SimilarWeb Vs Google Analytics

One of the top ten questions we get asked by our users is: what is the difference between Google Analytics and SimilarWeb PRO? We’ve decided to write a very detailed blog to answer this question once and for all!

Simple Interface

The first main difference you’ll notice is in the UI. SimilarWeb PRO captures the current trend for simple and effective web based platforms. With just a few clicks you have a whole screen of easy-to-read information you can work with. Google Analytics, on the other hand, is rather complex; you’re bombarded with a number of graphs, figures and technical terms that leave even the finest marketeer scratching their head.

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Bad Code And Cookies

SimilarWeb PRO has the power to split all your traffic down accurately into different channels e.g. Direct, Mail, Referrals, Search, Social and Display Ads. Understanding your traffic channels is very important in structuring future marketing campaigns. Google Analytics’ reliance on integrated code means that bad code results in traffic being mislabeled as direct e.g. if referrals are shown as direct traffic then you miss out on building relationships with associates.

Google Analytics uses cookies to track users and, in an ideal world, this would work smoothly. However, users working across multiple devices will be counted as unique visitors and this can result in unreliable data to work from. Accuracy is also compromised if visitors are running cookie blockers in their browsers as data cannot be collected. SimilarWeb PRO’s algorithms do not rely on cookies, so our data is not affected.

Exclusive Metrics

What does all this mean for the user? Well, Google Analytics has a better chance of their data being more accurate as they’re measuring the website directly. However, the data available has a very narrow focus and only measures your visitors. SimilarWeb PRO, though, has the capacity to show you some amazing insights from ANY website and information that even Google Analytics can’t get hold of. Let’s take a look at some of these exclusive metrics:

1) How your website ranks among all the other websites making up the internet

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Amazon website ranks from Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

2) The option to compare your website performance against your competitors

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Comparison of traffic for Amazon and its competitors between Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

3) Audience Interests – this information shows you which websites your users visit in the same session while checking your website. This information is ONLY available in SimilarWeb PRO as we measure select panels of users to analyze everything happening on the web and not only your own website traffic. Google Analytics, meanwhile, can only see your website traffic and no one else’s.

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Audience Interests for Amazon between Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

4) Easy, simple view of all the marketing traffic channels (search, display, direct, mail, and referrals over time)

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Traffic sources for Amazon between Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

5) ALL YOUR ORGANIC SEARCH TERMS INCLUDING THE ‘NOT PROVIDED’ KEY WORDS!

This feature is very important and allows SimilarWeb PRO to show you all of your organic keywords. We’re very transparent with our data capabilities and we share this with you instead of hiding it like Google does. In fact, we’re the only place in the internet that allows you to get a real overview on your organic search terms!

Anther nice feature in our search overview – that Google Analytics doesn’t have – is that you can see the traffic share between organic/paid keywords in a single list.

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Organic and paid keywords for Amazon between Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

6) As we can see all the surfing data in browsers, it allows us to offer a really cool feature which shows you all the Outgoing Links for any website. This lets you see where users headed to after your website and, yep, you guessed it, Google Analytics doesn’t allow you to view this.

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Outgoing links from Amazon between Feb ’14 – Jul ‘ 14 by SimilarWeb PRO

7) Easy view of subdomain traffic –  SimilarWeb PRO affords you the chance to analyze the traffic heading to your subdomains and is another feature you can’t find in Google Analytics.

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Popular subdomains for Amazon between Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

8) Similar Sites & Keywords Competitors – Our algorithms allow you to see which websites are similar to your own and which websites are competing for the same keywords as you. Again, this feature is not available in Google Analytics.

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Keywords competitors for Amazon between Feb ’14 – July ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

 

Conclusion:

The answer is quite simple, because you don’t have to pick one or the other. You can use both. Google Analytics will give you a deep view into your visitors, but does have its issues. When used with SimilarWeb PRo you will be able to have two very important data sources to improve the accuracy of your data. SimilarWeb gives the ability to make smarter marketing decisions and choose the strategies which will improve your marketing ROI. Google Analytics will tell you how your site is working and what your visitors are doing.

About the Author -

Ari is the Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb. He has spent the last decade in ad-tech working on the agency side of the business before jumping over to Kenshoo where he launched their marketing activities. He also led the marketing for Adquant, a Facebook ad platform, making it a top 10 Facebook PMD prior to its acquisition.

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