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18th Jun 2013
About Real-Time Features of Google Analytics

Why Use Real Time?

Alerts and intelligence events need time to analyze, and sometimes can take several days before they turn up in your Google Analytics account.  While using real time, you can observe how visitors are using your website. Watching real-time data is watching the continuous flow of visitors to your website against the time. So, when you see that things are changing radically, you can take action in simply no time. This facility can bring tremendous opportunities and give huge insights to all web based businesses, especially when they need to respond quickly.

Evolve With the Web

The web is evolving fast and so as everything connected to it. Gone are the days when you design a website and update it only when you launch new products. The avid analytics users very well know that it’s not sufficient to survive in today’s world. You need to consistently look for any opportunity and problem on your way. To accomplish this, you can use Google Analytics Real-Time; it’s a set of new reports that allow you to see what’s happening on your website as you watch it.

Google Analytics Real-time Features

It has been almost 2 years Google Analytics introduced real-time reports. And since its first launch to till date, Google Analytics has added many new features into it. Here I have covered four major updates or features of Realtime Reports including the reasons why you should use them:

Realtime Dashboard Widgets

To facilitate its users with this cutting-age feature, Google Analytics has introduced Real-time widgets to its dashboard on 16th April, 2013.

Here is a snapshot of the tool used to add these widgets to dashboard:

Real Time Widget

And the image below shows how these widgets look while on the dashboard:


These widgets can provide you with tremendous insights and opportunities, especially when you need to respond quickly.

Realtime Event Reports

Using this report, you can’t only watch the top events as they happen but also help funnel on specific event category or action. Simply put, this feature allows you to track almost everything happening on your site including brochure downloads, product added to bag, checkout error, carousel interactions or any other thing you may need to track.

To access realtime event reports, click on the standard reports menu. You will find ‘Events’ second last in the menu as shown in the image below:

Standard Reports

When you click on ‘Events’ section, the generated report will look like the one in following image:

Right Now Visitors

Below this graph, you will find a table enlisting all events triggered in the last 30 minutes, broken down by ‘event category’ and ‘event action’, and filtered by keyword. You can click on any particular event category, which will then show you all the event actions and event labels for that specific category.

It is tremendously useful for people who use events in their action-plans like goals. Instead of less viable pageview data, they can watch the events that are significant to their online business as it happens. Additionally, you can set up a filter to see what events a specific segment of visitors trigger in real-time; which is automatically preserved in the Events report.

Realtime Segmentation by Desktop / Mobile / Tablet

With this ground-breaking feature, now you can know if the visitor has accessed your site using a desktop, a mobile or a tablet device. This facility is called device segmentation in tech terminology.

Here is how it will look in realtime report:

Real-Time Visitors

By clicking on any one the three device types, you can see the content accessed by that specific device type only; it will then automatically update the table of pageviews.

Realtime conversion Report

Widely known as goal conversions, it is one of the most recently announced and most useful feature of realtime reports. Drill down in ‘Standard Reports’ menu to access conversion report and you will see a list of the most recent goals assorted by the number of conversions from highest to lowest as seen in the image below.

Real-Time Conversions Report

The report display goal number and goal name, as given by you. When you click on a particular goal or event, you can break into a particular segment of goal to see which page converted.

How to Use New RealTime Features to improve ROI

  • Trace Social Media Outcome – For example, if you have published a new blog on your site, you can use realtime reports to see how many visitors are reviewing this article in real time and use referral report to know how many of those visitors have come from social media sources.
  • Measure the actual response of advertising – Say for example you are going to launch an advertising campaign today 2pm. You can start viewing the traffic and activity report since morning and know if the campaign has actually boosted the traffic to your website or not. You can get the exact number of visitors and view it in the real-time.
  • Know Your Audience’s interest – As an example, if you are an online publication who provide the users with latest news stories, you can use content reports to learn which news or what kind of stories see maximum traffic.
  • Gauge the response of product campaigns – When you launch a new product and run a promotional campaign for the same, you can use traffic reports to check how many people are actually responding. Breaking down in further details, you can find out the keywords that got highest response. This will help you optimize your next marketing campaign.
  • Test the new page tag code instantly – If you have recently added a new page to your site and want to know if the tag code on this page is working or not, you no longer need to wait, rather you can access the realtime reports and search for that specific page and test the page in real-time as you watch it.

Unless you are a super whizz-kid, you may hire SEO consultant or SEO professional to leverage most of these new features  introduced by Google Analytics.

To conclude, Realtime reports announced by Google Analytics is a breakthrough in the industry. It has now enabled online businesses to actively look at every event happening on their site in the real time.


Beautiful and very helpful content. So well presented !!


Google is trying to provide top notch services in all its products. Google Analytics the most powerful tool for SEO professionals has also brought the golden opportunities to the website owners. By observing the visitors, you can improve the particular webpage value. In this manner webmasters can optimize their website landing pages properly. Anyway great post. Keep sharing like this :)


Real Time is amazing feature integrated by Google Analytics, though many analytics tools had this feature quite ago but I am glad that Google has considered & implemented this. It was too boring to wait for 24 hours for the data to arrive on dashboard.


Nice post!! I truly appreciate the way the Google analyze the web with innovative features. Admirable work!! Thanks for sharing.

Ranjitsinh Chauhan
Ranjitsinh Chauhan

Real-time is a little bit old service of google analytics. But, right now google is improving it every day. After reading your post I understand it better & deeply. After all not only this one, but all posts on your blog are really nice. By the way I am waiting for your next blog post. I hope that you will post more on analytics secret and importance. Thanks for this nice sharing.


Wow! It is really awesome. I will definitely try it. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative post.


I am loving the way Google is trying to give us new insights to what is happening in the website right now. This is truly an amazing feature!


After read your article I come to know this feature is really helpful. This one is good from Google analytic. Thanks for updating new update of Google analytics. It's really helping and important for me.


I came across this post after spending lots of time on the web and found something informative. Going to bookmark it and look forward to more from you. Thanks


One of the key point for me is being able to give marketers greater visibility on how events external to your website such as social and advertising campaigns impact your website audience, in order to optimize performance and prove ROI.

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