Google Analytics Vs Piwik (now Matomo) | Using Data to Grow Reach

Google Analytics vs Piwik is an important comparison to make when it comes to choosing the right analytics tool for your business.

Google Analytics is recognized as the leading analytics tool in the industry. While it may have some competition, it is still very much at the top of the industry.

On the other hand, Piwik is also a popular tool for web analytics, although slightly less famous. Let’s take a closer look at these two analytics tools to see which tool is most suited for you.

An Introduction to Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service that reports web traffic to users. It is the most popular analytics program online. There are two versions of the service: free and paid. The free service is usually used by small to medium businesses that don’t require too many features. The Google Analytics 360 paid version is really expensive and usually used by big companies who have to analyze a lot of data.

An Introduction to Piwik

Piwik has recently upgraded its service and changed its name to Matomo. This web analytics system is based on an open-source design and has been developed by experts from around the world. The service has a unique PHP/MySQL web server. It tracks the traffic received by any websites of your choosing. It then displays the data it has gathered in the form of reports for easy analysis and smarter decision-making.

Piwik is available in 54 languages, which ensures that people from all over the world can use it easily. It is upgraded often, which means that you will always have active support and new features to use.

Matomo Analytics

Why Do You Need to Compare Google Analytics and Piwik?

There are many reasons why companies want an alternative to the popular Google Analytics system. Here are some of the most common reasons why this is the case:

  1. Google Analytics doesn’t have all the features that a proper marketer may need. Every organization has different needs, and one system may not cater to them.
  2. Businesses are forced to share their data with Google. No business wants to share all of its information with another company, even if it is one as reputable as Google. From a security point of view, this can mean trouble.
  3. Some businesses or website owners may want another analytical tool, as well as Google Analytics. This can ensure that they are able to check for discrepancies or get different types of data easily.

Google Analytics VS Piwik

Google Analytics VS Piwik is an important analysis since both have different signature features that businesses should account for. Depending on your marketing goals, budget, and the size of your business, you may have different reasons for choosing a particular analytics tool. This is why you should be careful about the tool you pick so that you can ensure that you have features you need most.

1. Live Visitors

Google Analytics has real-time features that give up-to-date data. They have a feature that shows the total live visitors that are currently on a page. This ensures that marketers can launch campaigns or advertisements when they see the highest number of visitors. This also ensures that any campaign can make a positive impact on the visitors to the website, which will result in the most benefits for the company.

The Piwik analytics tool doesn’t have this feature. This means it can be harder for marketers to gauge the response they will get at any given time.

2. Per Minute Page Views

Google Analytics makes it possible for website owners and marketers to view the per-minute page views. This is displayed in the form of an easy-to-read chart. Thus, it is easier for website owners to estimate how many pages a single visitor is looking at in a minute. If you want to determine how many different pages a particular visitor is looking at, then go for Google Analytics. This feature is handy in situations where a website owner may want to know if a user is going through a number of products before buying one.

On the other hand, Piwik has a scrolling action feature, which shows how long a visitor scrolls through a page. This can give website owners an idea of whether their content is engaging enough to keep visitors on the page. This is great for websites that are dependent on their content, such as affiliate websites or bloggers.

Both of these features are great options, depending on your needs.

3. Data Display

Data Display

Google Analytics has many different data points that you can use to expand your marketing campaigns. This includes top sources, top pages, top locations, current live visitors, page views, and more. The dashboard is a one-stop-shop for all your data needs. This makes it easier for website owners to make smarter decisions and get more out of the data.

Piwik’s real-time function, on the other hand, is a little lacking. The representation of data is not as clear as Google Analytics, but the analytics tool does have good features. It tracks performance by the hour, the most revenue from certain locations, mobile device users, and performance over time. These data points are still helpful for many users and have resulted in the growth of many websites.

4. Different Screens

Google Analytics has an easy-to-use display feature. Using Google Analytics, you’re easily able to view and use the data from any number of screens. The format remains consistent throughout. This is great for website owners and marketers who want to analyze their data on-the-go or pull it out at meetings.

Piwik doesn’t have consistency when it comes to multiple screens. This is because the reporting feature of the data isn’t displayed on screens at all. This can hinder marketers since they may find it harder to access their data on the fly.

5. Importing and Exporting Data

For meetings or presentations, marketers and website owners often have to import or export data. Sometimes, there are multiple users on the same account as well. You may need options to import data from another user. Google Analytics allows users to import and export data as they please. This makes it easier for these users to share and use data.

Piwik doesn’t have any import and export options. As such, it can be hard to export data from other accounts. There is a workaround for this; users have to install a plugin to be able to import and export data. The whole point of not allowing users to share data is to keep your data secure in your account. Even though it might be frustrating for businesses that need to present their data and share it with stakeholders, this can be great for companies that want to keep their data safe.

6. Tracking Events

Google Analytics integrates seamlessly with Google Tag Manager to ensure that marketers can add codes to their content and track events easily. Through this feature, you can set up and customize your reports as you want them to be.

There is a slight learning curve to this feature, though. This is why only experienced marketers can properly utilize the tracking events feature for their eCommerce site. You will also be able to integrate it with Google AdWords conversion codes. This can help with remarketing tags.

Piwik allows website owners to track certain goals for their eCommerce websites. Through this feature, you can measure the ROI on your marketing campaigns. You will also be able to track how changes affect the goals you have in place. All of this is really helpful when it comes to tracking and reporting the success of your marketing campaigns. Piwik has also recently launched its own Tag Manager that behaves similarly to Google Analytics’ version.

7. Browser Optimization

Google Chrome Browser

The Google Analytics system is better optimized for the chrome family of browsers. The service is designed to suit the needs of the browser so that you can fully utilize the analytics system. This ensures that there is no lag or other issues when you are using the service. It is a bonus feature that only Google Analytics can offer since Google also owns and operated the Chrome browser.

Piwik is not optimized for any particular browser.

8. Traffic Sources

A lot of users have started utilizing services like AdBlock to stop tracking and advertisements. This can make it harder for an analytical system to track a user as they move through the internet.

This is why Google Analytics tends to underreport browser data from desktops. Mobile browsers rarely have AdBlock extensions in place. However, the Opera browser has started blocking Google Analytics systems. This means that the service can’t track user data when they use this browser. Piwik is the better option if you want to analyze Opera data.

9.  Security and Privacy

Data Security

As we have mentioned earlier in this article, Google Analytics is hosted remotely. This can create data privacy concerns. Businesses have to share their data with Google Analytics. This data is then used for various purposes and marketing decisions by Google.

In the privacy and security battle of Google Analytics VS Piwik, the latter is definitely the winner. They have made it their mission to ensure that the data of the user and visitor is protected. Piwik has implemented many advanced features that protect user data. As such, you can rest assured that no advertising agency is able to use your data for profit.

At the end of the day, the winner of the Google Analytics VS Piwik battle depends on your personal needs. Google Analytics is an affordable and easy solution for many marketers. The dashboard is easy to use, and the reporting features are detailed enough to make a coherent marketing strategy.

On the other hand, Piwik also has many different tools that make it a great alternative to Google Analytics. Features like A/B Testing, a Tag Manager, funnels, and even a mobile app can be quite beneficial for businesses that want a proper analytics tool but don’t want to compromise on their data security.