See how Google Analytics and Mixpanel stack up against each other and choose the right solution to measure your website and marketing performance.
There are a number of analytics tools that provide customisable metrics and a variety of reports and dashboards.
Two of the more popular tools are Google Analytics and Mixpanel.
But what tool is better for tracking marketing success and user engagement?
Google Analytics, Mixpanel or both?
Let’s look at their differences, strengths and weaknesses to see which tool is best for you and your reporting.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
💡 Pro Tip
Ruler makes a great alternative to Google Analytics and Mixpanel. Ruler tracks your data on a visitor level, allowing you to successfully attribute leads and marketing-generated revenue across multiple sessions, campaigns, ads, keywords and more.
Learn everything you can discover in Ruler
90% of marketers consider Google Analytics the go-to analytics tool for website tracking and marketing reporting.
But for the sake of this guide, let’s assume you’re starting from scratch.
Google Analytics is a tracking tool owned by Google used to measure and analyse user behaviour on your website.
Let’s first discuss what we love about Google Analytics. Then we’ll move on to where it could be improved.
Google Analytics is free for most small and medium-sized businesses.
There is no subscription or monthly fees for the standard version of Google Analytics.
Anyone with a website can use Google Analytics without charge and benefit from its countless metrics to support strategic decision-making.
Handy if you’re on a tight budget.
If you exceed more than 10 million visits per month, you’ll need to pay for its premium version, Google Analytics 360.
This usually costs around £150,000 per year. GA 360, however, offers way more reporting capabilities and data than the standard version of Analytics.
Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics service online.
The data backs it up. According to BuiltWith, over 28 million sites—including 74% of the most popular 10,000—were using the tool as of April 2022.
It’s also considered the most reliable analytics solution among marketers too.
We found that 92% of marketers put all their trust into Google Analytics to track marketing performance.
No analytics tool out there is perfect, including Google Analytics.
But when set up correctly, Google Analytics can reportedly measure over 95% of genuine visitors.
Google Analytics allows you to track how many users are coming to your website, what they are looking for and how they found you.
It has an entire section called Acquisition that breaks down all your sessions by source (organic, paid search).
With the Acquisition report, you can see which of your marketing efforts are generating traffic, contributing conversions events and optimise accordingly.
We can’t deny it. There are a lot of benefits to using Google Analytics, but it isn’t perfect.
Related: Limitations of Google Analytics and how to overcome them
While many marketers flock to GA for their website analytics needs, it does come with some stumbling blocks that are worth taking note of.
Chances are you’ve seen several articles from industry luminaries and experts talking about how Google Analytics isn’t fully compliant with the EU laws on privacy.
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 so has caused quite a stir in the EU.
So far, Google Analytics has been banned in Austria, France, Italy, and Denmark.
As more countries work against Google Analytics, the data will become increasingly limited.
And marketers will find it more challenging to track website visits, conversions and overall marketing performance.
Google Analytics does a great job providing an overview of your visitors and conversions, but the data is anonymised.
Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to capture data on your website users and assigns them a unique anonymous id.
Related: How to track individual users in Google Analytics
It processes anonymised information about what pages your visitors land on, how long they spend on each page and where they convert.
So why is this an 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 effectively attribute revenue back to your marketing and accurately measure your impact on pipeline generation.
All you have is anonymised data on how users found and engaged with your website.
Ruler Analytics makes the process of tracking customer journeys easy. It tracks your visitor interactions across multiple touchpoints and unlocks powerful insight which you can use to improve your customer experiences and marketing efforts.
How to view full customer journeys in Ruler
Despite the growth of digital communication channels (live chat, social media), phone calls are considered a valuable type of lead for many businesses.
Our data backs it up. 50% of marketers rely on phone calls to drive quality leads.
Google Analytics was built to show you what’s happening on your website.
It works wonders for tracking the results of your digital activities, but out of the box, Google Analytics doesn’t provide any insight into your offline conversions and inbound calls.
Related: How Ruler sends offline conversion data to Google Analytics
Without this data, many marketers are missing out on a great deal of data about where their leads are coming from.
A worthy Google Analytics alternative, Mixpanel is an analytics tool that lets you dive deep into your product and website performance.
Mixpanel focuses on user behaviour and allows you to understand more about what your users interact with on your website, mobile app, and products.
It organises your data to unlock valuable customer insights, so you can better convert, engage, and retain your target audience.
Features in Mixpanel include:
As it stands, Mixpanel is used by 20,000+ customers in over 150 countries internationally.
Let’s first look at the benefits of using Mixpanel and why it’s useful for businesses.
One advantage that Mixpanel has over Google Analytics is its ability to track data at an individual user level.
