Website visitor tracking
This article is incomplete.(July 2015)
Website visitor tracking (WVT) is an aspect of Web analytics and deals with the analysis of visitor behaviour on a website. Analysis of an individual visitor's behaviour may be used to provide that visitor with options or content that relates to their implied preferences; either during a visit or in the future.
- Ad Tracking
- Click-through rate
- Mouse tracking
- Fingerprint (computing)
- Browser cookies, Evercookies
- Session replay scripts
- Web beacons
Tools and companies
A large number of open-source and proprietary tools are offered on the market, among them:
Use of WVT technologies can be controversial when applied in the context of a private individual; and to varying degrees is subject to legislation such as the EU's eCommerce Directive and the UK's Data Protection Act. When it is done without the knowledge of a user, it may be considered a breach of browser security.
In a business-to-business context, understanding a visitor's behaviour in order to identify buying intentions is seen by many commercial organisations as an effective way to target marketing activities. Visiting companies can be approached, both on- and offline, with marketing and sales propositions which are relevant to their current requirements. From the point of view of a sales organisation, engaging with a potential customer when they are actively looking to buy can produce savings in otherwise wasted marketing funds.
Contrary to popular belief, browser privacy mode does not prevent (all) tracking attempts because it usually only blocks the storage of information on the visitor site (cookies). It does not help, however, against live data transmissions like the various fingerprinting methods. Such fingerprints can be easily de-anonymized.
- "10 Web Analytics Tools For Tracking Your Visitors". SitePoint. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
- "EU's eCommerce Directive". Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "UK's Data Protection Act". Opsi.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Website visitor tracking going too far?". Prospectvision.net. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project (WebTap)". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
We monitor websites and services to find out what user data companies collect, how they collect it, and what they do with it. With our measurement platform, we study privacy, security, and ethics of consumer data usage
- "OpenWPM - A privacy measurement framework". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
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