Google Analytics Custom Alerts with Examples

Table of Contents for Google Analytics Custom Alerts with Examples 

  1. Introduction to custom alerts in Google Analytics
  2. Create and manage custom alerts
  3. Delete custom alerts
  4. Google Analytics alerts when the website is down
  5. Top 20 custom alerts
  6. FAQ

In this article, I am going to talk about Google Analytics custom alerts with examples.

Introduction to custom alerts in Google Analytics

Custom alerts in Google Analytics notify you via email when there are any changes in your analytics data based on the preconfigured thresholds. 

Using the custom alert feature, you can follow a proactive approach to monitor your data and take meaningful decisions.

It is not possible to keep an eye on every single metric and dimension in Google Analytics 24/7, and this is where custom alerts play an important role in keeping you updated with all changes in your dataset. 

Now let’s see how we can create, manage, and delete the custom alerts in Google Analytics.

 
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Create and manage custom alerts

To create custom alerts in Google Analytics follow the below steps.

Step-1: Login to your Google Analytics account and click on ‘Admin’.

Step-2: Select the view and click on ‘Custom alerts’ under ‘Personal tools & assets’.

Step-3: This will open a custom alert configuration panel, click on ‘+ New Alert’.

Step-4: You will get a screen like below. Give your alert a descriptive name. As an example, I am going to create an alert for if the traffic for my websites decreases by more than 10% over the month.

Step-5: Now you get an option to select the additional views to set a custom alert for:

  1. The current view is already selected.
  2. Click on the drop-down ‘other views’.
  3. Select the additional views if needed.

Note: You can select views from the different properties as well. I am not going to select the additional views for now, and the above image is just for reference.

Step-6: Now click on the drop-down beside ‘Period’ to select the reporting period of the custom alert. Options available are:

  1. Day: If selected, the custom alert will trigger with the comparison period of a single day (the previous day, same day previous week,, or same day previous year) based on the threshold configuration set.
  2. Week: If selected, the custom alert will trigger with the comparison period of a previous week based on the threshold configuration set.
  3. Month: If selected, the custom alert will trigger with the comparison period of one month (previous month or same month previous year) based on the threshold configuration set.

As per our example, I am going to select ‘Month’. 

Step-7: Now select the checkbox ‘Send me an email when this alert triggers.’ and click on the drop-down beside ‘Also include’.

Step-8: A small pop-up will open, as below. You can search for an existing email address (it can include all email addresses that have access to current and selected analytics views) or add your email address by clicking on ‘Add new email address’.

Step-9: Once you click on ‘Add new email address’ it will open a pop-up like below where you need to fill out the email address and label (optional field e.g. internal organization, CXO’s reporting, external agency) and then click on ‘OK’.

Note: You will receive email alerts from ‘[email protected]’ so make sure this email address is not marked as spam or junk.

Step-10: Once you have added the email address it will appear like below. Now click on the green drop-down under ‘Alert Condition’ to define when the alert will be triggered.

Step-11: Now select the dimension category.

Note: By default ‘All Traffic’ is the selected dimension.

Step-12: Once you select the category, the drop-down will expand and you can select any dimension of the corresponding category.

As per our example, I am going to continue with the default dimension selected ‘All Traffic’.

Step-13: The next step is to select the metrics for the corresponding dimension. The process is similar to the step that we did while selecting the dimension. Click on the blue drop-down under ‘Alert me when’ to define when the alert will be triggered.

Step-14: Now select the metric category.

Note: By default ‘Session’ is the selected metric.

Step-15: Once you select the category, the drop-down will expand where you can select any metric to the corresponding category.

As per our example, I am going to continue with the default dimension selected ‘Session’.

Step-16: Now click on the drop-down ‘Condition’ and then select any condition from the available options.

As per our example, we are setting an alert for if the traffic for websites decreases by more than 10% over the month. So, I will select the option ‘% decreases by more than’.

Step-17: Now specify the threshold value in the input box available next to ‘Value’.

Step-18: Select the comparison period from the dropdown available under ‘Compared to’.

Here, I wanted to be alerted if the traffic decreases by more than 10%, so I will select the option ‘Previous month’.

Step-19: Your overall alert configuration will look like below. Now click on ‘Save’.

Congratulations! You have successfully created a custom alert in Google Analytics.

You can check the custom alert, as below.

That’s it you are done. If the condition matches the alert configuration, it will send an email to you immediately. The custom alert email looks similar to the below image.

Delete custom alerts

If you want to delete a custom alert, you can follow the below steps:

Step-1: Log in to your Google Analytics account and click on ‘Admin’.

Step-2: Select the view and click on ‘Custom alerts’ under ‘Personal tools & assets’.

Step-3: It will open a custom alert configuration panel where you can see the list of custom alerts. Now click on the ‘Remove’ link in front of the alert that you want to delete.

Step-4: A pop-up window will open like below to ask for confirmation for the removal of the alert. Click on ‘OK’.

Once you click on ‘OK’ your custom alert will be permanently removed.

Google Analytics alerts when the website is down

It is very unfortunate if your website is down and Google Analytics is not receiving any data. 

There could be multiple reasons for this, like server down (very rare) or somehow your development team has removed the tracking code from the website. Imagine the scenario where this happens and you don’t find out about it for days or weeks. You will lose complete data for the entire period your website was down.

It is recommended to set up a custom alert for such scenarios so that you can take appropriate action immediately. 

You can set the below custom alert: 

  • Alert Name: No Traffic to Website
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: Is less than
  • Value: 1

Top 20 custom alerts

Now I am going to talk about the top 20 custom alerts that you should consider setting for your Google Analytics view. 

