Google Analytics vs SmarterStats

Jun 5, 2014 | Google Analytics

SmarterStats and Google Analytics are website statistics packages that provide valuable data on the performance of your website or application. The key difference between these statistics packages is how they analyze data.

Google Analytics vs. SmarterStats

SmarterStats and Google Analytics are website statistics packages that provide valuable data on the performance of your website or application. This data is important to help identify strengths and areas of improvement for your website. A few of the key reports that these statistics packages provide include:

  • Number of website visits
  • Most viewed content pages
  • Which external websites directed users to your website
  • Much more!

Difference between Google Analytics and SmarterStats

Google Analytics and SmarterStats provide similar reports about the performance of your website. The key difference between these statistics packages is how they analyze this data. Google Analytics is a script based analyzer and SmarterStats is a log-based analyzer.

What is a Log-Based Analyzer?

A log-based analyzer, like SmarterStats, gathers data from a server log file. This means that every interaction is stored in a log. This log can then be analyzed to gain data about a website user. Here are the benefits of a log-based analyzer:

  • Tracks every interaction visitors have with any page of a website
  • Maintained at the server level
  • Visits by automated bots are tracked
  • Historical data is available via logs
  • Bandwidth (system usage) is available

What is a Script Based Analyzer?

A script based analyzer, like Google Analytics, gathers data from a JavaScript tracking code. This code is placed on the pages of a website that you want to gather data for. When a user accesses one of those pages, information is then sent out to Google Analytics for analysis. Here are the benefits of a script based analyzer:

  • Records data only on pages that have a tracking code
  • Live/real time visitors (users on your website at the moment) data 

Google Analytics and SmarterStats Feature Comparison

With the technical data collection process aside, here is a comparison of just of few of the features available for both of these website statistics packages:

Should I use both Google Analytics and SmarterStats?

Google Analytics and SmarterStats can be used at the same time. This will give you the best of both worlds in regards to reports. The key thing to remember is the data between these statistics packages will differ. You will not see the same number of visits for the same time period because of how data is processed (log versus script analyzer).

If you still have additional questions, please check out our blog for helpful articles and videos or contact Informatics.