In our focus on the data that Google Analytics captures on its own, we can sometimes forget to keep a record of external news, industry, and marketing events – particularly non-digital marketing – that could affect traffic and conversions on our websites.
Did the 5,000 postcards that you sent out last week increase visits to the site for your garden supply store? Did the debut of the 2013 hybrid models drive more traffic to your car dealership’s site? More visitors to ski resort websites after the big snowstorm?
Very simply, you can’t make any correlation to external events if you can’t remember when the events occurred, so you should create an annotation for any event that could affect visitor behavior.
As additional follow-up, you can periodically access all your annotations as a list under Admin > Profiles > Profile Name > Assets > Annotations and review the impact of each event on your traffic data.