Quick post and information share here. Many of us use Google Analytics in different ways but a common question that gets asked in real life business is ‘what day of the week is your busiest?’. Many business owners whether it be a small business, SME, Corporate or even Institutional sized business will want to know what day of the week. There are different reasons that range from measuring sales data to staffing arrangements. For the purpose of Digital Marketers like us, it also helps us to gain an insight into what searchers are doing and when. A good example of understanding traffic, if you are running sales or promotions on a particular service then you can check when your site is traditionally busiest or quietest. From there you can strategize whether you are trying to increase sales on those days or whether you are trying to boost inquiry or sales on the quieter days.
Another scenario when to use Google Analytics to check out the Days of the Week is when trying to determine if and when people are reading your blogs if you are regularly sharing information. It’s not to say that you have to only post information on these days, but it is useful to know when to have information up that you want to really want to share and engage with people.
Day of the Week in Google Analytics
If you are scrolling through trying to find where this dimension is, it’s commonly found as a secondary dimension.
When you select this dimension, you will see numbers 0 to 6. If you are a programmer working with arrays this would probably make sense but to everyone else, this is how it works:
Day of the Week – Numbers to Days
- 0 = Sunday
- 1 = Monday
- 2 = Tuesday
- 3 = Wednesday
- 4 = Thursday
- 5 = Friday
- 6 = Saturday
Day of Week Name in Google Analytis
If you can’t get used to the numbers or just want to see the names for the days fo the week in Google Analytics, there is a ‘Day of Week Name’ option.
Your results will look like this:
In this scenario, the days of the week are displayed as we know it. This is great and makes it easy for us to read but there can be some limitations to quick data analysis in this format.
Day of Week Vs Day of Week Name – Google Analytics
So why would you choose one over the other? It may be personal preference as some people might be used to looking at the numbered version and identifying the day of the week without any hassles. From our point of view, the major difference is when trying to sort data.
When you try to sort, the days of the week will not be in order if sorting alphabetically! It will look like the sample image above. This means if you’re trying to look at your statistics on a true day by day comparison on the page, you will have to mentally picture them in the right order or export to a spreadsheet and reorder to your liking. Using the numbered system, you can sort from smallest to largest or largest to smallest meaning you can easily view the day of the week in order or reverse order of actual days.
Days of the Week as a Primary Dimension
After all this talk about days of the week, using it as a secondary dimension is great while researching through the different landing pages or sources but what if you want to analyze your traffic purely based on days of the week? Alas, it’s really not that hard. All you have to do is create a custom report. In there you can select ‘day of week’ as your primary dimension.
How to set up custom report for Days of the Week
Go to Customisation > Custom Reports
Create a + New Custom Report
From here you can easily select what metrics or filters to the data that you are trying to drill down to. Take this screenshot for example.
What we have created is effectively saying this. For all sessions, I want the ‘Day of Week Name’ as the primary dimension. To take this one step further, it’s not for the whole website. Under filter we have chosen ‘Regex’ which means anything with this in it’s path. In our scenario, we are looking for any page that has /blog/ in the path.
Effectively now we can see which day of the week our blog pages have the most sessions and what sessions on each day of the week.
This is great if you are trying to really get granular with your information and when clients ask questions like when is my blog most active or when do clients most visit my website about ‘x’. You can use this method to drill down information. There is also an hour of day dimension but that’s for another time. (excuse the pun).