The Best Web Analytics Tools (2021)


What’s the best tool for web analytics? We compared Woopra, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Heap, and Amplitude. Here’s what we found.

The Best Web Analytics Tools

Woopra Google Analytics Mixpanel Heap Amplitude
Profiles
Cross-channel Tracking
Data Importing
Auto Track
Analytics
Unsampled data
Real-time
Automation
Custom code injection
Real-time Triggers
Free version available?
Premium package start price $349/mo $200,000/year $25/mo Non-Transparent Pricing Non-Transparent Pricing

Let’s dig into each of these tools in more depth.

Woopra

Woopra is a web analytics, marketing analytics, and product analytics platform aimed at product, marketing, sales, and support teams.

It offers a comprehensive suite of analytics and tracking tools focused on the user journey. This makes it easy for any team member to understand their company’s users at every stage in their user journey through customer journey analytics.

Woopra’s features fall into three broad categories.

1. Profile-Building Tools

Your marketing is touching your customers in a variety of places. A good analytics tool needs to track them across all of those touchpoints.

The challenge for modern analytics is that data isn’t centralized. If your potential customers interact with your company’s ads, website, social media platforms, and email campaigns, how can you track it all in one place?

Enter Woopra. It allows you to collect data from a wide variety of sources in one place for better analysis.

Woopra supports dozens of integrations including advertising platforms (like remarketing with Google Ads and Facebook), CRMs (like Salesforce), marketing automation platforms (like Marketo and Hubspot), eCommerce (Shopify), payment (Stripe), email marketing (MailChimp), databases (PostgreSQL), organic social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin), and other marketing tools.

Once a user creates an account on your website or product, a profile is then instantly created for them. Their unique identifiers (like name, email address, and IP address) are mapped to every interaction that they’ve had with any of your data sources.

Woopra can track users that interact with your brand on multiple devices, too. Unique user profiles enable you to track how your prospects and customers are interacting with your brand, at both the individual and group levels.

2. Analysis Tools

Analysis tools help you visualize and extract insights from all of the raw data. This includes a variety of reports including journey, trend, attribution, cohort, and retention reports. It also includes the ability to do custom behavioral segmentation and behavior analytics.

You can get as granular as you want, such as segmenting users based on any combination of actions and generating journey reports that demonstrate how that segment is interacting with your product from first touch all the way through (and beyond) conversion.

Woopra sees the full customer journey as the web experience plus the in-product experience. (For ecommerce companies, in-product is logged into their account or on the mobile app.)

Customer journey analytics = web analytics + product analytics

Here’s a common B2B SaaS company scenario.

Say your Facebook advertising is driving a ton of email list sign-ups. But once they get into Marketo, those conversions are no longer tied to the Facebook campaigns.

Once the email subscriber signs up for a product demo with a salesperson, they’re now in SalesForce. Where the sales and revenue data lives.

How do you know which Facebook advertising campaigns brought in the most customers? The most revenue? And the most profitable revenue?

Those are the insights that Woopra was invented to create.

None of Woopra’s data is sampled - you get full access to everything happening on your website and in your marketing and product ecosystem.

3. Personalization and Automation Tools

These tools can help you act on what your data is telling you.

Think of it like this: Woopra is the brain. Your marketing tools are the muscles.

For purposes of this analogy, the brain does two things. It senses data from the body, but it also tells your muscles how to react.

For example, you could create an automation that triggers a special email send. You could even run custom scripts on your site to personalize landing pages based on specific user segments, such as users from a particular country or on different subscription types.

Another example is you could identify VIP users at risk of churn via analysis and automate an email campaign to retain more of them.

Although all three of these aspects of Woopra are powerful, it is the integrations and automation features that set it apart from many other web analytics tools.

While every analytics tool gives you the ability to build reports and charts from your data, that data is often siloed and difficult to transfer from service to service.

If your product data is stored in Postgres, your paid ad audiences are on Facebook and Twitter. Your email marketing would also be in Marketo. Overall, you’re going to have a hard time getting all of that data into one place, let alone joining it to track and analyze real user behavior.

Woopra makes that easy, and the fact that you can then also take action with Woopra through its automation features makes it almost a one-stop shop for your marketing analytics needs.

To put it another way, Woopra is one of the few tools that allows you to track almost all of your KPIs in one place and influence them from that same platform.

While it is pricier than some of the alternatives, it offers a deeper feature set that overlaps with many other marketing tools.

