Google Analytics - Visitor Trending Reports

The Google Analytics Visitor Trending report allows you to compare different metrics in a given time period thereby giving you a better sense of how your website is performing. Basing website decisions on trends often proves effective as it minimizes the adverse effects of any irregularities in data.

The Visitor Trending Report can be given a specific time frame so you can tell if your bounce rates, time on page, page view and unique visitors, and returning visitors are improving based on specific actions or campaigns. This process is made even easier with Google Analytics 'compare to past' option in the date range. This essentially highlights the various strengths and weaknesses of your website.

For instance, the three reports: Average Pageviews, Time on Site and Bounce Rate provide an excellent indication of how engaging your site is for visitors. If these metrics report consistently low averages coupled with consistently high bounce rates, then visitors are clearly not engaging well with your site and actions should be taken to improve the user experience. However, if certain pages are showing higher than average engagement ratings, steps could be taken to enhance potential conversions from these pages.

The Visitor Trending Report can also help highlight the busiest times of the week by using the visits report. This information could be useful for planning site maintenance, promotions etc. Using a longer date range for the data will yield more decisive results as 'one off' peaks or troughs can be ignored when making a decision. Furthermore, high traffic times of the month or year can be identified (providing Google Analytics has been installed for long enough).

Considerations

Low average page views or high bounce rates do not necessarily mean that visitors are not engaging with your site. A possible explanation could be that visitors are having their needs met on your landing or home page. It is therefore important that no report be considered in isolation when making a decision. Comparing various reports to better profile your audience will result in more sound decision making.

Using the 'Advanced Segments' function in the top right hand corner of the report can further help segment data in terms of new and returning visitors etc.

Benefits for Different Sectors

Multi-National Corporations

  • Plan site maintenance for times when global traffic tends to be at a minimum as it will be difficult/near impossible to appease all time zones

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