It's been nearly two years since Google Analytics added real-time reports. Over that time, there have been a handful of changes including profiles, real-time widgets and understanding segments.
Now Google Analytics has announced a new addition to its real-time reports: goal conversions.
As you can see, the real-time Conversions report shows a list of the most recent goals, sorted by the number of conversions (highest to lowest). The report shows the goal number, then the name you gave your goal.
As you click on a goal or event from the list, you can drill-down into specific segment of goal, to show which page converted. Or, in the case of events, you can see event actions and labels.
It's hard to believe that over all this time goals had been completely absent from real-time. Whether large or small, goals are typically the primary reason your site exists. Whether your defined goals are page URLs or events if you have set up goals in your Analytics profile, you will now see them in the real-time reports.
Interesting to note, however, is that computed engagement goals are not available in real-time just yet. These computed goals include time on site or pages per visit. Of course, they're still being tracked as usual in the Conversions section of the Standard Reports.
If you have not yet set up Goals in Google analytics, they're relatively quick and easy to set up. Go to the Admin area of your Google Analytics account and select your desired profile. From there, click the tab for Goals and then the +Goal link. Give your goal a name, what type of goal you wish to track and the corresponding details.
For example, if you're using a URL as a goal, enter the URL.
If a visitor can convert a goal from multiple URLs, you can use a part of that URL and select one of the "Match" types. For example, if your conversion URL always starts with http://example.com/success/, then you can enter /success/ and select Head Match. Google provides more extensive help for setting up goals in their documentation.
Have you been waiting for event and goal tracking in Real-Time Reports? Sound off in the comments below.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!