Are you interested in monitoring activity as soon as it happens on your website?

You can, with the Real-Time reports dashboard in Google Analytics: the dashboard is updated continuously, and each user action is updated a few moments after they occur.

This document will show you how you can see how many people are currently viewing your site, where they are geographically located, what page source the users arrived from, what pages they are viewing, as well as any goals or events that are occurring.


What You Can Do With The Real-Time Report

  • Make sure that you are being correctly tracked in real time on desktop and mobile. Note: there may be a delay of a few minutes on mobile devices.
  • Make sure you haven’t accidentally filtered yourself or your users out with reporting-view filters.
  • Ensure a promotion is driving traffic to your site as it happens.
  • Monitor your traffic coming from an ad or Facebook post.
  • Monitor and test goal completions as you adjust your analytics tracking.

How to Find Real-Time Reports in Google Analytics

Step 1: Sign in to Google Analytics at: analytics.google.com.

Step 2: Navigate to your website and the desired view. Note: User-ID views are not compatible with Real-Time Reports.

Google Analytics: Select View

Step 3: Click Real-Time » Overview.

Google Analytics - Real-Time Reports Menu

There are six reports available under Real-Time in Google Analytics: OverviewLocationsTraffic SourcesContentEvents, and Conversions.

The Top Panel of the Report

The top panel of the report is similar for each of the 6 reports. It looks like this:

It shows the following:

  • The number of active users currently in a session. (An active user is a user who has performed an action such as clicking a link or triggering an event in the last 30 minutes.)
  • The number of hits during each of the past half-hour.
  • The number of hits occurring during the last minute.
  • Additionally, you can create a shortcut to make the report appear under the customization section of Google Analytics by clicking Create Shortcut.
  • Next to the Create Shortcut button in the top right, there is a graduation cap. Click this to learn more about the report from within the GA interface.

Hit is a user interaction that results in data being sent to Google Analytics. Common hit types include:

  • Page tracking hits
  • Event tracking hits
  • eCommerce hits.

When the tracking code is triggered by a user, such as loading a page on a website, Analytics records that hit. Every interaction is packaged into a hit and sent to Google’s Analytics.

The specific metrics in the top panel vary from report to report: in the locations report the information will be specific to locations.

Overview report

The Real-Time Overview Report displays:

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Overview Panel 1

  • The number of active users on site right now.
  • The type of device they are on.
  • A graph of the number of page views in the past minute.
  • A graph of the number of page views in the past 30 minutes.

Additionally, the page displays the following tables:

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Overview Panel 2

  • Top referral sources (past 5 min.)
  • Top 10 Pages that have active users (past 5 min.)
  • Top Social Traffic (past 5 min.)
  • Top Keywords (past 5 min.)

As well as the following site visitor locations map:

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Overview Panel 3

  • Top Locations (Map, past 5 min.)

Active Users

  • “Active users” are visitors who have triggered a ‘hit’ to Analytics within the past five minutes.
  • “Active users per page” is the number of visitors who have triggered their most recent hit from that page (during the past five minutes).


The overview report shows more focused information. For instance: the social traffic, locations, and referral sources are limited to the top 10 active pages rather than reflecting the entire site.

Locations

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Locations Panel 1 Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Locations Panel 2

Real-Time Locations report shows the number of active users on the site now as well as the geographic locations of your users active in the last 30 minutes.

You can click any country to see how many pages were viewed from each city in that country in the last half hour. Additionally, clicking on a city will show only the users in that city.

Traffic Sources

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Traffic Sources

The Real-Time Traffic Sources report show you the traffic source and medium of your users currently on your site.

There are two dimensions to this Report: Active Users and Pageviews.

Active Users are any users that have interacted with the site in the past 5 minutes, while Pageviews indicates the medium and source statistics for the pageviews that have occurred in the past 30 minutes.

This report is particularly helpful for measuring live marketing campaigns and getting feedback on them and adjusting them in real time.

Content

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Content

The Real-Time Content report shares which pages were viewed during the last half-hour. It gives a breakdown of the most recently popular posts and pages of your site.

The two dimensions visible in this report are Active Users and Pageviews during the past 30 minutes.

Click Pageviews (Last 30 min) to see the total number of page views each of your pages has had recently.

Events

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Events

The Real-Time Events report displays your site’s GA events, as they happen. The table shows the top 20 events by category from the past 30 minutes.

The second column in this table is the Event Action. This table is sorted by the highest number of users who have triggered an event to the lowest. Click an event category for more details.

Click Events (Last 30 min), to see the total number of recent events (by event category).

Conversions

Google Analytics -- Real-time -- Conversions

The Real-Time Conversions report shows recent conversions from destination and event goals. These vital goal completions are measured as they happen. This is great for both testing purposes as well as tracking your marketing product launch live.

However, please note that following goal types will not be displayed in this report:

  • Duration
  • Pages per session
  • Smart Goals

The table shows the top 20 goals your users have completed, the number of users, and that percentage of the total number site visitors.

Click a goal in the table display just the activity for that goal.

Click Goal Hits (Last 30 min), to see the number of conversions sorted by goal during that timeframe.