Read the full version of this article on the Offen blog.
A major feature of our fair and open web analytics tool called Offen is that data is only collected with the consent of website users. Apart from being a privacy friendly method for collecting data, this has another, less obvious implication. The quality of insights from web analytics increases, especially for operators of smaller websites.
The average non human traffic on websites has now increased to more than 37% according to the Bad Bot Report 2020 (Imperva Threat Research Lab). Two thirds of this non human traffic is accounted for so called bad bots, who interact with your website in the same way a human user would do.
These interferences may have no relevance on highly frequented websites. However, on smaller websites, the noise generated by spam has a significant impact on the analytics results. Conventional web analytics tools try to solve this problem by blocking individual traffic sources. This approach leads to long lists of spam referrers in the respective code that are outdated quickly.
Data collection after opt in solves this problem on the fly. Consent banners can at best be circumvented with a considerable amount of scripting and therefore assure real human users with a high probability. We cannot think of a better starting point for the optimization of your website.
Also consider for which users you want to optimize your website. Those who opt in to data collection are most likely interested in your content. They support you with their usage data and may be willing to support you in other ways. At the same time, this preselection of the data to be evaluated leads to better insights for optimization with a privacy friendly approach.
If you are looking for a self hosted as well as lightweight web analytics tool and prefer quality over quantity you should give Offen a try. Why not let it run parallel to your current tool and see how it feels? We are looking forward to your feedback.