- what channels / sites / campaigns is my traffic coming from?
- what pages are people landing on?
- what pages are driving conversions?
- what do my conversion goals look like (percentage and total conversions)
I'm a little bit hesitant to look too much at GA, since I don't to just make an "open source GA". In a lot of jobs I worked at we were essentially just "making a shit copy of a shit product", to put it crudely. I really want to avoid doing that.
So the way may be quite different, but the goal of providing meaningful business insights is definitely there.
The four scenarios I listed above are important to understand when running the marketing side of a B2B SaaS company.
I don't care about the implementation details (other than they're straightforward). But I need to understand that info. And today there's no obvious choice other than GA. This surprises me.
I agree that info is important, I just meant that the UI might turn out quite different from GA.
For startups there's plenty of options, mixpanel is probably my favorite.
Google Analytics probably has more users because of ease of use for small business but I wouldn't say it's a space without competition.
If a company is serious about learning about its customers and how they use their products, then it invests in Adobe Analytics.
If a company is looking for something that's free, quick, and "good enough," then it goes with Google Analytics.
Just like if a company is serious about advertising, it hires a professional ad agency. If it's looking for something cheap and "good enough," it go with Google AdWords.
- "Show me where my visitors are coming from"
- "Show me what landing pages are most popular... at driving conversion... by channel"
Also, the hosted version isn't free, and self-hosting is also comparative expensive (vs. free) and time-consuming. IMHO any serious GA alternative should have a free hosted option. I wrote about that a bit more in-depth yesterday over here: https://lobste.rs/s/ooag4u/goatcounter_1_0_release#c_o76csv
If you want to build analytics software on moral grounds for privacy and stuff you will just bleed out or just run very niche or indie business. It's great for nomadic makers, but not for serious business.
Look on Matomo, Simple Analytics or Fathom. They are all great(besides Matomo) but they can't compete on other market than small business. And yes, I know that Matomo has enterprise clients, but they are also small comparing to GA. :)
Want to compete with them? Have a great plan and support from major search engine like DDG. If not, then you can make another Mixpanel(which is great!).
It's hard to get statistics on conversion when you don't even track users across pages on your own site. It looks like GoatCounter can't show you unique visitors or how they move around on your site because it doesn't track them. There are no cookies on the main page! This seriously limits the kinds of features that can be implemented.
I might make it an optional feature, too. Again, need to look in to it in-depth.
There are a zillion-and-one things to do, and thus far other things have taken priority :-)
That said, having a unique but anonymous cookie within a single site isn't the end of the world but Google only provide GA for free because it is useful for determining other things.
Having said that, there is no need to create an exact copy of Google Analytics because most of the people probably use only 20% of the features anyway. Each business has its own use-case and data source so it would be much more convenient to ingest all the raw event data into your data warehouse either using third-party tools such as Segment or open-source tools such as Snowplow and Rakam. This is the only way to have full control over your data.
1. If you don't want to store sensitive user-data, just don't send it to your servers.
2. Create the reports either using SQL or something like Rakam that provides you an interface similar to Amplitude / Mixpanel but on top of your data-warehouse so that you don't need to share your data with a third party service.
Shameless plug: I'm working for the company behind Rakam. (https://rakam.io)
Am I missing something?