If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you can find out how many visitors are on your site right now in less than 2 minutes. We praised Google when they added Real-Time data to the Analytics interface in December 2011, and now we’re going to show you how to see this information for yourself… anytime you feel like it!
What You’ll Need:
A website with Google Analytics tracking code installed. There’s no excuse for not using Google Analytics. It’s powerful, easy to use, and free, so why not? If you don’t have the technical expertise to set up web analytics tracking, get in touch with a web developer or internet marketer who can help you out.
- Your Google Analytics log-in credentials. If you don’t have your log-in information, and Google’s recovery options can’t help you, contact the person who installed your Analytics tracking code.
- About a minute of free time, and the instructions below:
1. Visit Google.com/Analytics
and click “Sign in to Google Analytics” in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
2. After signing in, you’ll be sent to the Home tab, which lists all your Google Analytics accounts, properties, and views. Choose the website you’d like to view.
3. You’re now in your website’s Audience Overview page. Locate the left-hand menu, click “Real-Time,” and then click “Overview.”
Jackpot! You’ve found Google Analytics Real-Time data for your website. The large counter labeled “Right now” will constantly update to display how many visitors are on your site at that exact moment.
Along with your active user count, the Overview page tells you which pages your users are viewing, as well as their geographic location.
Be sure to check out the additional Real-Time sections in the left-hand navigation to learn more about your active users’ behavior.
Real-Life Uses for Real-Time
Say you just posted on social media about a new blog article, or launched a promotion that directs people to a certain area of your site. Real-Time is a great way to see who’s coming to read your article and if the social media promotion is working.
It’s even a great way to check to see if Google Analytics is installed on a new site correctly. After installing the tracking code, visit your website, then visit Real-Time to see if it’s registering your visit.
If you have an event or someone from your company is making a media appearance, Real-Time is a good way to monitor if the event or appearance is driving people to your website and what kind of things they’re looking at.
Other Analytics Tools to Gain Insight
If you want to take it a step further, you can find out even more about what people do on your website using other tools like:
- Crazy Egg: Crazy Egg uses heat mapping and scroll mapping to show you the exact spot on the webpage where people actually click, how far down the page they scroll and how much time they spend on each area of your webpage.
- Mouseflow: Mouseflow records how people move their mouses across your webpage and can show you a video of their behavior. This can be useful for watching how people interact with interactive parts of your site like forms
- Woopra: Woopra provides many of the same real-time analytics as Google with the added option of being able to chat live with your site visitors. This can be helpful for site retention, assisting customers having difficulty using the site or encouraging them to complete a sale or other action by interacting with them in a positive, helpful way.