Curious to know what pages your visitors are looking at right this minute and where they came from? Google Analytics will soon give its users access to this information.

For those of you familiar with ChartBeat, this has very similar functionality, with the added benefit that you don’t need to install any new code. If you have Google Analytics on your site, you’ll have access to this information without any additional work on your end.

Google Analytics says it will roll out its real-time reporting soon, but you can request advanced access to this functionality.

If you want to get an early look at this data, request access here:
https://services.google.com/fb/forms/realtimeanalytics/

After you get access, you'll see real-time info in the new Google Analytics Beta dashboard. To get there, follow these steps:

  1. Log into Google Analytics with your account.
  2. Click on "New Version" link if that’s not already your default (top right corner of screen, next to your username)
  3. Pick the unfiltered profile (11 No Filters) from your site from your account options. (You generally can see the real-time data in other profiles, but no filters are being applied.)
  4. Click on the “Home" icon (upper left, in the horizontal orange nav bar)
  5. Click on "Real-Time (beta)" (at the top left of the left nav)
  6. Select "overview", "traffic sources" or "content" for data

Note: this is not "up to date" data (I.e., it doesn't address data processing lags), this is data in real-time as it's happening. It can tell you things like how much traffic a FB post is sending right now, but not how popular something is over any period of time. There's going to be a lot of noise (just because 10 people are looking at something right now doesn't necessarily mean that it indicates a trend that will hold up over the next hour)

Couple of additional notes:

  1. Everyone should have access shortly without having to request access. Google said a couple weeks at launch, which is just about now.
  2. If you do request access, you may not receive any confirmation that you were approved. Just check your account in a few days (follow instructions above) to see if you have the report.
  3. This report is only available in the new version of Google Analytics (Google Analytics Beta).
  4. This is raw data. Filters are applied to data when it’s processed (overnight) not when it’s collected. So draw conclusions cautiously. (Unfiltered data includes, among other things, visits from staff from our IPs and, depending on your account/profiles setups, data from parts of the site other than yours.)
  5. Real-time won’t work well in IE8 or below. If you use those browsers, you will see the “You need a modern browser to use Real-Time Analytics” message.