If you’ve installed Google Analytics code on your site it’s always good to know if it’s working… If you have Chrome you can install the Google Tag Assistant extension – or you can wait a few hours and check if there have been any visits – but how would you like to know immediately if the code is working – especially if you need the code to be checking across sub-domains, for example?
There’s a quick trick to test your code implementation… simply open another browser window and visit your site. Because I work online with many of my clients, I don’t want my visits to pollute their visitor data (they may wonder who this person is in Spain who keeps visiting their site!) so I have an extensions on both Firefox and Chrome which prevent the code from firing – so I opened the page in Safari which does not block the visit from being reported.
Going back to my Google Analytics report I can open up the Real Time report under the Standard Reports menu – and, sure enough, there is my visit, reported, just as is say on the box – in real time.
I can navigate to subdomains and any other pages to check that the code is firing. A great way to check the code is correctly installed. And, perhaps finally, a reason to use the Real Time report!
Please use the comments to suggest other uses for the Real Time report – we struggle to see the value other than as a data geeks alternative to an aquarium.