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Google Analytics Essential Training (2010)

Creating custom intelligence alerts


From:

Google Analytics Essential Training (2010)

with Corey Koberg

Video: Creating custom intelligence alerts

Google does a really good job of constantly scanning your account and looking for things you may be interested in. But we also have the ability to simply go in and create our own alerts for things that we know we are interested in. We can also tell Google to contact us directly when those things occur so we don't have to worry about logging in. It's a sinking feeling when you log into your Analytics after some time and found that something has changed on your site that has broken your analytics tracking and your goals haven't been tracking for the last month. Or worse yet, what if you realize something was wrong with your site and you didn't realize it, because let's be honest, how often we actually go in and use our own contact form to contact ourselves? Relying on your visitors to alert you when something is broken isn't a great strategy either.
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  1. 6m 2s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. How to get the most from this course
      3m 11s
    3. What's new in this update?
      1m 38s
  2. 5m 19s
    1. The pitfalls of hit counting and turning data into information
      3m 6s
    2. Web analytics: A tool and a process
      2m 13s
  3. 15m 30s
    1. Defining goals and conversions: Why do you have a web site?
      5m 40s
    2. Understanding data: Averages, segments, trends, and context
      1m 51s
    3. Introducing segments
      2m 38s
    4. Understanding trends and context
      5m 21s
  4. 11m 25s
    1. How does Google Analytics work?
      2m 18s
    2. Setting up an account
      2m 49s
    3. Installing tracking code on a site
      6m 18s
  5. 24m 20s
    1. Understanding accounts and profile administration
      6m 59s
    2. Navigating the reports and the Data Over Time chart
      4m 45s
    3. Selecting and comparing date ranges
      6m 50s
    4. Using annotations to make notes in data
      2m 30s
    5. Using the help tools
      3m 16s
  6. 24m 20s
    1. Viewing data in different formats (overview, tabular, pie, bar, compare to site)
      6m 10s
    2. Navigating data with site usage, goals, and e-commerce metrics
      9m 20s
    3. Sorting data with inline and advanced filters
      8m 50s
  7. 10m 26s
    1. Understanding the importance of segmentation in data analysis
      4m 40s
    2. Slicing data with dimensions
      5m 46s
  8. 7m 38s
    1. Why share data?
      1m 10s
    2. Managing user accounts and profiles
      4m 8s
    3. Emailing reports
      2m 20s
  9. 29m 12s
    1. Understanding who is visiting a site
      1m 20s
    2. Analyzing location data
      4m 52s
    3. Using language identification to segment users
      1m 35s
    4. Differentiating new users from returning users
      2m 1s
    5. Understanding visitor loyalty vs. recency
      4m 25s
    6. Comparing data according to visits, visitors, and page views
      2m 10s
    7. Sorting data by browser capabilities
      3m 56s
    8. Analyzing data from mobile browsers
      2m 34s
    9. Using flow visualization to see common paths
      6m 19s
  10. 23m 50s
    1. Linking an AdWords account to Google Analytics
      2m 46s
    2. Identifying campaigns and segmentation options
      5m 55s
    3. Using keyword reports
      1m 31s
    4. Fine-tuning your match type with the Matched Search Queries report
      3m 44s
    5. Optimizing traffic by time of day
      1m 37s
    6. Using the Destination URL report to identify landing pages
      1m 45s
    7. Identifying the best placement options for ads
      2m 0s
    8. Keyword positions
      4m 32s
  11. 40m 3s
    1. Understanding where site visitors come from
      2m 32s
    2. Analyzing the All Traffic Sources report
      2m 4s
    3. Identifying direct traffic
      2m 20s
    4. Identifying users who were referred to your site
      3m 9s
    5. Viewing search engine reports (overview, organic, and paid)
      4m 52s
    6. Introducing campaign tracking
      11m 17s
    7. Planning, creating, and logging a tracking strategy
      2m 58s
    8. Tracking offline campaigns
      7m 11s
    9. Finding data in a Campaign report
      3m 40s
  12. 36m 43s
    1. Analyzing top content by metrics and the navigation summary
      3m 29s
    2. Sorting top content according to page title
      3m 57s
    3. Understanding when to use content drilldown
      2m 25s
    4. Measuring the importance of top landing and top exit pages
      3m 41s
    5. Identifying slow-performing pages with the Site Speed report
      4m 6s
    6. Understanding the Site Search and Usage report
      3m 29s
    7. Analyzing the Search Terms and Search Term Refinement reports
      4m 12s
    8. Using the Site Search Pages report to understand how users search
      5m 19s
    9. Configuring Site Search
      6m 5s
  13. 33m 49s
    1. Understanding the Goal reports
      4m 24s
    2. Configuring goals
      9m 55s
    3. Understanding funnel visualization
      9m 48s
    4. Identifying value through E-commerce reports
      4m 35s
    5. Using goal flow to find detailed insights
      5m 7s
  14. 24m 25s
    1. Real-time data for time-sensitive analysis
      4m 21s
    2. Using intelligence alerts to flag important events
      8m 59s
    3. Creating custom intelligence alerts
      5m 48s
    4. Creating and customizing dashboards
      5m 17s
  15. 43s
    1. Goodbye
      43s

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Google Analytics Essential Training (2010)
4h 53m Beginner Oct 08, 2010 Updated Dec 20, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.

