Google Analytics vs Kissmetrics: What is Better for Your Reporting?

Katie Holmes
17th January 2023

Compare Google Analytics and Kissmetrics and choose the right tool to better understand your marketing and website performance.

Without analytics tools, marketers have no way to track the effectiveness of their marketing.

Analytics tools are essential, but knowing which one to use is tough.

There are so many analytics tools out there, and there isn’t enough time to compare them all.

Luckily, we’re going to make it easy for you. 

In this post, we’re going to focus on two of the most popular digital analytics platforms available today: Google Analytics and Kissmetrics.

We’ll take a closer look at the features of Google Analytics and Kissmetrics, the pros and cons of each, plus an alternative analytics tool for you to consider.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Pro Tip 

Ruler makes a great alternative to Google Analytics and Kissmetrics. It goes beyond traditional analytics tools that rely on click-path data and uses statistical machine learning (MMM) to track your invisible touchpoints. It breaks down your results by channel, allowing you to track which marketing activities have the most significant impact on your ROI.

Learn everything you can discover in Ruler

Overview of Google Analytics

Chances are you fall into the majority group that use Google Analytics, but let’s quickly discuss how the tool works and what it can do.

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It works by acquiring user data from each website visitor through the use of page tags and first party cookie tracking.

A piece of JavaScript code is placed on each page of your website, which sends data back to the Google Analytics servers. This data is then processed and used to generate reports about website traffic and behaviour, such as: 

With this information, marketers can better optimise their website and create stronger multi-channel campaigns across PPC, social media, email, and other key channels.

What are the advantages of Google Analytics?

Let’s first discuss what we love about Google Analytics. Then we’ll move on to where it could be improved.

It’s free for most users

The most significant benefit of Google Analytics is that it’s free. 

In a few simple steps, you can register your website and benefit from tons of valuable website data to drive the best results for your business.

With the free version of Google Analytics, you can track information such as the number of visitors to your site, where they came from, and what pages they visited. 

Perfect if you’re on a tight budget but want to collect key data on your audience and website performance.

If you exceed more than 10 million visits per month, you will need to pay for its premium version, Google Analytics 360. 

The premium version of Google Analytics offers additional features and capabilities compared to the standard version. Some of the differences include:

Tracks how people find your website

Google Analytics offers detailed website traffic data on your users. 

It has an entire section called Acquisition that breaks down all your sessions by source (organic, paid search).

In the Acquisition report, you can see where your visitors came from and compare which marketing channels are performing best when it comes to traffic and conversions.

For example, it can help you track where your form submissions are coming from, allowing you to optimise your budget accordingly for maximum results.

Integrations with almost any marketing and sales tool

Another standout benefit is that Google Analytics is extremely integrable. 

Google Analytics can integrate with almost any other tool to provide a more comprehensive view of your website and marketing performance. Some popular integrations with Google Analytics include:

What are the disadvantages of Google Analytics?

There are a lot of advantage to using Google Analytics, but it isn’t perfect.

Related: Limitations of Google Analytics and how to overcome them

While Google Analytics has dominated the marketing and web analytics space for some years now, there are a few limitation you need to be aware of.

Privacy concerns surrounding 

Google Analytics is banned in some EU countries.

So far, Austria, France, Italy, and Denmark have all declared Google Analytics as unlawful. And it’s likely more countries will follow as we edge closer to the termination of 3rd party cookies.

The concern with Google Analytics is that it saves user data, including details about EU residents, on cloud servers in the US. 

The US surveillance law requires US providers (like Google) to provide personal data to US authorities. Unfortunately, this law isn’t in accordance with GDPR and has caused quite a stir in the EU.

So what does this mean for marketers?

Well, if the majority of your traffic comes from the US, then you won’t need to worry about the quality of your data (assuming everything is up to scratch). 

That said, if you have clients or website visitors in EU countries, it’s likely you’re missing out on valuable data on your users and website performance. 

User data is anonymised

The data in Google Analytics is anonymised to protect the privacy of individuals. 

Anonymisation involves removing or altering personal information, such as names, addresses, and IP addresses so that individuals cannot be identified directly from the data. 

Instead, each user in Google Analytics is assigned a unique anonymous ID.

