Free Real-time Website Tracking with Google Analytics


Google Analytics has been the leader of web analytics software and services for a while already, but there was one area where they suffered from the competition: real time statistics. It is an exceptionally useful tool for those who participate in the Google AdSense context advertising program, and need to measure the instant effect of the new posts, interface changes, new program launches on their sites.

Until recently, you were not able to see how many visitors are visiting your site at that particular moment, what pages they were visiting, where they were coming from and so on. Yesterday, September 29, Google announced adding new features to Analytics, including real time tracking.

Through their own words:
The web is getting faster, and not just the speed of the pages, but also the speed of change. Before, it was fine to build a website and modify it only when new products were launched. All of us avid Analytics users know that’s just not good enough. We need to be constantly on the lookout for problems and opportunities.

Currently, Google Analytics does a great job analyzing past performance. Today we’re very excited to bring real time data to Google Analytics with the launch of Google Analytics Real-Time: a set of new reports that show what’s happening on your site as it happens.

You’ll find the Real-Time reports only in the new version of Google Analytics. If you’re not already using the new version, you can start by clicking the “New Version” link in the top right of Google Analytics. Real-Time reports are in the Dashboards tab (though they will move to the Home tab in the updated interface next week). You will have access to Real-Time reports if you are an Administrator on your Analytics account, or if you have access to a profile without profile filters. Real-Time does not support profile filters.

Note that while the features were enabled for multiple users already, everybody will have eventually the access to Real-Time in coming weeks. If you can’t wait, you can sign up for early access through the following link: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/realtimeanalytics/.

Real-Time Analytics allows you to instantly track the efficacy of social media campaigns. By tagging links that you share on Facebook and Twitter with tags related to your marketing campaign, you can track the exact impact of those links. If you need to know how to do that, here's the link.

While the free real-time stats for Google Analytics remain free for its users, this week it also introduced Google Analytics Premium, its first paid offering for larger websites. While Google's free offering tops out its data collection at 10 million website visitors per month, its new paid plan offers more data collection, additional modeling tools and service support. When Google called this service "Premium", it wasn't kidding. The service costs $150,000 per year--far out of the reach of most small and midsize businesses (SMB), according to Forrester analyst Joseph Stanhope. But for the large businesses it should be an extremely robust tool. One feature alone--downloadable unsampled reports--sounds temptingly like it would let you download your own data about your Web properties from Google. The 24-hour live technical support is attractive--especially to the less tech-savvy at larger corporations who may miss out on key data with the current Google Analytics.


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