Thoughts on WHAT to track and report

Simple, private, self-hosted, cookie free website day...maybe

Thoughts on WHAT to track and report

I’ve been thinking about not just HOW to track, but WHAT to track. And these are related. My tracking method will, to some extent, dictate what I can track.  For example, using a simple pixel image or reference to a URL in HTML or CSS will not be able to send me the URL of the referring page.

And in meeting my goal of not using cookies and not keeping any personally identifiable information, I won’t be able to track users paths through a website.

This is perfectly OK for some applications. It’s not OK for everyone, but if you need that level of detail, we can still report the ratio of conversions against page views.

I wasn’t going to add event tracking, but maybe I’ll add events after all to help with this.  This WILL require a JS tracking code to be installed.

We’ll see.  Initially I’m happy with views per page over time, browser usage metrics and referring pages/traffic sources. None of these need personally identifiable information. It’s all anonymised and aggregate.

IP’s are personally identifiable information and will be logged in server logs (unless I turn this off), but I’ve seen it argued that, as long as your careful with log rotation and deletion (including backups), there’s a case for keeping this data temporarily without consent.