Know Your Reporting Tools: Date Range Comparison

You’ve heard us say (and not for the last time): there is nothing set-it-and-forget-it about your website. Once your website is live, then a different type of work begins—maintenance and management. Management involves the work of keeping your website performing in search and sales conversions. The only way to know what management tasks need to be prioritized is through analytics data.

One type of analytics data we use is a date range comparison.

What Date Range Comparisons Show You

A date range comparison shows you a side-by-side comparison of website/web page performance on two or more date ranges. It lets you see how traffic patterns and user behavior changes month to month, year to year, for instance.  

The report highlights key metrics, like:

  • Number of sessions during the date range(s)
  • Number of users (unique users, not multiple sessions initiated from the same person/computer/IP address)
  • Average page views per session
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate (the number of viewers who leave and from where)

What’s more is that this report breaks down key performance indicators between converters—people who subscribed, downloaded a sample, purchased a product, etc.—and those who didn’t.

Why You Would Want to See Date Range Comparisons

Date range comparisons are excellent ways to detect patterns in user engagement (or lack thereof) with your website over time…and this information is crucial to gauge search engine performance and user experience in the event of:

  • Search engine algorithm updates
  • Site design changes
  • Site navigation updates
  • New or significantly revised content
  • Focused sales promotions

In other words, date range comparisons can give you a before-and-after picture of major changes to your website, so you can see what users like and what they don’t.

What You Can Do with This Data

With the information date range comparisons provide, you can tweak your website to improve (or maintain) performance.

For instance:

  • If you notice that users spent more time on your real estate website before you switched background images from smiling people with a set of new house keys dangling before their eyes to a large logo of your real estate firm, then maybe you’ll consider going back to the old image or a comparative one.
  • If you notice your bounce rate jumped after putting up a lightbox asking for an email address after 5 seconds of landing on your home page, then maybe you want to delay the lightbox a little longer or move it to an internal page.

Here’s the real benefit of having run a date range comparison, though—you don’t have to interpret the data. We will give you the raw metrics, of course, but our experienced team will also give you a summary of what the data points mean and what we recommend to do with the information to keep your website performing as your marketing MVP.

How to Get Date Range Comparisons for Your Website clients need only ask for a date range comparison, and it’s done. But if you’ve got another company doing your website management or you’re trying to do it alone, then there’s a few additional steps, starting with contacting us to schedule a free initial consultation.