Mixpanel Vs Google Analytics: A Quick Comparison

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Analysing the traffic on your website is a necessary part of managing online content. Two of the most popular systems that you can take advantage of are Google Analytics and Mixpanel. The good news is that they are both free for smaller businesses. The way that Google Analytics and Mixpanel function is different, though recently Google Analytics has been working to catch-up with some of the features that Mixpanel offers.

The basic foundational difference between the two systems is that Google Analytics focuses on page views or actions taken, and Mixpanel focuses on what a user is doing on the page currently. There is also a difference in the time-frame that data is available, with Mixpanel offering you near-real time user data. To some degree it is unfair to compare the two systems, with the intent of declaring one of them to be better than the other.

Why Google Analytics Is Great

To begin with, Google Analytics is free for most companies. It offers you a deep toolkit that will allow you to create elaborate funnels, and do extensive data driven analysis. Because of its robust capabilities and low cost, it makes sense to employ Google Analytics where ever you can find a use for it.

If you want to see what pages get viewed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, Google Analytics is a really good tool. It also allows you to track individual users over time, so you can see how people interact with your site on an individual or group level. This can help you find the parts of your web strategy that engage users, and improve parts that don't draw much attention.

The Downside

The biggest downside to Google Analytics is the lack of support and complexity of the system. It is also not a solution for real-time monitoring. If you are looking for a way to see what users are doing on your site right now, Google Analytics isn't for you. While it offers you an incredible range of analytical tools, you have to decide how to build your funnel up-front. Once you create your funnel, you can't go back and make changes retroactively. This can be very limiting if you are performing a meta-analysis, and want to back-test a set of new parameters.

The depth of features that Google Analytics gives you can prove hard to configure, and Google doesn't offer support for its system. This means you are left to figure out how to use it, or hire someone who can help you. It also won't let you look into individual user details, because of Google's privacy policy. Overall it is a great system, but it isn't perfect for everything.

Why Mixpanel Rocks

Mixpanel is a great way to keep track of what is happening on your website in real-time. It lets you see what people are doing, and even allows you to send them messages while they browse. Unlike Google Analytics, Mixpanel will let you create funnels that analyse past browsing data, so you can create a retroactive analysis whenever you want. This is a huge benefit, especially as you learn more about how to evaluate your website traffic. Mixpanel is also easy to use, fully supported, and their customer service gets great reviews.

The Downside

Unlike Google Analytics, Mixpanel is a paid service at its core. They do offer a free service for smaller companies, but if your company generates significant amounts of traffic, you will end up paying to use it. Besides that, there really isn't much that's bad about it. It uses a different approach to “see” what users are doing on your site, so figuring out how to integrate it with Google Analytics really is the best course of action.

Optimal Analysis

Every business is going to have different needs when it comes to traffic analysis. Both Google Analytics and Mixpanel will give you unique abilities, and neither one will cost you much to use. However, knowing how to conduct analysis is as important as the systems you employ, so talking to a team of professionals about how these systems can benefit you is a good idea, in order to get the best value from your marketing strategy. One of the best parts about marketing online is being able to test what works, and quickly cut your losers. Get in touch to find out more about why analytics is important and how to use it to your best advantage.

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