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Comparing data in Google Analytics

28th November 2016

Google Analytics is an incredibly useful tool for any webmaster - it gives you an in-depth look into your typical user and can really help with making strategic changes to your website and its content.

While Google Analytics is a great tool, website owners who aren't experienced using it often run into issues where they are unable to translate the data into something that they can work with. This is where data comparison comes in - you can choose the data range in which you want to view, and then compare it to the previous. For example, the last 30 days vs. the 30 days before it.

Google Analytics


Select and compare date ranges

The date range selector is at the top right of every page on the Reporting tab.

To select a date range, click the arrow next to the existing date range to open the selector. Once you've selected a new date range, click Apply to update your report.

To use a predefined date range, select one of the following from the Date Range menu:

  • Custom: Data for your custom date range
  • Today: Data available for the current calendar date up until the time of your selection
  • Yesterday: Data for the previous calendar date
  • Last Week: Data for Sunday through Saturday of the previous calendar week
  • Last Month: Data for the first to last day of the previous calendar month

Custom date range

To set your own dates, select Custom from the Date Range menu, then follow the instructions below.

To select a single date:

  • Click any date on the calendar.
  • Enter a single date (in mm/dd/yyyy format) in both Date Range fields.

To select a specific week:

  • Click the first and last days of the week on the calendar.
  • Enter the beginning and end dates (in mm/dd/yyyy format) in the Date Range fields.

To select a range of dates:

  • In the calendar, click the desired start date, then click the end date. The selected days are highlighted.
  • You can also enter start and end dates in the Date Range fields, using the mm/dd/yyyy format.

To compare two different date ranges:

Select the Compare to Past checkbox, then use the controls to set the second date range.

Remember, once you've selected a new date range, click Apply.


Now you have got the data ranged compared, you'll be able to see the differences between each time period. This is great to use if you have made large changed to your website and want to see if the effects had a positive (or negative) effect on your readership.

If you don't want to delve into too much data, you can simply look at the comparisons on the Audience, Acquisition and Behaviour tabs, and even export them as a PDF so you can see the results on paper.

Need help with Google Analytics? Get in touch today to find out how we can help you make the best use of your data and improve your website!