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As a business owner or marketer responsible for maintaining an online presence, measuring the success of your website and its performance is essential for making informed decisions and driving growth. One tool commonly used for this purpose is Google Analytics, which allows users to track key metrics such as traffic volume, engagement levels, conversions, and revenue. However, many small businesses may not realise that by using Google Analytics they are essentially giving away their valuable data to one of the world’s largest tech companies.

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Why Analytics?

As a web designer, you pour countless hours into creating beautiful websites that not only look fantastic but also provide an excellent user experience. However, all this hard work can be futile if you don’t have any way of measuring how well your site is performing. That’s where website metrics come into play.

By tracking various metrics such as page views, bounce rate, and conversion rates, you can get a clear understanding of what’s working (and what isn’t) and make informed decisions about how to improve your site.

But before we dive into specific metrics, let’s talk about why measurement matters. After all, building a website takes time and resources, so it’s essential to know whether or not those investments are paying off. In short, without proper measurement, you may end up wasting precious resources on things that aren’t working, which could ultimately harm both your business reputation and bottom line.

While there are many different metrics out there, the ones listed below will give you a solid foundation from which to start making sense of your website’s performance.

Google Analytics

In addition to being free, it also collects information about visitors behaviour which then gets sold to third party vendors. This can include everything from interests, demographics, location, device usage, job industry and even how often a user visits certain types of websites in a given time frame. It can also track what type of content you viewed, products you interacted with and where those interactions occurred. As if that wasn’t enough it will also tell them exactly when individual pages were visited along with how long each visit lasted.

Are There Good Guys?

For this reason, it is recommended that you choose to use alternative tools when analysing your website’s data, like the paid service offered by Fathom Analytics. Fathom Analytics is designed specifically to provide insights into customer behaviour across multiple channels, including email marketing campaigns, social media platforms, landing pages, eCommerce stores, etc. By tracking data through various sources and consolidating all this information into a single dashboard, you gain access to actionable insights into visitor preferences and behaviours.

Furthermore, by choosing to pay for this sort of service you can ensure that your website analytics tool does not sell any of your data to third parties.

Summing Up

In conclusion; whilst Google Analytics may seem a good choice – it is selling your data. When something is free on the internet then you are the product. Whilst the paid-for Analytics software does lack in details, it is not scourging all of the information from a visitor, against their will. So, you have a choice; the all-sing all-dancing morally corrupt Google Analytics or the upright paid-for system. It boils down to ethics and cashflow – which do you prioritise?

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Andrew Backhouse, a skilled independent designer based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, assists small and medium-sized enterprises, well-established brands, and dedicated creative professionals with their website design needs. Have a look at his portfolio and reach out for collaboration.

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