The team at Google Analytics offers a variety of features and usefully are regularly updating them and introducing new ones. Analytics users are constantly asking Google to provide certain features that would be of use and there are a few suggestions which crop up more often than others. Fortunately, Google do listen and the users get their hands on something that can really enhance their use of analytics and benefit their business.
In December last year users where provided with just that in the form of Analytics Annotations. A simple addition to the application, it can be an extremely effective aid in monitoring your websites traffic.
For some time users of Analytics have been suggesting that a useful feature would be to be able to set notes that indicate the start of changes or additions to their site. This way they could monitor whether there are traffic changes that result from a change made on the site or to the business at a specific point in time. For example, if an annotation was set to record the date at which the business started an advertising campaign or made a change to the site, then the web administrator could determine how the traffic has changed since this date.
Web traffic always has a tendency to fluctuate making it difficult to determine what is affecting it the most. Furthermore, web based businesses are regularly making updates and additions to their sites and promotions in order to attain greater traffic volumes and most importantly – conversions. As a result, having a simple tool available to make note of when transitions were made allows the business to more precisely evaluate the success of a specific change.
Prior to its release many Analytics users had requested such a service, so it has definitely been eagerly anticipated. Google Analytics latched onto the idea when more and more users where turning to a note taking plug-in for Firefox due to a lack of a viable alternative. Unfortunately the Firefox plug-in could not generate notation beyond the machine in use. Analytics Annotation allows notes to be attached directly to the dashboard in Analytics so that users can view them from anywhere.
To set up an Annotation within Analytics simply access your Analytics Account and proceed to the dashboard view. From there select the tab directly under the main graph and then opt to ‘create new annotation’. From here you can now enter the date on which you want the annotation to be applied, name the annotation and determine whether you want it to be private or shared. You then simply save the annotation.
It’s an extremely simple feature but was very much needed in Analytics. The provision of this simple tool will be of great use to Analytics users allowing them to more easily document changes in their business and track how traffic varies as a result.