Have Google Analytics on your website? Don’t have any email alerts set up? You’re missing one of the most powerful free tools in the website manager’s armoury. In this article I’ll talk you through setting up an alert by creating perhaps the simplest of all: an email you’ll get when there are no visits being recorded on your site. This might be because somebody has messed up the Google Analytics code, or because the website’s down. Whatever the case, you need to know.
So, go to Google Analytics and click on ‘Reporting’ at the top (if you’re not already there). Make sure you’re in the normal traffic view for your site.
Click on ‘Intelligence Events’ on the left, and ‘Daily Events’. Over on the right, click ‘Create a Custom Alert’. In the dialogue box (below), call the alert something like ‘No Traffic’. If you have more than one view, you can select others if you wish. Set ‘Period’ to ‘Day’ and check ‘Send me an email when this alert triggers.’ If your Google Analytics sign-in email address isn’t your normal one, you can add that address as an additional recipient.
Under ‘Alert Conditions’, choose ‘All Traffic’, ‘Sessions’ and ‘is less than’. Put a figure in the box which is substantially lower than the number of visits you’d receive on your worst day ever. I don’t choose ‘1’ because even if there’s a problem with the site, Google Analytics can still record visits from spambots. So if my site tends to get 100 visits a day, I’ll probably enter ’20’ in this box.
Click ‘Save Alert’ and you’re done. If you want dozens more ideas for custom alerts, try this.