Fathom Analytics Review: Better Than Google Analytics?


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4.8/5

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Are you currently using analytics software to track and view your data? How confident are you that your analytics software is tracking your data correctly under the GDPR law? Do you know where your data is being stored? 

These are all very important questions you need to ask yourself before you end up on the wrong side of the law. 

There is countless software available with Google Analytics being the most preferred and popular that you can choose to track your website traffic however Fathom Analytics has revolutionized the way online data is being handled. 

So, how has Fathom Analytics done it, and why are they the best privacy GDPR solution for you to track your website traffic?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not and in no means any legal advice. I would recommend you seek legal counsel if there is anything you don’t understand. This article is for informational purposes only. 

What Is Fathom Analytics Best Known For?

As its name suggests, Fathom Analytics is a powerful analytics software that takes the guesswork out of business decisions. Fathom allows you to analyze your data more easily and quickly to make the best choice for your company.

They have an easy-to-use dashboard that provides you with all your important data relating to your website. The best feature Fathom provides is that they don’t use cookies so you can delight in a more streamlined experience. 

They use a lightweight script that loads faster and you can just like other analytics softwares, view your information in real-time and also customize your data to meet your specific needs. 

You are still able to track every visitor and have a SpamReferral list that ensures that your most valuable leads are not missed no matter where your visitor is on your website.

Fathom also has an easy-to-use compliance solution for apps and websites. It creates an audit trail of all user data, helping users comply with laws such as GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, and PECR which whether you know about the law or not should be followed.

Does Fathom Analytics Collect Proof Of Consent?

The GDPR law is a regulation that has been passed to protect the personal data of EU citizens. The law came into effect on May 25, 2018.

As mentioned early Fathom Analytics is an analytics tool that doesn’t use cookies. It was created to give privacy-conscious businesses the ability to track their users anonymously, without compromising their user’s privacy.

Fathom is great as you no longer need to worry about how your consent is being stored because they don’t store any personal information on its servers.

If you are not tracking any personal data on your website with other third-party services other than Fathom Analytics then you would not have to invest and pay for a consent solution.

What this means is that you don’t have to put a cookie notice banner on your website as long as you are not using any other cookies on your website that collect personal data. 

If you are using ad networks such as Google Adsense, Ezoic ads, etc you would need a cookie notice banner and collect proof of consent from your visitors.

What Kind Of Features Can You Expect When Using Fathom Analytics?

Fathom Analytics is a powerful data platform that helps companies make the best decisions possible, and it does so by providing them with all the information they need.

The main feature is that it provides users with a wide range of data. This includes everything from sales conversions to customer retention rates, and more. 

The software always has an easy-to-use interface. This means that people can access their data in a way that makes sense for them, which can be difficult for some who are not familiar with analytic platforms. 

Unlike other tools, Fathom is a single-page dashboard. All the information is on one screen which makes filtering the data that much easier.

Additional features automatically provided by Fathom include:

  • Number of people currently on your website
  • Content
  • Referrers
  • Device Types
  • Browsers
  • Countries
  • Events
  • UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module)

You also have a very unique feature called Custom Domains. This feature makes sure you have the confidence that all your data is being tracked and it’s not being blocked by ad-blockers.

Are you aware that other softwares available online, only provides a portion of your tracked data? This is because many software companies don’t take into account that ad-blockers prevent up to 30% of data. 

Fathom has thought about this and has taken into account that by default, any website at any given time would only have around 70 percent of its data tracked meaning most website owners lose 30 percent of their data due to ad-blockers. 

The worst part about this is that you as the owner don’t even realize that’s the case because the data you receive you assume is all of your data not just a percentage of it. Imagine the impact of your statistics and how you run your business if you had access and could view all your tracked data and not just a portion of it?   

Luckily this can easily be fixed with the Fathoms custom domains feature.

All you will have to do is create a Cname with your domain registrar or hosting company with the name and value they provide you with. 

Once that has been done, you will receive an email that your custom domain is set up, which usually takes around 15 minutes depending on the company you are using for your domain or hosting.

Doing this simple extra step seamlessly integrated into the Fathom Analytics software will give you the insurance that 100 percent of your traffic is being tracked. 

Why It’s Important To Have A Privacy-Focused Analytics Software 

Privacy is an important consideration for me and should be for anyone who has an online business. That’s why I use Fathom as my site analytics solution.

It stores no personal visitor data and never tracks a visitor in any way. The data helps me understand the behavior of my visitors so I can make better marketing decisions.

