Google Analytics has been a great tool for a very long time at analyzing what has happened in the “past” on your website.
But as the speed of the web is constantly getting faster it is not enough any more to know just what happened in the past alone.
We need to know what is happening NOW on our websites.
It is important to know the impact of your Internet marketing activities as it happens so you can react, correct, or clarify your message.
And sometimes it is just downright cool and addictive to watch the ebb and flow of traffic through your website.
Google describes their Real-Time tool as follows…
Real-Time allows you to monitor visitor activity as it happens on your site. The reports are updated continuously and each pageview is reported seconds after it occurs on your site. For example, you can see:
- how many people are on your site right now,
- their geographic locations,
- the traffic sources that referred them, and
- which pages they’re viewing.
With Real-Time, you can immediately and continuously monitor the effects that new campaigns and site changes have on your traffic. Here are a few of the ways you might use Real-Time:
- monitoring whether new and changed content on your site is being viewed
- see whether a one-day promotion is driving traffic to your site, and see which pages these visitors are viewing
- monitor the immediate effects on traffic from a blog/social network post or tweet
- immediately verify that the tracking code is working on your site
Accessing Real-Time Data
Real-Time is available in all Google Analytics accounts. No changes to the tracking code are necessary.
To see Real-Time data for a web property, navigate to the Home tab and select Real-Time from the left hand report navigation column.
We integrate Google Analytics into all the websites we build for our clients. It is a valuable tool for analyzing what is taking place on your website yesterday and today!