Remember the article on Fathom Analytics? I use this system of statistics on most of my sites for several reasons. I have as much information as I need, I don't waste time clicking through a mountain of data, I care about my readers' privacy, and on some sites I can get rid of the annoying cookie box.
In the case of Google Analytics, this is no longer so simple, but it is possible. In this post I will show you a method that you can implement literally in 5 minutes.
RODO, is the General Data Protection and Privacy Regulation under EU law. It also applies to the transfer of information and data outside of the EU and EEA, which means that it affects virtually any company with a website that is accessible to a worldwide audience.
There are many restrictions on what data can and cannot be collected without consent. As a result, this causes problems with the quality of analytical data, as a certain proportion of visitors do not agree to Google Analytics cookies.
Is Google Analytics compliant with RODO
With a standard implementation, no. What this means for you is that you will need to enter consents to use Google Analytics if you want to comply with current privacy legislation. This is not a particularly complicated step, although the level of complexity depends on what your website is based on.
If your site is WordPressAll you need to do is install the appropriate plug-in, configure it according to what is on your website and ask for the consent of each visitor. It works in such a simple way that until the consent is given, the Google Analytics code will not be loaded. What does this mean in practice?
This means collecting statistics that are not a true reflection of what is happening on your site. The data is simply incomplete, which can cause errors in its interpretation, which in turn leads to wrong marketing decisions and ultimately to financial losses.
On the other hand, if you do nothing in this field and ignore the regulations, this can result in unpleasant legal consequences for you and your company.
This is something many of us do not like
Cookie notifications and any consent, are a UX nightmare. Many people are used to them by now, but the subconscious does its job anyway. When you enter a website expecting quick information about a product or service and suddenly get a big prompt about RODO, this is undoubtedly a distracting and annoying element. It can also have a negative impact on your final purchasing decisions, and nobody wants that.
How to make Google Analytics compliant with RODO
The easiest way is to use the plug-in Rank Math PRO version. Virtually every website needs an SEO optimization plugin, so there's a good chance Rank Math is already hosted on your site. However, to ensure GA compliance with RODO, the free version available in the repository is not enough, you need to reach for Rank Math PRO.
Then activate the Analytics module:
Click on the "Settings" button and enter the configuration as in the following screenshot:
The key here is to enable tracking without cookies. Also remember not to use other Google Analytics plugins in this case. If you have one, simply delete it and rely on Rank Math.
I'll also draw your attention to an option here called "JS Analytics standalone file". This is a rather vague term and you may not understand what it means. In fact, this option causes the GA script not to be downloaded each time from Google's servers, but to be stored on your hosting account and loaded from there. This can have a positive impact on your site's performance and quality scores.
How Google Analytics works after such a change
When the above options are enabled, Rank Math PRO installs Google Analytics tracking code using a different method to generate a unique identifier for each visitor. The identifier does not require a cookie. It is encrypted based on hashing and a combination of the visitor's IP address, domain, browser and its language. This means that no consent is required from the site user, as no sensitive data is collected or sent to Google Analytics.
Nothing complicated, right? The question is whether a similar implementation can also be used on other sites not created on WordPress? Yes, it is possible, but it requires preparation of the code to be inserted on the page plus clicking through the configuration in Google Analytics. The method I have shown is the quickest and easiest, you just need to have Rank Math PRO.
The benefits? You don't have to ask permission for Google Analytics meaning less distractions and the data collected by the statistics system is complete. What more do you want 🙂 .
I'm glad Rank Math has introduced this functionality and I use it where I don't use Fathom Analytics. Think about making a similar move.
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