Running Real Time Web Analytics

At PuddleDucks we have been running Google Analytics (GA) for the last number of years. GA provides loads of hugely useful analytical information such as number of unique visitors, pageviews per visitor, bounce rates and sales conversion rates. It’s also great for tracking the bounce rates and conversion rates on our Google Adwords campaigns driving changes and improvements in these campaigns.

However Google Analytics provides the statistics in a historical manner.   It’s not real time. Following a recommendation on Twitter we have recently installed OpenTracker, a real time web analytics system. We signed up for a free one months trial. It’s easy to install – just add some code to the site – and off you go. It’s early days yet, we only have it running for around a week but I’m really impressed with the stats available.

You can see the real time visitor data, visitor by visitor and see exactly what paths they take through the site.  THis is all available in real time. For each visitor you get the following information

  • country, city and region
  • IP address
  • browser
  • operating system
  • screen resolution
  • time spent on site
  • number of pages viewed
  •  time spent on each page
  • total duration of all visits
  • first-time or returning visitor
  • search terms / keyword entered
  • search engine used
  • exit link

Already the data we have analysed has started to drive improvements and changes to our site. I thoroughly recommend it. 

You can check out OpenTracker here.

2 Comments »

  1. Caelen said

    Interesting article. We tried some real time trackers before but we found that there were not decisions that we could make off of the live data that we couldn’t make of off historical data. As it was adding to our page load time we decided to stop using it. What sort of decisions has this led you to that couldn’t have been derived from historical data?

  2. Hi Caelan, Thanks for the comment. One of the benefits I have seen in the real time analytics is the sequence of the pages visited by each visitor. This is not immediately apparent when looking at historical data, For instance – from spot checking – I have learned that many of our visitors stop off at our Special Offers page straight from the home page. Not many buy from there which gives us an action to improve the page and hopefully make it more sticky. Also historical data may tell you that you have a 5% conversion rate but real time analytics will show you the detailed data from the other 95% who are not converting – thus driving actions to improve. I have also not seen any degradation in the page load time from this real time analytics service.

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