Have you heard of Fathom Analytics?
Most folks have never heard of any website analytics solution other than Google. But you may have noticed, on this site, that I don't have to pop up any notice about GDPR or cookies. That's because I've switched from Google Analytics to Fathom Analytics.
You've heard the saying, right?
There's a well known saying in the product world: if you're not paying for the product, you are the product.
What it means is that companies like Facebook and Google (and no, I'm not in a war with either of them) generate revenue from ads. So they need users to use their software. Because without users, no one would spend money on ads. So they give the users the software for free, because that's what they're selling – our eyeballs.
So that takes me to why I made the switch.
Reason One: I hate the site pop-ups about cookies. Absolute hate.
It wasn't hard to predict that the shift to a focus on privacy and personal data would lead to things like GDPR. It also wasn't hard to predict we wouldn't solve it at the broswer level. Instead, we'd invite every single site to solve it themselves.
As a result, every site I visit has some notice that I have to click to accept cookies. It's not that I don't like or have an issue with cookies. Again, I'm not fighting that fight.
I just hate how frustrating it is to have all those pop-ups take over parts of the screen. I hate the interaction. I hate that every site does it differently. And I hate that I have to spend cycles figuring out where to click to make them disappear.
When you use an analytics solution that doesn't track visitors or store that information, you don't need a pop up. At all. Ever.
That's reason one of why I chose Fathom Analytics.
Reason Two: I don't want to deal with GDPR Requests.
Whether you're up to speed on GDPR, and whatever the US equivalent will be, or you don't care, here's what I do know. If a customer comes to you and asks you to remove their order from your site, that's a simple exercise. I can do it in 3 minutes.
But if a customer came to me to ask me to eliminate all their browsing data of my previous Google analytics tracked site, I would have no idea how to go about getting rid of all of that.
You may know. But I don't. And I don't ever want to know.
Fathom Analytics makes things simple for me. I don't track you. So I don't have that data. So I don't have to do anything about it. Browse as much as you like. I won't know what you, specifically you, has done on my site.
Reason Three: Did I mention Fathom Analytics is easy?
Listen, I'll be honest with you. There's a ton of stuff I know about, when it comes to product, product development, product marketing, and even just blogging. You know what I don't know much about? Google Analytics. Google Tag Manager. Google Data Studio. Stuff like that.
I'm happy to write. Daily. And not worry about anything else.
But Google Analytics is now deployed via Tag Manager. And there's a new GA4 that's coming. And Data Studio. And so much to know.
Fathom Analytics is super straightforward and easy to review.
Reason Four: Fathom Analytics is fast!
Remember when I told you that you have to install Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager? I know it's supposed to not add any weight to things. But I wanted to dig into that.
I wasn't smart enough to capture the chart, and it wasn't a huge difference, but it was there. And when you're focused on speed and performance all the time, every little bit counts.
I'll have to re-install GA one day and compare it in a screenshot so you can see it. But suffice to say, I'm enjoying Fathom enough that I'm in no rush to switch back.
Is it right for you?
So is Fathom Analytics right for you? I don't know. Here's what I can tell you:
If you don't mind paying a bit of money…
And you enjoy letting your visitors know they aren't tracked….
And you care about privacy in general…
And you like a simple solution for analytics that keeps the main thing the main thing…
And you like a fast site…
Then maybe you should check out Fathom Analytics.