Custom alerts keep you up to date with what is happening on your site without having to check your data every day. With Custom Alerts, you can configure any report to alert you when certain conditions are or aren’t met. To get started, make sure the free CustomAlerts plugin is installed in your Matomo.

Questions to ask yourself before defining a custom alert in Matomo

There are several questions you should ask yourself before you define a custom alert:

  1. Do you really want to be alerted? If the answer is no, then do not use this feature.
  2. What is the level of this alert? Not important, interesting, highly critical… if it is not highly critical, do not define an alert for this. Probably the emailing report or custom reports feature will be a better fit.
  3. How would you like to be alerted? SMS, email, sound, homing pigeon (unfortunately we do not support this feature at this time). If you are looking at your emails once a week, then defining a daily email alert won’t make sense.
  4. How would you like the alert to be named? Give your alert the most explicit name, that’s the first information you will see when you get alerted.
  5. What will be the next step once the alert is triggered? If you cannot find any action once the alert is triggered, then probably an alert doesn’t make sense.

Once those questions are answered, you can start configuring custom alerts. There are many alerts you can define but as just mentioned, which alerts you should create always depends on your goals and what is critical to you, or your business. In this guide we will cover how to create custom alerts and also useful examples of custom alerts you can create.

Managing your Custom Alerts

To manage your Custom Alerts:

  1. Click on “Administration” (⚙️ gear icon top right)
  2. Click on “Alerts” under “Personal” in the left menu

    You will be able to “Create New alert”, “Edit” or “Delete” the existing Alerts in this page.

Creating an alert

To create a Custom Alert:

  1. Click on “Administration” (⚙️ gear icon top right)
  2. Click on “Alerts” under “Personal” in the left menu
  3. Click on “Create New Alert”
  4. Choose a name for your Alert
  5. Choose a Website from the dropdown under “Apply To”

    Note: a custom alert is active for one website
  6. Choose the period for when any alert conditions should be checked (alert condition will be checked around midnight on the period of your selection)
    Available periods to choose from:
    a. Day – Sent every day around midnight
    b. Week – Sent every Monday around midnight
    c. Month – Sent every 1st of the month around midnight

  7. Choose the recipient of the Custom Alert, this can email or SMS. Phone numbers will only be listed if you have configured SMS gateway
  8. Choose the report under “Alert Condition” you would like to monitor
  9. Click on “Save”

Things to know about Alert Condition

Alert Condition section is considered to be one of the important sections of Custom Alert configuration, where a report which needs to monitored can be specified. There are more than 70 reports to choose from (see our Analytics terms glossary for the complete list of reports).

List of Operators

  • matches any (if you choose this, the “Alert me when” conditions will be checked against all rows of your report)
  • is
  • is not
  • matches regular expression
  • does not match regular expression
  • contains
  • does not contain
  • starts with
  • does not start with
  • ends with
  • does not end with

Using these operators you can choose to be alerted depending on the label of a specific row of your report. The value lets you define which row’s label you want to monitor in the report.

For example, if the title of your homepage is Home and you want to be alerted when your Homepage goes above or below a certain value (or increases or decreases by a certain value), you would select when Page Title is “Home”.

Another example: if you wanted to be alerted whenever smartphone usage dropped or increased after an update, you would select: this applies to report Device type, When Device type is Smartphone, Alert me when Visits % increases more than 10% (compared to the same day in the previous week).

Things to know about Alert me when

In this section you specify which metric should be monitored and what change in this metric will trigger your custom alert. The available metrics will change depending on the report selected in “This applies to report”.

List of available Operators:

  • is less than
  • is greater than
  • decreases more than
  • increases more than
  • % decreases more than
  • % increases more than

For example, when Page Title is “Home” we select the Pageviews as a metric. We can now select an operator for the amount of pageviews to trigger the alert.

Examples Of Custom Alerts

Here are a few valuable examples that will help you get you up and running with custom alerts.

No Visits

This alert will notify you when you have had no visits to your webpage. This could let you know about a broken or misconfigured tracker or JavaScript error on your website.

  • This applies to report Visits Summary
  • Alert me when Visits
  • Condition: Is less than 1

Drop in revenue

To keep track of your store performance, you would want to know when sales have dropped off or increased (for example after making changes to the website or removing products).

Note: this alert compares results to a previous day. Other comparisons include, Same day in previous week and year.

  • This applies to report Ecommerce Orders
  • Alert me when Revenue
  • % decreases more than 10%
  • Compared to previous day (or same day in the previous week)

Form Performance

It would be useful to know if a change in your forms has had an impact on your conversions compared to the previous day or day of week.

  • This applies to Form Overview
  • Alert me when Form conversions
  • % decreases more than 20%
  • Compared to the previous day (or same day in the previous week)

404 Page not found

You don’t want to have any missing pages on your website, so it would be useful to be alerted when a customer accidentally finds a missing page. This alert will only work if you have tagged your 404 pages as explained in this FAQ.

  • This applies to report Page titles
  • When Page Title contains value 404
  • Alert me when Pageviews is greater than 0

Spike in Traffic

This alert will inform you in sudden increase in traffic.

  • This applies to report Visits Summary
  • Alert me when Visits % increases more than 30%
  • Compared to the same day in previous week

Spike in Goal conversions

This alert will inform you when there is a sudden increase in conversions.

  • This applies to report Goals (or you can also select one specific Goal)
  • Alert me when Conversions % increases more than 20%
  • Compared to the same day in the previous week

Drop in Goal conversions

This alert will inform you when there is a sudden decrease in conversions.

  • This applies to report Goals (or you can also select one specific Goal)
  • Alert me when Conversions % decrease more than 20%
  • Compared to the same day in previous week

Increase in email campaign visits

This alert will work if you have tracked your Marketing campaigns and tagged linked using the URL Builder.

  • This applies to report Campaign Sources
  • When Source is email
  • Alert me when Visits increase more than 30%

Target achieved

Let’s say you gave a goal to one of your employee to reach a specific threshold in terms of conversions. You can then define a custom alert in order to inform you when the threshold has been reached.

You can simply do this with an alert saying “Target achieved by Franck” where number of conversions equals the number of actions you defined with him. It takes you only a minute to define something you would have missed otherwise.

Here the actions we can think of are either to congratulate Frank or to ask him what is going wrong if the target is not achieved.
Did you know that you can also take advantage of Matomo premium features to define custom alerts? Let’s see one of them.

Lost SEO ranking

If you are using the Search Engine Keyword Performance premium feature, there are really interesting combinations you can use to create custom alerts.
For example, you can be notified when a specific keyword lost or reached a position:

You will be alerted when your website is losing some positions within the search engine results for specific keywords. Here the action we could take is to investigate why we lost (or gained) a certain position on Google for this keyword.

There are many custom alert combinations waiting for you out there. Why not giving them a try?