Mixpanel can identify users by their names and emails. As we’ve already discussed, the best you can do in Google Analytics is to track the user ID.
Similar to Google Analytics, Mixpanel tracks distinct ids. It’s a random sequence of numbers assigned to each user.
But, when a user fills out a form or logs into your authentication system, Mixpanel gives you the option to update the distinct id with a more relevant identifier.
For example, an email address or contact name.
This allows you to link users’ movements across different platforms, giving a more holistic view of their journey.
Another advantage of Mixpanel is its funnel reports.
Mixpanel’s funnel reporting allows you to track what proportion of users progress through a predetermined sequence of events.
While Google Analytics has a dedicated feature for funnel reporting, Mixpanel does it better for two reasons.
First, Google Analytics can’t collect or analyse data retroactively, whereas Mixpanel can.
Mixpanel allows you to track and display user interactions over the past 90 days, even if your funnel wasn’t set up.
Second, Mixpanel allows you to segment your funnel reports by the audience, a feature not currently available in Google Analytics. This is a huge win for Mixpanel as it offers users better insights for analysis and more accurate predictions.
Mixpanel has put its stamp on the analytics market, but like Google Analytics, it isn’t perfect. Let’s discuss why.
Unlike Google Analytics, Mixpanel is a paid analytics service. Mixpanel does have a free version to get you started. The free version allows for up to 25,000 data points per month, but it’s restricted.
You can only have a limited number of events and certain features. These features don’t include customer profiles and funnels.
You can opt for the Growth plan, which starts at $25/month. The cost varies depending on what your company needs Mixpanel to do.
According to a review by eCommerce Platforms, Mixpanel pricing is based on a Monthly Tracked User (MTU) system. That means your rates are calculated on the number of users that perform a qualifying event each month rather than individual user profiles or events.
Pricing for the Growth plan starts at 1,000 MTUs. The more additional MTUs you add, the more it’ll cost. For example, say you need an additional 10,000 MTUs then your subscription would jump from £25 to £300+ per month.
While Mixpanel has a lot to offer, it has a steep learning curve.
Mixpanel has lots of reports and features, so it can take a while to get used to how it works. This could be a significant stumbling block as it means less time to focus on marketing to boost conversions and revenue.
Google Analytics, on the other hand, is much easier to use. It comes with tons of support articles and training videos in case you ever get stuck.
While Google Analytics and Google Analytics are both powerful solutions, they leave much to be desired when it comes to gaining a single source of truth of what is and isn’t working.
Neither tool can track phone calls out of the box. As it stands, phone calls are turning B2B visitors into buyers at a rate 10 to 12 times higher than lead forms.
Without insight into which marketing sources drive the highest quality offline 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 Ruler Analytics.
Ruler Analytics is a marketing attribution and analytics tool for B2B marketers looking to understand how their marketing impacts pipeline generation and drives revenue.
It tracks website visitors over multiple sessions and touchpoints. 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 based on actual revenue and not just conversions.
Related: How Ruler attributes revenue back to your marketing
While marketers may turn to Google Analytics and Mixpanel for the likes of web analytics, Ruler is unique because it:
We’ve put together a comparison table to highlight the main differences between Google Analytics, Mixpanel and Ruler.
|Features||Google Analytics||Mixpanel||Ruler Analytics|
|Pricing||Free||– Starter plan $0|
– Growth plan from $25
– Enterprise POA
|– Small/Medium Business from $199|
– Large from £499
– Enterprise £999
– Advanced POA
|Features||– device targeting|
– pageview tracking
– predictive modelling
– statistical modelling
– user interaction tracking
|– real-time reporting|
– acquisition reports
– engagement reports.
– monetisation reports
|– marketing attribution|
– revenue attribution
– data-driven attribution
– marketing mix modelling
– visitor level tracking
– form, live chat and call tracking
|Integrations||100+ other apps with an intelligent and automatic 2-way sync.||Integrate with almost any sales and marketing tool||Integrates with almost any sales and marketing tool|
|Advantages||– It’s free|
– reliable data
|– Provides funnel reporting|
– User indentifcation tracking
|– Tracks offline touchpoints/leads|
– Connects anonymous visitors to revenue
|Suitable for||Individuals and small-medium sized companies||Individuals and small-enterprise-sized companies who use both mobile and online analytics||Suitable for companies who want to prove marketing impact on revenue|
Google Analytics and Mixpanel are both valuable tracking tools. While some of their features overlap, each one has some distinctive technology that provides unique advantages.
Using Google Analytics for your website tracking, and Mixpanel for your product will provide you with more data insights to improve your performance.
And with Ruler, you can map and track your user journeys, online and offline, and attribute revenue back to your main lead channels.
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.