Seasonality: Monthly Factors that Impact Site Traffic

It’s not just the holiday season that causes dips in traffic (or lifts, if you’re an ecommerce business with popular Christmas items); business sites experience fluctuations throughout the year.

Here are other factors to remember when looking at traffic trends:

  • January: The first quarter is slow to start, depending on when New Year’s Day falls during the week. If it falls on a Thursday, most people don’t go back to work until Jan. 5.
  • February: The month is shorter by two or three days, depending on the year, so your month-over-month progress will be stymied.
  • March/April: Spring months can be erratic due to spring break and vacation schedules. And if you’re in Austin, SXSW throws the entire city into disarray for a few weeks.
  • May/June: These months tend to be more consistent YoY.
  • July/August: Demand seems to be lower in these months (a traditional summer vacation time.)
  • September/October: These months tend to have the best productivity going into the end of the year.
  • November: Demand drops off significantly Weds-Sun the week of Thanksgiving.
  • December: The second half of the month shows diminishing returns. Where in the week Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) falls affects online activity for the next week.

Remember: Comparing month-over-month traffic and sales in Google Analytics isn’t always the best way to gauge trends. Sometimes you’ll need to compare year-over-year figures instead