Choosing the right end date for your Google Analytics reports

I often like to just take screengrabs off Google Analytics to show clients site progress but today, whilst putting together a quarterly web round up report, something cropped up which just got me thinking.

Clients like to see traffic reports that show numbers increasing, more importantly from a visual perspective, the line is moving in a bottom left to top right diagonal direction. Signs of growth basically.

So whilst pulling off the quarterly traffic graph I noticed something which could be quite important in the eyes of my client when they see the report.

Couple of points, firstly, my client is a small bespoke door manufacturer and they are B2B so most popular days for traffic are Monday through to Friday.

The end date you choose for your analytics graph.

NOTE: Below graphs are taken from the ‘week’ view’ not ‘day’ view.

End date on a Sunday

Here’s what the traffic graph looks like if I end the date on a Sunday which is a quiet day for traffic and Sunday could just happen to be the day which the month ends on:

1x1.trans Choosing the right end date for your Google Analytics reports

Notice the drop off at the end which makes it look like traffic has nose dived. The client doesn’t know it’s a Sunday unless I point it out but it just looks visually negative.

End date is mid-week

Here’s what the graph looks like if I end the date on the latest date (mid week):

1x1.trans Choosing the right end date for your Google Analytics reports

I don’t have a full weeks worth of visits so the traffic looks like its dropping and sets the tone for the following months traffic.

End date is on a Friday

Here’s what the graph looks like if I end the date on the Friday (not month end though) previous to the above Sunday (month end):

1x1.trans Choosing the right end date for your Google Analytics reports

Much better no?

A steady line, signs of growth followed by some recommendations to get more growth. But it’s not month end and comparing 28 days to the previous 28 days (same period) just doesn’t seem right.

So the above shows graphs which end on a Sunday, Wednesday and a Friday and how they can have a negative visual impact on your client and the way they see things progressing.

Has anyone else in B2B encountered this before?

What if the month ends on a Sunday and you are comparing to the previous month?

Digital Marketing Consultant (Freelance) specialising in the Construction sector. I help marketing departments set objectives, discover goals, set KPI's, plan and develop campaigns to exceed set objectives. I also provide training on Digital Marketing Strategy Planning and Google Analytics.

2 Comments

  • Tim Leighton-Boyce

    November 29, 2012, 4:54 pm

    Good point. The same thing applies when comparing with past data. You need to make sure start and end days are same day of week. I wish GA had an option to do this automatically.

    • Pritesh Patel

      November 29, 2012, 9:02 pm

      Agree. The existing ‘compare to’ facility in GA doesn’t match up start and end days – just previous X days (how ever many are selected).

      You have to do this manually but then you may have to settle for a 33 day comparison or 27 day comparison depending on what day it ends on just to fix that dip which occurs on a Sunday for some industries.

      Worth noting and keeping and eye on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>