Marketing Bites

Run a Year-over-Year Comparison in Google Analytics

This holiday season, take advantage of Google Analytics’ year-over-year comparison feature to discover historic trends in your website data. You can leverage this data as you work to forecast what the coming months hold in store for your business and whether you want to make adjustments in your website presentation or marketing approach for the holidays.

Google Analytics defaults to show an “Audience Overview” for the previous month. You can use the steps below to compare any data available in Google Analytics, including your website transactions, on a year-over-year basis.

Here are the basic steps you would take to set up a year-over-year comparison:

  1. Review Google’s documentation on how to Select and Compare Date Ranges.
  2. Log into your Google Analytics account and open your website profile.
  3. Using the “Custom date range” instructions in the documentation linked above, enter your date range for last year. We’d suggest entering a range that spans from mid-November to mid-January to capture traffic from Cyber Monday through the post-holiday period.
  4. Below the date range fields, check the “Compare to” box, and select “Previous year.”
  5. Click the “Apply” button.

Keep in mind that trends are most apparent when you are graphing by week or by month (rather than hourly or by day). You can change this setting in the top right of your graph.

In order to improve and refine your holiday business strategy, it's key to have a grasp of any historic trends in your website data. With Google Analytics, you can visualize those trends in just a few clicks.

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