Custom alerts are notifications regarding your Google Analytics account, based on conditions you have created.
For example, you can set up a custom alert when the number of sessions exceeds a certain number. This will let you know if there’s a sudden drastic increase in visits to your website, which could be due to hackers or spam traffic. Being aware of this and of other sudden changes on your website will help you remedy any issues as soon as possible.
Here are 4 Google Analytics custom alerts every marketing team should create:
1) No Website Traffic
Create an alert to track zero visitors on your website. When there’s no website traffic tracked by Google Analytics, this generally means that there’s something wrong with the tracking code or the Google Analytics account. This could mean that the Google Analytics code has been removed or that the WordPress plug-in that you’re using to set up Google Analytics tracking on your website needs to be updated.
To set up a custom alert for no website traffic, go to the admin section of your Google Analytics account and click on Custom Alerts.
Then create an alert name, select the respective view, period (e.g., “Day”), and the email address or phone number for receiving alerts. Set up the following alert conditions:
- This applies to > All Traffic
- Alert me when > Sessions > Is less than 1
2) Average Page Load Time
Create a custom alert to track the page load time. If the page load time in a day exceeds the average page load time, you can contact your IT team or web designer to see if there’s anything wrong with your website or web hosting. To create a custom alert for average page load time, set up the following conditions:
- This applies to > All Traffic
- Alert me when > Avg. Page Load Time (sec) > Is greater than > ___ (I normally use 3 seconds as the value)
3) Bounce Rate of Google Ads Campaigns
You can also track spikes or drops in the bounce rate of your Google Ads campaigns. If you have made changes to your Google Ads campaigns, you can use Google Analytics custom alerts to see if those changes have positively or negatively impacted your campaign performance. To create a custom alert for a Google Ads campaign bounce rate, set up the following conditions:
- This applies to > Campaign; Condition > Matches regular expression; under Value, enter the campaign name
- Alert me when > Bounce Rate; Condition > % increases by more than ____; under Value, enter a percentage (e.g., 30%); Compared to > Previous day
4) Referral Traffic
Use Google Analytics custom alert to track a spike in referral traffic. If there’s an unknown increase in referral traffic, there’s a good chance that it’s spam traffic. To create a custom alert when the number of sessions increases by more than 30% compared to the previous day, set up these conditions:
- This applies to > Medium; Condition > Matches regular expression; under Value, enter referral
- Alert me when > Sessions; Condition > % increased more than; under Value, enter a percentage (e.g., 30%); Compared to > Previous day
Custom alerts are useful to advise marketers and managers of sudden or unwanted changes to their website, Google Analytics account and paid campaigns. Being aware of issues or unwanted changes on your website or campaigns will help you respond and address issues quickly!
Written by Ray Wang
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