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How can Annotations help me?

Modified on: Tue, 21 Sep, 2021 at 3:55 PM

Annotations are a great way to keep track of the work, effort, and progress your team is making using the Siteimprove platform. You can use annotations to explain changes on historical and progress graphs.

Where can I add Annotations?

You can add Annotations to graphs throughout the key modules such as Quality Assurance, Accessibility, SEO (Issues & Recommendations), and Analytics.

To add an annotation

Click on “Annotations” below the graph and then click on “New annotation”.

From here you can add the date, visibility, text, and the modules you’d like the note to appear on.

Annotations gif showing the steps of adding an annotation as described in this article

How to use Annotations?

Annotations can be used to mark key trends and fluctuations in data.

Use case 1: Quality Assurance

Here is an example of where annotations can be valuable in Quality Assurance.

The web team has released a significant content update but unfortunately published pages with broken links. In the Quality progress graph, you can see a spike in the data due to the increase in broken links.

You can use an Annotation here to say, "New pages published with broken links, therefore increase. Will be fixed within the next week".

Once the broken links have been fixed you can add another note to say, "Broken links fixed", quoting the ticket number related to the task if appropriate.

This additional information will help you and your colleagues understand the reason for changes in the data.

Annotations example on graph in Quality Assurance
Use case 2: Analytics

A valuable use of annotations in Analytics would be to explain a spike in the data, i.e., an increase in the number of visits to a site or a particular page.

For example, if you are optimizing a series of key pages on the site for improved search ranking, it would be valuable to note the reason for the increase on both Analytic and SEO graphs.

You might use Annotations at a page level to document your SEO effort. For example, a note could say "Increase in traffic on this page, as SEO has been carried out to increase the ranking position".
Annotations example on graph in Analytics

Use case 3: Policy

An example may include an update within the business such as, “No longer offer this product/service,” or a business decision to limit by the age of website content, “Content over six years should be refreshed.”  These annotations will help users understand the reason behind a policy and whether it is still valid.  Some policies may prove useful for a short-term project or long-term goal.  In the latter example regarding content age, this may vary depending on pages/sites and reasons so having this documented will create efficiency.  


Annotations are a valuable way to ensure that when you look back at your data over time you have context and a reference for any trends that may occur. Fluctuations in the data is perfectly normal, annotations can help you to understand why these changes have happened.

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