Google Analytics has added live reporting with Real-Time reports. The new reports provide a real-time view of visitors accessing your website. The data is available within 2 seconds of a visitor accessing your site. If there is an increase in active visitors on site the ‘Right now’ number goes up and is highlighted in green. If there is a decrease the ‘Right now’ number goes down and is highlighted in pink.
Understanding the Real-Time Graph
The right hand side of the graph above (highlighted by orange border) shows the current 60 seconds of pageview activity on your website in real-time. As time passes the historical pageview activity slides left in the graph.
Pageview activity for the current 60 seconds is also shown cumulatively like a fuel tank gauge in the area of the graph above (highlighted by red border). The bar in this area of the graph moves up or down with the pageview activity as the seconds tick by. As each minute is completed the bar slides to the left and the process is repeated.
Real-Time Traffic Sources
The Real-Time Traffic Sources report gives you a snapshot of how your active visitors have found your site. This gives you an immediate picture of your paid and organic search. It also shows you which campaigns have driven visitors enabling you to act on emerging and trending channels such as Twitter, other social networks and news sites.
The Real-Time Content report shows you which pages are currently being viewed by your active visitors. You can drill down into a particular page to see traffic Medium and Source showing you how people found your website in order to access your content.
Using Real-Time Reports in Google Analytics
Now that we have access to live visitor data inside Google Analytics, what can we use this for?
For most of us Real-Time reports are going to be a great way to kill some time. The reports are definitely addictive but it is going to be extremely hard to act on this data to make meaningful changes to the majority of websites.
However there are definitely important opportunities for you to act on these reports. If for example you are generating news or topical content you can use the Real-Time data to modify the timing of the placement of content to ensure it is viewed by visitors.
Another huge plus of these reports (that we can all enjoy) is the ability to check your tracking code is correctly installed on your website. You no longer have to wait hours for the data to process before you can check your reports to see if a particular page is being tracked correctly.
The reports also provide a great real-time reality check. You can see immediately if visitors are only staying on your website for a short time. This really highlights the need to ensure content on your website is relevant and engaging.
Watch our video on Google Analytics Real Time reports:
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