Say Goodbye To Google Analytics – Hello To Piwik!

You don’t need to be paranoid to realize that Google is everywhere – and perhaps learning just too much about what everyone does online. But their products are so tempting! How anyone could do without their Analytics – if you own a website – is beyond me. Particularly when you’re in the business of list building.

You need to know – on a daily basis – what your traffic numbers are. You need to know where that traffic is coming from. You need to know whether or not that traffic is converting – opting in to your list. These are critical to your list building efforts – if you don’t know what’s broke, you can’t fix it!

I’ve been using an open source – and totally free – tracking solution from Piwik.org now for several years… and they’ve only been getting better and better. I really don’t know of any feature that Google Analytics has that Piwik does not – and I can name one feature that Piwik wins hands down on – instantaneous data results. You won’t know your traffic numbers for today until tomorrow on Google – but I can tell you who just landed on my site 30 seconds ago, what country he’s from, what traffic source he came from – and the very data that Google will wait 24 hours before providing me, I KNOW RIGHT NOW.

I think if you take a look at the Piwik Demo Page – you’ll see that the information you have to click through to find on Google Analytics is right there in front of you. Piwik gives you quicker easier access to the important data you need.

Drawbacks – yes, Piwik has a few drawbacks… it can’t integrate with Adsense or Adwords. Of course, if you’re building a list, Adsense isn’t a consideration – and until you’re making a few thousand dollars a month from list building, you certainly won’t be using Adwords. (for that matter, you may never end up using Adwords – I know I don’t.) So the drawbacks are few, and the advantages, at least for me, are major.

I’ve noticed in the last few years that Piwik has been updated a number of times each year – and the updates are exactly like WordPress – you’ll see a notice at the top left of your screen telling you that there’s an update available – and it’s always been just a couple clicks of the mouse… and about 30 seconds… to update. Piwik has always configured their updates to smoothly make any MySql database changes that are needed – and I’ve never had an update cause even the slightest hiccup in the years I’ve been running Piwik.

Now, keep in mind that if you want, you can continue with Google Analytics and have Piwik as well – this will allow you to compare the data – and not lose anything if you decide Piwik isn’t for you. But I’d be surprised if you did that!

My own personal Piwik installation is on it’s own domain name – just a name that I wasn’t using for anything else – but Piwik also fits quite smoothly into a subdomain. It has plugins for all the major CMS’s – though if you’re like me, WordPress is the only one I need. But if you’re a Drupal fan, or Joomla – you’re not left out. Being open source, Piwik supports almost any sort of Website you can throw at it – and has a plugin all ready to go…

It will track conversions, so you can keep an eye on opt-in data for your list building …

Ab0ut the only drawback that I can think of, is that if you can’t install WordPress without using Fantastico, you might have a slight problem with Piwik. It does require some basic skills. Fortunately there’s Youtube videos showing you how to install – and the fallback procedure that I keep mentioning – simply pay someone to do it for you.

So if you’re getting paranoid about the all-knowing, all-seeing Google – perhaps Piwik will be the answer… what do you think?

About Ben Holmes

Online since the late '90's, I built my first website in 2001 - coding it on notepad. Times have changed, haven't they? Active on the Warrior's Forum and Facebook - I spend most of my time teaching people how to build their first list - and market to their subscribers. Do you have a list yet?

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