It’s no surprise, given the prevalence of Google, that many websites – from small blogs to multi-million-pound e-commerce platforms – use Google Analytics, a service that tracks and reports website traffic. There’s no denying it’s an incredibly powerful platform that provides users with real benefits, from gaining an understanding of where visitors are coming from to providing insight on customer journeys through the website.

When looking to implement an analytics solution – necessary for many and particularly essential for e-commerce sites – it’s important not to overlook Matomo, an arguably less known competitor to Google Analytics.

Formerly known as Piwik, Matomo is a full-featured web analytics platform. A key difference to Google Analytics, though, is their approach to data, with its promise of 100% data ownership (data gathered via Google belongs to – and is used by – Google!). Here at O’Brien Media, we hold privacy close to our hearts, so it’s perhaps natural that we recommend Matomo to our clients!

Easy to use, the interface is not dissimilar to Google’s offering, allowing you to view visitor data and behaviour, as well as heat maps so you can literally see where visitors are clicking throughout your site. It also offers advanced functionality such as the ability to “A/B” test, presenting different experiences of a site to users, and tracking responses to see which best meets the goal in mind.

Matomo is also Open Source. This means that anyone can look at the source code of the application and edit it – and it, therefore, benefits from a loyal base of developers that are always seeking to improve it. You might not think this to be a big deal – but the spine of the internet is powered by Open Source software. If you’re reading this on the O’Brien Media Blog, then you’re using Open Source software to do it.

The core portion of the software is available free of charge – although some of the more advanced functionalities (as with Google Analytics) are paid add-ons.

Interested in switching to Matomo or learning more? O’Brien Media can help make this happen, just get in touch and we can discuss setting up your own Matomo server to keep your data totally under your control or using our O’Brien Media Analytics service that’s built on Matomo! If you’re an existing Google Analytics user you can also rest assured we can import your historical data, so you needn’t sacrifice the data you have collected.

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