Capturing real-time analytics is all the rage at the moment. Knowing exactly what’s going on at every moment is deemed an important part of site management. If you often find yourself wasting the hours away staring at Google Analytics as your site visitor numbers wax and wane, you’re probably over stressing yourself, too much information can be harmful as too little, but you’ll be pleased to know that Google has recently released a raft of improvements to their real-time features.
The productivity killing aspects of real-time data aside, it can, on occasion, be very useful to track exactly what’s happening on a site at a particular moment, rather than relying on aggregate data where useful information often falls between the cracks of statistical agglomeration.
For example, it can be very handy to know how traffic levels react to social media sharing or public events. If you send out a tweet promoting a piece of content, it’s useful to know what level of traffic that generates and the number of conversions that traffic makes. That knowledge makes it easier to tweak sharing strategies to maximize qualified traffic.
Real-time data can also have an impact on editorial decisions. If a particular blog article generates a lot of interest from some source, then a site can both generate more related content and concentrate resources on outreach to the referrer, whether that’s social media or a link from another site.
Google has added four new features to their real-time analytics.
Real-time Event Analysis
Rather than just watching top-level events as they occur, it’s now possible to filter and segment them by category, and see which visitor segments trigger particular actions.
Segmentation By Device
In an age where a significant proportion of site visitors will be mobile users, it’s important to be able to segment them according to device type. You’ll now be able to see how many users are interacting with a site through a desktop computer, a tablet, or a mobile device like a smartphone.
Shortcuts For Real-Time Segments
If you often find yourself monitoring the same visitor segments, then having to click through the interface setting up the dashboard each time can be a pain. With the addition of shortcuts, you can save your favorite segments for future access.
Comparing Real-Time Data To Aggregate Data
This one is going to be a boon to trend spotters. Ideally, sites would like to maximise their traffic across all refers and times. Being able to compare the stats for a particular time to historical results and overall results is a good way to gather actionable data for rejigging posting, sharing, and other marketing strategies.