How to fix: Google Analytics Real-Time Not Working

On 02 September 2021

The Real-Time report in Google Analytics usually shows how many pages views your website had in the last 30 minutes.
Sometimes you may notice that it shows less or does not show any traffic at all, but it doesn’t mean that the Google Analytics Real-Time report is not working. Here, in this article, we will analyze the possible causes of the shortage of traffic you may experience.

Empty Google Analytics Real-Time report

The article is written regarding the traffic coming from a project in your sparktraffic.com account, and you have administrative access to both Google Analytics and sparktraffic.com projects.

Has the project just started?

When you start your project, the system must process all the settings and update all the servers to generate the traffic. So it is very normal that in the first 20 minutes, you see no traffic at all.
There are some settings you can adjust to speed up the delivery, read further for them.

Check the Traffic Speed parameter

The Traffic Speed parameter literally regulates how fast the traffic should be coming to your website. It can be set to any value from 0% to 100%. When it is at 0%, the traffic is stopped completely, and nothing should be seen in your Google Analytics Real-Time report. When it is at 100%, you get as maximum traffic as possible.

Sparktraffic project Traffic Speed, Bounce Rate, Return Rate parameters

There is no “best” value for it. Some of our customers want the to gradually increase the traffic, increasing the Traffic Speed by 1% every day. Others want the traffic to be delivered as fast as possible.

It would be best to keep in mind that this parameter doesn’t affect your project’s expiration date. So if the parameter was set to less than 100%, then you may never receive a part of your monthly traffic volume.

Check the Bounce Rate parameter

A Bounced Visitor is a visitor that has seen just one page and then closed its web browser.

As Google Analytics calculates the session time as the time between the page views and bounced visitors have seen just one page, then you will see 0 seconds session time for such visitors in your reports. Therefore with the same amount of visitors, you will see fewer page views on Real-Time and other traffic reports.

A Bounce Rate of 100% means that all the visitors will see just 1 page.
A Bounce Rate of 50% means that half of the visitors will see only 1 page, and the other half will navigate as normal.
A Bounce Rate of 0% means that you will see the maximum traffic possible on your reports.

We should note that you should see the traffic coming on the Real-Time report in the case of a high Bounce Rate setting, but the values may be much less than you expect them to be.

Check the Return Rate parameter

The Return Rate parameter may be tricky to understand, but it may significantly affect your Real-Time traffic report working.

The Real-Time reports show both Users Online value and the 30 minutes history of the pages visited. However, the Users Online actually shows how many new users came to your website in this period, not the total number of users online. Therefore, this value does not count if the user returned to your website, i.e., a returned one.

A Return Rate of 100% will show 0 Users Online on the Real-Time report.
A Return Rate of 50% will show just half of the total amount of users on your website on the Real-Time report.
A Return Rate of 0% will show the maximum amount of Users Online on the Real-Time report.

Is your project too small?

If your project is too small, then the traffic may disappear from the Real-Time report. Let’s see why.

For example, you have a project with just 200 hits(page views) per day. However, there are 24 hours in a day, so every hour should be receiving 200/24=8.3 page views on average. Therefore on average, you should be just 4 page views on the 30 minutes Real-Time report. This value is so small that it may go unnoticed. Needless to say, that if you got the previous hour, a few page views more than in the current hour, you may have no traffic at all.

Also, the Users Online shows the arrived users only in the recent 5 minutes period of time. So, for example, a project with 200 hits per day would be about 200/3=66 users per day, 66/24=2.75 users per hour, 0.22 users per 5 minutes interval. This means that in 1 of 5 times you look at the Real-Time report, you may see 0 Users Online.

1 User in Google Analytics real-time report

In conclusion: if your project is tiny – avoid using use the real-time report. Instead, you need to use a daily report to see if the traffic is coming.

Do you have the correct Google Analytics id in your project?

This is actually the first thing to check if our traffic is not reflected on your Google Analytics.

Google Analytics id in Sparktraffic project

Head over to your project’s page, open the Traffic Counters tab and verify that the Google Analytics id we have on this page is absolutely the same as you see in your Google Analytics reports.

Do not confuse Google Analytics id with your Google id or any other identifier you may have in Google.
The correct Google Analytics id for a Google Analytics v3 traffic counter should look like UA-XXXXXXX-XX, where X is a number.
The correct Google Analytics id for a Google Analytics v4 traffic counter should look like G-XXXXXX, where X is a character or a number.

Did you set a time zone in your project?

Some of our projects have the automatic Day and Night traffic Volume Change parameter. It adjusts the traffic volume every hour to imitate a normal daily distribution of the traffic. So during the day hours, you should be getting more traffic and much less during the night ones.

Make sure that you are not in the “night” period of the timezone chosen in the project.

Has it actually been 30 minutes?

When you buy traffic from Sparktraffic.com, you purchase a certain amount of traffic per month. And the system automatically calculates how much traffic you should receive per day and hour. If you have already received the estimated amount during this hour, the system pauses until the next hour.

This is absolutely normal if you see a few minutes of no traffic at all during the last minutes of an hour. Just wait for a little and the traffic will start coming again.

Do you use UTM Campaigns?

If you have UTM parameters in the URLs in your project and you do not see the Campaign on your Real-Time report, it may be because there has been a mix-up with the parameters.

Google Analytics requires that all the 3 utm_source, utm_campaign, and utm_medium are present in all the URLs you have in your project. Therefore, if at least one of the parameters is missing, you may see the Google Analytics Campaign not working on the real-time report.

Whe else may Google Analytics Real-Time report not work?

If you still see that the Google Analytics Real-Time report is not working, there is no traffic there. We recommend contacting our customer support by sending an email to [email protected] or by contacting us using the live chat in the bottom right corner.