Creating Google Annotations

Smitha Hiran June 9, 2010
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Have you ever wondered about an unexplainable change in your traffic, or thought “Why did my traffic spike on this day?” or “Where did all these visitors come from?”

Normally, after scratching your head you would probably go digging through your notes, calendar or spreadsheets to find out what caused the spikes in traffic. If that’s unsuccessful, you might try recollecting an event that triggered it. For example, there could have been a press release that caused a spike on a certain day. Or it could be due to some significant change made to your website like a tweak made to the design / page / content.

Tracking down every change that has caused a traffic dip or spike may be difficult in the long run. Annotations solve this by allowing Google Analytics users to add notes to dates within Google Analytics reports.

Annotations allow any user with access to a Google Analytics profile to leave shared or private notes right on the display graph. Add an annotation specifying what was done and on which page, that way when you notice a change in the performance of the site, or a page you can see why there has been a change. A quick note from a colleague can provide you with records on any event or interesting shift in trend on a specific date saving you hours of work (and frustration).

Google Analytics Annotations

By allowing you to note your changes at the actual date of change, you can literally go back to the point where your traffic peaked or dropped and see what caused the trend.

Here’s a quick 1 minute video of Google Analytics Annotation in action!

Annotations are a good way to mark holidays and other company events because occasions such as these may uncover traffic trends that haven’t been spotted before. They give you even more accountability for your results and allow you to make easy-to-understand reports that attribute actions to results.

This feature is handy especially when you have to manage several websites and want to keep track of updates across the different domains.

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