Put a spotlight on your data by using the Google Analytics date range selector.
The date range selector allows you to choose a specific date range as well as the option to compare ranges against one another, for example year-on-year (YoY) or month-on-month (MoM).
This allows you to track the performance of a website and hopefully see positive trends, such as an uplift in organic traffic or goal completions.
Monthly date range
Using a MoM view allows you to track trends over a shorter period of time. Comparable by choosing ‘Previous period’ or selecting specific dates (depending on the number of days in a month) the MoM view means you can keep an eye on user behaviour from one month to the next and see what influence any marketing activity has had.
Received some great editorial coverage? Or running a short TV advertising campaign? MoM can immediately demonstrate the effectiveness of marketing activity.
Year date range
YoY data can provide invaluable insight offering a large-scale overview of website performance. Whilst MoM date ranges or even comparing to previous weeks or days can reveal interesting findings from short-term activity, YoY offers an extensive overview of behavioural patterns from one year to the next.
Where to select Google Analytics date ranges
To select a date range, click the downward facing arrow next to the existing date range to open the selector. Once you’ve selected a new date range, click Apply to update your report.
To use a predefined date range, select one of the following from the Date Range menu:
- Today: Data available for the current calendar date up until the time of your selection
- Yesterday: Data for the previous calendar date
- Last Week: Data for Sunday through Saturday of the previous calendar week
- Last Month: Data for the first to last day of the previous calendar month
Alternatively to set your own dates, select Custom from the Date Range menu and then select your start and end date. To choose your own dates you can either click on the calendar or manually type the date using a dd/mm/yyyy format.
To compare two different date ranges
Select the Compare to Past checkbox, then use the controls to set the second date range. Remember, once you’ve selected a new date range, click Apply!
The date range tool is really easy to use. It remains in the top right-hand corner of the screen as you navigate around analytics making it easy to change the date ranges as and when needed.
The ability to select a set of days within a month, for example, the second week of February or even a specific day, makes it easier to pinpoint specific activity and analyse the data. Alternatively the year date range can help to identify broader seasonal trends in data and highlight any anomalies that need to be taken into consideration as part of wider analysis.
Things to consider
Month date range: When comparing month on month data remember that Google will only select the number of days within the number of days you’ve selected. For example, comparing February to January, Google will only look at 28 days in January.
Year date range: Remember to annotate in Google Analytics as this will help you to identify and understand any changes in your data which may help you to make better decisions in the future. For example, major events throughout the year, the launch of any marketing campaigns, press coverage or publish dates for blog posts.
Google Analytics date range tool is a very helpful tool which allows users to compare date ranges against one another. By using the tool, users can easily track trends in their data which can help identify when campaigns are or aren’t working. By pin-pointing trends in data allows users to adjust their strategy accordingly to increase the success of the website.