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by Anna Lewis on 4th October 2011
Google are working very hard on new developments at the moment and as a result we have seen a number of updates in Google Analytics, including a whole new service and some exciting extra reports. I’m going to give you an overview of the updates that have happened most recently: real time reporting, SEO reporting from Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics Premium Service.
Google Analytics Premium
This is a paid version of Google Analytics, which many people think a paid services from Google is a long time overdue. However, the functionality it provides and the cost it will involve mean that it is not going to be accessible to many businesses, so the benefit is yet to be seen. In my opinion, this service will be suitable for websites that currently have a premium service but are not happy with it.
The features include:
Is Google Analytics Premium worth it?
These items sound great, but at around £90,000 per year for a site it is going to be hard for most businesses to justify this cost. It’s all very well having the extra data available, but anyone spending this much will need to ensure they have the website analysts to use the data effectively and ensure the spend results in decisions and actions that help the website increase profit enough to make the cost justifiable.
Real Time Reporting in Google Analytics
Rather than waiting for several hours for data to arrive in Google Analytics, or using another service on your website, Google Analytics are now providing a real time report to show how many people are on your site right now. Along with this data you can also see how these users arrived, which pages they are on and where they are in the world. There is also information about how many pageviews per minute and second you’re receiving.
What this means is that within your everyday reporting tool you can now take a look when you post something on social media or send an email marketing campaign and immediately see the results. It’s hard to know when this is going to be accessible in every Google Analytics profile, at the moment it’s in Beta but hopefully they will iron out any creases quickly and open it up to everyone in the next few months.
SEO Reports from Google Webmaster Tools
By tying your Google Webmaster Tools account in with Google Analytics you can now access the search query data, landing pages and a geographical summary alongside your traffic reports in Google Analytics. Although there are worries about the accuracy of this data, it can be useful to give you an overview of the search queries you’re visible for that you could then optimise.
The landing page report is also useful for highlighting to you the impressions, clicks and average position of each URL on your site. We have noticed very low Click through Rates (CTR) here, but this again emphasises the scope of the data and when you compare this to the average position and see that your average position could be in the hundreds you realise why some pages have such a low CTR. However, this report makes it very easy to see which pages have a huge potential to bring in high levels of traffic if you can improve their average position.
The Geographical summary report includes both the countries that your website is visible in and the how many impressions you’re receiving from each Google web property such as image, video and mobile. These two reports will be useful to show you where you are visible and how you can optimise each country or web property further.
In order to set this up, you need to be the owner of the Webmaster Tools account. You are directed to the Web Property Settings in Analytics and then across to a list of your available Webmaster Tools Accounts which you then select the right one and two clicks later you have all the data in Analytics.
Site Speed and Performance Data
Early in September Google made an update to the Site Speed report. This is the area where you can see how fast your site’s pages load. Now you can see combined statistics to see how fast your pages are on average. This allows you to identify both individual pages that need speeding up, or whether it is an issue across the site or a section of the site.
New Google Analytics Interface (Part 2)
This week Google will be changing the layout of the new version to make the overall navigation simpler, as explained in this post. So for those of you who have only just got to grips with where to go in the new version, bad luck! But hopefully this update will make things better in the long run.