Analysing trends in data is a proven and very powerful technique used to measure the marketing campaigns and performance of your website over time. This can also help to predict future outcomes and allow you to make informed decisions regarding your website’s performance.
Google Analytics is a very popular tool and if used by millions of websites worldwide. It is a powerful platform that can help you to measure the performance of a specific campaign, marketing channel, or traffic source over a specific period of time. When you use Google Analytics for trend analysis you can determine answers to specific questions such as:
- Is the performance of my marketing campaign improving over time?
- Are my sales increasing over time?
- What channel is the most effective in terms of marketing and gold conversions?
- Where should I invest my resources and money to get the best possible ROI?
Trend analysis will essentially help you to recognise a specific pattern and then interpret it in order to make predictions based on available data.
However, how you interpret these data trends play a very important role in the success of your marketing campaigns and how accurately you can predict future outcomes. That’s why it’s important to know how you can leverage Google Analytics to accurately analyse data trends.
How Data is Collected
Before you get to analyse or interpret your data, it is important to know how the data has been collected and that it is as accurate as possible. Incorrectly implemented tags can lead to incorrect data and calculations, which is why it is important to know that you have installed your tracking codes correctly.
Any decision based on incorrect or out of date data could be an expensive mistake to make. If you don’t know where your data comes from, then avoid making important business decisions based on it.
As good practice, conduct a full tagging implementation audit before commencing any Google Analytics reporting or dashboarding project.
Understand Historical Data
The older your data is, the more unreliable it could be. This is mainly because we live in an ever-changing world where the markets, buying behaviour, and marketing conditions continuously change. That’s why you cannot use old data to compare with new data sets as there would have been too many changes.
As a rule of thumb, remember that the more you segment your data, the smaller the time frame you should choose to do historical analysis. The more you take a look at your data in an aggregate form the bigger time frame you should use to do historical analysis.
Add Comparisons to Your Data Trends
If you use comparisons it can add contacts to your data and make the results more meaningful to interpret. As an example, you can get a much better understanding of the specific marketing campaign when you compare its current performance with a past performance using two different date ranges.
It is also not very helpful to only use a standalone metric in your data trends. It won’t have any context to it so it will be quite hard to figure out whether your website is improving or not.