The new Google Analytics experience starts, as the classic one does, with the Realtime report. This report shows the visitors who are currently on your website.
As you can see from the screenshot below, showing our lab site, this report shows who is on your site right now, and the visitors who have been there in the last half hour. We can see that our lab site gets a couple of visitors at a time, usually, and that the report gives us a little data on those visitors.
We manage some websites that usually get a few dozen visitors at a time instead of a few total. For those websites, we see the top pages, the top sources of traffic (referrals and social), top keywords if Google gives us that info which they don’t always, their locations, and whether they’re on desktop or mobile devices.
It’s a good snapshot of the people who are currently visiting you.
Who is this report useful for?
Let’s be honest. This report isn’t useful for all website owners.
This gives you a small amount of data. A lot of local businesses websites and small business websites in general have a few hundred visits a day — or a few hundred a week. Even if you have 10,000 visits a week, you’ll have just a handful of visits at a time.
The Realtime report won’t give you deep insights with numbers like that.
However, it can give you immediate information about specific events. For example, one off our sites got a traffic spike to an Olympics-related article during the Olympics. Realtime let us monitor that and respond by featuring that article while people were searching for that topic.
Realtime reports can also let you watch the traffic sent by a Twitter party, a livestream video, or other time-sensitive event. You can see whether the event is sending visitors, and if so, where they are going on your website.
If you have a high level of traffic, the report can give you actionable data.
The new Realtime report
The new Realtime report shows up as a quick snapshot on the Home page of the G4 analytics report, as you can see in blue in the screenshot above.
Click to see the Realtime report, and you will see the map and the number of users in the last 30 minutes, just as in the classic Realtime report, but without the moving Pageviews bar.
Scroll down for more detailed reports.
The interface is more attractive and organized, I’d say, but it’s the same information.
The Realtime report was an easy one for us to get started on. Check back next time for the Acquisitions report — a meatier set of reports with lots of changes!