The amount of data collected from website users has become a divisive topic lately. So much so that mentioning website visitor tracking in public is sure to bring a few angry stares. But does that mean tools like Google Analytics are “bad” for your business? Hardly. Done with the right intentions, user tracking and data gathering are fantastic tools to create a better, more satisfying user experience (and the sales and conversions that go along with it).
GDPR And CCPA Impact On Web Marketing
When the European Union and then California passed new data protection laws, it appeared change would sweep the world of online marketing. To some extent that has been true: web forms now ask you to actively check a box to opt in to get on a company’s mailing list, and every site now buries us in “cookie alert” overlays when we visit. Other than that, not much has changed.
The general perception of online marketing has certainly gotten darker over the past few years, however. And much of it is well deserved. There’s plenty of nefarious, poorly done, obtrusive, and obnoxious digital marketing out there.
Website Visitor Tracking Isn’t Evil (When Done Right)
For a good web analytics consultant, this simply creates more opportunity. The world needs better online experiences, and analytics are a key part of creating them. Without a strong picture of what’s happening with user behavior in your website or app, you won’t know what to change to improve. The vast majority of tracking elements I set up– especially for government agencies or higher education Google Analytics – are created to:
- Understand what users were doing across websites and apps
- Determine which elements were being interacted with, and how often
- Learn whether the primary goals of the application were being met for users
- Test changes and updates for improvement in the agency’s goals and user outcomes
If an application is created to make signing up for a government service fast and easy online, then it’s useful to have sophisticated and deep enough user tracking created to learn whether that is really being achieved (and fix it when and where it isn’t).
Even Analytics for Lead Generation Can Be Done Well
The government website visitor tracking example above might be easy to explain away, but even more sales-oriented websites can benefit from “analytics for good.” The goal for your website, even when you really want that form fill, should be to create great experiences and not psychological manipulation. A happy prospect who has an excellent experience with your brand is way more likely to be a satisfied long term repeat customer than someone who is railroaded into converting and then spammed to death.
Create Your Website Visitor Tracking for the Right Reasons
Overall, analytics and user tracking lead to positive outcomes for both website owners and users if created carefully and used to create better experiences.
Are you looking for website visitor tracking that’s ethical and purposeful for your government, higher education, or B2B business? Contact me to set up a free consultation.