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Your own Analytics and why it's better than Google
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This is a free open source option for website stats called Matomo. It used to be called Pikwik and I first installed it many years ago. Smile

It's similar to Google Analytics for web traffic stats. There's a paid version starting at about $20 a month and a FREE version that you can install on your site.

The Good:
  • It's free.
  • You control all your sites' traffic info and don't share it with Google.
  • Just as important, if you use Analytics on your pages Google will track your visitors and sell that data to advertisers.
  • You just install it once and you can use it on all your domains. You can even give other people access to stats for their sites.

The Bad:

  • It's a big download and upload.
  • You may need to set the Config folder to 777 and they don't tell you this in the docs.
  • You need to be able create a MYSQL database.
  • If you have an old version of PHP on your site, there may be an issue with the php.ini file. It sounds complicated but if you have cPanel you just need to paste a small phrase into a form in cPanel. Just paste any errors into Google.

This is one of those things that will take an hour or so and a fistful of aspirin. But you only have to install it once and it will work for all your sites and you can protect your info and your visitors' info from Google and everyone they sell data to.

...and it's actually pretty cool.

Matomo is also a great opportunity for folks offering web services. Becoming an expert in Matomo is a skill that can be sold to businesses and since it's Open Source you can legally use it on all of your clients' sites for free.
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Here's a real cool Matomo feature called "Overlays". You log into your Matomo admin and can choose to navigate your site with some stats added.

You can set the time for how long the stats are for. Just today? This month? This week?

This is vital info for forum owners. Browse your forum using Matomo's overlay feature and you can see what links people are clicking on...

In the image below I'm viewing the main Cash Cow forum page. The numbers with yellow arrows are the overlays  and they show how many clicks came from a link and how many clicks went to a link.
[Image: matomo-overlay.JPG]
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Another powerful Matomo feature is a Tag Manager. Google has a Tag Manager is their webmaster tools, but I suggest giving Google as little of your data as possible. There's a reason they offer many of their services for "free".

A tag manager lets you add code to all your pages from a single place. Let's say you want to use a FB retargeting pixel. You would have to add the code to all your pages. Then maybe you want to add a Google retargeting pixel. You can just go to your tag manager and insert that code.

Then any time in the future you can modify them across all your pages/sites from your Tag Manager in Matomo.

The tag manager has some impressive "triggers" you can set which tell your tag when to "fire". For example, let's say you have a FB retargeting pixel in a sales page. You can set a trigger to fire so that it creates an audience of people that scrolled more than 50% down the page.

Tags are pretty technical but there are also very powerful and something you and I should probably use more. Smile
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