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Google Analytics Real-Time Beta

28th February 2012 by Alex Davies | News & Events

So Google Analytics now has real-time reporting functionality in place. This is currently in beta and allows users to see live data as to how many people are currently present on the site. Here at Yard we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the beta upgrade, so here’s a little overview as to what has changed in this latest pending release.

There is a new Real-Time (Beta) portion of the interface which allows you to access all of the real-time data.

Within this section, you can see how many users are currently present on the site. At current, all of the sub content groups contain information provided in the Overview section. More functionality will most likely be added within each of these sections at a later date.

The Overview contains the following statistics:

Users currently on the site

To me, this is the most beneficial metric available with the new release. We have tried this ourselves and can confirm that me, the active user, was detected almost immediately with only a delay of just a few seconds. The Google Analytics beta has been implemented for our new Yard Digital site, hence the low volume of data in the screenshots, so apologies to those looking for some rather impressive six-digit figures!

The referring source that users have entered from

This will provide you with real-time data for the top referrers to your site, such as Google, Bing, Twitter, etc.

The amount of pageviews per minute/second

The amount of pageviews per minute/second users has navigating through. This is beneficial to see how many users view, say, 1 article after a blog post has been Tweeted or whether they linger on the site for some time after.

Top keywords used by visitor:

This metric will be extremely beneficial for things like new Ad-Word campaigns. How well are they doing in a short space of time? Questions like this can be answered.

Top active pages on site

Again, how many users have come to view that new blog post that has been Tweeted? This metric will prove to be extremely beneficial when gauging performance of social media posts.

Top locations (geographically)

This will enable you to see the primary location of users accessing your site and to how far your audience extends. I can’t really see how this will prove to be beneficial in a real-time format, but hey, more information can’t be a bad thing, right? Of course, if you’re targetting a specific region with a campaign, this can prove to be extremely useful.

The Benefits of Real-Time Analytics

The main benefits I see with this are the immediate impact of a campaigns and social media. How much traffic has my latest tweet brought in and how fast? Are my latest front page Facebook ads proving to be beneficial in a short space of time? Some of these questions can be answered with real-time analytics as you’re able to monitor traffic immediately.

All in all, this provides some excellent information if you require data on demand to make informed decisions. There is a little trick we use here at Yard to provide real time analysis from Google Analytics in its current form, and that’s by dragging the timeline date range slider completely to the right – this provides more up to date data before an analysis cycle has taken place.

This, however, pales in comparisons to Google Analytics’ new real-time functionality as you’re unable to see just how many users are actively navigating through the site in a real-time format.

Beta Sign-Up

As far as I am aware, this will be rolled out to all Google Analytics users in the future, but if you would like to get your hands on the new beta functionality, you can sign up here:

https://services.google.com/fb/forms/realtimeanalytics/

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

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