Eight weeks ago I started a series of Google Analytics tips by just about the best in the biz, Steve Butcher. Specific to skiing with loads of resort experience and insight behind them, here’s the final set: 9-10 (check out 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8).
Tip #9: Cleaning Up All That Lost Referral Data
This tip is pretty intensive and was going to be really tough to format into a blog post, so I’ve actually uploaded a PDF of the original that you can view and save from here.
Download PDF »
Tip #10: Three words – Annotate, Annotate, Annotate
Google Analytics tracks visitor data on-the-fly and does not allow for importation/modification of data. At any moment in time, your filters, goals, event tracking and even individual property settings like eCommerce and Site Search only take effect on future data.
You might have a fluke bit of traffic from a viral video on Facebook, or a blog post that got some traction and brought in thousands of visits. Or maybe the person in your job before you forgot to filter out your internal traffic – you added a filter and your traffic appropriately dropped 8%.
It’s time to annotate. I have often said “annotate now and annotate often”. Without notes explaining changes and anomalies, you’ll spend hours trying to figure out why your goal conversion rate jumped or why last April you had a visitor hockey stick. Annotation gives you the ability to add a 160 character note in the reporting system on a specific day. Since they show up on all reports under the timeline, they can be a great marker for future report viewers.
You can add annotations to Google Analytics by clicking on the dropbar underneath any timeline.
When you open the annotations view, you can view/edit existing notes for the time range you are viewing and make new ones using the ‘Create new annotation’ link.
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