I’m a huge fan of annotations in Google Analytics (GA). But I’ve only come across two clients who have used the effectively. Yes, TWO.
Why To Use Annotations
It’s important to note anything that has either a positive or negative effect on your site’s traffic. For example, let’s say someone in your organization decides to experiment with your robots.txt file and inadvertently blocks the entire site from the search engines. (Believe me, it happens!) It will be at the front of everyone’s minds for a while, and you might think no one will ever forget about the Great Palmface Moment of 2012. But later on, when someone’s doing year-over-year reports and is showing a month at a time — or you bring in a consultant who has to pore over your GA reports — it might not be quite so apparent why that month’s traffic was so thick with fail.
Events You Should Annotate
Here are examples of events you should always create annotations for:
- Site outages (use a service like Are My Sites Up? to monitor outages)
- Marketing campaigns
- Google algorithm updates
- Email blasts
How To Add Annotations
Adding annotations couldn’t be easier. You can learn how in this two-minute video: