Matomo is the best-known and most widely used tracking tool alongside Google Analytics. According to its own information, it is used on more than one million websites worldwide. The self-reference should be correct insofar as Matomo is Japanese and translated means "honesty". In Germany, the software has a market share of almost 15 per cent.
The open source platform based on PHP and MyQSL advertises its service with the words "Take back control". What sounds like a half-baked political campaign slogan is meant to convince website operators to turn away from the still overpowering competitor Google Analytics. Matomo sees itself as the ethically clean, more transparent and non-monopolistic alternative. The tool runs either in a cloud version or can be installed on a company or agency server. All that is required is a small code snippet in the website code.
As far as data protection is concerned, Matomo actually offers significant advantages. This is because, unlike Analytics, user data is only stored on the site operator's web space and is not automatically passed on to third parties. For most data protection experts, this means that visitors do not have to agree to the use of 3rd party cookies. Although an opt-out function is theoretically sufficient, it is currently still advisable to include a cookie consent. In the case of analytics with opt-in, the site operator loses a large part of the visitor data, as they have to actively consent to the tracking. Matomo thus makes it easier to meet the requirements of the GDPR.
According to the company, the data belongs 100% to the user, without third parties having an insight into it. This is always the case if the installation on one's own server is chosen - however, this is not possible with many analysis tools such as Analytics. Another positive effect of the special data handling is that it sometimes makes the analysis results more accurate as a whole, since the crawler is sometimes not disturbed or stopped by ad blockers The overall performance of websites and user behaviour can thus be analysed more precisely. Reports are available in real time. User journeys are documented 1:1 and can be traced in all details. In addition, there is no storage limit for the collected tracking data, which makes it particularly attractive for agencies with a large number of website customers.
In terms of Internet years, Matomo is a traditional company with a long history. It has existed under its previous name Piwik since 2007. Piwik emerged from phpMyVisites under founder Matthieu Aubrey. The first Piwik version was released in March 2008 and was downloaded 3.4 million times in ten years. On 9 January 2018, Piwik was then renamed Matomo - probably primarily to avoid confusion and name confusion. Since the beginning of 2020, there has also been a Wordpress plugin.
In addition to the data protection advantages already mentioned, Matomo is also user-friendly. The user interface of the tool can be configured according to one's own preferences and priorities by dragging and dropping. Functions can also be easily added or removed. Those who want support can choose between three fee-based packages, starting at 1790 euros per year. Among the apparently convinced customers are the United Nations, the European Commission and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, as well as the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei. Presumably, the data protection friendliness of Matomo has also convinced them...
Google is the absolute market leader in web analytics with Analytics, but the GDPR is putting the company under a lot of pressure. If Google cannot be persuaded to compromise, Matomo is in the perfect position to break Google's monopoly.Data protection awareness is growing massively right now - a great opportunity for smart companies.
As a digital agency, we are happy to help you with questions about Matomo!