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Google offers real-time site analytics

Angela West | Oct. 3, 2011
Google has rolled out one extremely helpful service in the form of free, real-time Web statistics--and one expensive yet useful service with Google Analytics Premium.

So, are Google Analytics Premium and other higher-end analytics products only for enterprise-scale business? Not necessarily. It depends on how much volume you do in online sales and marketing. If your online sales dollar volume is extremely high, you may want to consider them as a tool to pinpoint sales conversions.

There's also the question of ROI. How will you find the money to pay for these services? The intelligence they give you will help you better target all of your marketing. You'll stop wasting money on campaigns that may have seemed to make financial sense under the old Analytics model, but don't stand up to scrutiny under your new, shiny tools.

Is There Something in the Middle?

If you still want a more robust solution than the free version of Google Analytics and don't want to go with higher-end solutions like Omniture or Google Analytics Premium, there are a number of mid-range players. Urchin from Google is locally hosted software for Google Analytics and ranges from $7000 to $10,000.If the only attraction of Google Analytics Premium for your business is the capability to create customized reporting, look at Urchin first. offers competitive intelligence on the keywords your competitors are using to drive traffic to their sites.

While the higher-end analytics tools are fun to contemplate, for most SMBs the exciting news is the Real-Time promise to let you track the progress of a link instantly in the free Google Analytics. Being able to see how well a particular social media platform performs will allow you to determine how much precious time you can spend on it.

Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She's written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest.


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