Day 7 - What’s in a date? Quick tip to improve your Google Analytics analysis


Welcome to Day 7! Today's post is quick and easy. Dates and numbers seem to be pretty important when it comes to running a business. All these numbers seem to be looming over us, and it might seem a bit daunting at first.


The same thing goes for our Google Analytics reporting. The numbers, lines and dates seem to look like gibberish until we learn to make the use of it, in whatever way is relevant to our business.


Today I want to show you a very simple but powerful configuration in Google Analytics that might change how you interpret your data.

If you open Google Analytics to any report, the default date range is one month. You can see this on the top right corner of the menu:

If you click on the date range, you can actually modify the dates; you can select a custom date range by clicking on the calendar or you can choose from the preset date range: today, yesterday, last week, etc.

How does this change your view of the traffic? Well, the default view of one month is a nice chunk of data but keep in mind the more traffic you have, the more information you are going to get from your reporting.

Try going 3 - 6 months back and view your data then. What is different? Is your most popular content different? Does anything catch your eye?

Another really cool feature is to actually compare two separate date ranges. For example, if you have been tracking your site for over a year, you can actually compare how your site was doing this time last year with this year’s traffic, side by side. How? Again, go to the date range and select “Compare to:”


You’ll see an orange colour show up on the calendar and select the date range you want to compare. Once you hit “Apply”, then you’ll be able to compare side by side your traffic in the report.

This is pretty neat since it let’s you line up, side by side, your progress over a specific period of time.

Any questions? Let me know in the comment section below!

Come back for Day 8 tomorrow! We'll be looking at oh-so-scary Bounce Rate :)