Friday, July 12, 2024


HOW TO ANALYSE “NOT FOUND” PAGES (404) IN DIGITAL ANALYTICS will be described in this article. When you send out a newsletter, was there ever a link that wasn’t working? Would you be interested in finding out how many users are impacted by this? Do you want to know if people who visit your website are seeing 404 pages?


In this article, you can know about ANALYSE “NOT FOUND” PAGES (404) IN DIGITAL ANALYTICS here are the details below;

This post explains how to use Matomo to quickly examine “not found” pages on your website in order to improve user experience, user acquisition, and SEO (search engine optimisation).

How to know the number of 404s on my website?

There are several methods available for obtaining this data. It depends on how your website is constructed whether or not you gather this information.

To easily respond to this query, simply browse the incorrect URL on your website and create a 404 page:

How to know the number of 404s on my website

As you can see, since the website we are looking at is in French, the page title in our instance begins with “Page non trouvée,” which translates to “Page not found” in English:

In this case, there were 19 page views, resulting in a 67% bounce rate. This was where ⅔ of the visits came to an end.

Page non trouvée

Since some websites reroute you to a specific web page when a page cannot be located, information about a “not found” page may occasionally be found in the title or the URL.

Using this particular tracking code approach on your 404 page is highly recommended if you are unable to detect “not found” pages using the page title or URL: “How to track error pages in Matomo?”

Using a custom HTML tag, Matomo Tag Manager makes it simple to set:

set it with Matomo Tag Manager with a custom HTML tag

404 page analysis with the following trigger:

where the trigger is the following

The new trigger defined for the generic Matomo tags we are adding on all pages is shown below. You will need to declare this trigger as an exclusion for all other tags that might clash with it, though:

 trigger defined for the generic

After you have configured this particular tracking, you will be able to trace the origin of the 404 error and compile all of the “not found” pages into a single group in your Page Title report:

For instance, you can see that this website’s homepage featured a link that led to a 404 page, in our case,

Keep in mind that this is only one method. Another option would be to make a custom dimension report and choose to forward the 404 there as well.

How to get notified when a 404 page is visited?

We assure you that you won’t be checking to see if a 404 page has been viewed every day. You have the option to define custom alarms to prevent the need for manual checks.

When “not found” pages are returned, there are three potential outcomes:

  • An internal 404 error occurs when a link on your website points to the incorrect URL on the same website.
  • external 404: A link to your website was made by someone from an external website, however the link is broken.
  • direct access 404: A visitor accesses your website’s not found page directly.

Though you can define all three in Matomo, you will only need to pay attention to the first two in your situation. As a matter of fact, the third circumstance is really unfixable. That’s the rationale behind our lack of attention to it. It would cause alerts that aren’t relevant.

Custom alert for internal 404

A 404 with an internal web page as the source defines an internal 404. It will therefore appear in your report as follows:

Since we’re using a customised implementation in this example, the page title will read “From =” Thus, adjust the custom alert as needed:

Custom alert for internal 404

You will now receive emails each time an internal page generates a 404 error.

It should be noted that you have the option to stop receiving emails and use the History of Triggered notifications tool to monitor the progression of notifications.

Custom alert for external 404

The configuration for External 404 is nearly identical. All you have to remember is that we want to remove the 404 errors that don’t have a source given. Your configuration will therefore seem as follows:

In this instance, your regular expression pattern is as follows:

*From = (?! 404/URL[^\s]+

thus you should prefer any referral originating from a non-Matomo website to be something other than a straight 404.

You can now receive notifications whenever a link fails with a 404 error.

Keep in mind that each website may have a somewhat different setup. Thus, constantly verify again how the values are supplied to your reports and how your tracking code is entered. Prior to verifying those alerts, attempt to set them off as well.

How to follow the evolution of your 404 over time?

Finding out how well or poorly you are doing in terms of 404 could be intriguing.

You can verify this information by selecting the evolution symbol next to the 404 title:

How to follow the evolution of your 404 over time

However, you might want to have more frequent access to this data without having to generate this report every time.

Therefore, you could make a segment like this to examine how your 404 has changed over time:

 one way to analyse the evolution of your 404 is to create a segment such as

Then to select the evolution icon after that:

and to click after that on evolution icon

As you can see below, there are often very few “not found” pages; but, on May 27, there was an uptick in 404 not found pages during that period. It could be worthwhile to look into it:

It may be interesting to investigate it

You may begin by looking at the referrer overview:

You can start from the overview of referrers

As you can see, direct entries are the primary cause of 404 errors. This is the hardest channel to evaluate because we don’t really know where the visitors are coming from. Also check Google Analytics Alternatives

How to perform your analysis even faster?

As you can see, finding 404 pages in reports using Matomo requires a lot of time. You can already generate a report about it using the Email reports tool with the following parameters to speed it up:

  • Section: 404
  • Schedule for emails: never.
  • Visits summary and chosen report page names.

After that, you’ll get a stored report with a list of all the affected URLs:

Page titles

You can also check out the premium option called “Custom reports.” It will afford you greater freedom. After that, you’ll be able to concentrate on what matters most: the 404’s reason.


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