Welcome to Edifice Automotive’s final week in our series on Google Analytics. Throughout this series, our aim has been to give you a better understanding of some of Google Analytics’ tools, along with good practices you should use in order to get the most accurate data about your website. In the first four parts of the series we have taken several steps to filter out all unwanted spam and irrelevant traffic. If you missed those posts you can find them here. Now that we have made sure your site is only recording relevant traffic, it is time for you to start interpreting your data to assess strengths and weaknesses in your website as well as the impact of your marketing efforts. This can take many forms, but the most important thing to do is recognize patterns in your traffic and how they correlate to specific events.
There are many events or factors that can affect your day-to-day traffic, and in the moment it can be easy to identify what may have caused a drop or spike. If your website goes down or under maintenance you may see a decrease, whereas changes to content or beginning a new marketing campaign may cause an increase in traffic. This is what makes Google Analytics so useful as you can see in real-time the effects your marketing efforts have on your site and the amount of customers and potential customers you reach. However in the long run it is almost impossible to remember all of these individual events and eventually you will only see drops and spikes in traffic with no idea what caused them. This defeats the entire purpose of Google Analytics and will have made all of your efforts to collect clean data be in vain.
Fortunately Analytics has a built-in solution so simple that it almost becomes an afterthought, but its importance to interpreting your data can not be stressed enough. This solution is Annotations, and utilizing it is one of the best habits you as a webmaster can develop.