Google Analytics just announced a new set of reports called “Real Time.” They will be seen in the new interface of Google Analytics (available to all users), under the Dashboard tab; according to another recent announcement, this tab will soon be renamed the Home tab. This new feature does not require extra tagging.
According to Google, full roll-out could take up to 1-2 weeks, but in order to get the new feature sooner than later you can signup for the beta by filling the form at https://services.google.com/fb/forms/realtimeanalytics/
Google Analytics Real Time will show the number of people coming to a site for every minute, and the number of visitors actively on the site at that moment. It enables monitoring the sources sending traffic to the website, the pages being viewed, the GEO location of visitors, and the keywords that brought the visitors (if from search, paid or organic).
While for some users this feature will not bring new insight into user behavior (e.g. small websites), this feature will be specially interesting for content websites. Publishers will get an instant insight into which content is attracting visitors and can adapt the website based on that. For example, if an article about a certain celebrity is receiving high engagement it could immediately be added as the featured post on the homepage or sidebar.
Other occasions where real time data could be helpful:
- Verifying the effectiveness of an ad just as a campaign goes live
- Measuring social media impact as it happens
- Watching the impact of a tv campaign when you know your commercial is on
Do you find it useful? Let us know in the comments how you use it and why you think real data is / is not important.