Selecting time ranges for comparison in Google Analytics can trip you up. We find comparing 28-day or 7-day (one week) periods the most reliable method.

Gotcha 1: Last 4 days with previous 4 days

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This is comparing the same time periods (4 days) so shouldn’t they be comparable?

No! Most websites show a strong weekly cycle of visits (either stronger or weaker on the weekend), so the previous four days may be a very different stage of the week.

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Gotcha 2: Last month compared with the previous month

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Easy – we can see traffic has gone up by 5% in March.

No! March has 11% more viewing time (3 extra days) than February. So the average traffic per day in March has actually dropped by 5.5%.

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Gotcha 3: Last week compared with the previous week

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You can see what’s coming this time… Certain weeks of the year are always abnormal, and the Christmas period is one of them. But most business / educational sites it is a very quiet period.

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The best comparison would be with the same week last year.

Have any questions? Let us know by commenting below or get in touch with our lovely experts!

 

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Edward

Founder of Littledata, Technical Lead and Product Consultant. He has broad experience helping companies with business strategy, product development and technology management.

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