Do you use analytics software on your website? You might be using Google Analytics, which is one of the most popular and free analytics services. There are other alternatives like Facebook's Tracking Pixel, Hotjar, Clicky and many more.
You should have analytics on your website, but not mouse tracking, privacy invading scripts which track your every move.
Those services might seem useful at first - they help you understand your readers. But do you really need to know all that? How somebody is moving a mouse or what they are typing on your website?
I love analytics
When done right, I love analytics as they give you insights into your content. But it's also important to respect your users. This means that you:
- Inform users about tracking
- Give them option to opt-in
- Explain how and why you track them
So, why should you use some of those services? You don't have to, but there are many good reasons:
- Respect your users' privacy
- No cookie consent necessary
- Easy to use and understand
- Support indie software developers
- Feel good about yourself
There might be other services out there, but those two mentioned are the pioneers in the privacy oriented analytics.
Do you have a newsletter? Are you tracking your open rate, location and devices of your users where they read it? I admit that open rate might be valuable metric, but it often invades you users' privacy. Give users option to opt-in/out or make sure they are informed when subscribing.
So, what's next?
I suggest you try out both Plausible and Fathom and see which works best for you. I use Plausible on this blog and am very happy so far.
There are plenty of free options out there, but are they really free? We should inform users how their data is used and give them options. Key word here is - consent!