Fathom Vs. Plausible Analytics – Which is better?

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by Ben Delp

by Ben Delp

Marketing, Little Mountain Printing

Free yourself from Google Analytics

Google Analytics is frustrating to use, difficult to understand, and privacy-invasive too. Why suffer under its thumb any longer? It’s time to free yourself from Google Analytics and switch to either Fathom or Plausible Analytics. When you do, your customers will thank you and you’ll do more business.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is web analytics?
  2. Why is privacy important?
  3. Why do people care about privacy?
  4. What is privacy analytics software?
  5. A Review of Fathom & Plausible Analytics
  6. Fathom Vs. Plausible Analytics – Which is better?
  7. Little Mountain Printing cares about your privacy
  8. FAQs

What is web analytics?

Web analytics is the process of measuring and analyzing what’s going on with your website.

Analytics measure the number of people who came to your site, what pages were most popular, and where they came from (Google, Facebook, Bing, etc.).

To have data like this at your fingertips is critical. It allows you to see what’s working on your website and what’s not. What’s resonating with your visitors and what they don’t care about.

With this kind of data, you can fine-tune your website, your messaging, and know what sources (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are sending you the most website traffic.

Running a business without analytics on your website is like trying to fly an airplane blindfolded; you just don’t know where you’re going and it’s probably not going to end well.

But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. You can get great, privacy-friendly analytics that will help you fly your business far and fast.

Here’s how Plausible Analytics used their own software to make decisions that helped take their start-up business from $10k monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to $500,000 annual recurring revenue (ARR) in only ten months.

Why is privacy important?

People want privacy.

And companies are picking up on this trend.

Driving through Philly and NJ a few weeks back, I saw billboards everywhere for Duck Duck Go – a privacy-focused search engine alternative to Google.

The billboards humorously said, “Here’s to you. Whoever you are.”

(DuckDuckGo Billboard)

It’s funny but they’re being serious; they don’t track you and your privacy is protected.

If you’re a small business owner, the privacy movement will impact you directly. To not care is to not respect your customers’ desires. And this will cost you business.

“Your customers have never cared more about your business’s values and business practices than they do today,” said Steve Sirich from Microsoft. “And they’re voting — decisively — with their wallets. Today’s savvy consumers expect you to protect their privacy….”

So if you want to do the right thing, which will earn your customers’ respect and business, we recommend setting sail for Privacy Island. A magnificent new world beaming with customer trust and respect awaits you.

Why do people care about privacy?

“I’ve got nothing to hide.” Ever hear that?

Maybe you thought it yourself as I once did.

An analogy will help.

Imagine living in a house with no blinds. No shades. Darkness descends and you begin to flick on the lights. Now you become acutely aware that anyone walking or driving by can peer into your home and see everything you are doing. Where you put your keys. Where you place your wallet. And what your routine is.

That’s a creepy feeling, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, there are people hiding in the shadows who don’t have your best interest at heart – offline or online. That’s why privacy matters.

Privacy means safety.

A Pew Research Study found that 69% of people are worried about companies using their data in ways they would not feel comfortable with.

Just talking about a topic then seeing ads magically appear on your phone for what you were discussing only 5 minutes ago is enough to make anyone pause.

Now as a small business owner, you can’t toss out all things Google and Facebook. But where you can, you should invest in ways to shield your customers’ privacy. And when you do, you’ll earn their trust and build your business.

One change you can make right now is to switch from Google Analytics to a privacy-friendly analytics alternative like Fathom Analytics or Plausible Analytics.

What is privacy-friendly analytics software?

Simply put, privacy-friendly analytics software gives you all the most important information you need to improve your website, track campaign performance, and gain powerful insights about your customers without surrendering your customers’ data to Google.

That means, with a Fathom or Plausible Analytics tracker installed, and Google Analytics removed, your website becomes an impenetrable fortress from Google and anyone else.

You must understand this: Google doesn’t let you use their software for free because they’re nice. Rather, you’re a tool in their hand to mine your customers’ data. It’s free because you are the product. Google built their vast wealth by analyzing and selling copious amounts of personal data they’ve collected from their website analytics tool.

By choosing a privacy-friendly analytics alternative to Google, you’re respecting your customers’ privacy while getting the data you need – that’s doing good business.

A Review of Fathom & Plausible Analytics

There are other privacy-friendly alternatives out there but Fathom and Plausible Analytics rise to the top as the best of the bunch.

Before we comment on which we think is better, let’s focus on what they both get right first.

Both Fathom & Plausible Analytics are simple to use

Google Analytics is overwhelmingly complicated. It’s like someone who’s not an astronaut climbing into a rocket ship for the first time. After looking around a bit at the vast array of buttons and gauges, the first question they have is “where in the world is the ‘on button’?”!

That’s why Google and a host of companies offer training, certifications, and blogs in an effort to help you figure out how to use the crazy thing. In fact, there are consultants out there who will charge you a hefty price to show you the basics.

And there’s so much information lurking in that program you could probably pull a custom report for what your neighbor smeared on his toast for breakfast two years ago.

Fathom and Plausible Analytics are different. They’re simple to use. And your most important information appears all on one page.

Fathom Analytics Sample Dashboard
Plausible Analytics Sample Dashboard

From your very first glance, with no training, you get the information you need about how many people came to your site, what your most viewed pages were, the average time spent on each page, and on it goes.

There are no layers of menus, there is no need for you to build custom reports, custom dashboards, or PowerPoint documents. This is the way analytics should be for small business owners.

Both Fathom & Plausible Analytics respect your customers’ privacy so you stay compliant

Fathom and Plausible Analytics are both privacy-friendly. All site measurement is carried out absolutely anonymously. Cookies are not used and no personal data is collected. There are no persistent identifiers. No cross-site or cross-device tracking either.

