When you think about tracking data of your website for analysis and taking decisions based on that, the first thing that clicks in your mind is Google Analytics(GA). You are absolutely correct because for making decisions, GA is the one which I prefer as it directly comes from Google and the data is also well segmented.
But there is another tool on the web with which you can track more detailed information about your visitors. That is StatCounter.
By now you must have guessed that we are going to compare GA and StatCounter.
But the main difference in comparing is we are going to focus on features that StatCounter has and GA doesn’t.
The reason behind this is to inform people that StatCounter can be an alternative if you are just starting out because in GA you will not be able to completely analyze data when you have fewer people visiting your website.
Starting with some of the major differences here we are:
- Single Unique Visitor – If you want to keep an eye on each person that visits your website you can do it with StatCounter. You can track every detail of that single visitor from IP to exit links.
You can track the whole path through which the visitor has gone through your website and from which source it came from.
In GA you cannot track up to this level of granularity. Of course you can track as a total of all visitors and their paths on your website.
So, if you have fewer visitors per day you can easily track every visitor and analyze them to increase your web traffic and conversions.
- Raw Logs – For those who don’t know what raw logs are, here is the definition. Raw logs are plain text files containing information about visitors and activity on your site. They are useful for generating the web statistics for your site.
Raw logs make it easy for analysis of data after downloading them.
In GA you cannot download raw logs for every visitor or for total traffic while in StatCounter you can easily download logs with a click.
But there is a limitation of log space in StatCounter and you can only download logs of some past weeks and not more than that. For downloading whole past data you need more log space which you have to purchase it from StatCounter.
As opposite in GA you can see all past data online if you want to.
- Simplicity – If we talk about simplicity of user interface than StatCounter is ahead of GA. At first GA seems to be somewhat difficult to understand and there is a valid reason for that.
GA has a lot many more advanced functions that StatCounter doesn’t have and so that’s the reason it looks a bit more complex than StatCounter.
But if you use it for some period of time you start understanding it and then it wouldn’t be difficult for you to understand GA.
On the other side if you are just starting out a new website for the first time you may choose the option of using StatCounter first and gradually head over to GA.
- Less and more traffic – As mentioned in the #1 point you can track every single unique visitor with StatCounter. But do you really have time to concentrate on every single visitor?
That’s why people use GA.
So the point of understanding here is that if you have on an average less than 20 unique visitors a day you can choose StatCounter and if more than that, GA would be better one as per my opinion as it will save your time as well as energy.
So, my final verdict about both the two web based software is that you can use both of them from time to time as per your needs.
The basic meaning behind this comparison is when you are starting your website and there is not enough traffic coming to your website you will not get as many insights as StatCounter in GA. So better use StatCounter in the beginning.
When you reach at a stage where you get hundreds of page views daily, you can shift from StatCounter to GA.
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