Are you looking for a better way to track performance without Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics tool. But often, it can be overkill for most WordPress websites, and it can be challenging to set up and find the data that matters to your site.
Luckily, there are ways to track your site performance and obtain valuable analytics data without setting up Google Analytics.
In this article, you’ll learn an easy way to track WordPress site performance without using Google Analytics.
Why Use a Google Analytics Alternative?
Google Analytics is the tool behind nearly 50% of websites today. When most people think of website analytics, Google Analytics is one of the only tools that comes to mind.
It’s a popular tool that provides valuable traffic and performance data. However, even though many websites use it, there are better tools for your website.
Here are some of the most significant drawbacks of using Google Analytics:
It’s Complex and Difficult to Use
If you’ve spent time using Google Analytics, you’ve probably had to go through multiple tutorials to find out how to access basic analytics data about your site. Not only that, but every year, the tool gets more complex.
Being able to see basic information about your site and set up tracking for the metrics that are most valuable to you takes some serious work. Beginners who are looking for an easy-to-use tool that
Has Issues With Data Privacy
One of the most significant drawbacks is the privacy concerns surrounding Google Analytics. Not only does it collect detailed user information, but all users must offer consent due to recent regulations. Often, this is in the form of a slide-in, where users must accept or reject.
Can Negatively Impact Loading Speeds
Adding Google Analytics to WordPress requires adding a code snippet to your website’s header. This tracking code is used to collect and monitor traffic data. The issue is that this code can negatively impact your website’s speed and performance.
Important WordPress Site Performance Metrics to Consider
You don’t need Google Analytics, but you do need some form of analytics.
When evaluating other WordPress analytics tools, make sure you get access to the following data:
- Your total volume of traffic
- On-site metrics like bounce rate and time spent on-site
- Which sites/platforms your visitors came from
- How many pages they viewed
- The country your visitors are from
- The devices visitors use to access your site
- The pages and posts that get the most traffic
With data like this, you will know how well your site is performing, and it’ll be much more difficult to make strategic decisions that grow your website.
Luckily, you don’t need Google Analytics to track all of this essential data about your site. There are all kinds of easy-to-use Google Analytics alternatives that mitigate all the drawbacks I highlighted above.
How to Track Site Performance Without Google Analytics
Virtually every site used to use Google Analytics, but with recent privacy concerns and the growing complexity of the tool, many new alternatives are available, especially within the WordPress ecosystem.
One of the most beginner-friendly alternatives is Independent Analytics.
This plugin runs entirely on your site, so installing third-party tracking scripts is unnecessary.
This also can make your analytics data more accurate since users don’t have to accept cookies for data to be reported.
1. Install the Independent Analytics Plugin
The first thing you need to do is install the plugin. There’s a free version available that provides relevant website analytics data that can be enough for most users.
2. View Your Website Analytics and Performance Data
Once you’ve installed the plugin, all you need to do is click the Analytics tab in your WordPress dashboard. This provides an immediate overview of your site’s most important performance data.
You’ll be able to see metrics like:
- Number of website visitors, views, and sessions
- Average session duration
- Average number of views per session
- Bounce rate
You’ll also see a graph that tracks your traffic over the last 30 days. You can sort by hourly, daily, monthly, or weekly views.
This lets you see how your traffic trends over time and if you’re making the right decisions about growing your website traffic.
Below that, is a breakdown of your most popular posts and pages. You’ll see the number of visitors, views, and how long visitors spend on each post.
This data can be invaluable since it shows you the types of content your audience responds to most and brings your site the most traffic.
All the data on this screen can be sorted, filtered, and customized according to your needs. For example, you can sort by author, find 404 pages, see custom post types, and more.
In the left-hand column under the Pages menu, you can sort your traffic and performance data by blog posts, landing pages, fastest-growing pages, and your site’s data today.
Click on the corresponding menu option, and your site data will change on the main screen. This lets you quickly see your top-performing pages and posts without digging through a complex settings page.
Next, you can see which sites and platforms are sending your WordPress website the most traffic by clicking the Referrers menu option. This shows you a breakdown of which search engines, sites, and social media networks are sending you traffic and how that traffic performs.
This data helps you see the most valuable channels and where you should focus your time and energy.
You can dive deeper into your search engine traffic and social media traffic by clicking the left-hand menu options.
Clicking the Geographic menu option gives you a breakdown of which countries your visitors are located. You’ll see a map view and a chart view that shows how traffic performs from each country.
You can narrow these regions further by clicking the Cities or European Countries menu options. This data will help you better understand where your audience is coming from and the languages they speak.
Device and OS Data
Understanding the devices and operating systems people use to visit your site can help you create a better user experience. Improving your user experience leads visitors to spend more time on your site, improving important on-page metrics.
Great on-page metrics not only lead to more return visitors and a stronger brand, but these signals suggest to Google that your site is quality, which can lead to improved rankings and more traffic.
Click the Devices tab to view your device breakdown. You’ll see which devices send you the most traffic across desktop, mobile, and tablet, along with how this traffic performs.
To get even more granular, click on the Browser or OS menu options to get a detailed look at the individual web browsers and operating systems your users prefer.
Premium Analytics and Performance Data
As you can see, Independent Analytics provides you with a ton of valuable analytics and traffic performance data that rivals Google Analytics. Best of all, it does this without slowing down your site or doing any site configuration. It just works!
The plugin’s premium version provides even more data that some site owners will need to improve their sites even further.
With the premium version, you can create and track campaign URLs, view WooCommerce analytics, see your real-time stats, and generate automated monthly email reports.
Access to campaign reporting data helps you see how well your campaigns are performing, so you can more effectively measure your ROI on marketing campaigns.
Learning how to track WordPress site performance without Google Analytics is a great way to get helpful analytics data without the drawbacks of slow site speed and other privacy concerns.
The simplest way to do this is through the Independent Analytics plugin. Not only does it provide you with in-depth site performance and analytics data, but there’s no technical setup required. Install the plugin, and you’re ready to go.
Of course, you’re always welcome to experiment and test other WordPress analytics plugins to see which one works best for your website goals.