In all of the examples below, the comparison period depends on how often you would like to see the alert. It could be a day, a week, or a month period.

1. Drop in sessions (visits)

You can set this alert to see the drop in sessions as compared to the previous period. 

  • Alert Name: Drop in Sessions (Visits)
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Week
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 10 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous Week

2. Drop in users (visitors)

You can set this alert to see the drop in users as compared to the previous period. Here the comparison period depends on how often you would like to see the alert, it could be a week or month period.

  • Alert Name: Drop in Users (Visitors)
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Week
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Users
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 10 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous Week

3. Increase in bounce rate

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant increase in bounce rate on the website.

  • Alert Name: Increase in bounce rate
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Bounce rate
  • Condition: % increases by more than
  • Value: 90 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

4. Increase in page load time

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant increase in page load time for the website. Increased page load time has a direct impact on user experience and increases bounce rate.

  • Alert Name: Increase in page load time
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Avg. page load time (sec)
  • Condition: % increases by more than
  • Value: 70 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

5. Decrease in average session duration

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in session duration time for the website. Decreased session duration means users are not getting the right information or content that they are looking for, or there may be some technical errors on the website causing users to leave early

  • Alert Name: Decrease in Avg. Session duration
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Avg. Session duration
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 70 (Can be customizable based of requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

6. Decrease in goal conversion

Goal conversion helps you understand how users are converting and performing against the website objective. You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in goal conversions. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in Goal conversion
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Goal conversion rate
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 80 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

7. Decrease in session with search

Many users search for particular information on your website. You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in sessions with search. This can provide more information about site search functionality issues. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in session with search
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Session with search
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 50 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

8. Decrease in total events

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in total events. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in total events
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Total events
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 80 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

9. Decrease in ecommerce revenue

Set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in ecommerce revenue. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in ecommerce revenue
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Revenue
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

10. Decrease in ecommerce transactions

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in ecommerce transactions. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in ecommerce transaction
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Transactions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

11. Decrease in ecommerce conversion rate

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in the ecommerce conversion rate. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in ecommerce conversion rate
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Ecommerce Conversion Rate
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

12. Decrease in ad impressions

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in the ad impression metric from Google Ads. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in ad impressions
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Impression
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 20 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

13. Decrease in ad clicks

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in ad clicks metric from Google Ads. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in ad clicks
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Clicks
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 20 (Can be customizable based of requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

14. Significant increase in ads cost

Google Ads cost can shoot up directly depending upon the bidding strategy. A significant increase in cost may lead to going out of budget. You can set this alert to know if there is a significant increase in ad cost metric from Google Ads  

  • Alert Name: Increase in ad cost
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: All Traffic
  • Alert Metric: Cost
  • Condition: % increases by more than
  • Value: 20 (Can be customizable based of requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

15. Ad keyword not set

You can set this alert to know if there are any Google Ads running with keyword value ‘(not set)’. This happens often if the keywords are not set correctly in Google Ads configuration.

  • Alert Name: Ad keyword (not set)
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: Keyword
  • Dimension Condition: Matches exactly
  • Dimension Value: (not set)
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % increases by more than
  • Value: 5 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

16. Decrease in organic traffic

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in organic traffic. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in organic traffic
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: Medium
  • Dimension Condition: Matches exactly
  • Dimension Value: organic
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

17. Decrease in direct traffic

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in direct traffic.

  • Alert Name: Decrease in direct traffic
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: Medium
  • Dimension Condition: Matches exactly
  • Dimension Value: (direct)
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

18. Decrease in referral traffic

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in referral traffic. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in referral traffic
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: Medium
  • Dimension Condition: Matches exactly
  • Dimension Value: referral
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

19.Decrease in social traffic

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in social traffic. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in social traffic
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: Medium
  • Dimension Condition: contains
  • Dimension Value: social
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based of requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

20. Decrease in email traffic

You can set this alert to know if there is a significant decrease in email traffic. 

  • Alert Name: Decrease in email traffic
  • Apply to: All the Views in Production (Live website views)
  • Period: Day 
  • Alert Dimension: Medium
  • Dimension Condition: contains
  • Dimension Value: email
  • Alert Metric: Sessions
  • Condition: % decreases by more than
  • Value: 30 (Can be customizable based on requirement)
  • Compared to: Previous day

Related Article: How to set up Google Analytics real time alerts

Frequently asked questions about Google Analytics custom alerts 

What are custom alerts in Google Analytics?

Custom alerts in Google Analytics notify you via email when there are any changes in your analytics data based on the preconfigured thresholds. Using the custom alert feature you can follow a proactive approach to monitor your data and take meaningful decisions.

How to set custom alerts in Google Analytics?

Follow the below steps to set custom alerts:
Step-1: Navigate to Google Analytics admin settings
Step-2: Click on ‘Custom Alerts’ under View column
Step-3: Click on ‘+New Alert’
Step-4: Give Alert a descriptive name
Step-5: Select views for which you want to set alert under ‘Apply to’
Step-6: Select Period (Day, Week, or Month)
Step-7: Mark the check box under ‘Send me an email when this alert triggers’ and add your email id.
Step-8: Select the dimension to which the alert applies under ‘This applies to’
Step-9:  Select the metric to which alert applies under ‘Alert me when’
Step-10: Select the condition under ‘Alert me when’
Step-11: Enter the threshold value for alert under ‘Alert me when’
Step-12: Save the alert.

How will I receive custom alerts in Google Analytics?

When the custom alert is triggered, you will receive an email from ‘[email protected]’ with the subject line ‘Google Analytics custom alerts’. Make sure this email address is not marked as spam or junk.

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