Skip to main content
Pixel cat

Google Analytics Pricing: Costs & What’s In For You

Paul Jarvis · Mar 2, 2024

Google Analytics, globally the most widely used web analytics tool, has over 38 million users leveraging GA4 for their analytics needs.

However, the primary version of Google Analytics, which is free for anyone with a Google account, does have some limitations.

For users requiring additional features and more in-depth website analysis, there's a premium version available. While it comes at a cost, it provides a broader range of options.

In today's post, we'll break down Google Analytics pricing to help you determine if this tool is the right fit for your needs.

How Much Does Google Analytics Cost?

There are two Google Analytics pricing options, and we'll break down both to clarify their differences.

1. GA4 Free Version

Google Analytics offers a free version (GA4) enabling users to access a wide range of essential features for tracking website traffic and user behaviour.

Users can gather insights on visitor numbers, demographics, traffic sources, and website interactions.

This version suits small to medium-sized businesses or individuals who want to understand basic analytics data without incurring additional costs.

2. Google Analytics 360

Google Analytics 360 is the premium, subscription-based version designed for larger enterprises and organizations with more extensive analytics needs.

This advanced version offers additional features and capabilities compared to the free version. It provides enhanced data processing, more customization options, advanced integrations with other Google Marketing Platform products, and dedicated support.

Google Analytics 360 starts at US$ 50,000 per year.

Google Analytics Free Version: An Overview

Google Analytics 4 operates as a freemium service, which means that users have access to different metrics and core features (mainly basic features) based on their digital marketing and web analytics needs:

Real-time ReportingLive view of website traffic with continuous updates. Provides insights into top pages, referrers, geography, and visitor technology.
Custom ReportingFlexibly build custom reports with charts, tables, metrics, and filters to analyze data relevant to your business.
Audience AnalysisUnderstand visitor demographics, such as age and interests, based on browsing behavior using Google's powerful AI.
Conversion TrackingTrack important actions like form submissions, signups, downloads, or purchases to understand the return on investment (ROI).
Attribution ModelingDetermine the impact of marketing channels on conversions at each step of the customer journey.
Cohort AnalysisAnalyze how user groups behave over time to optimize user retention and repeat visits.
Data Sampling LimitationsOnly the first 500,000 sessions are fully processed; after that, data is sampled for accuracy, potentially causing inconsistencies.
Data Freshness LimitationsProcessing latency can lead to data being up to 24 hours old before appearing in reports.
Data RetentionBy default, report data is available for only 2 months, making long-term trend analysis challenging.
Access RestrictionsLimited to 25 accounts per user and 10 million hits per month per account.

Google Analytics 360: An Overview

The premium version of GA is named Google Analytics 360, and its cost varies depending on your business requirements. It starts at $50,000 per year but can go up to $150,000 (and even more) per year based on various factors.

GA360 Features and Perks

Here's a quick overview of all the features that GA360 users can expect when signing up for the premium version of this tool:

Monthly CostStarting at $50,000 per year.
Additional FeesAdditional fees apply for services like server-side implementation, BigQuery access, and cloud platform usage.
Target MarketPositioned in the enterprise bracket, with a focus on larger businesses. Few small or mid-sized players typically opt for this premium tool.
Processing CapabilitiesHandles up to 100 million untracked sessions per report, eliminating sampling errors.
Data FreshnessOffers enhanced data freshness with intraday processing latency of 1 hour for critical metrics.
Historical DataProvides 50 months of historical data directly within the interface for comprehensive trend analysis.
Roll-up ReportingAllows for roll-up reporting to aggregate cross-domain data into unified reports.
IntegrationsAdvanced integrations with other Google tools, including Campaign Manager 360, Display & Video 360.
Support and TrainingAccess to expert support, customer success management, and training credits.
Custom FunnelsAdded capabilities around custom funnels for more tailored analysis.
Audience DefinitionEnhanced audience definition features for a deeper understanding of user segments.
Attribution ModelingAdvanced attribution modeling to better analyze the impact of marketing channels.
Advanced AnalyticsUnlocks advanced analytics features for more flexible and unrestricted analysis.
Cohort Analysis and MoreAdditional capabilities include cohort analysis and more for comprehensive data exploration.

Additional Costs Related to Google Analytics 360

In addition to the base subscription fee for Google Analytics 360, there are supplementary costs associated with specific services that contribute to an enhanced analytics experience:

  1. Google Cloud Platform (GCP): Employing GCP is important for server-side implementation, a crucial step in mitigating tracking latency. Many enterprises opt for GCP in conjunction with GA360, incurring an additional monthly cost, typically averaging around $1,000.
  2. BigQuery: For those seeking direct access to raw analytics data, BigQuery is a powerful tool that comes with associated costs. The pricing structure is based on the volume of data processed, starting at a minimum of $400 per month.
  3. Implementation and migration: The process of implementing and migrating to GA360, especially if outsourced to an agency or consultant, introduces an additional cost that heavily varies depending on the option chosen.
  4. Additional training: Google Analytics 360 might require specialized training or hiring experts, essential for enhancing marketing efforts. This necessary investment varies, essential for efficiently leveraging GA360’s advanced capabilities. Costs can vary widely based on the depth of training required and the expertise of the personnel involved.

Based on all this information, the total annual cost of implementing GA360 can go as high as US$ 200,000-300,000 per year.

