I finally got around to installing Piwik on this blog. I’m a hardcore Google Analytics user, so I had to be beat over the head with a crow bar to try something else that’s “full function”. Especially since it requires installing server side software.
Anyways, it installed easily, and I immediately began setting up goals.
My strategy here was to use Piwik slightly differently than I use Google Analytics. I decided I would focus on the Affiliate Marketing/Revenue generating portion of the site, as opposed to Newsletter sign Ups or Request Information. So here’s the first two goals I set up:
These are new goals, so there are no conversions yet (as you can see). They essentially track clicks on my Adsense ads and Shareasale ads. In the future, I’ll detail how to set these goals up to work for you.
The big disadvantage I see over Google Analytics currently is the inability to segment visitors. I love to use segmenting to get a detailed look at specific sets of visitors. Since I’m running both Piwik and Google Analytics now, I still have that data available to me. If however I wanted to move away from GA completely, I’d have a hard time living without Custom Segments.
The interface in Piwik is intuitive, and easy to digest. It works in real time (with the use of your “Reload” browser button), so it’s theoretically a replacement for Woopra if I wanted to do away with that.
The Big Advantage of Piwik over Google Analytics
There seems to be two kinds of webmasters in this world. Those who hate Google, and those that love them. With Piwik, you’re hiding conversion and search data from Google (kind of*). Since all the data is stored in a SQL (MySql) database on a server of your own choosing, you have hard core access to it. And Google doesn’t.
While I don’t necessarily think that the Google haters are “tin foil hatters”, I’ve always operated under the assumption that Google has many, many ways to collect that data, even if I’m not overtly giving it to them. So I don’t buy into the anti-Google Analytics argument.
However, there are plenty of folks that do. And Piwik is a great solution for them.