Learn Something New – View Site Traffic by Hour

Did you know that you can view your site traffic by hour? When I woke up this morning I didn’t know that I could either! That was until I received a question via a comment on a previous blog post.

At first thought I knew that we could see daily traffic – that information helps us understand which days our site receives the most traffic and the least traffic and gives us an idea of what kinds of content we post draws in a high amount of traffic. Amanda mentioned that with social media you can track the times people retweet your content to give you an idea of when the traffic comes to your site from those sources. Then Alex showed me how to set up Custom Reports in Google Analytics which allows you to see, by hour, how much traffic visits your site. You can also set up the data to see other metrics related to see how each traffic by hour might differentiate. This is so cool!

Using the beta version of Google Analytics you can see “Custom Reports” in the top navigation:

Add a new custom report, give it a name and set up the metrics and dimensions like this:

You want to be sure that you measure visits; but you can choose a number of other different metrics as well. This will show you what visits you are getting by hour as well as their bounce rate, average time on site, and pages viewed per visit.

Going back to view the data you can view visits by hour over any time period like a month or even by day:

The “hour” is numbered 1-24, 13 being 1pm. Now I can see which times of day my site receives the most traffic, and what that traffic does on my site. For example, I might be able to see how visitors that come to the site during business hours varies from when they come outside of normal business hours. According to the sample above; this site receives the most traffic around 4pm, people stay on the site longest and visit the most pages around noon.

There, now you learned something new too!

Getting questions over the phone, in your blog comments, through emails, on social media sites are great opportunity to learn something new! Plus, having resources and a network of smart people around you is a huge help!