Yandex Metrica vs. Google Analytics – Choose Your Weapons
If you’re scared to use G Analytics and Google Webmasters Tools for your site, if you don’t want to leave footsteps, and if you don’t want Google to have direct access to your sites, you should start using Metrica from Yandex.
Yandex Metrica vs Google Analytics
If you think this is some second-grade tracking software that can’t get close to Google analytics, you are so wrong on so many levels.
I don’t blame you. For a long time, I thought there is no good solution or substitute for Google Analytics. One day I decided to install Metrica. It looks great and gives loads of data. So after dumping Gmail, I decided to use as few Google services as possible. I know you probably think you can’t work without Google, but let’s take a look at this great service from Yandex.
Setting up an account is easy as 1,2,3.
Step 1. Create Yandex account. While you’re there you can go with Yandex mail as well. They offer option to integrate Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mails into this account, so you have all in one place. Basically you create Yandex Passport that will connect all Yandex services. It is the same thing Google is doing; however, Yandex won’t use your personal information to gain profit.
Step 2. Once you created Yandex account, jump to Metrica (metrica.yandex.com) to get an HTML code to paste to your site. You just paste the code to Header of your site. You get HTML code by clicking Add Counter button which will lead you to Setup page. Here you insert your site name, URL and everything else.
Step 3. There is no Step 3–that’s it, simple!
You can have as many sites as you want in your Metrica account without being afraid that Google is going to link a black hat site with your client’s sites or that it will link to other white hat sites in your inventory. You have all the sites in one place without being afraid that they will penalize all of your sites with no good reason just because one site is a big bad wolf.
Now let’s see the reports
There are nine different categories (Traffic, Sources, Behavior, Visitors, Tech Specs, Report Wizard, Monitoring and Islands) you can use to follow your stats. Each main category has several subcategories. You will see that there is a lot of data and many ways to visualize that data. The last category is traffic from Yandex Islands but if you’re not living in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Turkey or Belarus this won’t interest you.
1. Traffic- This category gives you overall stats for a day, week, month, year. This is the basic info that you can see if you’re using something like WordPress Jetpack . Here you can see Bounce Rate, UVs, Views, New vs. Old Visitors, and several similar reports.
2. Sources- The colorful visualization is really nice and gives you have several options to explore. You can see which Search Engines bring the most of the visitors, which sites send you visitors, social network traffic, and other traffic sources.
Within each subcategory, you have the option to create a new report. For example, take a look at Social Media Sources Report. You get all the data you need for each source, including bounce rate, visits, page views, page depth, and time on site, in this report.
3. Visitors- This my favorite part because I can see where visitors come from, their interests (I don’t know where do they pull this data from), age, gender-age structure, time of visit, country of origin, and other demographic statistics.
The country of origin information is great because Yandex Metrica will cut the data in small pieces. For example, you can see the percentage of visitors from USA. You can then expand that into states to see where US traffic is coming from. I can see that we are fairly popular in California. I can then find out where in California my visitors are from.
4. Content- This part of statistics is really great if you have a bigger site, or eCommerce site. It gives you all the data you need to show you what is great about your site, such as which content is downloaded the most, which pages/articles are a magnet for your visitors, and which pages are the most popular exit pages.
5. Behavior- Arguably, the best part of this category is a Click Path Analysis subcategory where you can see where the clicks are coming from, where are they pointing to, and how many visitors comes from top referrals. Looks much better than Google Flow, right?
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, did you know that you get Heat Map if you click “Click Map” subcategory under Behavior? How this works? Easy, just choose the page from the drop down menu and you will get the results; showing you where your visitors are clicking, let’s take a look.
Awesome,right? You still think Google Analytics is better? Oh, and yes, under Behavior category you also have something called “Link Map”. Wait, I will first show you a screenshot and then I will explain.
When you choose Link Map, you will be offered list of URLs from your site. Once you choose your URL by clicking on it, this handy tool will take you to that page of your site. You will see something like the above screenshot. As you can see, each link on the chosen page is colored with a different color. Red is the most clicked link. If you scroll over the color you will have a new window opened, like in the above screenshot, with detailed stats for the link.
And that’s not all! If you want to have access to the stats of a single page, such as the home page, you just click on that link and drag it to your browser bookmark panel. Once there, you will be able to access the Link Map feature from any page of your site with just one click.
6. Tech Specs- This category covers Browsers, Monitor Resolutions, Mobile Devices and Operating Systems, so you can see what your visitors use. Besides letting you know if your visitors use Windows, Metrica will also let you know if it’s Windows 8, Windows 7, XP, or another Windows operating system. Same goes for iOS, Android, and any other platform.
7. Report Wizard- This is a good place to create some reports, to show off your stats, and to see how your website performs. You can use filters to cut the data into tiny bits and pieces.
8. Monitoring- This is another interesting category if you’re a sucker for statistics. You can use different filters to check the average page load time, look at how many visits per minute, and monitor visits by robots.
9. Islands- My wife posted
article on Islands here (sorry this site now redirects to my domain, so there is no article, I never saved it and it is not in web history) and this great feature is supported in only 5 countries at the moment. This category counts clicks from Islands and it shows search phrases (imagine, they are not hiding search phrases like Google).
Instead of the Conclusion- Some other great services by Yandex
Yandesk.Disk (There is English option in the dropdown menu.)
Yandex Webmasters tools