6 Free Realtime Google Analytics Dashboards

Here is a collection of 6 free ‘Realtime‘ Google Analytics Dashboards that you can use for any website. The 6 Dashboards are as follows:

  1. Realtime Overview
  2. Realtime Channels
  3. Realtime Geographic Info
  4. Realtime Organic Search
  5. Realtime Content
  6. Realtime Social Media

Each of the dashboards is designed to be functional in the real world, and each is designed to be useful for any type of site from Ecommerce, to Magazine, to Lead Generation, etc.

There’s a full description of each below, along with a link to the individual dashboards. At the end of the post there’s a link allowing you to add all the dashboards at once to any Google Analytics account.

1. Realtime Overview Dashboard


This ‘Realtime Overview’ dashboard covers:

  • Total Active Visitors (with % breakdown by medium)
  • New vs Returning Visitors (broken down by medium)
  • Top Active Pages (by URL)
  • Top Active Pages (by Title)
  • Pageviews (Last 30 Minutes)
  • Pageviews (Last 60 Seconds)

Add it to any Google Analytics profile with this link: http://bit.ly/rtoverview

2. Realtime Channel Dashboard


 The ‘Channel’ dashboard covers:

  • Organic Search Visitors
  • Paid Search Visitors
  • Direct Visitors
  • Referral Visitors
  • Social Visitors
  • ‘Other’ Visitors (ie. the remainder outside of the above, which may include email traffic, and any other tagged campaigns)
  • Medium Breakdown (top 10)
  • Social Source Breakdown

Add the ‘Channel’ dashboard to any Google Analytics profile with this link: http://bit.ly/rtchannels

3. Realtime Geographic Dashboard


 The ‘Geographic’ dashboard covers:

  • Returning visitors currently on the site
  • New visitors currently on the site
  • Visual breakdown by country
  • Trendline of activity on the site over the last 30 minutes
  • Top 10 Countries with current active visitors
  • Top 10 Cities with current active visitors

Add the ‘Geographic’ dashboard to any Google Analytics profile using this link: http://bit.ly/rtgeographic

4.Realtime Organic Search Dashboard


 The ‘Organic Search’ dashboard contains the following:

  • Active Visitors (By Search Engine)
  • Search Visitor Trend (Last 30 Minutes)
  • Top 10 Keywords (All)
  • Top 10 Keywords (Non-Brand) – click the ‘pencil’ and replace ‘YOURBRANDHERE’ with your brand name then hit ‘save’.
  • Top 10 Keywords (Brand) – again, click the pencil icon & replace ‘YOURBRANDHERE’ with your brand name then hit ‘save’.

As you can see from the graphic, I’ve added ‘(EDIT THIS)’ into the title of a couple of the widgets there. Those are on the ‘Brand’ and ‘Non-Brand’ specific widgets. To edit those, move the mouse over each and a small pencil will appear at the top right of the widget. Click that, and then you’ll see  I’ve placed ‘YOURBRANDHERE’ in one of the filters. By changing that to your most used brand name(s), it will then filter based on your own brand terms.

To add this to any Google Analytics profile, use this link: http://bit.ly/rtorganic

(note: I haven’t included a PPC dashboard, as I thought it would be fairly easy for you to copy the ‘organic’ dashboard and make your own. Do drop a comment if you’d like me to add one though).

5. Realtime Content Dashboard


This is a slightly different dashboard – as you can see from the above. It simply lists the top 10 currently viewed pages on the site, segmented by various different means. From that you can answer the questions ‘what are visitors looking at on my site right now?’, ‘what are visitors from social media looking at right now?’, etc. You may wish to add others for your key channels.

It was tempting to add lots of other widgets here for the sake of it, but I thought this the most useful format.

