Google Analytics vs Alexa is a competition with no fair end.
Comparing them is like choosing between apples and oranges and well, who doesn’t like both?
However, as search engines, Google Analytics and Alexa have very different things to offer to website owners and web surfers alike.
For some, it matters more to have a comprehensive number for the bounce rate, and some are more interested in knowing how many outbound or inbound links were clicked on.
Let’s do a competitive analysis between the two that will help you settle the contest once and for all.
An Introduction to Google Analytics
Google offers an amazing web analytics service, called Google Analytics, to those who want to monitor a certain website inclusively. It helps website owners track the traffic they receive, and then reports back with stats and numbers. Currently, it is present as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand. This service was launched as early as November 2005 when Google acquired the developer known as Urchin.
As seen in the above illustration, the steps needed to set up Google Analytics for your website are super simpler. First, you send in some simple information about the site you want Google to monitor. Second, you get a tracking code that you can place on your website. Once placed, Google Analytics has the ability to monitor how many times the site was visited! Not just that, but quite a bit of data about your site is visible to you that you can then use as feedback to develop further strategies.
An Introduction to Alexa Analytics
Amazon has come up with its own web analytics software in Alexa. Just as Google Analytics understands your website’s performance and delivers comprehensive statistics at the end of the day, Alexa does the same. However, there are many features in both that differ. Alexa’s unique offering is driving more website traffic through competitive analysis, a feature that Google does not currently offer.
Alexa has an exclusive offer to make to website owners. It gives stats for comparing traffic with other sites. There are many business owners who take their Alexa Ranking seriously, taking pride in beating their competitors to the top.
However, some would argue that Google does the job far better. Alexa differs essentially from Google Analytics because the latter gives a much more detailed overview of the individual website and some comparative information via its benchmarking feature—even when the competitor feature is not directly available.
Alexa rank measures the popularity of any website. It ranks a ton of websites on its server in order of popularity and traffic. Now, an Alexa Rank of 1 for any specific keyword would, of course, be the most commonly visited—and that is the goal for most sites and business owners.
Your Alexa rank is measured by combining a website’s traffic and engagement over a three-month period.
However, some experts complain that the ranking results between Google and Alexa are vastly different, which confuses them and gives them conflicting data with respect to their website.
Find and Convert Your Audience
With Alexa’s Site Overview, you can receive free, customized ideas to outwit competitors and take your search marketing results to the next stage. You can access statistics about the audience that is choosing your competitors over you and convert them. However, many professionals agree that the results are barely accurate.
You can get a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan and find the tools you need to drive more traffic.
Google Analytics and Alexa work in different ways. Alexa ranking displays your website traffic and gives you a number you can work with, based on parameters like unique visits, and return and bounce rates.
In comparison, Google analytics displays your visitor’s activities while they are on your website, inbound links, outbound links, the total time your audience is spending on pages, and the average number of pages browsed by visitors with in-depth insights site performance.
Marketing goals are different for website owners depending on what they are using the analytics data for. If their aims align better with Alexa’s features, it could be a better choice to use Amazon’s brainchild. In most cases, however, Google Analytics is better suited.
Testing for Search Engine Efficiency
Well, those who have the handy home system installed have often complained about Alexa’s inefficiency in finding appropriate results. Since Amazon is seeking to overtake, better yet erase, Google Analytics from existence, it obviously does not use its search engine to fuel its first artificial intelligence machine. It uses Amazon Echo, and it is frankly just not as good.
So, while Alexa may hear you well, she isn’t really the best listener. Users have qualms about their simplest queries not being answered well. This may not have any serious repercussions for analytics data, but it sure says a lot about both parties’ abilities to deliver quality services.
A Head-On Comparison
Let us have an in-depth look at all different analytics features that can be useful for your website and then compare Google Analytics vs Alexa. This might tell you which analytics tool to use.
Alexa offers SEO keyword opportunities, including keywords that are driving traffic to competing sites, instead of yours. Using this invaluable information, website owners can find their next content idea and incorporate it into their marketing strategy in the future. Google Analytics, however, does not have this competitive data available.
Competitive benchmarking is an important tool that lets you know your content is ranking as compared to your competitors. This includes presenting the site’s traffic from search, keywords, and backlinks, then comparing the data to that of your biggest online competitors. Google Analytics and Alexa both offer this feature in variant ways.
First and foremost, Google Analytics is a traffic reporter. It lets you evaluate how many people are visiting your site every day, and also gives you the overarching trends over a period of time. You can use this data to drive your marketing strategy.
