Why you should choose Wide Angle Analytics over Google AnalyticsPublished on: 2022-9-27
Indeed, why should you? At first, I will skip the obvious legal implications and get to the aspects you care about as a marketer.
Reliability can mean many things. This can be the reliability of the service and its uptime or the actual reliability of the whole solution to capture relevant events.
Wide Angle Analytics operates on a resilient, high availability infrastructure of OVH. Thus far, our Event Capture API has had 100% uptime. We take pride in our engineering excellence backed by people with years of experience in Investment Banking and Electronic Trading.
But hold on, Google Analytics is pretty reliable too. That's correct. While Google as an organization suffers occasional problems, these are extremely rare. Google has a unique way of attracting expert engineers.
So let's talk about the other kind of reliability. Google is omnipresent all over the Internet. Many ad and tracker blocking solutions quickly notice its presence on your website. And rightly so. Techniques implemented by Google are crossing boundaries of just your website, creating a cross-property trail of user activity. A predatory practice which infringes on an individual's privacy.
Warning! An adequately implemented Cookie Banner policy should provide the visitors with a simple, one-click option to reject all cookies. Unfortunately, this will instantly render Google Analytics useless even without ad blockers being involved. We talk about this more in the last section.
Wide Angle Analytics is detected by ad blockers as well. The famous add-on, the uBlock Origin, will block our tracker by default. But we have a solution for you. Unlike Google Analytics, we offer to host the tracker behind your own domain. The set-up is straightforward and requires only that you have access to your DNS settings. We throw HTTPS to the mix, plus unique script hash, et voila, you achieve 99% reliability. With us, the metrics you collect and review are highly accurate. Devoid of blind spots you experience, completely unaware, with Google Analytics.
As a digital marketer, your head is probably spinning when you hear words like Universal Analytics and GA4. Google effectively replaces a product you know and have used for over a decade with a new product. And you are expected to switch or face the music.
This is not an empty threat. Google is famous for killing and discontinuing products.
Moreover, the product has many quirks and evolves under the hood in an opaque manner. As a result, the community is buzzing with issues and complaints. Not a day goes by without someone complaining on Reddit about problems and discrepancies.
Wide Angle Analytics is also actively evolving, but our team takes extra care regarding data portability and making all the changes transparent. Moreover, we are run by humans you can actually reach. So if you face any issues, you can always contact someone who will be proactive and sympathetic to your needs.
Features and Capabilities
I won't sugarcoat it. Google Analytics is likely one of the most advanced and complete packages. But are you really using it to its full potential? If so, you are probably already heavily invested and have a marketing and engineering team assisting you in this endeavour. Google Analytics is a space shuttle. It does not really fly until you have experienced and trained crew operating it.
Wide Angle Analytics take a different approach. We aim to make easy things as easy as possible and those more complex ones achievable and within reach of a mortal.
Deploying our tracker script is extremely easy with most publishing platforms. And embedding it in your website code is not a herculean task either. But the real value comes later. Open the dashboard, and all the information is right there. No complex screen configuration, no obtuse settings or filters.
Here is a summary of what our website traffic analytics offers out of the box:
- sensible default to get you started without breaking a sweat,
- pageview and unique views,
- the entry pages of your unique traffic,
- the exit pages, so you know where your audience disengaged,
- bounce rate,
- median and average visit duration,
- source of the visits (we support
- referring website,
- the geographical location of visitors down to province/region level, and
- device characteristics (browser, operating system).
Best part? All these data points can be easily used to create very advanced filters. Just click and select, and filters build themselves.
And while we believe these are easy to use, if you ever feel lost or overwhelmed, you can always speak to a friendly human and get assistance. You reach our team via Email and Live Chat.
Going Beyond Simple Analytics
All good and dandy, but you want more. You want to get more in-depth insight into your web analytics. You need to understand if you are on track with your business goals.
Similarly to Google Analytics, we offer Custom Events, although we refer to these as Custom Actions.
The sky is the limit. You can track and analyze numerous scenarios. Here are a few examples.
- How well is your campaign doing? Are your visitors downloading that Case Study document you are promoting on LinkedIn?
- Are your visitors expressing interest in a particular CTA but not following through? You can track mouse-over events to do that.
- Are visitors abandoning the registration process? You can track click events on form elements.
And much, much more.
I appreciate this goes beyond basic. A less technical audience might need a bit of help with some more complex actions.
At the same time, things that should be achievable are super easy. For example, flip the flag in site settings and without any additional effort, you can track download events for the most popular file extensions, like PDF, ZIP, etc.
The Elephant in the Room
We left the most contentious issue at the end. The Privacy Law Compliance. So is Google Analytics illegal? In fairness, no, it is not. But the review by numerous European data privacy authorities concluded that you cannot use Google Analytics lawfully without additional measures.
One of the most common suggestions to make Google Analytics legal for businesses dealing with EU users is to employ server-side tracking and add additional anonymization.
Suddenly, the free Google Analytics incurs operational, and IT costs that go far beyond the modest subscription fee from other alternatives.
I would also argue that once you employ these additional anonymization techniques bestowed upon you by law, the advanced edge of GA is no longer so obvious.
That's why I believe you are best served with purpose-built, privacy-first and strictly GDPR-compliant solutions such as Wide Angle Analytics. As there is no transfer of data outside of the EU and no data sharing with any third party, on the premise of legitimate interest, you can deploy and use Wide Angle Analytics even without Cookie Banner. Combined with ad blocker mitigation, you will achieve exceptional reliability of traffic measurement.
Because of the same reason, should you ever decide to extend your analytics to users with consent, our tool can support you in tracking Personal Data. We provide you with controls, processes, transparency and security that enable the safe processing of Personal Data. This is a unique offering from cloud-hosted SaaS web analytics. Something that was previously reserved for costly, self-hosted solutions.
Google Analytics is an excellent tool in many respects. But it is not fairing well with modern privacy laws and advancements in current regulations. Moreover, the complexity and structural problem of an organization supporting it make it a complex tool to use.
Hence, you are better off with Wide Angle Analytics. It is easy to use. It is not too simple to make you feel limited. And it gives you advanced and compliant options to support your growth and needs.