To add this to any Google Analytics profile, use this link: http://bit.ly/rtcontent

6. Realtime Social Dashboard


The realtime ‘Social’ dashboard contains:

  • Number of active visitors from social media (with a % bar showing split by social network)
  • Number of returning vs new visitors from social media.
  • Social visitor trend over the last 60 seconds.
  • Social visitor trend over the last 30 minutes
  • Top pages currently being viewed by visitors who arrived via social media
  • Top social sources. (eg. Twitter, Facebook)
  • Top cities where visitors are currently active on the site via social media

To add the social dashboard to any Google Analytics profile, use this link: http://bit.ly/rtsocial

Add All the Dashboards at Once

You can add all of these dashboards at once to any Google Analytics profile you choose, simply by logging in to Google Analytics & then hitting this link: http://bit.ly/6realtimedashboards . (note: there’s a small bug in Google Analytics meaning it will give you an error message the first time you do this. Submit it again & you should be fine.)

Any requests or questions?

Do drop me a note if you’d like me to add any others, or if you have any questions. I send out an occasional email containing info like this. Enter your email address below if you’d like me to include you on the list.

Google Analytics Realtime: 3 New Features

Google Analytics have updated their ‘Realtime’ features. There are 3 main updates:

  1. Realtime Dashboard Widgets.
  2. Realtime Event Reports.
  3. Realtime Segmentation by Desktop / Mobile / Tablet.

Here are some screengrabs & notes on each of the changes:

New Feature 1. Realtime Dashboard Widgets:

Google have added ‘realtime’ widgets to dashboards. The tool to add those looks like this:


Here’s  how they look within the dashboard:


(minor note: ‘dimensions’ aren’t yet working for me there. I presume they’re fixing this)

New Feature 2. Realtime Events Reports

The second update that’s happened is ‘realtime events’ reports. If you have not used ‘events’ before, they allow you to track anything you like. As opposed to tracking pageviews or transactions, you may track ‘brochure downloads’ or ‘carousel interactions’, or ‘product added to bag’, or ‘checkout error’ or anything other activity that occurs on your website that you’d like to track.

Adding ‘realtime’ event reports is a very nice tweak, Here’s where it features in the menus:


And here’s how the report looks:


Below that is a table of all of the events that have triggered in the last 30 minutes, filterable by keyword. Those are broken down by ‘event category’ & ‘event action’.

I like this change for a few reasons:

  1. It’s really useful for sites that use events for key actions like goals. Rather than getting less meaningful realtime ‘pageview’ data, you can see the events that are important to your business in real time.
  2. An extension of that – you can now add events specifically to view their realtime numbers if that’s useful for you. For example, I’m launching ticket sales for a client. I only want to see ‘ticket sales’ in realtime. Under the regular realtime tracking that’s not really possible. If I fire a ‘ticket bought’ event, I can now monitor that in real time.
  3. It’s fantastic for testing event tracking. Any changes you make to your event tracking code, you can now check them instantly.

New Feature 3: Segmentation by Desktop / Mobile / Tablet

I’d missed this at first, until @thedanfries kindly pointed me to this Google+ post from Aaron Bradley. Realtime ‘Content’ reports now allow you to segment by Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet:


Clicking on ‘Desktop’, ‘Mobile’ or ‘Tablet’ in the above example then drills down to show you only the content viewed by those device types, and updates the table of pageviews to reflect that.


These are 3 fairly subtle feature changes, but each really useful. I’ve already used ‘Event Tracking’ in particular to solve a couple of problems.

Google Analytics: Creating Automatic “Bot Alert” Emails

‘Bots’ often cause problems for website owners. Among many negative effects, they often damage the accuracy & precision of web analytics data, and cause website owners to make faulty decisions.

This comes up at least once a month with clients, and I’d spotted the great @peter_oneill, @matt_4ps, & @danieljtruman talking about it on twitter so thought I’d share this.

Here’s a quick Google Analytics ‘Custom Alert’ to help you spot some bots before they’ve caused lots of damage. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it helps flag when it may be happening, allowing you to delve in & investigate further, and to then filter out the traffic if it is indeed a problem.

