It seems Google has taken a hint from Facebook (yes, I still hate those darn real-time updates, and I’m going to keep writing about it), and has placed some level of value in “real time” updates with the new Analytics update. Okay – so this has nothing to do with Facebook, but I felt like a little dig there was necessary. Back to the important stuff: Google Analytics users – those indefatigable webmasters who use Google’s tool to track their website’s traffic – saw a change yesterday in how often and how quickly they see changes happening. No longer is there a three hour delay in data collecting. Why? Because Google has added Real-Time updates as well as a new premiere version to the Analytics platform.
What Do You Mean, “Real Time?”
Though it has not yet been fully rolled out, in about 2 weeks, webmasters will all have access to the new version of Analytics. Once they activate the new feature (by clicking the “New Version” link in the upper-right hand corner when logged into Analytics), webmasters will be able to better understand how Facebook and Twitter affect traffic, according to Google, by better being able to gauge if social media activity is bringing people to the site, and how quickly it is doing so. It also gives a good indication of when it is time to engage with your social media followers again. John Jersin writes on behalf of the Google Analytics Team: “Whenever we put out a new blog post, we also send out a tweet. With Real-Time, I can see the immediate impact to my site traffic.”
The Value of Social Media Tracking via the New Real-Time Dashboard
This type of information will also help users know when to send out a new tweet to capture the waning attention of social media followers who are no longer visiting the site because of the last tweet sent out. Once traffic from the first tweet starts waning, webmasters will know exactly when to send out the next tweet. This way, sites will be better able to maintain an engaging social media presence, and therefore encourage brand loyalty (read about the importance of branding and social media in our recent blog post, Search Engine Optimization Tips). This can be incredibly important and helpful to webmasters in a time when social media has become so incredibly important to a site’s success. This kind of information will also clue webmasters in to when to post a new blog post, or share a new blog post on Facebook.
To Sum Up: What the New Dashboard Will Show
The new “Real-Time” dashboard in Google Analytics allows webmasters to view things like who is on their site and how much traffic they are seeing to each page (it gets as granular as, for example, each blog post published) as it is happening. If they are logged into Analytics and are viewing their data on this dashboard, they can watch people entering and leaving their site as they do so. It’s like being a shopkeeper who keeps an eye on the surveillance camera, watching customers coming and going.
Webmasters will have access to the following information about their site traffic: the number of visitors on the site at this very moment, how many people are coming to the site per minute, where the traffic is coming from, which pages on the site are seeing traffic, which keywords brought the visitors to the site, and the GEO location of the visitors.
The Launch of a Premium Version of Analytics
There’s now a premium, paid version of Google Analytics. Launching yesterday, the new version allows for more detailed analyzing of site data. What are webmasters paying for with this new service? For large sites with high traffic and a need for more tracking capabilities and support, the premium version of Analytics is perfect. Google sums up as the general description of what’s being offered as more data, more advanced tools, 24/7 support and guarantees for data collection and reporting.
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