Related: How to track individual users in Google Analytics 

This ensures that data for returning users can be used for analysis and reporting without compromising the privacy of individuals. 

So what’s the issue? 

Anonymised data in Google Analytics makes it hard for marketers to track their customer journeys.

If you can’t see where visitors are converting into leads, you can’t accurately measure your impact on pipeline and revenue generation.

All you have is anonymised data on how users found and engaged with your website. That’s it. 

Dependence on click path data

As we’ve already mentioned, Google Analytics receives information about your website users through first-party cookie tracking.

A cookie is a unique identifier (ID) assigned to each user that visits your website. With the help of cookies, Google Analytics can recognise returning visitors and track their actions across your website.

While first-party cookies are useful for tracking user behaviour, there are some risks that you need to be aware of. 

First-party cookie tracking typically only collects click path data, which may not provide a complete picture of user behaviour. 

It doesn’t consider invisible touchpoints such as ad views, TV or radio. Without this information, it’s hard to determine which parts of your marketing actually move the needle.

Pro Tip

Marketing mix modelling can help businesses fill in the data gaps.Take Ruler, for example. Ruler’s marketing mix modelling assigns revenue attribution credit based on a user-level and considers ad views and clicks. It allows marketers to statistically analyse revenue over a period of time to discover exactly what generated those sales or closed deals.

Learn more about Ruler’s marketing mix modelling

Overview of Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a web analytics and customer engagement platform that allows businesses to track customer behaviour and engagement on their websites and mobile apps. 

It uses a unique identification system to track individual visitors across multiple devices and sessions and provides detailed analytics and reports on customer behaviour, conversion rates, and other key metrics. 

The platform also includes tools for creating and managing marketing campaigns, segmenting and targeting customers, and sending personalised email and push notifications. It can integrate with other analysis tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads.

Overall, Kissmetrics helps businesses understand and engage with their customers more effectively by providing detailed data and analytics on customer behaviour and engagement.

What are the advantages of Kissmetrics?

Kissmetrics is used by businesses of all shapes and sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. Let’s first look at the benefits of using Kissmetrics and why it’s useful for businesses.

Individual user tracking

One benefit Kissmetrics has over Google Analytics is that it’s focused on individual user tracking.

Kissmetrics uses a unique identification system to track individual visitors across multiple devices and sessions, which allows for a more detailed understanding of the customer journey. 

Individual tracking is done by using a cookie or a browser fingerprinting technique. 

Kissmetrics assigns a unique identifier to each visitor, which allows the platform to track their behaviour across different devices and sessions. 

This allows businesses to see the entire customer journey and how they interact with their website and mobile apps to analyse customer behaviour, conversion rates, and other key metrics. 

This data can also be used to create targeted marketing campaigns, segment customers, and send personalised emails and push notifications.

Detailed reporting and visualisations

Kissmetrics is designed to provide a complete picture of your customer behaviour and engagements.

It provides detailed reporting options that allow you to identify trends and patterns in customer behaviour over time. 

The platform offers a wide range of reports and analytics, including conversion rate reports, customer lifetime value reports, and more. 

These reports can be customised and filtered to show data for specific segments of your audience, pages on your website, or time periods. 

The platform also includes visualisation tools such as charts and graphs, which can be used to make data-driven decisions and optimise your website and marketing efforts.

What are the disadvantages of Kissmetrics?

Kissmetrics has put its stamp on the analytics market, but like Google Analytics, it isn’t perfect. Let’s discuss why.

It’ll cost you 

Kissmetrics is a paid service and can get expensive for small businesses or those on a tight budget.

Unlike Google Analytics, Kissmetrics doesn’t offer a freemium version of its tool. Pricing for Kissmetrics starts at £299 per month, and that includes: 

If you exceed those monthly track users or have more than one domain, you’ll need to upgrade to the Gold package, which starts from £499 per month.

On a more positive note, Kissmetrics offers a free trial for 14 days which is enough time to test all the features and decide whether to purchase or not.

Limited integration options

Many users have praised Kissmetrics for its high level of detail. 

However, some users have reported that the integration options in Kissmetrics are not as robust as they would like.

