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By Guaranteed SEO // Aug 07, 2015 Categories: Google Analytics

6 Useful Google Analytics Custom Alerts

It’s impossible to check your data every day.There is a lot of work to do in SEO and you don’t notice some things on time. However, there is a simple solution offered by Google Analytics – Intelligence Events. Google Analytics monitors your website in order to detect significant changes in your traffic and notifies you. There are two types of alerts:

  • Automatic Alerts are generated by Google Analytics itself if it detects any significant change in traffic or user behaviour. To see these Alerts, go to: Reporting -> Intelligence Events -> Overview
  • Custom Alerts are triggered only if something happens that is already specified. It allows you to set up an alert to a specific change and receive an e-mail notification if one of your alerts is triggered. In our article we will be talking about Custom Alerts. If you try this functionality once, you will love it because it’s extremely handy, useful and easy to create.

How to Create a Custom Alert

To see a list of all your alerts in a view go to “Admin” section and click on “Custom Alerts” in the view column.

Custom Alerts in Google Analytics navigation
Then you will see a table with all your custom alerts applied to this view. To create a custom alert just click on “New Alert”.

Create a new custom alert WARNING: If you use the same alert for more views, don’t click on the “remove” link. It’s removes the alert from all views across your Google Analytics account. You have to uncheck the view in the alert settings. (see image) Custom alert settings Each alert may be applied to each view in your Google Account. Then, it is really straight forward, just select “period” (day, week or month) and set up the condition when the alert will be triggered. Don’t forget to check the e-mail notification checkbox and set up your e-mail address. You can select multiple e-mail addresses and make sure that your marketing team will be notified as soon as possible.

Custom Alerts notification settings

Examples of Custom Alerts

Flat line

Flat line in the traffic overview is always a bad sign and doesn’t matter what the cause is. For instance, this alert will notify you if:

  • Tracking code doesn’t work
  • Website is down (server issue, mistake in the php file, .htaccess file etc.)
  • Absolutely no traffic

It’s an essential alert which should be implemented on every website. Alert Conditions:

  • This applies to: All Traffic
  • Alert me when: Sessions
  • Condition: Is less than
  • Value: 1

Custom Alert - Flat line

Spam traffic alerts

Referral spam traffic in Google Analytics is a big problem which bothers everyone. I’m not going to describe how to block it. However, you can use Custom alerts in order to monitor your data and reveal a new source of spam traffic before serious damage is done. For referral spam traffic this alert is useful:

  • This applies to: Medium
  • Condition: Matches exactly
  • Value: referral
  • Alert me when: Sessions
  • Condition: % increases by more than
  • Value: 20%
  • Compared to: Previous day

Custom Alert - spam traffic This alert is triggered when a spike in referral traffic appears. There is also spam in direct traffic which the alert above doesn’t include. Spam traffic usually has a 100% bounce rate and it will affect your overall bounce rate. Let’s set up an alert in order to monitor your bounce rate. Alert Conditions:

  • This applies to: All Traffic
  • Alert me when: Bounce Rate
  • Condition: % increases by more than
  • Value: 50%
  • Compared to: Previous day

Custom Alert - spam traffic (bounce rate) The alert may be also triggered by a large volume of irrelevant traffic on your website.

Organic traffic dropped

Organic traffic is essential for most websites and therefore should be monitored 24/7. Get an alert when your website has a problem with the search engines. There are two main reasons for a big drop in organic traffic:

  • Your website got a penalty
  • You set up noindex tags

Alert Conditions:

  • This applies to: Medium
  • Condition: Matches exactly
  • Value: organic
  • Alert me when: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 50%
  • Compared to: Same day in the previous week

Custom Alert - Organic traffic dropped

Traffic from different domain

If your content is copied by another website (stolen), you may be able to catch the thief depending on how lazy they really are. If they use your analytics code you will get a notification when Google Analytics starts collecting data from another domain. Another reason to use this alert is that a decent volume of spam traffic is not using a valid hostname and may also trigger the alert. Alert Conditions:

  • This applies to: Hostname
  • Condition: Does not contain
  • Value: yourdomainname
  • Alert me when: Session
  • Condition: Is greater than
  • Value: 0

Custom alert - traffic from different domain

PPC Campaign alert

Your budget has run out, the credit card expired or your payment was not accepted. These are possible reasons why your paid traffic has dropped. In order to prevent this problem, implement this alert. Alert Conditions:

  • This applies to: Medium
  • Condition: Matches exactly
  • Value: cpc
  • Alert me when: Session
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 60%
  • Compared to: Same day in the previous day

Custom alert - PPC campaign

Conversion

There is nothing more important than conversions and you should track them. If there is a drop in conversions, it is not necessarily a big problem. There are usually two reasons why your conversions have dropped:

  • Conversion tracking doesn’t work because the thank you page URL or event tracking was changed
  • Your conversion path is broken

Alert Conditions:

  • This applies to: All Traffic
  • Alert me when: Goal Conversion Rate
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 50%
  • Compared to: Same day in the previous day

Custom alert - Conversion I mentioned only a few alerts which you may want implemented. There is not a perfect list of custom alerts which fits your needs and goals. Each website is different and requires specific alerts, however, there are several alerts which can be used on almost all websites. Feel free to create your own alert or just adjust the alert frequency/percentages.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 1 (866) 588-8282 or contact us.
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