Website Troubleshooting With Real-Time Reports in Google Analytics

By 

Kelli Harris

 on July 31, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Joel Taylor

A vivid image two people working outside at a wooden table - parts of their arms, hands, and torsos are visible. At the forefront, we see one of the two working on their laptop, with a multitude of charts on their screen, featuring pink and teal colours. One chart also comprises a world map. There are two ring-bound notebooks and a pile of papers on the table.

Custom real-time reports in Google Analytics show you data about your website as it happens. This includes information on site visitors, pages they're currently viewing, and where they're coming from. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at real-time reports and how they can help you understand your website traffic.

Real-time reports can be useful for a variety of purposes. For example, you can use them to see how effective your marketing campaigns are by analyzing Google Analytics metrics in real-time or to troubleshoot website issues as they happen.

Types of Real-Time Reports

Overview

This is the big-picture view of what's happening on your website at any given moment. The Real-Time Overview report shows how many visitors are currently active on your site, top-ten active pages, top referral and direct traffic sources, top social traffic sources, and more.

Locations

The Real-time Locations report shows where your audience is located. This way, you can plan future marketing efforts based on global locations. For example, if most of your customers come from Asia, you might want to focus on localizing your product descriptions, images, and videos.

Traffic Sources

The Real-time Traffic Report shows which mediums and sources are referring site visitors who are currently online. Knowing this, you may invest in a mobile app, redesign your website, or improve your campaigns.

Content

Find out which specific pages visitors are currently active on by viewing the Real-time Content report. It displays the URL, page title, and the number and percentage of active users. 

You can also see what percentage of visitors access your site from a desktop, mobile, or tablet, and even track scroll depth.

Additionally, take a look at our post on sessions vs. pageviews to learn more.

Events

You can use the Real-time Events report if you've set up custom events for interactions on your site, such as buttons, downloads, videos, or ads.

This report allows you to view the top events that have occurred on your site in real-time, as well as those that happened within the last 30 minutes.

Conversions

With Real-Time Conversations tracking, you can observe which devices convert and how your goals are progressing. Instead of tracking site interactions, Goals track business-boosting behavior. Among them are purchases, sales forms, and subscriptions.

How to Access Real-Time Reports in Google Analytics

  1. Select the ‘Admin' panel on the left-hand side and choose your desired view
  2. Click on the ‘Real-time' report from the left-hand menu
  3. Select the ‘Overview' tab under ‘Real-time' to see the report

Limitations of Real-Time Analytics

  • Compatibility Issues The real-time reporting feature is not compatible with User ID Enabled Views. If you want to continue using real-time reporting while enabling User ID Enabled Views, disable the feature.
  • Filtered views Real-time reports often show inaccurate information because they're filtered based on certain criteria. There's a good chance that one of these filters will throw off data like date range, location device type, and more. Usually, changing or undoing some of the filters will resolve the problem.
  • No data in real-time If you don't see any activity in your Real-Time dashboard, the most likely cause is that users are logged out of your account. To resolve this issue, log back into your account and make sure that the real-time option is checked under "My Sites".
  • Mobile app tracking In order to conserve battery life, mobile hits are batched, so you may see delays. In most cases, batching occurs within minutes.

With all the aforementioned information, it's clear to see that real-time reporting in Google Analytics is a simple and extremely beneficial way of understanding how your company is performing at any given moment.

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