Back in the early days of my online business efforts, I had very little knowledge about what was happening “behind the scenes”. In fact, the only way I knew where my customers were coming from was by reading the postal addresses they provided for me to send their products to. I would pick keywords out of thin air and just hope for the best! Surprise-surprise, the business never did turn out to be the million pound venture I had envisioned but it taught me how important it is to understand where your traffic is coming from.
Many moons later, I was introduced to Google Analytics and had a classic “Eureka” moment. If only I had known about this before! Not only did I realise what content was converting, but I could make adjustments quickly and effectively, gradually building a steady stream of traffic.
As the world of online business has developed and become ever more competitive, it’s not only vital that we monitor our traffic, but also that we make necessary changes as quickly as possible. It’s not enough to make changes as and when you add new pages, products or features. You have to be first to spot the gaps. But until now, we could only use Google Analytics to make changes based on information we had about the past. There’s only so fast you can be when you are reacting to something which happened a few hours ago, yesterday or last week!
With the new Google Analytics Real Time Reporting, we can monitor our traffic as-it-happens. It’s a live view at what’s going on RIGHT NOW. The old adage “Knowledge is King” still applies but now it’s about who can get it quickest.
Application of Real Time Google Analytics
I’m sure it won’t take long for SEOs and Digital Marketers to find tons of different ways to use the new real time data and you can’t help but get excited about the potential of this update.
Here are a few ideas that I’ve come up with but please be sure to leave a comment with some of your most elaborate ways to apply this powerful tool.
If you are launching a product discount, perhaps for one day only, you can monitor your promotional activity in real time. As soon as you see traffic tail off, you can see exactly when to “ re-engage” and get promoting again, without fear of overkill. You can also see what promotion techniques are actually driving traffic to the product and which are a waste of your time.
If you see searches are particularly high for a certain product/service, due perhaps to an unforeseen trend or news story, you can maximise your sales by promoting that particular product or service while the demand for it is still “hot”. Be the first to see the demand, be the first to supply it.
It’s hard to gauge how much immediate traffic a new blog post is generating, at least it has been until now. With Google Real Time Analytics you can see the traffic your new post is bringing your site, as it happens. You can also use it to see when your tweets have stopped bringing traffic to the blog post and re-engage again. Real Time Social Monitoring!
Real Time Google Analytics is available now, although you may have to select it via the “New Version” button, in the “Home” tab. Enjoy but be warned, it is highly addictive!