The Problem

Here’s an example of what bot traffic looks like, when isolated from all of the rest of the traffic on a site:


Just there, it’s a robot sending around 375 visits per day. That’s not huge, but it’s roughly 11,000 visits over a period of a month, none of which converts, all of which has a 100% bounce rate. That causes the following issues:

  • It totally skews our bounce stats
  • It skews our conversion stats too.
  • All of the surrounding metrics like ‘per visit value’, ‘% new visits’ become misleading.
  • Stats by region/browser/etc are often messed up, as bots tend to favour one particular region/browser.
  • It does all of the above in an unpredictable manner, and is time consuming to look for.

 The Solution: How to alert yourself when this is happening?

One solution to alert yourself when this may be happening is as follows:

  1. Set up an ‘advanced segment’ to spot ‘new, direct, bouncing’ traffic.
  2. Set up an alert so that if that ‘new, direct, bouncing’ traffic ever increases massively, Google Analytics sends you an email.

Here are those 2 steps:

Step 1: Create An Advanced Segment

Usually, but not always, bots follow this pattern:

  • They visit the site ‘direct’.
  • They don’t store cookies, so are identified as ‘New’ visitors.
  • They record as 100% bounce rate.

Not all of that traffic will be bots, but we know if it jumps considerably there is a much higher likelihood that it’s a bot than if any other type of traffic jumps.

In order to isolate those people, we’ll set up an advanced segment:


(if you’re lazy, you can simply click this link to create the above: http://bit.ly/maybebots)

Step 2: Set up the Alert

Following that, set up an alert to fire off an email when traffic leaps from your new ‘may be a bot’ segment:

To set that up, go to the following in Google Analytics: Intelligence Events > Overview > Custom Alerts > Manage Custom Alerts > Create new alert.

Once there, copy the following:



That essentially says “Please pay attention only to Direct Traffic, where that traffic is New to the site, and where it Only Views One Page. While you’re paying attention to that – if it’s more than double what it was last week on any given day – send me an email.”

Depending on your site’s traffic pattern, you may want to increase/decrease that ‘100%’ value.

Not perfect, and it won’t catch everything, but better than not spotting anything at all.


That’s it. Set that live & – when that ‘new, direct, bouncing’ traffic that is often caused by bots doubles – you’ll get an email telling you. From there you can investigate further & filter it from your google analytics data if it is indeed a bot.

Do post any thoughts you have on this, or any other solutions.

Google Analytics – Hours & Days Report

Here is a free Google Analytics report showing visits, pageview, bounce rate, and visitor type metrics in a couple of ways you don’t often see them:

  • By ‘Hour of Day’
  • By ‘Day of Week’

There are 2 versions of the report, one for ‘all sites’, and one for ‘ecommerce’ sites:

Background & Description

Here’s an example from the report. Below, you see I’ve sorted it by ‘visits’ descending, and this tells me that Hour 21. (9pm) was the most popular within the period I was looking at. (eg, I could be looking at a period of a month, and it would add up all of the visits within each ‘9pm’ hour to come to the total ‘134,108’):


These are useful for everyone, but especially for content sites or anyone interested in ‘content marketing‘.

The 4 tabs in the report cover:

  1. Hour of Day – when do you get most visits/pageviews. If you set the timespan on this over (say) a couple of months, this helps you figure out when you’re most visited. Experiment with post times, try and fill in the ‘quiet’ gaps, etc, and see how you can improve based on the data.
  2. Day of Week – very similar to the first tab, but for day of week.
  3. Day + Hour Combined. If you sort this descending by number of visits, it tells you very quickly which ‘hour of the week’ your site is most visited.
  4. ‘Linear’ Date + Hour. This shows you, over any period, which were the most popular periods on the site. (in other words, rather than saying ‘9pm was the most popular over the entire period’, it would say ‘9pm on 7th january was the most popular single hourly period’).

You can apply the Google Analytics Report to any account/profile by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/hrdreport . If you have an ecommerce site, this version contains revenue/transaction/conversion metrics: http://bit.ly/hrdecommerce

Nine Google Analytics Changes

Nine Google Analytics Changes

Google Analytics have rolled out a series of fairly big changes to their User Interface. They do this every so often, either to incorporate extra functionality, or simply to clean up the user interface & improve user experience. (See the tweaks they made last time, for example).  This time around most of the changes are purely around the interface, though there are some large, useful functionality tweaks too.

