In January of each year we go through the annual Google Analytics reports from the past year, and send them 4 snapshot reports comparing various items for the last year with the previous year.
Sometimes things change considerably for some clients. Sometimes a big trend starts to hit all sites, such as the transition of a noticeable percentage of users from desktop to mobile access of sites that has happened in the last 5-6 years.
Sometimes it’s a trend that hits a type of client. With the pandemic, associations have cancelled annual conferences which have been established for decades for a certain time of year. The cancellation often leads to a drop of site visits during what had been the lead up to the conference, as members aren’t registering and getting additional information about the event.
And sometimes it is something you really don’t see often. For example:
For the past couple of years, one of our clients has had a considerable and growing number of visitors from search engines in Asia. It turns out that this organization’s acronym (and domain name) was the same as the English version acronym of an active political group. Last year the traffic slowed down considerably as the political group became less newsworthy.
We usually see web traffic dominated by desktop and mobile users, with a small percentage for tablets. But we had a client with tablet usage of over 10% in 2021. We think it is due to this profession having employees on the road outfitted with tablets. It’s up to the client whether they want to research further or not.
Search Console results can be VERY interesting. Every once in a while, a term pops that generates a lot of traffic from Google. Sometimes that is good. Sometimes it isn’t – one of our clients had a PDF on the site of people that had attended an event, with names. Turns out one of them was convicted for a fairly newsworthy crime in 2021, and a lot of folks found the PDF. It was from some years back and not worth keeping after this was determined.
The more you dig, the more interesting it can be, and it becomes a honing process for your website in addition to a historical reference.