July 17th, 2009 | Published in Google Analytics
You probably already know that you can quickly compare two date ranges against each other simply by clicking Compare to Past. So, in the screenshot below, clicking Compare to Past will allow me to compare the current period (Mar 16 - Apr 15) with the previous period (May 16 - May 15).
Once I click Apply, I'll see the graph below. The problem, though, is that this graph is not very useful to me as a comparison tool because the days of the week don't line up.
The first day of the current period (March 16) is a Monday, so I'll use the date slider to move the first day of the previous period back to Feb 9, also a Monday. Just click the Timeline tab to see the date slider and drag the previous period (in green) to the left, one day at a time. The date will change in the text box as you drag the slider. Then, click Apply.
Once I've lined up my days, I can compare weekdays to weekdays, and weekends to weekends. For example, I can see that, except for the first Wednesday, I received more traffic on all of the Wednesdays in the previous period.
Next time you use Compare to Past, try using the date slider to adjust your previous time period. It's possible that you'll uncover new insights about your day to day traffic.