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How to Use Google Analytics Intelligence Events to Better Understand Your Traffic

There are quite a few options you have within Google Analytics to help make interpreting data easier. You may have noticed something in your Analytics called “Intelligence Events,” and although this may look like a simple option to see data about traffic numbers and sources, this is actually one of the arguably most powerful tools you have within Google Analytics. The sooner you can understand how they work and how to use the information to your advantage, the better chance you have of success regarding your website and webpage traffic.

How Google Analytics Intelligence Events Work and Getting Started

Intelligence Events actually work as alerts. Because Google Analytics is constantly monitoring your website’s traffic, it will be able to easily notice if something is out of the ordinary—an increase in traffic in a particular location, a drop in traffic for a particular age group, an odd amount of visits coming from one specific link, etc. Naturally, you would want to know about any of these significant changes in your statistics, which is where Intelligence Events come into play.

Intelligence Events are these automatically generated alerts. Viewing these alerts can help give you information that you easily could have missed if just looking manually. There are two different kinds of Intelligence alerts you can use:

  1. Automatic Alerts. As discussed above, the automatic alerts will let you know when Google Analytics sees a significant change in your traffic. These alerts are created for all of the data in your account so it helps to see changes over time.
  2. Custom Alerts. If you want to get these alerts whenever something specific happens, you can setup a custom alert. You can also choose to receive an email or text message so that you know exactly when this “event” happens.

To get started, go to your Reporting tab and click Intelligence Events. Both your automatic and custom alerts will also appear in a widget in your default dashboard. You can see how to navigate to these alerts in the screenshot below:

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Different Reports You Can View and the Benefits of Intelligence Events

Whenever you look at your Intelligence events, you will find that there are four different reports that you can view: Daily Events, Weekly Events, Monthly Events, and an Overview (as shown in the screenshot above), which will list your alerts for a date range that you specify.

You can also decide what constitutes as an important alert that needs to be automatically registered whenever you’re looking at the daily, weekly, or monthly events. You can set your “Automatic Alert Importance” to High if you want to only get alerted when things are very unusual, or you can set this to Low if you want to be alerted to a few more changes that maybe aren’t quite as significant, but still slightly strange. Of course, you can also choose anything in between, as shown in the screenshot below:

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So why is this feature so underrated?

It’s not necessarily that this feature is underrated; it just simply isn’t used by as many people as other features because there are so many different options within Google Analytics. Companies focus on the changes that occur over time and work to analyze different metrics on a monthly basis. While this is great, Intelligence Events is the feature that will point out what changes from day-to-day. These day-to-day changes can cause big changes, but they’re incredibly hard to miss amongst all of your other reports. This is why the Intelligence Events feature is so crucial—it helps you not miss a beat.

What about Intelligence for Adwords? If you want to focus solely on your AdWords metrics, you will notice that there are three boxes checked at the bottom of all of your reports: Custom Alerts, Automatic Alerts, and Automatic AdWords Alerts. Simply uncheck the Custom and Automatic boxes, and you can see numbers specifically related to your AdWords.

You can visit this Google Analytics Help page if you need more information.

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