One main downfall of Kissmetrics is that it doesn’t integrate with all website platforms out of the box. In some cases, it requires additional development work to implement on certain sites.

This is less of an issue if you have a developer to help with the coding. But if not, it’ll cost you a lot of time and money to get set up. 

Another alternative to Kissmetrics and Google Analytics 

While Google Analytics and Kissmetrics are both powerful solutions, they leave much to be desired when it comes to gaining a single source of truth into your invisible touchpoints.

Both tools rely on click path data. That means they can only record and measure interactions made using a click (e.g. ad click or CTA clicks from popular articles). Neither Kissmetrics nor Google Analytics consider your invisible touchpoints such as ad views, radio or TV. 

Without insight into which invisible touchpoints drive the highest quality conversions, it’s hard to know where to increase and decrease spending.

It’s for this reason that more and more companies are turning to attribution and MMM tools like Ruler Analytics.

What is Ruler Analytics? 

Ruler Analytics is a marketing attribution and MMM analytics tool for advertisers looking to understand how their marketing impacts pipeline and revenue generation.

It tracks the entire customer journey at the visitor level on a first-party basis, including the marketing source from each session, page views, UTM variables, Click IDs, and Cookie IDs.

Whenever a visitor converts into a lead (form fill, phone call or live chat), Ruler will connect the dots to create a customer journey. 

Related: How to view full customer journeys with Ruler

Ruler automatically sends the data you’ve captured on your leads to your CRM and other marketing tools. 

This lets everyone in your business track where your leads came from and determine which marketing sources are most valuable to your business.

When a lead is marked as closed as won, the revenue data is sent back to Ruler, allowing you to measure the impact of your marketing sources, campaigns and keywords.

Related: How Ruler attributes revenue back to your marketing

The main advantage Ruler has over Google Analytics and Kissmetrics is that it uses statistical machine learning (MMM) that considers both click and impression data. 

This allows you to statistically attribute revenue to clicks and ad views to track exactly what 

Why choose Ruler Analytics?

While marketers may turn to Google Analytics and Kissmetrics for the likes of web analytics, Ruler is unique because it:

Google Analytics vs Kissmetrics vs Ruler: How do they compare?

We’ve put together a comparison table to highlight the main differences between Google Analytics, Kissmetrics and Ruler.

FeaturesGoogle AnalyticsKissmetricsRuler Analytics
PricingFree– Small/Medium Business from $199
– Large from £499
– Enterprise £999
– Advanced POA
Available supportYesYesYes
Features– device targeting
– pageview tracking
– predictive modelling
– statistical modelling
– user interaction tracking
– Account-based marketing
– Conversion rate optimisation
– Customer data platform (CDP)
– Demand generation
– Digital analytics
– Email marketing
– Event management
– marketing attribution
– revenue attribution
– data-driven attribution
– marketing mix modelling
-predictive analytics
– visitor level tracking
– form, live chat and call tracking
Integrations100+ other apps with an intelligent and automatic 2-way sync.Kissmetrics integrates with popular third-party software including Facebook, Google Analytics, Instagram, Shopify and WooCommerce.Integrates with almost any sales and marketing tool.
Advantages– It’s free
– reliable data
– Detailed reporting and visualisations
– Individual user tracking
– Uses MMM to consider both click and impression data
– Offers predictive analytics to support marketers with optimisation and budget planning
– Tracks offline touchpoints/leads
Suitable forIndividuals and small-medium sized companiesKissmetrics is best for businesses who want to understand their client base better on an individual level.Suitable for companies who want to prove marketing impact on revenue

What’s the verdict on Google Analytics vs Kissmetrics?

Google Analytics and Kissmetrics are both powerful tracking tools. While some of their features overlap, they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Google Analytics is free and offers tons of data to track your website performance. Kissmetrics, on the other hand, allows you to gain deeper insights into your individual users and their touchpoints. 

With additional support from Ruler, you can measure the true value of your marketing based on a combination of media and non-media factors. And more importantly, better predict the future of your marketing to create more effective strategies and drive more profitable decisions.
Don’t take our word for it. See how Ruler helped SQ Digital fill in the data gaps to prove ROI. Or, book a demo to see it in action for yourself. marketing efforts generate your highest ROI.