Google_Analytics_LogoTime is money. That sentiment is as true today as it was in the days of hauling on horseback from town to town. Keeping that in mind, Google has rolled out a new ‘real-time’ segment to its popular Google Analytics product, used by web owners to monitor, assess sources and activity on their websites.

To cover it in one fell swoop, the new real-time feature allows the webmaster to oversee all activity on the site as it’s happening, eradicating the sometimes three-hour wait before anything going on with your site is logged. But as ever, there’s a lot more to look at than just the face of it, so in the words of DiCaprio in Inception: we need to go deeper.

So What’s New in Google Analytics?

Like many new technology products and features in this day and age, there’s a greater focus on social networking and the impact it can have on one’s site. The real-time reports generated by Google Analytics, which give you up to the minute feedback on exactly how many visitors are there on your site, what they’re looking at and how long they’re sticking around as ever, keep a close eye on how visitors are responding to your use of social networking.

For example, many blogs, including TechNorms, accompany posts with tweets and shares on Facebook linking friends, subscribers and followers to a recently published article. It’s a powerful tool that is best-made use of and provides what’s probably the fastest way to spread the word about an article.

You can also check, using the social integration, whenever a user visits your site and then tweets about it, or shares it on Facebook, for example, giving you a good idea of the popularity of posts aside from simply how many hits it gets.

The key is speed, and seeing as the pace is an issue with getting a news article out there for writers and webmasters, it’s equally important when it comes to monitoring how effective it is. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your article, real-time response to your tweets allows you to more easily recognize more time-sensitive analysis, such as when the best time to share your articles is, and so forth.

In the top left-hand corner of the real-time analytics page, you’ll see how many visitors are currently active on the site, giving you an even better idea of the immediate impact of posting an article, or a competition, for example.

 

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The Irony

Of course, the simple irony of this release is that in fact, Google has been a bit slow getting to this point. As the title suggests, it’s long overdue, and rival products such as Woopra and Chartbeat already offer real-time feedback on site analytics for the same reasons as suggested above, and undoubtedly a few more.

By contrast, though, Google’s offering will be free for all to consume if they so wish.

Google Analytics Premium

Simultaneously with the release of the real-time feature, Google has also unleashed its Premium analytics offering, which allows web owners access to 24/7 support, greater processing power and deeper, more powerful tools for analysis.

This will represent the first time Google has charged for its Analytics service, while the basic package does remain free. The company is yet to comment on price plans for this service.

Access

If you want the new Real-Time feature you’ll first need to find the ‘New Version’ link in Analytics, which is located in the top-right hand corner of the screen, and activate it. The product is currently being staggered out, so there’s no need to panic if you can’t see it yet, it should appear at some point in the near future

However, as the pricing has not yet been announced, the premium offering of analytics is not yet available.

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