As much as we all pride ourselves on our diligence with monitoring Google Analytics data, our fingers aren’t actually glued to our keyboard at every moment of the day. When we aren’t staring closely at our screens, Google Analytics saves the day in the form of a little something called custom alerts – DING, DING!!

We have a wide range of custom alerts set up for each of our clients so that we can receive an email (or even a text message!) notification of their occurrences. This data makes us smarter, more proactive marketers so that we can provide real-time insights for our clients.

Custom alerts are painfully simple to set up… we promise:

  1. Go to your “Reporting” tab in Google Analytics
  2. Select “Intelligence Events” report
  3. You’ll then see a bar graph. Go below that in the Custom Alerts field and click “Create a Custom Alert”
    • Now we make this custom to the client and their needs. We need to input:
      • Alert Name
      • Apply to (what reporting view we want – can select one or multiple)
      • Period (frequency – most granular period can be one day or we can also go up to one month)
      • Send me an email when this alert triggers (Yes, please! You can also add other colleagues or clients to this alert). If you would like to add your mobile number here, you can then receive text alerts
      • Alert Conditions: This allows you to define the segment (for example, we may want a rule to only apply to visitors from desktop), or alert me when conditions change like a page load time increases by 50%
      • Create Alert

There are a few must-have custom alerts that we recommend you get in place before the holiday season hits us like a ton of bricks:

  • Revenue Drop: We typically use a threshold for this like, “Revenue drops by more than 50%”
  • Traffic Decrease: We prefer a threshold here as well like, “Traffic drops by more than 40%”, but you can also enter a “Less Than” to use your site’s average number of visits.
  • Revenue Increase: This should be good news! However, it can be an alert that sounds in an instance of fraud.
  • Traffic Increase: Similar to the above, this should be a positive event but can be indicative of fraud or other tracking errors at play.
  • 404 Page Entrances and/or Pageviews: This can be set up for page entrances or pageviews. This is a more seamless way to find out about the 404 page activity than reviewing Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Page Load Time: This one is incredibly helpful as it’s not always a metric that digital marketers consistently evaluate – and it’s often due to an issue that our clients are never made aware of.
  • AdWords Traffic Drop: This alerts us quickly to any issues with campaign budgets or payment methods.
  • Referral or Social Traffic Increase: Again, another “good” or “bad” situation. Perhaps a key influencer linked to your site with rave reviews, or a complaint post went viral.
  • Drop or Increase in Conversion Rate: Knowing what could have caused conversions to dramatically spike or decrease from day-to-day will allow you to learn what is working well and what isn’t. It also is a good indicator of on-site or product issues.
  • Bounce Rate: Many times a homepage update can cause the bounce rate to significantly increase. This alert allows us to make quick recommendations to mitigate those kind of issues.

Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to keep you alert this season! Get a hold of us at