Tuesday 1 December 2009 | 14:43
Labels: Google Analytics
We recently launched an exciting new feature in Google Analytics called Analytics Intelligence and today we want to tell you all about it.
Analytics Intelligence will automatically alert you to significant changes in your website's traffic. In addition to automatic alerts, you can also specify custom alerts that you would like Analytics Intelligence to monitor and highlight for you!
Google Analytics looks at past performance information from your website and makes a prediction about your expected performance. If there is a big difference between what actually happens on your site, and what Analytics Intelligence expected would happen, you'll see a green bar appear in the bar graph above the alert details. The significance rating found to the right of every metric can help you gauge the performance of your site according to the expected target performance.
In the example below, you can see that Analytics intelligence expected an increase in traffic of 75-79%, but actual traffic was up 91.93%. This triggered Analytics Intelligence to alert us via the green bar graph. When you click on the bar graph you are then shown details of the alerts for that time period, in this case a weekly alert. Automatic alerts are applied to historic data in your account as well as all new data going forward.
With a custom alert, you control what Analytics Intelligence will alert you about. To easily create a custom alert in your account follow the steps here. When using a custom alert it's important to define what information is important to you and what exactly you would like Analytics Intelligence to monitor for you. Unlike automatic alerts, a custom alert does not trigger when used with historical account data.
Not sure why you'd use a custom alert? Here are 5 really useful applications for this new feature:
1. Revenue Drop Alert
This condition is triggered if traffic from the medium 'cpc' (meaning paid traffic), such as Google AdWords, has a revenue decrease of more than 15% compared to the same day in the previous week. We selected 15% to account for normal fluctuation, of course you can select a percentage that makes sense to your business.
We selected the 'Same day in the previous week' over compared to 'Previous day', because certain days (e.g weekends) might have lower revenue rates as a matter of fact. So we want our alert to only trigger based on week-week performance.
In our example we used Revenue as our metric which will only apply to websites using E-commerce reporting. However if you measure return on investment using goals and goal value you can just as easily change this metric to Goal Value to get the same insight.
2. Landing Page Bounce Rate Increases
This alert allows us to examine the performance of a specific landing page. If the bounce rate of the page increases by more than 20% an alert is triggered.
Running a large website with multiple departments separated by different categories with different stakeholders?
You could change the dimension condition to 'Starts with' /kids/ to monitor the performance of the kids section of the website. Of course bounce rate is just a suggestion. You may try other metrics such as revenue.
3. Campaign PerformanceLaunching a new AdWords campaign on the Google Content Network with lots of interesting creatives for Christmas or any special promotional period? Want to be notified quickly on its performance? Create some alerts...
We create 2 alerts because we want to monitor performance in both directions positive / negative.
We used compared to "previous day", because an online retailer would typically see a steady increase in sales leading up to Christmas day.
The first alert lets us know that our campaign is increasing in revenue which is great! The second alert informs us that something may be wrong or the campaign may require tweaking.
If we start to see a negative trend we can click on the alert in the Intelligence interface and it will tell us what changed in our website's traffic. This can help you pin-point what area of your campaign needs work.
4. Keyword Performance
The above alert will let you monitor any drop in expected visits, and give you the opportunity to make changes to your advertising to compensate.
For those paying close attention, this will include both organic and paid traffic. However when you view the closer details of the triggered alert you can easily distinguish between the 2 traffic mediums by using "group by" dimension
5. Country Performance
This alert could also be useful for monitoring non AdWords traffic such as local newspaper, television or radio advertising.
Want to learn more? Check out this YouTube video on the Google Analytics channel:
Thought of any other useful reasons to use Custom Alerts? Let us know, drop us an email or post a comment below.
Posted by Gavin Doolan, Google Analytics Team.