Topics include:
  • Setting up an account
  • Installing tracking code on a site
  • Reading the dashboard and understanding high-level metrics
  • Understanding how visitors use and navigate web site content
  • Analyzing visitor and traffic source reports
  • Tracking AdWords and other marketing campaigns
  • Planning and configuring goals
  • Utilizing segmentation for deeper analysis
  • Understanding the raw data and how it's collected
  • Selecting and comparing date ranges
  • Using flow visualization to see how visitors navigate through a site
  • Identifying slow-performing pages
  • Performing real-time analysis
  • Using annotations and other best practices
  • Configuring and analyzing internal site search
  • Determining the best report view to use
  • Navigating reports with tabs
  • Cleaning up data with inline filters
  • Sharing data and reports
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web Data Analysis Web Analytics SEO
Software:
Google Analytics
Author:
Corey Koberg

Creating custom intelligence alerts

Google does a really good job of constantly scanning your account and looking for things you may be interested in. But we also have the ability to simply go in and create our own alerts for things that we know we are interested in. We can also tell Google to contact us directly when those things occur so we don't have to worry about logging in. It's a sinking feeling when you log into your Analytics after some time and found that something has changed on your site that has broken your analytics tracking and your goals haven't been tracking for the last month. Or worse yet, what if you realize something was wrong with your site and you didn't realize it, because let's be honest, how often we actually go in and use our own contact form to contact ourselves? Relying on your visitors to alert you when something is broken isn't a great strategy either.

So one obvious custom alert might be to tell us when there has been a drastic drop in some of our own key performance indicators. So first let's create an alert based on goal conversion rate dropping by more than 80%. If we go here to the Home tab > click on Intelligence Events > Overview, we see our Custom Alert tab. Click on Manage custom alerts and Create new alert. The first thing we want to do is give it a good name. We have the option of applying to the current profile or other profiles at the same time. We can also select the period we want to be analyzed.

In this case we will keep it at one day. I also want it to email me when this alert is triggered. If I wanted to receive text messages when these alerts are triggered, I can just click here, enter my cell phone number, and Google Analytics would send me a text message with the instructions on how to verify my phone. Down here we set the alert conditions. In this case I want it to apply to all traffic, and I am going to select when the goal conversion rate drops by more than 80% based on the same day in the previous week. Same day in the previous week is important because this keeps us from getting alerts when our traffic coming from the weekday drops to the traffic on Saturday, even though that's a normal trend, so we don't want to get an alert when that happens.

We click Save Alert. Now we see that we have this custom alert goal conversion drop by 80%. Now one potential problem with what I have done here is that the goal conversions are based on quantity, not value. You may have heard of instances where stores do a typo and they put items for sale for $10 that would normally cost $1000. Well, their goal metrics probably would be through the roof, as people will be snapping up those items and the quantity of conversions would be very high. In these cases we wouldn't be getting any alerts if it was based on goals. So instead, figure that out, we have to send an alert based on revenue rather than goal conversion rate.

For example, I could say if revenue drops by more than 80% based on the same day in the previous week, I want to receive an alert. Another thing we'd like to think about is traffic. Hopefully if your site goes down for an extended period of time, you won't need Google Analytics to tell you about it. But what we see quite often is that when your site changes and it breaks your Google Analytics tracking code by mistake, you wouldn't necessarily know anything is wrong until you actually log in to Google Analytics and notice it, and by then you've lost all that data. So setting up a page-view based alert, say a 60% drop, would help with that.

A similar traffic based alert is also hopeful for when Google Analytics sees a traffic drop due to an implementation problem or a marketing problem. So let's say here that traffic drops by more than 60%. So again we put in our name here. We select the period that we are interested in. We want this to apply to all traffic and alert me when visits is going to decrease by more than 60%. So we created that alert, and it's going to tell us when traffic drops.

We can also think about setting this up based on different types of marketing. Let's say, for example, that you want to track if your site suddenly got dropped out of the search engine rankings. What we could do is set this up on a weekly or a monthly alert based on organic traffic rather than all the traffic. Let's go ahead and set that up. Create a new alert. In this case, let's set it to be the Month. I want to be emailed. Instead of All Traffic here, I am looking specifically in Traffic Sources or Medium matches organic.

In this case, I want to know when visits drop by a percentage decrease more than let's say 20% in this case rather than 60%. My organic traffic is pretty steady, so in this case I'll want to know if it drops by 20% as that would be quite unusual. Another thing that I might want to do here is create another alert that would be the case where if my percentage of traffic increases by more than 20%, as that would be an interesting event as well. The last example here will be something measuring response to branding efforts.

Measuring that response can be somewhat difficult, but if you're about to launch a viral campaign and you want to see when the buzz hits, this can be done very easily with custom alerts. Let's say you want to set up an alert based on specific keywords that you care about. In that case, we want to have Google send us an email if let's say our metrics go up or down by 20%. We are going to call this our branding traffic, and we'll say up by 20%. Our alert conditions in this case applies to a specific keyword.

Rather than matching exactly, I simply want to put in here either that it contains or if you know how to use regular expressions, you could do that. Alert me when the visits increase by more than 20%. You could set this to be the day or the week, however granular you want to be. Now there is only one caveat with all of these: these alerts are generated each night, so the tightest timeframe you can select is a day. So if your web server goes down at 9 a.m. it's not like you're going to be immediately paged.

This isn't a minute-by-minute uptime monitoring service per se, so if you need that kind of thing, there are plenty of tools out there that do that, but this isn't going to be it. However, custom alerts are a powerful tool that keep a lookout on your behalf and keep you from getting blindsided when things do change.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Google Analytics Essential Training (2010).


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Q: The course was updated on 12/19/11. Can you tell me what's changed?
A: Many movies were updated to reflect the changes in the Google Analytics user interface and new movies were added to the course as well, with topics including using flow visualization to see common paths, identifying slow-performing pages with the Site Speed Report, using goal flow to find detailed insights on funnels and conversion paths, analyzing real-time data for time-sensitive analysis, and fine-tuning match types with the Matched Search Queries report.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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