In the past few days there have been some pleasing changes to Google Analytics. As reported on the Google Analytics blog, the GA team are striving to improve the speed of the interface via cached reports, fast-access mode custom report calculation using a slider:
However, Analytics also has a shiny new look (less than a year after the last update!) which makes all features a lot easier to find – especially hourly reporting.
Google Analytics Hourly Reporting
Hourly reporting has been around for a while but it has never been very clear. Previous incarnations of Google Analytics have been very good at hiding features by displaying an icon without a description. Now, there is a handy ‘Hour/ Day/ Month’ button for all to see:
Hourly reports are one of the most useful features the Analytics team have cahnged in a long time as far as traffic monitoring goes. Real-time reporting was good for monitoring campaigns as they went live but hourly reports on past-data makes tracking campaigns and monitoring when people are using your site simple. Reports can be broken down into hourly/ day/ week/ month for a specified timeline allowing a greater insight into user behaviour.
This is useful for marketers as they can easily find out when their site is being used and ensure they are most active at those times. There is no point updating content or pushing promotions at 3pm if all your traffic comes at 8am.
Unfortunately there isn’t the option to narrow results down yet so you can’t use hourly reporting to track individual pages or referrers. I am hoping this feature arrives soon as it would be ideal for monitoring individual blog posts, new courses and social media campaigns.
New Look for Google Analytics
The most obvious change this week is to appearance. Google Analytics has been updated for 2012. The sidebar now has some nifty icons:
Another sought after change is a switch from the settings ‘cog’ or ‘flower’ (which made finding the settings for new users an impossible task) to a more traditional ‘Admin’ button.
If you are new to Google Analytics then we recommend attending a Google Analytics course to learn how to set up your account, understand how to use content and traffic reports and use goals and filters to improve your reports. We keep our courses up to date so the significance of hourly reports will be fully covered. If you already have experience using Google Analytics and want to discover some of the more advanced tools available then come on Advanced Google Analytics training to learn about advanced tracking and metrics.
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