First Look: Google Analytics Adds Intelligent Email Alerts & More!

When the Google Analytics team shared today’s new features with me, they wanted to walk me through all of the minor updates–before they revealed the big news.

I’m not going to do that to you! :-)

You’re getting algorithmically driven, artificially intelligent, email alerts!

Andy, in English, please!

If Google Analytics detects a change in the data patterns of your site’s metrics it will send you an email alert to let you know. So, for example, let’s say your site gets to the homepage of Digg–and you were honestly unaware of it (yeah, right)–Google Analytics would send you an email alert to let you know “hey, you’re getting WAY more traffic from Digg than you normally get, hoss. You may want to come and investigate it.” OK, maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea.

Here’s a screenshot of the new dashboard:

Even better, you can set up your own custom alerts. So if you want to know when your conversion rate from visitors from California drops below 2%, you can set that up! Cool huh?

Now the not so cool.

The data is not yet “real time” but Amy Chang, Group Product Manager for Google Analytics, tells us to “stay tuned” on that. Also not so cool, Google Analytics is not smart enough to realize that you’ve set up a custom alert–so if your custom alert is similar to what Google has intelligently identified, you may end up getting two alerts. Lastly, no SMS alerts–at least “not yet.” Though with Google Voice rolling out to more folks, I suspect SMS alerts are not too far behind.

OK, so what other cool eye-candy is the Google Analytics fairy handing out today? Here’s a quick summary:

  • More custom goals! You can now have up to 20 goals per profile–up from the previous limit of 4.
  • Two new goal types: Time on Site and Pages per Visit. Perfect for those that wish to measure engagement and branding success rates!
  • Mobile access measurement. Add a new server side snippet to your mobile website and Google Analytics will make all your mobile metric dreams come true!
  • Lots more tweaks.

Personally, I’m just plain giddy to get the analytics alerts. Now I don’t have to worry about checking in on my sites to see if there’s “anything out of the ordinary” going on. Google will let me know if something’s up.

Now, if we could just get to real-time alerts, I can sleep at night knowing that, if Marketing Pilgrim is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Google Analytics will alert me to the surge in traffic.