Google upgrades Analytics tools to include real-time updates

By Patrick Stafford
Friday, 30 September 2011

Google has introduced a new update to its Analytics tool that will let businesses see details about their traffic in real time as opposed to delayed updates, in a move that could allow businesses to better determine which marketing methods are netting them the most traffic.


The move comes alongside a separate announcement debuting a new premium service for Google Analytics that is geared towards larger businesses and offers support for higher traffic along with dedicated account management.


The new Google Analytics real-time service, which was announced on one of the company's blogs, says "the web is getting faster".


"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," the blog says.


The company says analytics does a good job of tracking past performance but it now wants to make those results more relevant, with the new real-time tools showing businesses the immediate results of marketing methods on traffic, including links shared on social media.


"When getting ready to launch a new campaign it's critical to make sure your measurement plan is working before you start driving visitors to the page," the blog says.

"With the Real-Time reports you can find out in seconds whether you're getting the data you want in Google Analytics."


The update could help many businesses determine whether their marketing is gaining them as much traffic as they think it is but Reseo chief executive Chris Thomas says it will be up to each SME to determine if this is worth their time.


"This really depends on what they are doing. If you're running a television campaign, for instance, and you want to see the impact that it would have on your site, then yes, it probably would be worth it," Thomas says.


"The other good thing about this stuff is that it's very useful for testing. When we've set up analytics for a customer in the past we'd wait hours for conversion to show up in the account to make sure it's tracking all the right data. But now it's all instant."


Thomas praised the real-time analytics for being able to track traffic from social media, allowing businesses to determine how accurately they are marketing through services like Twitter.


But he says businesses will only get anything out of real-time analytics if they are measuring the impact of certain marketing methods otherwise they might not have much use for the new features.


"I think what happens is that people get really excited about these sorts of changes, definitely at an agency level we love it. But for a business it's really up to them to see how much use they'll get out of it," Thomas says.


This article first appeared on SmartCompany.

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