This post covers the 9 main changes made to Google Analytics:

1. Top Navigation Changes

The top navigation (and the overall information architecture) has changed quite considerably. There are still 4 options, but they’ve altered:

Here was the old top nav:


Here’s the new top nav:


The main changes there (including the bits you can’t see) are:

  1. The ‘Home’ tab has gone. (this used to house the ‘real time’, ‘dashboards’, ‘intelligence’ reports. To be honest the naming of it didn’t really make sense before, and it was really just a collection of arbitrary reports that didn’t have anywhere else to live).
  2. A ‘home’ icon has been added at the far left. This is totally different to the old ‘home’ tab (which took you to the ‘real time’, ‘dashboards’, ‘intelligence’ reports). It simply takes you back to the main list of all the Google Analytics accounts you have access to.
  3. The accounts dropdown (with new globe logo) has become much wider. (this is more useful than it sounds if you have lots of accounts & profiles, some with long names)
  4. ‘Custom Reporting’ has been renamed’ Customization’. (UK people may dislike the addition of the American Z here!) From what I can see, the content behind the ‘customization’ tab is exactly the same as it was previously at the moment, despite the name change.


2. New Pinned Top Nav

A small change, but useful. As you scroll down the page, the top nav remains pinned so that you need not scroll  up to navigate elsewhere. In the screengrab below you can see I’m scrolled halfway down the page, but the top nav is still present:


I thought it may have been nice if they’d included ‘date range’ in that somehow, so that you needn’t scroll up to change that, but really that’s a tiny thing.

3. New ‘Recent Profiles’ Dropdown.

As mentioned, the ‘accounts’ dropdown is significantly wider. They’ve also added a ‘recent profiles’ area in the dropdown box (I’ve blurred out my recent profiles here, but hopefully you get the picture):

That won’t be useful to you at all if you only have one account & one profile, but it’s really useful for web analysts with access to dozens of accounts & profiles, making it quicker to jump back & forth between ones you’ve used recently.


4. Left Navigation Changes

The left-hand navigation in ‘Standard Reporting’ has changed significantly. They’ve essentially shoehorned everything from the old ‘Home’ tab in here:


I’ve screengrabbed those at the same height. As you can see, on the ‘old’ navigation, you can see quite a lot of the ‘help’ info there. On the ‘new’, it’s all pushed way down.

  1. The left-nav has been split into 2 sections: ‘My Stuff’ & ‘Standard Reports’. (below that, off the bottom of the screengrab, the useful ‘help’ area remains).
  2. The old reports that used to be accessed via the ‘Home’ top tab mostly now sit within the ‘My Stuff’ section there.
  3. ‘Advertising’ has gone from the top level navigation. It’s now been folded within ‘Audience’. (That makes a lot of sense. I do a lot of Google Analytics training & I’d often find myself saying “really ‘advertising’ should be in ‘traffic sources'”. I’d always presumed they pulled it out as a nudge toward AdWords, so it’s good to see they’ve chosen the user-centric option of putting it in the most logical place).
  4. ‘Real Time’ now sits within ‘Standard Reports’. (again, this used to sit within the ‘Home’ area)

On the plus side of that: It’s useful to be able to jump to any report within one area of navigation (the left nav). (Pro tip: You can even jump to customised reports here if you add them in to ‘shortcuts’). Another nice small tweak here is that the date range never resets like it used to when switching between the top navigation tabs.

On the negative side of it: Though the reports are now ordered logically, the items I find people use most frequently (‘Traffic Sources’, ‘Content’, & ‘Conversions’) are toward the bottom of the navigation so a bit more fiddly to navigate around. Alongside that, left nav can now become very, very long. Here’s just how long if you fold all of the options out (click for the full image):




None of the options concertina up automatically, so it’s easy to get in a position where you have to scroll up & down the page to get to the report you want. The Google Analytics team have been sensible enough to make sure that all of the ‘top level’ options are visible even on smallish screens, but even at 1024×768, you can see that opening any of the menu items means you need to start scrolling. Note only the ‘Overview’ is available from the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in this 1024×768 screengrab:


(Extra tip: Note the other recent change in that screengrab, you can now set a custom ‘lookback’ window in Multichannel funnels. Sadly limited to ’30’ at the moment.)


