Google Analytics vs. Matomo

Web Analytics tools are a must have for your website. They allow you to gather a range of metrics about the type of people who are visiting your site, what avenue they came from and what they did whilst viewing your pages. This helps you to discover a target audience, your most popular pages and how many views actually converted into leads – which are great indicators to figure out what is working and what needs changing on your site to gain conversions. 

As we have learnt more about analytics and the demand for accurate data has increased, more and more tools have been created to compete with the demand. You will probably have heard of the most widely used Web Analytics tool, Google Analytics (GA). This is a free application platform that provides a huge range of segmented data about users browsing the web using an intuitive interface that has great usability (hence its popularity). However, Google announced that in July 2023, GA will stop processing new hits and will require all users to migrate to GA4. This anonymises IP addresses of all users to comply with the latest GDPR legislation. With the shift, you will not be able to bring over your historical data – you’ll start with a clean slate. 

So now may be a good time to possibly migrate away from Google Analytics and look for alternatives.

Matomo, in comparison, is the leading Open Source application platform in web analytics and is one of Google Analytics top competitors. Matomo has offered a Google Analytic import plugin for a few years, so migrating in a GDPR compliant way is straightforward and you won’t have to sacrifice any of your past data, making it even easier to make the jump to Matomo. 

The question is, is it better for you?


The benefits of Google Analytics

  • Free to use.
  • Thriving community – as it has been used for over 15 years, if you are ever struggling you will be able to find the answer you are looking for quickly. 
  • With GA4, you can track a website and an app in the same account. 
  • There are new reporting features in GA4 with more detailed insights into how people interact with your website for you to stick your teeth into.

But if something is used the most, does that necessarily mean it is the best? 

The negatives of Google Analytics

  • There is less privacy as your data will always be held by Google.
  • The reporting part of GA4 is not beginner friendly, meaning you’ll have to learn a new system regardless if you move from GA or not.

The benefits of Matomo

  • Free to use.
  • Open-source, meaning it has been developed by a large community committed to make it the best. 
  • Self-hostable, meaning you have complete control over the data. 
  • They have additional tools for conversion rate optimisation all in one place – video recordings, heatmaps, form analytics, media analytics, search engine keyword rankings etc.
  • Scalable amount of data storage.
  • Customisable and easy to learn interface.
  • Securely track personal data in accordance with privacy laws.

As the phrase goes, pobody’s nerfect…

The negatives of Matomo

  • To use the Open Source platform, you will need to have some knowledge in dev-ops in order to host the platform on your own server.
  • May not be appropriate for huge online eCommerce platforms due to the lack of filters and segmentations.
  • Some tools need to be paid for to be able to be used.

Our head of Analysis and Statistics has commented on why we have started to manoeuvre over to Matomo: 

“With Google’s recent announcement that Universal Analytics services will be stopped July 1st 2023, we wanted to take this opportunity to evaluate current offerings of analytic providers. One of the biggest benefits that jumped out at us with using Matomo was that we could take control of the data, hosting it ourselves, meaning our clients’ analytics would be their own rather than entrusting it to a large organisation. It also comes with many features that not only UA did not provide but also GA4 currently doesn’t such as built in Form analytics, heatmaps, session recordings and much more which will help us provide greater insights for our clients.” – Adam Clifton.

Is it time for you too to find a platform that has tools that better align with your business?

Our experienced team has an effective, all round methodology to help you make the most of the traffic you’re getting.
If you would like help in increasing your conversions, get in touch with us today.

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