This morning, I got the pleasant surprise of being invited to the beta of the new, Real-Time Analytics. For those of you who haven’t used Google Analytics, it’s a free program that many website administrators use to learn information about the visitors to their website. We’ve moved far beyond the old days of the counter at the bottom of the home page sharing with the world how many visitors they have had. Now, with tools like Google Analytics, you can see not only how many people have visited, but where they live, what browsers and operating systems they use, and how they found your site. These metrics are vital to learn how to optimize your website for your viewers, where to target ads and promotions, and which campaigns are the most effective.
One drawback historically to Google Analytics is that you have to wait a day to see the results. While patience is a virtue, the day delay is pretty inconvenient when you are working on a social media campaign and want to learn about its effectiveness more quickly.
The new version of Analytics provides real-time reporting and more statistics about your social media reach. Upon logging in, the main screen will be very familiar to users of the old version of Analytics, showing your hits over the last month, and charts below showing the number of new vs. returning visitors. I have to say that it’s exciting to see that big line graph going all the way to today’s date.
You will quickly see though that there are some new options in the left menu. Many of the options, such as demographics, behavior, and technology, are options that we have had in the old version, but have new names and easier accessibility on this screen.
The new social section gives you information on the number of times that your content has been shared on social networks. Unfortunately, I do not have exciting stats to share about my content being shared at this time, but I am very excited to see this new feature in action moving forward.
I hope to write update posts going forward as I see more of the new features in action. Please comment with any questions that you would like to see answered in follow-up posts. Are you using Analytics, and have you gotten into the new version yet? What are your thoughts