Realtime Reporting in Google Analytics 4
If you’re interested in checking out the activity on your website as soon as it happens then the new Realtime report in GA4 is exactly what you should be looking at. This report lets you monitor all of the activity on your website as it happens (within the past 30 min), and you’ll be able to see how the visitors on your app or site behave (what pages they are on, what events they are triggering, etc).
We’ll take a look at what realtime reporting is, how it’s changed in Google Analytics 4, and all of the benefits it provides.
What is Realtime Reporting?
Before we get into the specifics of how realtime reporting has changed or how it can help you, we have to discuss what exactly it is.
Realtime reporting in Google Analytics 4 is a great way to get an idea of how many people are on your website right now and what they’re doing. You will even be able to see where they came from and who the users are.
With Realtime reporting in GA4, you can observe all of the following:
- The number of users that visited your site in the last 30 minutes.
- Where they are coming from, for example; if a campaign led them to your site from a Facebook advertisement.
- Who your users and audience are.
- What content are they engaging with on your site.
- Which type of events they trigger and which conversions they complete.
New and Improved Realtime Reporting in GA4
Google Analytics realtime reporting just got even better! The GA4 realtime report provides you with all of the important metrics you are used to but through much more interactive visuals that allow you to deep dive on certain widgets, such as event interactions.
In Universal Analytics, the Realtime report was found in the left hand nav under ‘Realtime’. The Realtime report was split up into a few different sections; overview, locations, traffic source, content, events, and conversions.
Realtime reporting in GA4 got a nice facelift in comparison. You will still get all of that important information, but it’s displayed in a new interactive way. You will notice that instead of separate sections, there are multiple cards to help you navigate easier from one main viewpoint. On the global map, you can hover over and interact with the circles which represent the location of your site visitors in real time.
In Google Analytics 4, you will also be able to access a user snapshot to view a chronological timeline of events for each random user. This allows you to get an understanding of a single (anonymous) user’s journey through your site by plotting all of their event interactions on a timeline for you to scroll through and interact with.
Benefits of Realtime Reporting
Realtime reporting in GA4 provides you with invaluable knowledge that can be used to test your marketing campaign, troubleshoot in real time, monitor web traffic, and review your goals.
For example, you can see which marketing efforts are driving more traffic to your website, and even use this information to adjust your campaigns in real time. This will also allow you to quickly discover what type of content drives the most engagement and adjust accordingly. This is incredibly useful as a publisher or content creator who needs to quickly and constantly tweak things to drive more engagement or conversions on their site.
Another great example is using Realtime reporting to troubleshoot your campaign tagging. If you just launched a new campaign but you don’t see traffic coming in via Realtime reporting, or it’s not coming in with the appropriate campaign parameters, then you will be able to quickly diagnose the issue and update it with a fix.
Realtime reporting is a fantastic feature in GA4. If you want to get a more in-depth look at it, then watch my YouTube video where I explain it all.
If you’re keen to learn even more about Google Analytics 4, then head on over to https://ksdigital.co/academy/ where you can enroll in a variety of courses to boost your Google Analytics knowledge and skills.
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THANK YOU. Been teaching GA, UA and now GA4, to my digital marketing students at Siena College. Your technical and teaching expertise are highly appreciated and are highly beneficial to future digital analytic professionals.