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Analytics & Tag Manager Blog

6 Google Analytics Filters I Couldn’t Live Without!

This post was originally published on White.net

I have been using Google Analytics for a long time now, and every week it continues to change and improve, which is great. During that time, I have constantly kept and updated a library of filters, advanced segments and dashboards that I can call upon when the time is right to allow me to do what is required. Recently it occurred to me that it might just be me who does this (I hope not!), so I wanted to provide you with a list of filters that I use on a regular basis. This may turn into a series depending on the success of this post, but let’s start with those filters.

IP Exclusion

This is a filter that I rarely see used when I dig into a pre-existing Analytics account, yet it’s one that could skew your data the most.

Generally, the majority of your workforce will visit your website whilst in the office, and if some people are working on it all day, they definitely need to be removed from the profile.

How do you filter out your IP Address in Google Analytics? Well, Google has created a handy online tool to help make the process really easy.

First you need the start of the IP range, which could look like this: 63.212.171.1. You also need to have the end of the range, for instance 63.212.171.254. Now you want to exclude any visits to your website from an IP address within the range shown above. Now you have that data, go over to Google’s handy IP Address Range Tool and generate the RegEx that you need. It should look something like this:

^63.212.171.([1-9]|[1-9][0-9]|1([0-9][0-9])|2([0-4][0-9]|5[0-4]))$

The next step is to create a filter within Google Analytics:

Custom Filter
Exclude
Filter Field > IP Address
Filter Patter > Add your RegEx
Case Sensitive > No

Hit save, apply it to the relevant profiles, and you will have removed all visits from those IPs. If you haven’t already done this, then I would highly recommend that you go and implement it.

Handling Webmail

If you have been looking through your GA account, you might have seen that some of your referral traffic is coming from Webmail. Ideally, you want all your email traffic to be consolidated as an email referrer.

We can do this using a 2-step filter process. The first step is to consolidate all the webmail providers to a campaign source using the filter below.

Custom Filter
Advanced
Field A -> Extract A > Campaign Source > mail.*.(.+)..{2,4}|mail-|inbox.
Field B -> Extract B > Campagin Medium > ^(referral)$
Output To -> Constructor > Campaign Source > webmail
Field A Required > Yes
Field B Required > No
Override Output Field > Yes
Case Sensitive > No

Now that we have consolidated all the webmail to a specific output (webmail), we take that and add it to the email Medium using the filter below.

Custom Filter
Advanced
Field A -> Extract A > Campaign Source > ^(webmail)$
Field B -> Extract B > Campagin Medium > ^(referral)$
Output To -> Constructor > Campaign Medium > email
Field A Required > Yes
Field B Required > No
Override Output Field > Yes
Case Sensitive > No

Using these filters together will attribute all email traffic received to a single email medium, making it easier to analyse your data traffic.

Sub-Folder Profiles

Most of us like to look at certain sections of a website in more detail, especially if that is your area of interest within the business.

Using a sub-folder filter, this can be done easily and for as many folders as you feel are necessary.

Custom Filter
Include
Filter Field > Request URL
Filter Pattern > ^/folder/$|^/folder
Case Sensitive > No

Regional Domain Profiles

I have used this recently, where we have been using a single GA code across multiple international websites. With this implementation, it was imperative that we had separate profiles for specific regions to ensure granular reporting. To do this, each profile had to have a filter applied that only tracked traffic from a specific hostname.

Custom Filter
Include
Filter Field > Hostname
Filter Pattern > ^domain.at|.domain.at
Case Sensitive > No

Add a trailing slash

This filter might not be used in all cases, and I am sure could be modified to your needs, but I have used it recently and thought it would be a good one to provide you with.

On some websites, you are able to access a page from multiple versions of the same URL /example or /example/ or even /example/index.html. All of these URLs are showing the same content and GA code. Ideally these would be resolved to show a single URL, which would help from a user perspective, but also from an SEO perspective. Sometimes this is not possible, so we need to be able to consolidate these URLs to provide amalgamated data. This can be done using the following filter:

Custom Filter
Advance
Field A -> Extract A > Request URL > ^(/[a-z0-9/_-]*[^/])$
Field B -> Extract B > –
Output To -> Constructor > Request URL > /$A1/
Field A Required > Yes
Field B Required > No
Override Output Field > Yes
Case Sensitive > No

Force Lowercase

Similar to the previous filter, this may not be required in all instances, but is another way of combining data from multiple URLs for the same page. This filter will amalgamate all data from those URLs that have both upper and lowercase variations into a single lowercase version. This allows ease of reporting as well as consistent data.

Custom Filter
Lowercase
Filter Field > Request URL

Do you use any of the filters that I have mentioned above? What filters do you use on a regular basis? Any that I have missed out that you feel would be a good addition? Do you have a go-to list of Google Analytics filters you use? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @danielbianchini.

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Analytics & Tag Manager Blog

8 Great Tools to use with Google Analytics

This post was originally published on White.net

We hear so much about great SEO tools that we should be using, but we rarely see much written about tools to help you with your Google Analytics data. Over the past year I have been using more and more tools to help with Google Analytics data, from API extraction to data visualisation, and I wanted to share them with you. Below are just 8 tools that I used for Google Analytics on a regular basis that save me a lot of time.

ScreamingFrog

Who has come across GA traffic disappearing and it being down to some GA code being removed? How long has that taken you to find the pages that no longer has the GA code on?

Over the past few years I have been using ScreamingFrog to check websites for any pages that have missing Google Analytics code, and comparing it against those that have. Once I have a list of URLs with missing GA code, I supply this to the internal team to have them look at it and implement. Once implemented, I then re-run the crawl to ensure the missing pages now have the GA code.

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Analytics & Tag Manager Blog

12 Months Later & I am Finally Google Analytics Qualified!

Today I finally got around to taking the Google Analytic Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam that I have been meaning to take for the last 12 months. Although disappointed in the score (88%), I am glad that I have passed and got it out of the way, and can now say that I am a qualified user of Google Analytics.

Now that I have passed I wanted to provide you guys with some tips and suggestions that you might like to use when taking your exam. Although I didn’t think the exam was ridiculously difficult, I did find that the hardest part was to decipher what Google were providing for the multiple choice answers. Depending on how you read the question, you may provide completely different answers.

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Analytics & Tag Manager Blog

Google Analytics Integrates Webmaster Tools

How many hours do you flick between Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools? If it is as much as me then you will be jumping around for joy today, as Google have announced that they are piloting the integration of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

With the majority of the information provided by Google Analytics showing what happens after the users chose your website; and Webmaster Tools reporting on data before the initial choice, bringing the data together provides much more detailed reports.

The first phase of the integration will show limited reports including clicks and impressions, using search data from Google Webmaster Tools. Google say that “We hope this will be the first of many ways to surface Webmaster Tools data in Google Analytics to give you a more thorough picture of your site’s performance.”