Custom Alerts in Google Analytics – how to use them

custom alerts in google analyticsGoogle Analytics is a great tool, which can significantly help you improve your website and make your business more profitable.

However, the one downside of Google Analytics is that it requires your active attention. In order to monitor your website’s performance, you must be logged into either your WordPress admin panel (read our guide to the top Google Analytics plugins for WordPress if you haven’t done so yet) or your Google Dashboard.

Aware of this limitation, Google has released a feature that’s been severely lacking up until now – Custom Alerts.

What are the new custom alerts like and how do they work?

The new custom alerts are predefined, proactive email and/or SMS notifications, as you may have imagined.

The important thing here is that they can be created by you.

This way, you can track the website performance metrics that really matter to you.

In addition, when you receive an alert, instead of having to go to the default dashboard to get more information, you will be redirected to a custom dashboard. It will showcase only the metrics that are related to the particular alert.

6 custom alerts you need to start using today

Zero sessions

First, you should set up an alert that will notify you if your sessions have dropped to zero. There are many different possible reasons why this have occurred, but most likely the problem is that your website is down.

However, don’t rely solely on this alert if you want to monitor your website’s uptime – there are a lot of free tools that can help you with that.google analytics custom alerts zero sessions

A sudden drop/increase in traffic

The sudden traffic drops/spikes are also important to monitor. Maybe a new page has been picked up by Google or a post has been published on another website? Maybe your link-building strategy has struck gold?

Or maybe your website has fallen victim to a Google penalty? Or an algorithm update has just been made and you’ve suddenly lost your high ranking?

In any case, it’s important to always stay on top of things and to know whether your strategies are working or if there is something to worry about.

increase in traffic:

drop in traffic:

Increased page load times

If your website is loading slowly, this will have a negative effect on your potential customers’ browsing experience and may even result in a search engine ranking drop. And if you have invested both time and effort in optimizing your site, you’ll definitely need to know if there are any performance drops.

This is exactly what this custom alert is intended to achieve – a 7-percent decrease in the average load time.

You can set up such an alert for the whole website, or just for a single page, preferably your most important/visited page.

If you set up an alert for the whole website, your low-traffic pages may bring down the average load time, whereas your most popular pages may increase it as a result of the traffic volume they receive.

Content going viral

Got trending social media posts? If so, this alert will let you know how many social shares your posts have gotten so that you can be prepared for more incoming visitors.

A dramatic bounce rate increase

Google counts any single-page visit as a bounce. If you have a login page or a single-page website, you can expect a high bounce rate.

However, a high bounce rate may also mean a high amount of irrelevant traffic, a page load time increase or even a spambot attack. This is why it’s wise to track your bounce rate.

Make sure you check your current bounce rate first, so as to set the alert limit accordingly.

An increased number of 404 pages

A 404 page usually means that the visitor has landed on a non-existent page. This could be due to a broken link on your website or a broken link on a referring page.

However, it could also indicate that some sort of a bot attack is aiming to take down your website.

In any case, it’s good to know if the 404-page traffic has increased.

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