Looking at Data Trends: Analytics for Quilt Bloggers

Hi fellow sewing fools! I hope all is well with you in the quilty, bloggy world! Today we are going to talk a little about looking at trends in your data. Understanding seasonal, weekly and even hourly trends can help put your data in perspective and give you a bigger picture of the health of your blog.

Let’s l00k at our Audience Overview. When you first open Google Analytics reports the default date range will be the last 30 days and the line chart shows the data by day. But we want to look at a larger range so let’s start by opening the date picker and type in the dates for the last 365 days, or a year.

GA Date Picker

That will give you a view something like this. Looking at my data, overall my trend is up since last year. But look at that drop in July. Is that a real drop or is that a seasonal trend? There are two ways to determine this.


Overview Annual No Segmentation


Our first method is to compare July 2015 to July 2014. To do that you will open the date picker box again and click the compare to check box. Enter the dates as you see below.AudienceOverviewLastYear

This gives us much better perspective on how the site did in July. If you find that your blog has strong ebbs and flows based on day then I would set the comparison dates to be something like the first Monday of July 2014 vs. the first Monday of July 2015 and then you’ll see the days of the week align on the line graph as well.


Another way to track your trends but also have a better view of the last month’s performance is to look at a 13 month view. That way your line graph is anchored on both ends with the same month of the year.

It is important to look at more than just your audience overview in this way. You can apply these data filters to all of the reports in Google Analytics. It is especially helpful when looking at your acquisition and behavioral metrics as well. And if you’ve made any changes to your blog along the way you can measure if they helped or hurt you.

Speaking of tracking trends, sometimes things happen to your blog that you want to remember. If you notice, I had a bad day on 7/24. That was because my server went down and I wasn’t in a place that I could work on it to fix for several hours. Next year when I look back I likely won’t remember that!

Let’s add an annotation. See that little down arrow? Click on it.

Making AnnotationsThe box will drop down and click on +Create new annotation.
Add Annotation

Type in what you’d like to record and select the date. You have 160 characters to use.Annotated

In the next edition of this series we will start looking at segmentation. Here’s a sneak peek looking at all visitors vs. New Visitors only


I hope you learned something from this! If you have anything specific you’d like to learn or have questions about your analytics, let me know in the comments and it might just become a future topic 😉 Have fun sewing like a fool!

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