Understanding Analytics: Intelligence Events & Real-Time
This is my favorite section of Google Analytics because it totally indulges my inner creep. These are the parts of Google Analytics that alert you in real-time when things are happening on your blog or website so that
you can majorly creep on your audience you can potentially take action based on how visitors are currently viewing your website.
Google Analytics Intelligence Events
One of the great things about setting up Google Analytics tracking on your website, even if you hardly ever hop in to check things out, is that Google Analytics is keeping tabs on your metrics to determine what is “normal” on a daily/weekly/monthly basis for your website. If something is off (a huge spike in traffic, a huge drop in traffic, unusual bounce rate, etc.), Google Analytics will show that information here so that you can see a huge spike in traffic and find the press release that is driving traffic your way, or see a weird dip in traffic and realize that one of your page links is broken.
These are being tracked on a basic level in the Automatic Alerts tab in the Overview section of Intelligence events. For example, a prominent Facebook account shared my How to Track Instagram Referrals in Google Analytics post last week, which boosted my traffic significantly, so Google Analytics has seen that as an anomaly and created a report for me to investigate. Unfortunately I couldn’t find who had actually shared it, so if anyone knows please let me know so I can thank them!
Navigate to the Custom Alerts tab and you can setup a specific custom alert and even have Google text or email you if that alert is triggered. In Custom Alerts, click “Manage Custom Alerts” and then click “New Alert.” Then you can set a specific alert based on a change in percentage or specific number of visits, bounces, page views, etc. This may be a bit more advanced for most of your needs (including mine), but it’s good to keep in mind if you’re testing something in the future.
You may want to set custom alerts for things that might already be captured in Automatic Alerts just so that you get a text message as soon as they happen and either hop in and thank whoever referred a huge amount of traffic your way, or rush to put out any fires. Just be careful about entering into a texting relationship with Google…it can be addicting. For some custom alert suggestions, check out this article from Moz.com.
Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Reports
These give you a more focused view of each type of alert. Simply check the boxes of which alerts you’d like to see and toggle the Automatic Alert Importance to sort by priority. Likely these sections will not be of use to you if you don’t have custom reports setup.
Google Analytics Real-Time
This is the creeper section AND I LOVE IT! In the overview you can see how many visitors are currently on your website, which page they’re viewing, which source they came from, how long they’ve been on your site, which city they’re viewing your site from, and what type of device they’re viewing your site on. I know, so creepy-wonderful!
The locations, Traffic Sources, Content, Events, and Conversions sections of Real-Time help you keep track of each specific metric (all that other information together can be overwhelming if you have a lot of people on your site at once).
Use this information to see immediate results of a social media campaign or watch where users enter, move, and drop off on your website in real-time. This of course is all tracked through other metrics that you can reference later, but for those of us who are
slightly addicted to that immediate satisfaction, this section of analytics can easily be a favorite.
As always, if you have any questions, if I missed anything, or if you’ve got a custom alert in mind that you’d like to setup, but you’re unsure how, leave a comment or send me a message! I love hearing from you!
(Also if you’re reading this, I’m probably creeping on you right now.)