Last week, the Google Analytics Team sent out an email explaining new features to their Real-Time data. If you manage your own site analytics using Google Analytics, you’re familiar with just how useful the service can be. You might not be familiar with their Real-Time Analytics feature, a well-kept secret that can give you a totally different perspective on your website.
Real-Time Analytics lets you see exactly what’s happening on your website live, in real time—hence the name! You can see how many people are browsing your site, which pages are being viewed, where they’re from, and how they found you all on one easy to read, constantly updating dashboard.
If you didn’t know about Real-Time Analytics, you can check it out by going to the Home screen on your Analytics dashboard by clicking the button on the top bar, then click Real-Time Analytics. You’ll see a live monitor of what’s happening on your website at the moment. Pretty cool, huh?
Here’s what the new Real-Time Data Segmentation feature allows you to do with your site data, and how you can use it to improve your website’s performance.
Live Visitors Can Show You What Works and What Doesn’t Work
Watching your visitors cruise around your website in your Real-Time dashboard is the digital equivalent of peering over their shoulder, and you can gain a lot of insight into how your website “works” for them by keeping an eye on their behavior.
When a visitor arrives, you’ll see the page they’re on pop into the Top Active Pages list. If you’re running a campaign or publishing new content, you should see lots of people arriving on that piece of content. If they’re supposed to click through to another website, and many of them aren’t following through, it may mean that they aren’t interested in the offer you’re making them…or it could mean something is wrong with your promotion.
Social media is another great example of using Real-Time data to measure your success. Whenever you post a new Tweet or Facebook post, if it directs people back to your website, you can see exactly how many people act on it immediately after you publish it. Watching visitors arrive on your website after publishing to social media is exciting…watching them explore the rest of your site or click into a conversion funnel is even more exciting!
Google Helps You Dig into Your Data as It Happens
Just a week from yesterday Monday, Google’s own Justin Cutroni summed up the new features in Real-Time analytics on his Google Plus page. Previously you just had a broad overview of your site’s live performance, and although you could organize this data based on what was most important, you couldn’t drill down into it for specific insights.
With these new segmentation features recently rolled out in Google Analytics, you can now do exactly that. If you want to know how much exposure you’re getting from a particular geographic region, you can look at your performance by geographic location. If you’re curious as to how well your content performs in regions you’re targeting, you can watch who finds you, and how they’re finding you. Want to know how you can improve your organic search results for your hometown? Just take a look at how people find you throughout the day within your region.
No matter how big or small your business is, content marketing is all about knowing your visitors, and knowing how to provide them with what they need. What better way to figure that out than to watch them live, actively interacting with your business online? With Real-Time Analytics and its new features, you can do exactly that.
It’s tough to explain in words just how cool Real-Time Analytics really is, so check it out for yourself if you have the chance. Let us know how you make use of GA Real-Time in your business!
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