Fathom is also compliant with all of the latest data protection regulations.

It’s privacy-driven, not invasive, and guarantees total transparency around how it handles your data.

That means I don’t have to use annoying modal windows or worry about data retention inquiries because nothing personally identifiable is recorded or stored from my visitors.

On top of all that, they provide a shareable analytics dashboard so you can share privately or publicly with a password to your website. This is super helpful for websites that have large teams and those members need to have access to the website. 

Fathom is a good option for uptime monitoring because it doesn’t even cost anything extra. Unlike other software, if and when one of your websites goes down, you will immediately be notified by Fathom via email, SMS, Slack, or Telegram. 

Why Google Analytics Could Be Making You Vulnerable?

GDPR is a tough law designed to give Europeans more control over their personal data. This is one of the toughest regulations in the world when it comes to personal data.

The French Data Protection Authority recently ordered three French websites to comply with GDPR. They did this not long after the Austrian Data Protection Authority made a similar decision about Google Analytics and GDPR.

The Austrian DPA has recently determined that Google Analytics violates the GDPR law. This decision echoes that of the French lead regulator CNIL who declared it to be a violation as well.

Every website in the EU is affected by this decision. Google Analytics is the most popular statistics program, but there are alternatives that you can host on your own or host in Europe and protect your user data from being collected by Google.

Data privacy authorities are considering banning US-based services, companies or providers should find safer and more legal alternatives.

Anyone who owns a website online needs to comply with GDPR law whether they are within the EU or not. 

For example, you might be thinking, this doesn’t apply to me because I perhaps don’t live in the EU. This is not accurate. Let’s say you live in America and so your website has been created in America. 

You would need to ensure you are GDPR compliant because you might have visitors from the EU. These visitors have different privacy expectations from those in other countries. 

This means it’s worth finding out more about the law and your obligations so you understand how to protect yourself and secure your website so understanding how tracking software such as Google Analytics or others might be storing and transferring your data is important. 

Is Fathom Analytics Better Than Google Analytics?

Some people think that Fathom Analytics is better than Google Analytics because of its ease of use and powerful features. They also argue that it has a more user-friendly interface.

However, others believe that Google Analytics is the best option because it is free and has a lot more features than Fathom Analytics.

In my opinion, Fathom is better than Google Analytics because it is not only going to save you money but is it privacy-focused.

The reason I say it’s going to save you money is that you are not at risk of any compliance fines which can get costly if you are not GDPR compliant but with Fathom Analytics you can be assured your analytics is 100 percent compliant with all laws.

Putting the money aspect aside, Fathom might not have all the bells and whistles Google Analytics has but what they do have is far safer and risk-free. 

Everything you receive from Fathom Analytics is data protected, user-friendly, law-abiding, and privacy protected. For me, that’s far more important than having a few extra features that Google Analytics might provide. 

In saying this, there are some features I hope Fathom Analytics will add in the future. 

Currently, there are no suggestions on how to improve the analysis, no tips and tricks on how to make the most of Fathom Analytics and lastly, you can’t add notes and annotations to charts. 

How To Set Up Fathom Analytics On Your Website?

The process is super easy and you only need to do 4 steps.

Step 1: Remove any previous analytics software if you are currently using one. Then sign up for a free account with Fathom Analytics.

Step 2: Download and Install the plugin by going to your website’s dashboard, clicking on “Plugin” then “Add New” and typing “Fathom Analytics”.

Step 3: Add a site to your Fathom account and copy the Site ID into the plugin.

Step 4: Test that your site is being tracked correctly by going onto your website in an incognito window and clicking around. After a minute or two, go and check your Fathom dashboard to see if it’s tracked your activity.

Top Tip: Make sure that once your free trial is over and you start paying for Fathom Analytics you should set up your random custom domain and uptime monitoring. Also, make sure to go and set up Allowed Domains. This will make sure that if someone has your site ID and is using your fathom script on their website that it will not be tracked within your dashboard. It is very important that it isn’t, so make sure to set this up.

Final Thoughts

Owning and managing a website or any online business can become very stressful especially when it comes to privacy laws if you are unfamiliar with them.

Having Fathom Analytics integrated into your website will relieve you from extra stress by not having to worry about how your data is being tracked or stored. 

I know that change can be difficult especially when you have been using analytic software for a long time such as Google Analytics or if you are a beginner and all you have heard people talk about is Google Analytics. 

I can assure you that making this switch will not only serve you financially but will also give you peace of mind that there will be no hidden and unseen lawful complications.





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