Should I Pay for Google Analytics 360?

The free version of the Google Analytics platform will be sufficient in the following scenarios:

When the free version is sufficientCriteria
Traffic VolumeIf you have under 500,000 sessions per month (or plan to stay under this range), the free Google Analytics account is likely sufficient.
Ecommerce BusinessesSmall ecommerce businesses can assess ROI on marketing strategies for their core website, ads, and other marketing channels using the free version.
Enterprise Content SitesMost enterprise content sites, publishers of search ads, and lead generation websites can find value in the free tool for traffic analysis.
Usage ScaleUnless operating at a large scale, being a data power user, or requiring real-time unified insights across devices, the free version provides ample functionality.

Cheaper (& Better) Google Analytics 360 Alternative

As we can see, GA360 is quite expensive, and makes sense to invest only in specific scenarios where advanced features are necessary.

However, there are excellent alternatives in the market that surpass GA4 (the free version) at just a fraction of the cost of GA360.

Fathom Analytics is an all-in-one web analytics tool that meets the needs of advanced users while also presenting itself as a privacy-compliant and affordable option to consider.

1. Costs

The cost of GA360 represents a barrier for most GA users, whereas Fathom Analytics pricing plans are accessible for different types of users:

  1. Google Analytics 360:
    • Starts at $50,000 per month for larger enterprises.
    • Additional fees for services like server-side implementation and BigQuery access.
    • Targeted at businesses with substantial budgets and complex analytics requirements.
  2. Fathom Analytics:
    • Starts at $15 per month.
    • Tiered pricing based on monthly data points, accommodating various business scales (from 100,000 monthly data points at $15/month up to 25,000,000 data points for $470/month).
    • Suitable for smaller businesses with varying data point needs.
    • Presents an economical choice with a straightforward pricing structure.

2. User Interface

One of the major issues with Google Analytics products is their complex and challenging interface, which is not a problem with Fathom.

  1. Google Analytics 360:
    • The interface may be complex even for intermediate users
    • Tailored for larger enterprises with extensive features and customization options
    • May require dedicated training or expertise to fully utilize its capabilities Comprehensive reporting and analytics tools, suitable for in-depth analysis, real-time reports, and more.
  2. Fathom Analytics:
    • Boasts a simple, intuitive, and user-friendly interface
    • Designed for ease of use, making it accessible for users of all skill levels
    • Streamlined features for quick and straightforward navigation
    • Minimal learning curve, allowing users to get actionable insights without extensive training
    • Ideal for smaller businesses or users who prioritize simplicity and efficiency in their analytics experience

3. Privacy

While Google Analytics provides valuable insights into website traffic and user behaviour, privacy concerns have been raised regarding the extensive data collection practices employed by the platform, potentially infringing on user privacy.

On the other hand, Fathom is privacy-focused GA alternative:

  • Limited Data Collection: Fathom prioritizes user privacy with minimal data collection, utilizing unique signatures to prevent individual identification.
  • Ad-free and Non-Shareable Data: As a software company, Fathom doesn't rely on targeted advertising revenue and ensures no data sharing between customer sites, distinguishing it from Google Analytics.
  • Compliance without Notices: Fathom achieves GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, and PECR compliance without the need for intrusive cookie notices, providing a privacy-focused analytics experience.

4. Data retention

Understanding the longevity and accessibility of your data is crucial, especially for businesses keen on long-term trend analysis and decision-making.

GA360 offers data retention up to 50 months. This is a lot longer than the free GA4 version that allows only for up to 14 months but still a stark contrast to Fathom Analytics.

Fathom Analytics stands out in this regard by offering a "forever" data retention policy.

This policy ensures that data is never deleted, providing users with unrestricted access to their data from the moment they sign up, indefinitely. For businesses and analysts who rely on long-term data to track trends, analyze growth, and forecast future strategies, this is a game-changer.

Wrapping Up: Are Google Analytics Premium Plans Worth It?

When evaluating the worth of Google Analytics Premium Plans, it's essential to consider factors such as cost, complexity, analytics needs, privacy concerns and data retention.

While Google Analytics offers advanced features tailored for larger enterprises, the associated high costs and complex interface may not align with your needs, especially if you are looking for more affordable options that respect user privacy.

Alternatively, Fathom Analytics emerges as a compelling option, providing a cost-effective, user-friendly and privacy-focused alternative with unrestricted access.


How Much Does Google Universal Analytics Cost?

Google Universal Analytics is no longer available; it was replaced by Google Analytics 4 in July 2023. There are no plans available, either free or paid, to access it anymore.

How Can I Purchase GA360's Advanced Analytics Features?

Direct self-service purchase of Google Analytics 360 is unavailable. To buy Google Analytics 360, you can either contact a Google Sales Representative through the Google Marketing Platform website for a customized quote or partner with an Authorized Reseller listed on the Google Cloud website for additional support and expertise.

Back to the learn section

Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis, author + designer

Pixel cat

Tired of Google Analytics? Try Fathom Analytics, free for 30 days:

Start a free trial

Pixel cat

Switch to a better Google Analytics alternative

Fathom Analytics is simpler, more accurate and privacy-first. Import your Google Analytics data (UA and GA4), add our single line of code, and watch real-time analytics from your site pour in.

Start a 30-day, unlimited free trial to see how simple analytics can be.

Get started

Check out our full-featured, live demo to see how our software works.

Live demo