Google Analtyics Real-Time has given us some interesting new ways to meaure activity on our site in real-time.
However this really only makes sense if you’re able to respond in real time to the data which doesn’t fit the pattern for the majority of analysis and optimisation. If the data is useful to analyse in real time then it suggests you’re required to continuously monitor the data for a significant event to occur which is completely unrealistic for all but the largest online enterprises. It also requires a lot of site traffic within a 30 minute window to get enough data to be meaningful. For most of us it’s just a distraction.
However a couple of types of online disciplines that can genuinely benefit from this kind of real time analysis are News and Social Media.
Online news teams are interested in knowing what content is working best at the current moment and the best keywords for each article so they can maintain their managed front pages and generate more articles around the strongest stories and themes. Social Media teams are interested in knowing what content is working well in the social media space so they can try and build the momentum.
By default Google Analytics Real-Time is missing some useful filtering options. For example it won’t show you the content being viewed from a specific referral source, only the referring URLs, but you can hack Real-Time to get what you need by modifying the filter.list part of the URL. Here’s a few examples to get you started.
Browse to the Google Analytics real time Content report and add this to the end of the URL to see pages viewed by visitors from Facebook….
Or use this one for Twitter…
Add this filter to the URL to see the content from Organic visits.
If you want to see your top content for visitors from the United States, just add this to the end of the content report URL.
To filter the content report to traffic from a specific keyword, add the following to the URL, substituting your own keyword.
To view the Google entry search terms for a specific page, browse to Traffic Sources > Organic > Google, remove the last / from the URL and add the following, substituting ‘URL.html’ for your own URL.
If you can’t work out the correct filter string, try using the search filter in each of the reports to see how they are generated by Google.
There’s lots of play here so let us know which filters you find the most useful and any we’ve missed.