Google Analytics Real-Time

A couple of weeks ago, Google Analytics announced Real-Time Analytics available in the “New Version” of Google Analytics (it is also known as GA5). As this is a BETA product, this not the fully finished product, so for example it does not work on filtered profiles. A filtered profile, would mean you added filters such as to exclude an IP address or traffic from a certain domain using filters in Google Analytics. So why is Real-Time so amazing then? Well it’s the first time Google has offered to us a view into what is happening on our sites instantly. So let’s say you do an advertising campaign on the radio or TV, you can right away see the impact on your traffic on your website. Or if you send out an email newsletter, you can get instant feedback on what is happening, as you see a spike in traffic, you can make modifications to your website if needed.

I know it looks and sounds exciting, so just jump in and start exploring. Here’s how to find real-time in your account. Login into your Google Analytics. Make sure you select “New Version” at the top. The you want to click into your account, the appropriate profile, and then you will be on the page “Standard Reporting”. Click the “Home” button, and you will see Real-Time (Beta) at the top of the menu.

Real-Time, for now has four reports:

  • A overview report which shows overall what is happening
  • A locations report to let you know (and drill-down) to where visitors are coming from.
  • A traffic sources report to let you know where users are coming from (in our radio example it might look like direct traffic)
  • A content report, to know exactly which content is being consumed.

At this point you cannot filter or add segments to real-time data, but I would expect it to be something that will come in the future. Nevertheless,you will see it still gives you some important data to work with, so just jump in and see what’s happening.

A word of caution. Do not fret if you do not see Real-Time in your account. Google has turned the reports on for many users, but eventually everyone will have access to Real-Time. If you do not see it yet and can’t wait, you can request access here.

Adrian Speyer

About The Author: Adrian has over 12 years experience in Digital Marketing and Analytics. He currently works as a Marketing Manager at Vanilla Forums, a modern forum software platform that allows clients to connect and engage their communities and customers. He lives and works in Montreal.

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