On the other hand, Alexa offers many traffic-related features. This includes ranking websites according to its own method, measuring how many people engage with the content, where the traffic is coming from, and a lot more that can help the user understand website stats.
Once a website owner has identified conversion points on their website, such as contact forms or other CTAs, they can set these points up for tracking. This is called conversion tracking. Google offers this service in their free-use analytics software.
Alexa gives you audience insights in quite a bit of detail. This includes sites that your audience also visits, relatable topics, and the keywords that they type in the search engine. While this could be a great unique feature, the result accuracy currently is dismal.
This feature of Google Analytics is similar to the audience-knowledge Alexa offers. Using this, you will be able to track what keyword your audience was searching for when they came across your website. This information can help immensely in future web marketing strategies.
This interesting GA feature lets you see which third-party websites are sending traffic your way. This is a useful tool that will help you decide what websites are worth spending time and money on. You will also learn which new sites are providing outbound links to yours.
Alexa displays some data to compare different domains but Google Analytics, at least the free version, does not have this data to offer.
Plus, if comparing data derived from tools with different data collection technologies, such a comparison will always raise a lot of technical questions.
One interesting feature of Google Analytics is that it lets you create a custom dashboard. If staying up-to-date with traffic, conversions, and keyword referrals is most important to you, you can add them to your dashboard. Every time you log in, the dashboard and all your favorite features will be the first thing you see.
Why the Huge Difference?
Alexa and Google Analytics are different in their approach. While Google gives in-depth information about websites and compares them to top competitors through benchmarking.
Google, presumably, collects all of its data from the actual websites. Alexa, on the other hand, captures information from web surfers with the Alexa toolbar installed. This leads to a very small representation of the total web-surfing traffic.
This means that information from Alexa is unreliable and doesn’t necessarily offer trustworthy advice.
Google Analytics offers a free option to all its users with several key features. You can also opt for the premium suite, Analytics 360, which costs $150,000 per year (as per a third-party site).
Now let’s consider Alexa’s available plans. Their most popular and most bought package is priced at $149 a month. This plan supports one user and one site. If your business is larger than that, you can opt for the $299 plan that offers 20 users, 35 sites and 35 projects. Currently, there are no free plans from Alexa, but you can take it for a trial run.
Google Analytics vs Alexa for Business Owners
Alexa can be helpful to marketers, SEO practitioners, and growth-oriented business development. The toolbars, On-Page SEO management, keyword and tag management are some of the main features that can help in business growth.
However, Alexa ranking sometimes comes up with irrelevant tags and keywords. There are chances that if you use Alexa’s keyword suggestion, it would bring no profit on other websites.
As for Google Analytics, we can’t criticize much. It is free, and gives you the option to track without letting the other party know. It is better to use it for tracking sales on multiple channels and several devices.
Pros and Cons
Having understood everything there is to know about these two analytics tools, here is a systematic pros and cons list that can settle once and for all the competition, Google Analytics vs Alexa.
- Brings in website analytics for most websites we’re interested in tracking.
- Each website’s dashboard is user-friendly and easy to extract numbers from.
- We can get complex with the numbers we’re getting or just keep it simple by pulling basic stats of website visitors.
- Google Analytics is best for analyzing user behavior on any site. It is great for finding the traffic information businesses need. Your data analytics will be on point with Google.
- The amount of information GA can gather is unbelievable. From the devices that were used to access your website to the kind of purchases they made, everything is presented in neat little graphs and stats.
- You can use the data gathered from GA to market your website better. Lookalike audiences can be created and synced with AdWords. This can target your campaign specifically to your target audiences— just like Facebook Ads!
Although you can easily build an Alexa skill, there is some complex Java script coding involved. If Amazon provided more instruction on that, it could help users in building a skill. As of right now, mastering the tools is a bit time-consuming
- GA lets you have a bunch of functions, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what they are for and which ones can serve you best.
- Some key functions, keyword data and all, were moved over to Google Webmaster. This wasn’t a great move on their part.
- The interface is not user-friendly. A host of tools and their subsets are right there, but unless you know a ton about the ins and outs of Google Analytics, you can’t make them work. Maybe a simpler, more streamlined display may prove to be better.
Now it’s time for our final verdict. If you are a business owner looking to understand how well your website is working and what keywords are bringing you traffic, Google Analytics is your winner.
Combined with the fact that their tools are absolutely free, you understand why we chose the tech giant as our champion traffic-measuring analytics site.