Understanding the Google Analytics Real-Time Reports

Google AnalyticsThe Real-Time Reporting section of Google Analytics is a fairly new area of the interface. Before Real-Time tracking, testing and confirming that certain configurations or settings were working properly was time consuming and frustrating. With the addition of Real-Time reports, we can get instant gratification that goals, events and filtered profiles are indeed working properly. The days of testing and waiting a day to find out the results are now over.

Real-Time Overview Report

The Real-Time Overview report gives you an overview of the current visitors on your site at that moment. It shows the top active pages, top social networks driving traffic, the top referring sites, the top keywords that drove traffic to the site, and also a map of the current locations of your visitors around the world.


The Locations report shows you a breakdown of the location of all active visitors on your site. It includes the total number of visitors and the percentage of all visitors that are from each country. It also provides a visual map representation of the world showing the most active countries.

Traffic Sources

The Traffic Sources report breaks down the medium and source that drove each of the current visitors to your site. This is especially useful to monitor activity on your site after releasing a new blog post or newsletter to your client-base.


The Content report shows you what pages are currently being viewed by your visitors. It includes the page path, page title from the HTML code, and the number of active visitors on that page.


The Events report will show all event actions triggered by visitors completing defined actions on your site. Events are not automatically configured with the basic Analytics setup / installation. You will need to add JavaScript code snippets to your site in order to track specific actions taken on the site. The code snippets will depend on the version of Google Analytics you are using.


The Conversions report is similar to the events report , but instead shows all conversions / goals being completed by visitors on your site. Goals also need to be setup in your Google Analytics configuration in order for data to be recorded in this section. Goals can be defined in the administration section for each view.

The Real-Time Reports section of Google Analytics is probably the most important addition to the interface since it was created. The ability to track and confirm that certain configuration changes are working instantly has been a game changer. Long and drawn out testing periods have now been replaced with instant gratification, making the Real-Time Reports of Google Analytics your new best friend.

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