Up Your Google Analytics Game with Annotations

Up Your Google Analytics Game with Annotations

Google Analytics is a free measurement tool that measures your website traffic, giving you powerful marketing insights.  But the data is only powerful if you understand it.  Sometimes as a marketer you have so many irons in the fire when it comes to driving business from sending out an email blast, running a radio campaign, or tweaking the art with an online product, that when you review the end result, it’s easy to forget why those spikes and plateaus occurred.  Try looking back on your Google Analytics traffic in March 2017 and remember what you did from a marketing perspective as it relates to your traffic!  All of the little nuances of tweaking a commercial or campaign add up quickly and if you don’t know what caused surges in traffic, the data is less meaningful.  I mean it’s hard enough to remember what you ate for lunch yesterday!

That’s why I like to get in the habit of making Annotations in Google Analytics.  These are just little earmarked notes that you place on the traffic graph itself to help you remember the tweaks you made to online marketing campaigns, or even offline data like unusual changes in weather events, or a direct mail piece hitting new customers.  It’s like leaving breadcrumbs so your future self can interpret the way your traffic is reacting.

Making annotations in Google Analytics is really easy and a good habit to get into.  Here’s some quick steps to upping your Google Analytics game with Annotations:

Step 1: Sign into Google Analytics in the upper right-hand corner: https://www.google.com/analytics.  If you have access to multiple Google Analytics accounts, make sure the correct account is selected in the upper left-hand corner once you’re logged in.

Step 2: On the main screen, click “Audience Overview”:

Step 3: Once you’re in the Audience Overview screen, select the date range in which you need to make the Google Analytics Annotation in the upper right hand corner, then select the small drop down arrow at the bottom of the overview screen:

Step 4: Once you click that drop down you’ll see on the right side of the screen “Create New Annotation” and click this button:

Step 5: Another field will appear on your screen where you can enter the date of the Annotation, the note itself, if it’s visible to others viewing your data, then click the Save button.

Once you start making Annotations, you’ll see saved note markers on the date ranges with comments, and also a list of all Annotations for that time period:


Now if you can only remember what you ate for lunch yesterday!

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