Depending on your marketing strategy and tool needs, it could actually save you money because it may allow you to eliminate other paid tools that its integration and automation features render redundant.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is considered one of the best web analytics tools because it is powerful and it is free. However, its functionality is much more limited than some of the other web analytics tools in this roundup.

From a website owner’s perspective, Google Analytics is easy to set up, and it allows you to track all of the classic website analytics metrics: unique visitor count, traffic sources, bounce rate, conversion rate, and much more.

For example, if you want to know where the traffic to a landing page is coming from, Google Analytics provides Channel, Medium, and Source reports to help you see how much traffic might be coming from Facebook versus other social media.

As a web analytics tool, it is hard to beat if all you are interested in is understanding the basic flow of website traffic.

However, Google Analytics has a few significant downsides that make it a poor fit for most business use cases.

First, Google Analytics collects data based on sessions _and devices, not _users.

This makes it a great tool for something like identifying your best-performing blog posts: they’re the ones getting the most traffic and/or driving the most click-throughs and conversions.

But if you want to truly understand user behavior by mining deeper insight, or track users over the course of a full customer journey, Google Analytics really doesn’t allow for that.

It can tell you what a certain device did in a particular session, but not who they are, or how many times they’ve visited your site over the past year. This makes it a poor fit for behavioral analytics because you can’t see how your website visitor behavior may have changed over time.

Second, how accurate is Google analytics? Surprisingly, it can actually get less accurate as your business grows because it uses sampling. Google analytics samples your data more heavily as traffic goes up.

As your business grows, your GA data will reflect a shrinking percentage of your actual visitors. That means that you could be missing valuable, actionable insights in your customer behavior patterns of all of the users whose data weren’t included in Google’s sample.

In short, Google Analytics is a great web analytics tool for digital marketing practitioners who’re interested primarily in traffic data. It’s not a great choice for businesses because of its lack of user-tracking features and the limitations on analysis that are based on heavily sampled data.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is an analytics tool that’s focused on mobile & product analytics. It allows users to connect product data they may have stored in a data lake or in certain data warehouses and integrate that with the Mixpanel platform.

On the platform, users get useful analytics reports, user segmentation tools, and custom filtering features with an easy-to-understand UI that eliminates the need for writing SQL queries.

While that may sound similar to Woopra, it’s important to note that Mixpanel’s feature set is considerably more limited.

Woopra can pull in data from across a wide variety of marketing, product, sales, and support services in addition to existing data from SQL databases. It then analyzes it all and automates actions in response to it. Mixpanel’s focus is more limited in scope: it’s all about product analytics.

Mixpanel’s reports are focused on answering product questions. Its primarily event-based workflow makes it easy to create funnel reports to analyze where users are dropping off, or how different user segments behave differently.

For example, a product manager could create a Mixpanel report to identify where in the sign-up flow users in different countries were dropping. With an easy to follow, step-based visual layout, trends are evident without any need to pore over spreadsheets or sweat over SQL queries.

Similar to Woopra’s attribution reports, Mixpanel also includes some useful testing features, like an impact report that helps you determine whether specific marketing efforts have had an impact on your metric of choice. Did that marketing campaign really help? Mixpanel may be able to tell you. However, Woopra’s approach also allows you to assign monetary values to these campaigns. For example, if you're analyzing a purchase event, you can see how much revenue a particular campaign has generated to aid with ROI analysis.

While Mixpanel may not be as all-inclusive as Woopra or as dialed-in on web analytics as Google Analytics, it is a powerful tool for product teams who are looking for an all-in-one solution for analytics and experimentation.

For marketers or journey analytics, it may or may not be a useful tool. It depends on your specific use case and the marketing metrics you need to measure.

Heap

Heap is an analytics platform that’s focused on the customer journey and providing an easy out-of-the-box experience.

One of its main differentiators is its data auto-capture. The company claims to allow users to set up tracking without having to define all of the metrics that interest them or get engineers to plug tracking code in many different places across their app. While it may sound enticing to track everything on your site, manual planning and organizing events does have its benefits -- particularly when it comes to focused analysis and reducing unnecessary noise.

Another is its focus on larger-scale teams and data security, with a robust suite of access and data security features that make it easy for teams to share some data and restrict other data as they choose.

In terms of the actual analytics platform, Heap allows you to dig in and analyze user events, making it similar in functionality to other web analytics software.

Heap’s special twist is its Illuminate feature, which aims to automate some of the data analysis and make helpful suggestions as you build and mine reports for insights.

