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Making Analytics Work For You

Google analytics is a very powerful tool.  But it can also seem overwhelming.  There are endless reports and metrics to look at and you probably don’t have the time in your already busy day to review it all.  Luckily, there are a few tricks that will help you keep informed on the proverbial “pulse” of your site, without you having to log in to Google Analytics every day.

Intelligence Reporting

Google has introduced an alert system that you can set up to let you know if there are any major changes (good or bad) to your website statistics.  You can set up alerts based on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that will notify you via email if things, such as bounce rate, increase, or if you see a large spike in traffic.  This lets you identify any major shifts as soon as they happen so that you can then investigate the cause of the changes.  The reports even give you a list of major contributors, i.e. what pages saw the largest change or what city the users were coming from that accounted for the shift.

To use these reports, simply click on the intelligence tab of your Google Analytics and choose “create custom alert.”  From there, you can specify what metrics it should be watching and if it compares daily, weekly, or monthly.  You can even have the alerts sent as a text message to your mobile phone.

Email Reports

In addition to receiving alerts whenever anything changes, you can also be sent a regular report that includes all of the statistics you have listed on your dashboard.  From your dashboard, simply click on the “email” button.  You can specify who should receive the emails, and what file format you prefer.  Then you can schedule it to be sent daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.


This allows you to keep track of the basic pulse of your site without necessarily having to log into Google Analytics.  However, these two things only give you a small window of statistics.  I would still recommend logging into your Analytics account at least once a month and looking at your more detailed and custom reports so that you will truly understand what is happening on your site.

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