Why we are not a big fan of Google Analytics?

Google Analytics ProblemIf you are managing multiple blogs or websites or even a single website on which your income depends on, then it is essential that you invest in Analytics Software. Now you might ask "Why you need to invest when Google Analytics gives you all the features for free". Don't get me wrong, Google Analytics is great but use it only if you don't monitor traffic on a day to day or even on an hourly basis. We have found some annoying problems with Google Analytics:

Definition of Bounce Rate: Now I have often heard experts, even my favorite Analytics Expert - Avinash Kaushik commenting about Bounce Rate as the number of visitors reaching your site and leaving it with just one page view or in his on words "puke and leave your site " :) . But the definition is too simplistic. I can't count the numerous times when I have researched about a topic visited the site, got the exact information that I need and left the site under 30 seconds. Does that mean that the site was bad, the navigation was poor or as a user , my need was not satisfied.? No! They did a great job in serving the exact information that I was looking for. I didn't browse other pages, because I got the answer in a single page view.

Setting up Goal Funnels: Google has a major problem when you set up Goal Funnels. They won't allow you to include external pages or search terms in the Funnel path and that makes the process of Goal tracking a rigid exercise. Imagine if you can get information on how your customer reached the Funnel path and what they did after they completed the Goal? It would give you a deeper level of understanding about your customer. 

Tracking Flash and Javascripts: If you have used in-page analytics then you might know what I am talking about. There are many Videos and Ads that are Flash and Javascript supported and with Google Analytics it becomes extremely difficult to track the click and outgoing links.  You can do it with

pageTracker._trackPageview("/folder/page"); 

This process cannot be scaled for a bigger site say with 1000s of pages supporting javascript. 

For onClick Events, you have to manually enter the trackPageview function for each url, which is another pain. 

<a href="javascript:void(0);"onClick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview

('/folder/page');" >

Visitor Information: I am against tracking users to their father's or mother's name but getting a few additional information about the visitor will allow you to make decisions that will ultimately improve user experience and in creating relevant articles for users. For example if the visitor to one of your page is not your target audience and behaves in an erratic manner during page navigation, then you don't have to raise a red flag. The ISP or organization name will give you hints as to whether you should invest your time in optimizing the page or navigation. If the visitor is not from your target market, then you can invest your time in creating quality content and free up your energy on closely monitoring how users from your target markets behave. Unfortunately the standard visitors count in Google is also flawed (as  a matter of fact each analytics software has its anomalies. So don't completely depend on one Analytics software. Try to get the mean)

Live Tracking: OK I admit, I have bias towards real time Analytics software and I am pretty sure you will be too once you start using it. We did our research to find out the most cost-effective Real time Analytics software and we shortlisted three:

1) CrazyEgg

2) Woopra

3) Clicky 

The price point and the feature list forced us to chose Clicky($59.99/year for Pro Account) over the other two Analytics Software. I will do a detailed review of Clicky, Woopra and CrazyEgg in the coming weeks. 

Let me know your experience with Real time Analytics Software. What do you love about Google Analytics?