Essential Google Analytics Email Alerts for Every Website
Google Analytics is a very powerful free traffic analytics tool by Google. In my opinion it is one of the best free tools out there. It allows web-masters and marketers to really dive into the traffic they are receiving in order to better understand their target market and identify potential opportunities. Analytics does have it’s limitations however I feel that every website should have at least Google Analytics running on their site in terms of reporting traffic and visitor behavior.
In this article I am going to be going through some of the Google Analytics email alerts that I think is essential for every business. Before we start looking at what type of email alerts and actions we want to track I will show you the actually process of setting up an analytics email alert.
2) Create a Custom Alert
3) Select Options and check “Email me when this alert is triggered”
Now that we know the process of setting up an email alert let’s look to see what types email alerts we should be setting up.
Overall Traffic Drops
You definitely want to know about significant drops of traffic compared to either the same day last week or the same day last month depending on the size of your website and the amount of traffic you receive. If you are analyzing a large website with a large amount of traffic you may want to compare traffic numbers on the same days of the week. For example if today is Wednesday, Analytics would compare the traffic numbers of today with last Wednesday and if traffic dropped by 50% you will be sent an email alert.
For smaller sites I would start off with comparing traffic on a monthly basis until the traffic volumes increase. So for example if you were comparing today’s traffic, Analytics would compare the traffic numbers with the same day last month and again if there is a drop of 50% or more in traffic an email alert will be sent.
Overall Traffic Spikes
Traffic spikes are great and are very exciting to see. You want to create a notification that will alert you if your traffic increases by 125% compared to the same time last week. For example if today is Wednesday and receieved over 125% more traffic than last Wednesday you will be sent an email alert. This is great as you can then look to identify the reason for the traffic spike and perhaps look to replicate that if possible. Once you identify the cause for the increase you can then write an annotation to keep track of what is going on.
Traffic Drops from Search Engines
In light of the recent Google Algorithm change I have decided to also include this one. This alert can give us an indication of potential drops in search engine rankings which will need to be confirmed in reports from rank tracker tools. Basically this will compare traffic volumes sent via search engines organically on a weekly basis and send alerts if traffic volumes drop more than 25%. Depending on the size of website and volume of traffic you can change percentages as different percentages reflect different volumes of traffic for different sites.
Traffic Drops from Referrals
Referrals is another type of traffic source that could be sending you a lot of traffic. Depending on the nature of your business or website referral traffic can be a result of many different things such as affiliate marketers, back links, banner advertising, forums, blogs, social media etc etc. It is great to track any significant drops in traffic referrals as this will then prompt you to see which sites are sending you less traffic and why. The best email alert for this would be a weekly comparison of total referral traffic. For example if today was Wednesday and there was a significant drop in referral traffic (>25%) compared to last Wednesday then an email alert would be sent to you.
Drop in Goal Conversions
Goals are important as they measure the percentage and absolute number of people that perform a desired action on your website. You definitely will want to be notified if there are any drops in goal conversions and more importantly then try to identify why that drop occurred as in some cases it could also mean a direct drop in revenue too. An alert will be sent if the goal conversion rate drops more than 50% of the goal conversion rate from the day before. For example if yesterdays goal conversion rate was 3% and today the conversion rate was 1% an email notification would be sent. In order to set this alert you must have the goal created and then select:
This applies to “All Traffic”. Alert me when “Goal Name” decreased by more than 50% compared to the previous day.
Spike in Goal Conversions
Just like you want to know about drops in goal conversions you also want to be notified when there is a spike in goal conversions. This is something that you want to know about to identify what caused the spike and to see if you can maintain it or replicate it. An alert will be sent when to goal conversion rate is 50% higher than yesterday’s goal conversion rate. To set this up you must first have to goal set up and then select:
This applies to “All Traffic”. Alert me when “Goal Name” increased by more than 50% compared to the previous day.
Complete Flat line of Analytics
You definitely want this email alert to be set up. Once this is set up analytics will email you when for whatever reason Google Analytics stops tracking your visitors to your website. This is most likely due to accidentally moving or deleting code. This alert will be emailed you when traffic drops by 90% or more compared to the day before. For example if today the traffic volumes dropped to 2 visitors compared to 200 visitors yesterday and email alert will be sent to you and you will probably have to see what has gone on with the Google Analytics tracking code.
This email alerts are very useful and will ensure that you don’t miss any important changes in traffic and visitor behaviour of your website. It allows you to discover changes as early as possible giving you the best chance to identify reasons for the changes.
Would love to hear about any email alerts you use.