete control over their data. It also has an array of privacy features for extra security.
Ross Stevens, independent SEO consultant, explained why he thinks Fathom is an excellent alternative to GA4:
- “I get the feeling that SEOs are migrating to GA4 just because it’s convenient and has Google’s name behind it. Not because it’s actually good!
- “They’re not making the effort to spend the time to consider the alternatives and convince clients there are better options out there.
- “Personally, I’m setting up GA4 as a backup, and using Fathom as the main analytics/reporting tool.
- “If you’re going to use GA4 as your main tool, you’re going to need to setup a few screens in Looker Studio, but even then, there’s certain metrics still missing at the moment.”
Cost: Plans start at $14.
Fathom is proving to be a popular analytics tool because it’s easy-to-use and is privacy-focused. Unfortunately, this program doesn’t offer the more complex data that GA4 does, but the platform is a good option for marketers wanting a lightweight website analytics tool.
Web developer Ian Nuttall explained why he prefers Clicky to GA4:
- “I’ve switched to Clicky and it works just fine for me. GA4 is a joke.
- “The way Google closes sh*t down on a whim, I’d rather move away from relying on them. Clicky is great and I can see all of my sites at a glance.
- “I have two GSC accounts and I switched to Clicky now because GA4 sucks.
- “But I don’t worry about Google ‘finding all my sites’ – they probably know.”
Cost: Clicky has a free option and four paid options.
We’ve seen many marketers showering Clicky with praise as a fantastic alternative to GA4. People that have switched over so far seem to huge fans of how easy the real-time platform is to use, as well as features such as heat mapping, backlink analysis and mobile compatibility.
6. Simple Analytics
Alex Bass, data scientist at Dynata, explained why he switched from GA4 to Simple Analytics:
- “Google Analytics has changed and become more complicated to the dismay of many people (now called Google Analytics 4).
- “Recently, there have been government bans over privacy concerns from Google Analytics. I am not extremely knowledgeable about all things data privacy, but really just wanted another analytics platform that was simple and delivered what I needed to track traffic ethically on this website you are on now.
- “Simple Analytics was easy to set up and delivers exactly what I wanted to see in a clean dashboard that worked out of the box.
- There are options to customize specific goals or events of special interest. Also, they have the option of sending a weekly email summary of visiting stats.”
Cost: Prices start from $11 a month.
Simple Analytics describes itself as a “privacy first Google Analytics alternative,” making it a popular choice for marketers within the EU. More than 600 businesses and organizations, including Michelin, Hyundai and the British government, are all customers. It’s a popular choice for marketers who want access to audience data but also want to protect the privacy of their website users.
Why we care. If you’re struggling to get to grips with GA4, then you may be thinking of alternative platforms to use instead. There are many options available – but how do you know which one to pick? By reading the opinions of your peers who have already tried and tested GA4 alternatives of course.