Hopefully you have never experienced a loss in Google Analytics tracking on your website, but if you have, you’ll understand the nightmares it can cause. Obviously logging into your Google Analytics account each day to monitor if your tracking is working as it should is just not practical for any website owner.

Luckily you can have Google monitor your analytics tracking for you, and alert you as soon as it notices that your tracking may have stopped working.

Before we move on to the ‘how-to’, here’s a little background on why you might need this.

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Why your Google Analytics tracking may stop working

  • You’ve used a plugin to implement your code and it has automatically updated and broken.
  • Your website is built on WordPress and either the theme, WordPress install or Google Analytics plugin has automatically updated and caused a conflict, rendering your tracking code stuffed.
  • You’ve launched a new website and your Google Analytics tracking code hasn’t been implemented on the new website.

So what exactly is a Google Analytics Custom Alert?

Luckily, a Google Analytics Custom Alert is a standard Google Analytics feature that anyone with a Google Analytics account has access to.  So it’s FREE!

A custom alert is basically a rule that you set for your data in Google Analytics. If your data matches this rule, within the set timeframe, you’ll be sent an email.

How does this help me? Well the main Custom Alert we’re discussing today will use the following rule:

IF SESSIONS = LESS THAN 1, ALERT ME!

How to create a Google Analytics Custom Alert

Step 1

To create a custom alert, navigate to the Google Analytics view you want to create the alert for.

Step 2

Select the Admin tab.

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From the last column on the right, select ‘Custom Alerts’.

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Step 4

Select ‘+ New Alert

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Step 5

Apply to: Select the reporting views to which you want to apply the alert.

Period: Select the frequency at which the alert can be generated (Day, Week, Month). A daily alert is based on daily changes in traffic/behavior; weekly and monthly alerts are based on week to week and month to month changes, respectively.

Send me an email when this alert triggers: Select this checkbox if you want to receive an email when the alert is generated. If you want other people to also receive the email, open the other email addresses menu, click ‘Add new email address’, enter the address and label, then click OK. The ‘From’ address for the alert is noreply@google.com.

[Available only in the United States] Click Set up your mobile phone to enter your mobile phone number.]

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Step 6

Alert Conditions:

This applies to: Select the dimension to which the alert applies. In this example we’ll leave ‘All Traffic’ as the default selection.

Alert me when: Select the metric to which the alert applies, the condition that generates the alerts (e.g., Is less than, Is greater than), and enter the value for the condition (e.g., Is less than 20). In this example, we’ll use ‘Sessions’, ‘Is less than’ and ‘1’.

IMPORTANT TIP:  We have seen the occasion where a Google Analytics tracking code is not working, however spam bots are still registering as traffic and triggering sessions in a Google Analytics account. Due to this, you may wish to change this rule slightly to say ‘less than 2 or 3 sessions’. It’s also a good idea to still log in every now and then just to check your stats regardless…so don’t let this alert, keep you away from logging in 🙂

Step 7

Click ‘Save Alert’.

And…. You’re done!

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A few limitations / considerations…

When you create a custom alert, that alert is visible only to you in your current reporting view and in any other views to which you apply the alert.

Some other handy resources on Custom Alerts:

Confused Yet?

Google Analytics is a pretty complex beast – but at PN Digital we have tamed that beast! Whether you need help setting up your Google Analytics Automated Alerts, managing your AdWords account, setting up Google Tag Manager or getting your head around the difference between Google Webmaster Tools and Google Search Engine, we can help!

Call us on 1300 131 932 to speak to a PN Google Geek.