Acquiring Traffic

When do people find FranchiseHelp? (Part 1)

Eli Robinson
Tuesday, November 18 2014

Google Logo

In an earlier post, we introduced the concept of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by explaining the nuts and bolts of what it is and how it works. Today, I want to dig into one component a little bit further, when people find FranchiseHelp.

Before we get there, let me give you a brief introduction to Google Analytics.

Google Analytics (or simply “Analytics” for industry insiders) is a tracking and reporting service that essentially provides stats about a website’s visitors. This can include key metrics such as conversions and sales. Without a doubt, it is the most used analytical package for websites, making up 81.5% of the traffic analysis tools market.

For FranchiseHelp, Google Analytics is one of a few different tools we use to measure our website’s effectiveness. However, when evaluating SEO, it’s clearly number one. (This is almost certainly because SEO is driven by Google, so their analytics service is going to be the best at measuring its effect.)


So this past week, I became obsessed with the question when people find FranchiseHelp.

I use the verb “find” deliberately as I want to exclude any sort of specific user acquisition efforts from the question i.e. I don’t want the fact that we send out an email at 10PM to influence the results.

Using Google Analytics, I can get an hourly breakdown of organic traffic from Google for the month of October.

It looks something like this:

October 2014 FranchiseHelp Google Organic Sessions

(To see a larger version of the graph, click here.)

Now, if you’re like me, you’re going to ask the obvious question. What the heck is going on with that spike in the middle of the month?

Frankly, I just don’t know. But, together with one of the other marketers here at FranchiseHelp, we can come up with a few theories:

  • There was a piece of news about franchising that broke around 6PM on October 15th, 2014 that would have caused there to be a big spike in traffic across all franchise related traffic on the web

  • Google was running a test where the briefly promoted our rankings in the search results to see what the effect would be on their users’ experience

  • Automated web crawlers or “bots” were visiting FranchiseHelp in large numbers for one evening for reasons unbeknownst to us.

(If you have another theory, let us know.)

Spikes like that one are a microcosm of why predicting the effects of search engines is so difficult. For four hours on a random day, our website saw 100% more organic traffic that it did the rest of the month for unknown reasons.


But the question still remains when people find FranchiseHelp. I took the data that comprises the graph you see above, and I grouped each hour together and took the average for each hour across the entire month to produce what an “average day” looks like for FranchiseHelp.

Here’s the results:

Google Hourly Average Sessions for October 2014


Much to the dismay of employers around the country, it looks like people are finding FranchiseHelp most frequently between 11AM and 4PM EST. This makes sense as franchising is often portrayed as an alternative to someone’s current job.

Additionally and logically, it looks like that after a brief break for commuting and dinner between 5PM and 7PM, there’s a pick-up again between 8PM and 11PM as people move into relaxation mode before turning in for the evening.

It looks like the answer to my question is people find FranchiseHelp from about 10AM to 11PM, which makes a lot of sense. Who wants a side of franchise with their breakfast?

Want to know how SEO patterns affect your franchise, shoot us a note.