This feature can save time, of course, but Heap says that it also helps to uncover insights you might otherwise have missed, and even help eliminate confirmation bias.

One major difference between Heap and other options such as Woopra is Heap's lack of data centralization. While there are several integrations for Heap, you’ll have a difficult time importing data from other SQL databases. To analyze other data sets with Heap data, they have Heap Connect. This add-on feature allows for exporting data to an external database that you can then join to other data sets by running SQL queries in another BI tool. Woopra’s all-in-one approach eliminates the need for yet another app to be needed for complete analysis.

Amplitude

Amplitude is similar to Mixpanel in that it’s an analytics platform focused on product analytics. It aims to help you better understand your users, primarily through event tracking.

On the analytics side, it provides all the features you would expect.

You can create user cohorts based on user account data, demographics, behavioral analysis, or any combination of factors. Then you can analyze and visualize how they interact with your product through the events they complete.

While it can take some engineering help to set up the in-app tracking, Amplitude is designed to be usable by all team members.

One feature that sets Amplitude apart – although it’s not included in the free plan – is Amplitude Recommend, a predictive analytics tool that uses the behavioral data you’re already tracking in combination with machine learning to make smart product suggestions to customers.

It also offers a suite of testing features to facilitate A/B testing of product and messaging features, with the ability to create targeted tests for specific user cohorts.

Similar to Heap, Amplitude doesn’t publicize pricing data. Beyond the limited free tier, Amplitude’s pricing is all quote-only.

Amplitude is a powerful product analytics tool for ingesting and reporting on data, but it's typically not the best solution for marketers, sales, or support.

For these other teams, automation and two-way communication between your web analytics and other platforms such as CRMs, support tools, and even direct script injection on your site can be vital for top-of-funnel marketing all the way down to continued post-sales support.

Some real-world automation use cases might include:

  • Automating events such as converting a lead or updating an object in Salesforce when a user signs up on your site.
  • Running custom banners on your landing page for people from different locations.
  • Remarketing to Google or Facebook Ads for cart abandoners, or even sending promotional emails only to users who visited specific pages on your site.

While Amplitude can simply set alerts based on user behavior, Woopra would better serve for complex automation tasks such as these examples.

6 Website Analytics Statistics That Will Shock You

While you're comparing the best website analytics tools, these website analytics statistics shed light on the importance of proper attribution:

  1. US businesses lose $35.3B each year in customer churn caused by avoidable customer experience issues, such as fair treatment. (Source: Emplifi)
  2. It's possible that as much as 60% of customers who saw branded search, retargeting, or display ads would have made a purchase anyway. (Source: SparkToro.)
  3. When Chase, Proctor & Gamble, and Uber turned off over $100 million in ad spend in 2020, they saw almost NO discernible decrease in business outcomes. (Source: Forbes.)
  4. The average website conversion rate is 2.35%. (Source: WordStream.)
  5. 60% of mobile banner ad clicks are mistaken clicks. (Source: Marketing Dive.)
  6. Only 52% of marketers currently use attribution reporting. (Source: Hubspot.)

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Frequently asked questions

Which web analytics tool is best?

The answer to this question depends very much on your specific use case and your budget. You can compare Hubspot vs. Google Analytics, for example, but while all of these services have similarities, none of them do exactly the same thing. Broadly speaking, Google Analytics is the best tool for users who don’t want to spend money and are interested only in session and device metrics relating to web traffic. Woopra is the best tool for businesses looking a fully integrated web, product, and customer journey analytics.

What is the most widely-used data analytics tool?

The most widely-used data analytics tool is Microsoft Excel. Yes, even in 2021, the legacy spreadsheet is still the king. However, as analytics intelligence is incredibly valuable, modern data-driven organizations are typically using a variety of data analytics tools. This may include everything from platform-based product and web analytics tools such as Woopra to bespoke tools developed by in-house data analysts, scientists, and programmers.

What tools are used for web analytics?

Most companies use a variety of tools for web analytics data, ranging from free traffic analytics platforms such as Google Analytics to integrated customer and product analytics solutions like Woopra.

Is there a better tool than Google Analytics?

Yes. Woopra is a better tool than Google Analytics for an all-around understanding of your users, their customer journeys, and how they interact with your product. It also doesn’t have some of the limitations that Google Analytics has, such as the reliance on sampling or the focus on sessions rather than users. This makes tracking long-term user behavior patterns and mining insights much easier with Woopra. Check out Google Analytics vs. Woopra for a more in-depth look at how they stack up and which platform would better serve your business.