My 10 Business Intelligence Notes to Document With Google Annotations New Feature

December 14th, 2009

Google Annalytics AnnotationsLast Wednesday, I attended a Google Analytics webinar and I had a sneak peek of a lot of cool features.

My favorite new feature was the Annotations. It allows you to link your personal notes to the main time-line on your Google Analytics profile graphs. These Annotations are attributed to your login and can be viewed by others who have access to the same profile or you can choose to mark notes as private and only you see the notes.

When This Feature is Available

During the webinar, the Google Analytics representative mentioned that this feature should be available in most Google Analytic profile accounts the week of December 14, 2009 (this week).

Where To Find The Annotations Feature

When you have access, you simple click the little tab that will show up under the time-line graphs. I just checked all my accounts, and I don’t see any yet. So I guess I have to wait patiently for the tabs to show up!

Here’s the video for a sneak peek of Google Annotations.

There is a Firefox Extension That Does The Same Thing

This feature Google is rolling out can very well replace the Firefox plugin called “GA Notes”, which I never personally used myself.  I’d rather wait for the feature to be available in Google Analytics vs. downloading the Firefox extension on my work laptop, home laptop and netbook.

Why I  Like The New Annotations Feature in Google Analytics

  • I have for years resorted to keeping my clients/employers monthly web stats notes in a separate Excel spreadsheet, which seems kind of odd to have my intellect in another tool.
  • I usually open up my spreadsheet once a week to mark down most of my notes down.  Sometimes, I forgot to document key findings because I get lazy with opening up my monthly webstats sheet after looking in Analytics – I love being in Google Analytics.
  • Sometimes others within the company (or past clients) login in to Google Analytics and see spikes in traffic and don’t know why. I may be hourding the info until I have a chance to meet with them to go over my monthly webstats findings. They may try investigating odd trends themselves, which duplicates our efforts.

I found that documenting business intelligence notes throughout the month gives me more context when looking at data at the end of the month. It really helps to explain trends and relationships when I sit down with my boss or clients at the end of month. But it may not help others during the month. It makes sense to have them in Google Analytics, so that when my boss/client asks questions during the month, I have my findings documented in Google Analytics right away and they can also login from anywhere to view them.

Here Are My 10 Most Documented Business Intelligence Notes

  1. Press Releases – Document dates of formal press releases submitted to the wire and PRWeb. Expect a spike for the day and  for hot news, it may last for a few days.
  2. Email Marketing – Document dates of email marketing campaigns, # of recipients and campaign name (most likely the name of the campaign you used for the UTM tracking too so you can track any conversions attributed to email campaigns as well.) Expect to see traffic from email campaigns up to 4 days on average.
  3. Blog Posts – Document dates of blog posts posted live and the corresponding titles. If the topic is a hot one and timely, expect to see a burst in traffic the same day, but sometime it can kick in later as well (I seen some blog posts really pick up traction a week or so after posted – it all depends!).
  4. Social Bookmarking – Document dates where you have seen huge spikes in social media bookmarking that was attributed to your blog posts or press releases. This is good to note because social media bookmarking may increase bounce rates (read and leave – that’s normal) and you want to have the answer why your conversion to visitors may be a lower %’s.
  5. Web Server or store downtime – Document dates where you had downtime with server or store error (usually Marketing finds out after the fact – at least from my experience). So, if you have this info and your boss asks why did sales have a dip one day, you can then answer “Because the store was down for 4 hours and and our IT department didn’t tell us!”
  6. Holidays or Events – Document dates of Holidays or big events in other countries, provinces, or states that may effect your customer sales and unique visitors. (Good or bad for traffic and sales)
  7. Per-per-click – Document dates that you start new Pay-per-click campaigns and what the campaigns are. Or maybe even where you open up a larger budget of existing campaigns or when you decrease a budget.
  8. SEO Projects – Document dates of on-site SEO changes to pages, especially larger projects like redoing all the page titles, page naming and meta data. Also dates of commencement and ending of inbound linking projects, especially larger projects where you may hire out a firm or multiple firms to help you out. Make sure you make a note to what keywords are being optimized so that you can compare inbound organic traffic at beginning vs after it all kicks in.
  9. Site changes to design and/or architecture – Document dates and notes on what has changed and what may effect site visitor usability or search engine optimization. Even if you have changed just your home page.
  10. And finally when you started the job. This is where you start your metrics as an online marketing manager or web analytics guru to see the before and after to where you have made a difference in your work or consulting for site traffic and conversions!

Feel free to share in the comments below on what you would use Google Analytics Annotations for and why.

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One Response to “My 10 Business Intelligence Notes to Document With Google Annotations New Feature”

  1. avijit arya on March 4, 2010 8:05 am

    great tool i feel it reduces the burgden of making reports for a client to showcase trends instead they can see the rports and our annotations as and when we update them

    avijit arya

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