5. New Dashboard Design + Advanced Segments

A minor tweak, but the look of the dashboards has been completely redrawn. Here you can see the ‘widgets’ are now neat white squares on a grey background:


The other big, big change you’ll notice if you look carefully at that screengrab is that you can now apply Advanced Segments to dashboards. That sounds like nothing, but it really, really improves how useful they are. Before if you were looking at a dashboard & wanted to know “what would that look like for iphone visitors?” you’d have to completely rebuild the dashboard, one widget at a time, filtered for iphone users. Now you can simply apply a segment (or multiple segments at once) with a few clicks.


6. New Dashboard Layouts.

As well as the redrawn ‘look’ of the dashboards, there are now various different layouts:


Again, that sounds like a small thing, but it’s really useful, especially with the ‘Table’ widget which used to totally crunch up with the old ‘3-column only’ layout. Here’s an example of a 2-column layout at 70/30:




7. Two Additional Dashboard Widget Types

Dashboards are (as previously) made up of widgets. You can add up to 12 widgets to a dashboard. Previously the widget types were ‘metric’, ‘pie chart’, ‘timeline’ & ‘table’.

Alongside the look & feel changes to dashboards, and the ability to apply Advanced Segments, there are now 2 additional ‘widget types’ in Dashboards: ‘Geomaps’ & ‘Bars’:


Geomap widgets are exactly what they say – simple geographical maps. By default they show ‘The World’, but you can narrow them down by continent or subcontinent:


The other new widget type ‘Bars’ is quite a sophisticated bar graph tool, offering the ability to pivot data, display it in different orientations, include axis values & titles, limit the number of bars displayed, etc. Here’s an example of the setup & all of the options available:


And here’s an example of the output from that:


(A silly example, but hopefully you can get an idea of the types of things you could do with that).

8. Lots of odd areas cleaned up.

There are lots of small tweaks & bits of cleaning up that have happened. For example, take a look at the graphing on this multi-channel-funnel report:


Or the tiny colour tweak from green to orange on the ‘prior date range’ block (pointed out by @mattycurry):


9. Much Faster.

While hard to quantify, or to get across via a screengrab, the entire interface feels noticeably faster. Part of that seems to be an actual change in how fast reports load the first time you view them, and part of that is the effect of being able to navigate a little quicker around the better organised reports. Google Analytics was already way ahead of most of the enterprise tools in terms of analysis speed, this simply adds to that.


The changes they’ve made here are fairly large, but not so big as to confuse a regular user for too long. They are essentially improvements to the user interface, with just one or two (very useful) functional additions. The functional tweaks are largely around additional dashboard options. The interface tweaks are largely around information architecture, and improving the speed at which an analyst can make their way around the system.

There are a few downsides to some of the tweaks, but in the main they are really positive & don’t take anything useful away.

Have a play around, and do drop a comment if you think there’s anything interesting not covered here.


(Not Provided) – A Google Analytics Tweak

A Small Google Analytics Tweak to Assist SEO Analysis

Now that Google are hiding lots of interesting search data behind an anonymous ‘(not provided)’ line, I’ve posted a  little tutorial over on Econsultancy on how to make a little Google Analytics tweak I’ve been using to make SEO analysis a little bit easier.

Here’s the post: “How to steal some ‘(not provided)’ data back from Google

And here’s a summary of the hack, if you’re already savvy with GA filters:

Something interesting I spotted as a result:

  • All of the feedback on Twitter / via email is really positive.
  • On the post itself though, 4 of the 22 comments essentially say “I don’t get it?

Where the comments are “I don’t get it?” I think I could have avoided that by including an extra screengrab showing the hack in context. I’ve included one showing it in action, but not in context.

Take a look at the post & feel free to add to the comments.