For the majority of 2020, we here at Studio 24 were using Matomo as our primary tool for analytics. After years of using Google Analytics, it became clear that user privacy was fast becoming the most important consideration for an analytics platform and after testing out many different options we found Matomo to be the most impressive alternative.
Whilst Google Analytics is free to use it does not offer the level of privacy protection that our clients and their visitors deserve. Because Google Analytics uses visitor data for their own purposes you must display a tracking consent screen for users to agree or disagree to. These screens are cumbersome and annoying and detrimental to the user experience and this is where Matomo becomes invaluable. Included in the package are powerful GDPR tools for exercising data subjects’ rights. You can anonymise your visitors’ IPs, and have the option to not store any IP address at all. There is even the option for cookie-less analytics by forcing the disabling of all analytics cookies set by Matomo on any website tracked in your account. Once the privacy protection is correctly configured you can use it freely without the need for consent and it results in more accurate data for us and a better experience for our users.
In November of last year, there was a new major release of Matomo Analytics that included many improvements to general security and privacy within the platform so we thought we would write up a bit about what makes Matomo the right platform for us.
Here are a few of the key features that we use every day:
- Content Tracking – measure impressions and clicks for image banners, text banners, and any unique element on your pages.
- Site Search Analytics – track any searches done on your internal search engine.
- Page Transitions – view what visitors did before and after viewing specific pages of your website.
- User Flow – a visual representation of the most popular paths your users took through your website.
- Heatmap Analytics – heatmaps and scroll maps of your user sessions displayed in bright overlay Heatmap reports.
- A/B Testing Platform – run experiments and optimise your website and marketing campaigns by running A/B tests to increase your conversions.
- Goal Conversion Tracking – track goals and identify whether you are meeting your current business objectives.
Whether our client is a major infrastructure project or a nationwide e-commerce website, or even for the Studio 24 website, Matomo gives us the data we need whilst also giving us the peace of mind that we are respecting user privacy and being completely GDPR compliant. We used Google Analytics for years, and whilst it was a daunting prospect to change platform after so long there really was no need because you can even import all of your historical data and custom reports over from Google Analytics to Matomo as well.
If you would like to discuss your website’s analytics platform and look into GDPR compliance then feel free to contact me at [email protected]