For small business owners, this means you don’t have to have those annoying cookie banners that are frustrating your customers and ruining their experience on your site.

Your site will be fully compliant with GDPR, CCPA, and PECR.

Any data that Plausible Analytics tracks (in aggregate only) is kept fully secured, encrypted, and hosted on renewable energy-powered servers in Germany. This ensures all of the website data is being covered by the European Union’s strict laws on data privacy. With Plausible Analytics, you don’t have to worry about Schrems II and that it invalidates the EU-US Privacy Shield. Your website data never leaves the EU.

On this last point, Fathom Analytics utilizes what they call “EU Isolation” to ensure compliance with the Schrems II ruling. This is remarkable and you can read about it here.

You have a business to run. Using Fathom or Plausible Analytics means you don’t have to waste time worrying about legalese and hefty fines when it comes to your analytics.

Both Fathom & Plausible Analytics show you all your data

Depending on your audience, you may be missing up to half of your visitor data. Google Analytics is blocked by many ad blockers and several browsers – including Firefox, Brave and Safari – interfere with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager tracking.

But not so with Fathom or Plausible Analytics. With either of these two, you see 100% of your data. Click here to see the difference in numbers between Google Analytics and Plausible Analytics.

Plausible gets around this by running a proxy. Fathom Analytics gets around this through custom domains.

Plus both of these privacy-friendly alternatives filter out bots, crawlers, and other known non-human activity by default.

In a test Plausible Analytics ran, they saw 18x more page views with server-side tracking than with Plausible Analytics (client-side analytics) which shows the volume of spam traffic that Plausible, Fathom, and Google Analytics excludes.

By seeing 100% of your true data, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions that will result in more leads.

Fathom Vs. Plausible Analytics – Which is better?

Making a decision was extremely difficult. Plausible Analytics has so much going for it – like being open source – and we are certainly rooting for their success (we like healthy competition).

However, Fathom has one major difference that commands our attention: They respond lightning fast to changes in privacy law.

On January 13th, 2022, an EU DPA declared Google Analytics to be illegal. This was a scary ruling for many. And it should not have been a surprise to anyone because of the earlier Schrems II ruling.

But luckily for Fathom customers, there was nothing to worry about when this ruling came down. Fathom had already launched their EU Isolation solution a year before the EU DPA declaration.

In fact, Fathom has hired the best lawyers and legal professionals worldwide to vet their software and inform them of important legal changes.

With the hefty fines a business could incur and the constantly changing privacy winds fiercely blowing about, businesses need certainty their analytics are fully compliant. And only Fathom has a proven track record of responding to important legal changes before those changes become tangible threats to a business.

That’s why we chose Fathom. It’s cookie-free and privacy vetted website analytics. They are GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, PECR (and more) compliant, and all EU visitor traffic is processed via EU Isolation to ensure compliance with the Schrems II ruling. Fathom is trusted by Fortune 100s, banks, governments and companies of every size.

Begin with a 7-day free trial, and then pricing starts at $14/month. By signing up through this link, Fathom will give you $10 off your first invoice. (Please note, this is an affiliate link and Little Mountain Printing does receive a small commission. We present this to you in case you are considering buying. If you choose to buy, we want to see you save a bit of money. Another way to save with either Fathom or Plausible Analytics is by purchasing a year subscription at a time, instead of a month-by-month subscription.)

Little Mountain Printing cares about your privacy

We believe protecting your privacy is important. We care about our customers. We can’t abandon all things Google and Facebook at this point, but where we can, we are making changes in an effort to increase security for our customers.

If you’re a small business owner, we’re here for you.

Many businesses are missing key marketing tools and it’s costing them sales. At Little Mountain Printing, we offer marketing tools like print, modern websites, custom apparel, and promotional products to keep companies growing.

Reach out for all your marketing needs. We can’t wait to serve you.

FAQs

Is Fathom Analytics free?

No, Fathom Analytics is not free. If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. That’s why Google Analytics is free, because they make their money off the personal data their customers give them when using their analytics service. Fathom charges a small and sustainable fee because their business model is selling software, not data. Click here to see their simple pricing.

Is Plausible Analytics free?

No, Plausible Analytics is not free for the same reasons mentioned above. They charge a small and sustainable fee because their business model is selling software and never your data. Their pricing is about the same as Fathom. Click here to see their pricing.

Is Fathom Analytics open source?

Fathom has a free, open-source option called Fathom Lite. But we highly recommend their paid version. You can read about their open-source option here. That link will also help you understand if their open-source option is right for you

Will removing Google Analytics hurt my search engine/SEO ranking?

The short answer is no, using Fathom or Plausible Analytics instead of Google Analytics will not hurt your search engine/SEO ranking.
Google’s own webmaster trends analyst said:
“Just to be clear: there’s no penalty for using or not using GA with regards to search” – John Mueller
If you’d like to hear what Fathom said about this topic, click here.
Plausible has a great article on this too – see here.

Is Plausible & Fathom Analytics GDPR compliant?

Yes, as far as we can tell, both are GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, PECR compliant, and you don’t have to worry about the Schrems II ruling. However, only Fathom Analytics has responded to important legal changes lightning fast. This, in our opinion, makes the choice clear.

To get started with Fathom, click here and get $10 off your first invoice.
(Please note, this is an affiliate link and Little Mountain Printing does receive a small commission. We present this to you in case you are considering buying. If you choose to buy, we want to see you save a bit of money. Another way to save with either Fathom or Plausible Analytics is by purchasing a year subscription at a time, instead of a month-by-month subscription.)

Ben Delp

Ben Delp

has studied business across Europe, China, and India and smiles when he sees clients thriving under good marketing.

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