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Set Up an Error Page Alert

Custom Alert for Error Pageview at full size

You can configure a custom alert to trigger each time you error page is viewed.

How will you find out that something has broken on your website? Wait for a customer complaint or stumble upon a conversion dropoff weeks later?

Expanding on the previous discussion regarding custom email alerts, today we’ll configure a custom alert that can proactively notify you of error and page-not-found pageviews.

Setting up your error alert involves a few main steps:

  1. First and foremost, make sure that your Web server is using your own error and page-not-found pages and that these pages contain the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) as all other pages on your site. Your Web server’s default error and page-not-found pages (sometimes referred to as “500″ or “404″ pages based on their associated server response codes) do not contain the GATC.
  2. Set up a Destination URL goal – let’s call it “Error Page Viewed” – based on your error or page-not-found page.
  3. Assign a goal value of 1. Since you cannot set up a custom alert based on goal count, we’ll use goal value as a proxy in the next step.
  4. Set up a Custom Intelligence Alert to trigger when the value of the Error Page Viewed goal goes higher than 0.

Whenever you receive error alerts going forward, you can review your error or page-not-found page in the Navigation Summary to quickly isolate and fix the issue and thereby limit damage that could have otherwise gone undetected indefinitely.

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2 thoughts on “Set Up an Error Page Alert

  1. One extra idea: if you’re running an ecommerce site you might not want to assign a value to the error goal, as this may be confused with revenue in some GA reports.

    If that’s the case you can configure the alert based on the goal conversion rate instead.

    • Thanks, Tim. Yes, if you wanted to receive an alert for any error pageviews without skewing revenue metrics even slightly, you could set up the alert to trigger as soon as the conversion rate for the error goal went above 0.00%.

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