Using Automated Alerts in GA

Lauren Owens - March 25, 2015

Let’s face it – you’re probably too busy to keep a close enough eye on your Google Analytics accounts. But just because you’re too busy to put “eyes on” your data doesn’t mean that intelligence events aren’t happening. This is why you should be making use of automated alerts in Google Analytics.

The automated alerts function in Google Analytics enables you to create conditions to be notified of specific intelligence events – say, a spike in traffic or a huge drop in conversions. Knowledge of these events can help you take control of a situation – be it an opportunity (incentivizing your extra traffic toward conversion) or a problem (a broken link or “leaky” conversion funnel).

In this post, we’ll walk you though setting up automated alerts.

Automatic and Custom Alerts in GA

There are two types of Intelligence Events in Google Analytics – Automatic Alerts and Custom Alerts. Automatic Alerts are automatically generated whenever Google Analytics detects a significant change in your website’s traffic metrics, for example, a significant increase or decrease in revenue or conversions, pageviews or bounce rates. To view these, navigate to the Reporting Tab, click on Intelligence Events and click on Automatic Alerts.

To take greater control over the alerts you receive, and to get these alerts sent directly to you, it’s necessary to create a Custom Alert.

To create a Custom Alert, click on the Custom Alerts tab and select Manage Custom Alerts.

custom alert 1Then click +New Alert.

custom alert 2

Then, create your alert. To create a custom alert, you must set the conditions that will trigger an alert. For example, a 15% drop in traffic when compared to the previous month.

custom alert 3

You can choose whether this alert will go to your email or mobile phone. This way, even the busiest marketer can receive revenue-saving status updates.

How to Use the Alerts

The alerts you set up will depend greatly on your goals, and this will change over time. While you might want to always watch your website for a decrease in traffic, conversions, or goal completions, you might only want to watch other metrics during significant marketing events. For example, if you are running a specific campaign on a specific platform, you might want to set up an alert triggered by conversions coming in from that traffic source. That way, you can quickly move to increase your ad spend.

What you don’t want to do, though, is create a situation where you are so awash in data that your data becomes meaningless. (If you are not going to do anything about a decrease in traffic, what’s the point of knowing about it?) Instead, create the alerts that will help you manage your campaigns, and your website, more effectively – tightening up those funnels and keeping a sharp eye out for when something goes right, or wrong.

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