Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

3 Fundamental Filters for Google Analytics

blog_01_300x120Google Analytics can be a frightening place for the uninitiated. Unfiltered, unorganized raw data from your site can be challenging to mine for insights, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Implementing filters in your Google Analytics configuration is the key to refining and arranging data views that make actionable insights obvious. Let’s take a look at some of the essential filters you’ll want to apply to all your analytics views:

Internal Traffic Filter

You and your co-workers likely navigate your site regularly. This traffic will be included in your Google Analytics data and will dilute the accuracy of your actual traffic statistics. How do you stop internal traffic from registering in your Google Analytics report? The answer is to create a filter for internal IP’s within each of your views. By checking your IP and creating a simple filter for it you will improve the quality of your data and avoid artificially inflated statistics.

Case-Sensitive Hostname Filter

Visitors typing your website URL into their browser’s location bar will likely use different variations of capitalization, such as HTC.ca vs htc.ca. Analytics data is case-sensitive; meaning data relating to your hostname will appear separately for each variation. This can make reviewing data challenging, as you will have to manually tabulate the metrics associated with each variation to achieve the accurate combined metric. By following the steps below you can get Google Analytics to combine these metrics for an easier interpretation of the data.

From the Admin screen of your Google Analytics property:

1. Select “Filters”
2. Click on the “Add Filter” Button
3. Select “Create new Filter” and add a Filter Name
4. Select “Custom” as the Filter Type
5. Select “Lowercase” and for the Filter Field select “Hostname”
6. Click “Save”

Index.html Filter

Referring domains may include index.html at the end of some of their pages. This can cause data for these domains to fracture or duplicate and muddy analytics results. By excluding index files using filters, you can ensure that these instances are included as a single page for a cleaner, more accurate analytics experience. To implement this filter, follow the steps below.

From the Admin screen of your Google Analytics property:

1. Select “Filters”
2. Click on the “Add Filter” Button
3. Select “Create new Filter” and add a Filter Name
4. Select “Custom” as the Filter Type
5. Select “Search and Replace”
6. Choose “Request URI” as the Filter Field
7. Enter “index.html” for the Search String
8. Replace String is left blank

Setting up these filters is an essential step for organizations to truly understand their traffic and develop data-backed online strategies. Looking to get Google Analytics working for your business? Contact High-Touch to help you get started.

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About Lucas

Lucas is a native of Montreal and completed degrees in Film and Professional Writing at Concordia University. As our web and multimedia producer, he assists clients looking to develop new web initiatives and supports the success of our websites through the implementation of multimedia projects. Alongside his interest in creative work, Lucas also has a passion for technology, comics, and all things geek. He can be contacted at lucas[at]htc.ca