How To Add Annotations To The Google Analytics Graph

How To Add Annotations To
The Google Analytics Graph

google analytics logoCan you remember exactly what you did 45 days ago that caused a traffic spike?

How about the dip 9 days before that?

And the other peak a week before that?….

While I can easily remember this weeks most recent changes that brought in traffic, keeping track of all up and down over an extended period just isn’t possible with the amount of other information I’m required to keep between my ears!

Also, data that’s living in my ears can not easily be offered to a coach, mentor, consultant when seeking advice on improving traffic!

Making Notes In Google Analytics

Fortunately, making small notes, known as “annotations” along the Google Analytics time-line is easy.

(All of this assumes of course that you have Google Analytics set up, the plugin installed if needed, and at least a couple of days data!)

1. Log into your Google Analytics account… select the domain you want to look at and once inside click the “Reporting” tab (which is at the very top).

2. Here, you need to note 2 items. First note the little tiny down-arrow (down-tab?) right below the timeline. The second, that you will not have until after you’ve made annotations is the little “quote” (blurb?) bubbles under date-points that indicate existing annotations exist for that date. 


3. Click on this down-arrow (down-tab) to open up the annotations menu.

4.  That will open a Annotation panel below the graph. Here you can select a date, enter the note, and click Save.


What types of things do I add as notes? Examples include:

1) Unique content that appears as though it may go viral (or did go viral)

2) Days my analytics plugin or script was accidentally deactivated (oops!)

3) Times that I have had site related trouble that may have impacted people’s ability to get to and read my stuff

4) Product launches

5) Notes on when Google changes algorithms (Like Penguin or Panda updates)

6) And anything else that may impact my traffic.

These notes let me keep track of what was going on and did (or did not) yield more traffic.

5. Once you click save the annotation is added and a tiny “comment bubble” is added near the bottom of the time-line right below the data point. These bubbles let you easily check the note and know which points already have notes. Extremely Handy!

That’s all there is to it! A simple little way to make sure you don’t come back in six months or a year and wonder what some particular dip/spike was all about!

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this helps you understand how to add annotation notes to google analytics and spare yourself some headache down the road! If you like it, please share it, book mark it and leave me a comment! I look forward to hearing from you!

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

Post originally published May 21st, 2012 and updated Sept 27th, 2014

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43 Comments on "How To Add Annotations To The Google Analytics Graph"

4 years 11 months ago

Hey Kimberly, thanks for the cool tip, just added my first annotation

3 years 6 months ago

Thanks Kim, something I never thought about doing since I had some issues in the past which I am sure I will forget if I don’t capture them properly.

3 years 6 months ago

Hi Kim,
Thanks for very useful post.
It seems very easy to add annotations. I didn’t understand why you need to add annotations. Can you give me some example? Thanks.

3 years 6 months ago

That smashing information that everyone will benefit from knowing. Oh how I love all the geeky stuff that brings clarity to our businesses, there are always people we can share this stuff with! :)

3 years 6 months ago

Thank you for sharing your the info with regards to adding annotations to
google analytics. It has helped me. Thank you so much!