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10 Feb 2021
I don't have analytics on my site

I don't have analytics on my site

Yep, it may sound a bit crazy, but I genuinely have no idea how many of you read my stuff (not that there is much of it).


Have what?

So you may have no idea what I mean when I say 'analytics for my site'; that's cool!

I'd say that the vast majority of websites out there utilise a third-party platform that gives visibility on traffic. To a lot of people, traffic visibility is vital. It can allow decisions to be made based upon real data, rather than guessing.

A lot of platforms offer things like:

  • Referrer (Who sent the visitor to your site?)
  • What pages were visited?
  • How long was spent on each page?
  • Did the user click around?
  • What device was used?
  • Where the user is located?
  • Are they a new or returning visitor?

Of course, this list is just an extract of the available metrics.

So you can see all that information, so why don't you want it?

I understand why many sites out there want to utilise this. However, this is an easy one for me; privacy.

These platforms use a number of ways to identify users and extract data about them. I find the amount of data that is harvested about users is really scary. Sure, just seeing a users location is intimidating enough, they can also pretty accurately report age, gender and even the users' interests.

To gain this kind of information means the user has to have been tracked for a long time, across multiple sites. This enables them to gather data on them as time goes by and build up a dataset.

When a site starts using an analytics platform, they then contribute their visitors' information to the overall data set.

A little example would be visitors to this site. If I did implement an analytics platform, then every visitor would be marked as visiting a site probably about Software - if they had also been to similar blogs. The analytic platforms would begin to know that they indeed had an interest in Software.

Once the data set has built up, it can be used for other purposes such as targeting adverts across different sites.

But there are privacy-friendly alternatives?

Yep, true! The privacy-friendly platforms don't track users in the same way as traditional platforms but still provide insightful metrics. Of course, the standard analytics platforms expose much more detail in comparison to privacy-friendly platforms.

Personally, the metrics that are on offer, linked with the privacy friendliness is perfect!

But I still do not use them!

Surely, you're just making excuses now?

By this point, based on what I said above, you're probably thinking that I'm just scared of seeing that I have no traffic!

Nope - not at all; I promise!

After much research about the available platforms, I picked one out. I then, after much thought, decided not to use any. Not down to my lack of traffic, or effort in implementing; it was because I didn't need to.

I don't want to be motivated by traffic! Even if I have zero visitors, I still want to carry on writing relevant content. I want to publish content that helps people. Not that has high visitor counts.

Yep, I could add analytics as it wouldn't hurt, but I don't need to. I'm happy with knowing that my content is out there for people to see, and if they want to read it, they can. Whether I have ten hits per year or ten million, at this stage doesn't matter.

TL;DR

So long story short is that I don't use analytics for a couple of reasons. When I first started on my website, I picked a privacy friendly provider, but then consciously decided not to implement any analytics. I did this because my traffic metrics don't matter to me. I want to write good content that can help people. I don't want to motivated by numbers.