We know that many website owners use Google Analytics, but our experience indicates they don't use it often, don't use it well, and never remove it from their sites even if they haven't used it in years. There are several reasons that you shouldn't do as they have done. We'll explore those reasons, and give you a very convenient alternative.
Why Don't Website Owners Use Google Analytics to build their Web Traffic?
Many have heard about Google Analytics from friends or seen cursory discussions of it on the web. So they sign up and figure out how to get the script installed on their site very quickly. Having accomplished that, they log into the console, and discover that there's so little data being collected that they never log in again. It is overwhelming for most site owners to try to make inferences from the small amount of data being collected, so they lose interest pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Google just goes on merrily amassing data.
What happens to the data?
Google keeps it. Their terms of service transfers ownership of the data from you to Google. As they say in their privacy disclosure: "...when you visit a website that uses advertising services like AdSense, including analytics tools like Google Analytics, or embeds video content from YouTube, your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page you’re visiting and your IP address. We may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising. Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse, and personalize content and ads you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps..."
Recently the EU (European Union) has begun requiring every website that uses Google Analytics to disclose that fact to site visitors, and requires the website to ask permission to use it from every visitor on every visit to the site.
Lastly, Google does not, at present, share all of the data it collects with the site owner, and when a site owner removes the tracking script, Google retains ownership of all data it has ever collected from the site.
Why Is it Better for Harper Vance Customers to Use Matomo?
All data collected is stored on our server, and never shared with anyone else, for any purpose. Neither the site owner nor Harper Vance is required to disclose its use to visitors. You can assure every visitor with confidence that their data will not be used to sell them products or services.
We've also gotten pretty good at helping our hosting clients interpret their data, and can help them design and execute cost-effective tactics to bring more qualified prospects to their website.