How To Create 404 Custom Alerts In Google Analytics

Joel Mesherghi | Published | Updated September 5, 2020

This post shows you how to create 404 Custom Alerts in Google Analytics, so that you can keep on top of your 404s.

404s are bad for everyone. They can hurt conversion rate, frustrate users and too many of them may lead to search engines like Google questioning the quality of your website.

But there’s good news! If you don’t have the time to keep on top of your 404s, you can set-up automated 404 Custom Alerts that will allow you to monitor sudden increases on your website.

To create a 404 Custom Alert, log into your Google Analytics account, follow the below instructions and watch the video to guide you every step of the way.

404 Custom Alerts set-up:

  1. Customisation → Custom Alerts
  2. Manage customised alerts → New Alert 
  3. Create a name for your alert → Select a period → Select “Send me an email when this alert triggers”
  4. Change the applies to condition to “Page Title”
  5. Change the “Condition” to “Contains”
  6. Add whatever words are used in your 404 title tags. The 404 title tag for my site contains “Page not found”
  7. Change the alert conditions metric to “Page Views”. You must select “Page Views”, instead of “Sessions”, as with Sessions Google will default to the title tag of the page the user first lands on, rather than what is contained in your 404 title tag, meaning you won’t get the alert
  8. Change the condition to “Is greater than” (or customise it to your liking) → Create a value → Click “Save Alert”

Above: Setting up Custom Alerts In Google Analytics to automate 404 tracking

The 404 Custom Alert I set up in the video will send me a daily email if more than 5 pages containing “Page not found” in the title tag are triggered.

If your alert is triggered, you should receive an email message just like below.

A triggered Google Analytics 404 Custom Alerts report

Above: A triggered Google Analytics 404 Custom Alerts report

Let me know if you have any questions. And if you want to learn more about finding and fixing 404 errors you can read this post here.

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