Converting your time zone to local time in Google Analytics

Olga Tsubiks Google Analytics Data 0 Comments

Visitors come to a website at different times of day. The heat map below represents a typical profile of a B2B company in North America.

Users mostly come to the website during the week, whilst weekends have low traffic. The busiest time of the day is the morning, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 midday. This makes sense, as businesses engage with other businesses during office hours.

But what are people doing on the website between 2:00 AM and 7:00 AM? The number of users that come to the website during this time is just as big as in the afternoon. These are overseas customers. The question is: do people who are coming to the website during the day actually visit during the day? Or is it really 3:00 AM?

Converting your time zone to local time in Google Analytics

If you are wanting to know when is the best time to bid more aggressively on your PPC ads, it is useful information, that people are actually most interested in your business between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM local time, and not between 9:00 AM and 12:00 midday, as Google Analytics reports.

Google Analytics uses your time zone setting as the day boundary for all your Google Analytics data. Thus, if your time zone is set to be EDT, and it is 6:00 PM July 1st for you, when a visitor comes from Moscow, where it is already July 2nd, the session will be recorded according to the time settings in your account – i.e., 6:00 PM July 1st.

To find the actual time of the visit to your website, you will have to find the time zone for each visitor. You will need to query date, hour, and minute together with the user’s location (country, region) – and that’s a huge query to run! Analytics Canvas has a nice solution for this problem.

Free report on converting to local time in Google Analytics

Our newest template includes a list of all the time zones used in Google Analytics. It blends it with your data and shows exactly what time it is for your website visitors, when they visit your site. Here is what it looks like:

Converting your time zone to local time in Google Analytics

On the top, you will find a map of your visitors according to location and time zone.

Below is a heat-map of standard Google Analytics reporting time (your own time zone) and a heat-map of the actual local time (your users’ time zone).

Try it for yourself. If you don’t yet have Analytics Canvas, download a trial here and try the template with your data. To get to the template in Analytics Canvas, click on the More Templates link in the Welcome page and find the template.

Converting your time zone to local time in Google Analytics

No need to guess any more! You can find out exactly when is the best time to adjust your AdWords bid, or when it’s the quiet time, when you can do your website maintenance.

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