This article will be updated at the beginning of 2016

The web analytics market in France and more widely in Europe is developing. New consulting companies were launched and accompany more and more companies, whether or not pure player. The work of evangelization begins to be gainful and more and more companies in Europe are now aware of the web analytics’ value added, whatever the business model(s) of their website. They only remains to take that step. In north America, the web analytics market is already mature. The firm Forrester also forecasts that market value will reach $ 1 billion just for the United States in 2014,  that said the potential in France and Europe.

Faced with this enthusiasm, I think it’s time to step back and relate the key stages in the evolution of the discipline since the start of the industry by Webtrends in 1993 until today. I found others articles about this subject but they are either outdated or not quite complete. I think this will help us to better understand what is happening and anticipate what will happen this year.

This article includes technical passages explaining the basic features of web analytics’ tools. These passages are simple and understandable by the less technical of you.

It’s composed of six parts  that are accessed directly through the following links:

- Definition of web analytics

- Web analytics, what is it ?

- Back on the main advances of the discipline from 1993 to today

- Focus on 1993 and the beginning of web analytics through log files’ analysis

- Simplified schema of data collection via log file

- Excerpt from a log file

- The year 1997 and the arrival of data collection method via javascript tags

- Simplified schema of data collection via javascript tag

- Development’s timeline of the majors web analytics’ solutions from 1993 to today

- Analysis of this evolution

Definition of web analytics

The web analytics is the measurement, the analysis and the reporting of users behavior in order to understand and optimize the use of your website.

Web analytics, what is it?

Attract, convert and gain loyalty - The three main domains of e-marketing

The web analytics aims to increase the profitability of your website.

For years, traffic acquisition is the field of e-marketing the most popular at the expense of conversion and retention. Too many enterprises forget that their company website does not live through traffic acquisition but with its monetization and therefore with the visitors that the site managed to convert into customers. The conversion rate is 55% in physical stores, that is to say that more than one in two people entering a store buys. This rate falls to 1.8% on the Internet for e-commerce websites. It’s very little and this leaves considerable room for improvement.

Concretely, the web analytics comes down to the collection, the analysis and the implementation of recommendations based on data collected by a web analytics’ tool.

Back on the main advances of the discipline from 1993 to today

The data collection can be done via two methods:

- Logs’ analysis of web servers

- The use of JavaScript tags

Here is a timeline showing the main stages in the evolution of web analytics:

Evolution of web analytics

You will find this timeline and the one after in this pdf file.

Continue Reading