Analytical power and privacy
Almost all websites use some sort of Traffic Analytics, Google Analytics is used by 54.7% of all websites, according to w3techs.
Using an external analytics service to collect and parse website’s visitors data is the simplest and fastest way, however, it comes with a price since the website owner has no control of the scope of data collected, and how it is processed.
Is the price too high?
The direct price on the website is:
- Performance: Loading the Google Analytics script directly impacts the website performance.
- Legal: Google Analytics is using tracking cookies and requires consent popups, affecting the website's first impression and natural navigational flow.
- Ethical: Compromising my website’s visitors privacy in order to maintain analytical power is plain wrong.
Bablab is a platform for photography portfolio websites, we allow our users to connect their websites with Google Analytics, and many photographers do. We noticed the impact of using Google Analytics on the websites’ load time and performance (on average, adds around 1.3 seconds to the Largest Contentful Paint and Time to Interactive timings). Considering the efforts put into making Bablab so fast, these results were frustrating.
The decision was to provide an alternative and develop an updated analytics solution to meet the new regulations constraints, keeping our clients’ portfolio websites GDPR compliant, without any need for cookies popups.
We chose to implement a non-intrusive server side method, since photographers' portfolio websites often have clients and traffic from all over the world, yet their traffic analytics requirements are fairly basic.
Here are few screenshots of Bablab Traffic Analytics:
View how your site’s visitors, and pageviews trend over time.
Gain valuable insight into traffic sources and device types to better understand your audience. Dig into specific referral links to see which press articles and posts lead to the most traffic.
What is the best practice then?
You can use Bablab’s Traffic Analytics combined with the non-intrusive tools provided by the search engines, the ones that lead traffic to your website:
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools will tell you a lot about what is happening before people reach your website, what people are looking for in relation to your website’s subject context. This information is anonymous and based on what people search in Google and Bing, it is very valuable for keywords analysis.