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  • 6 Google Analytics Filters I Couldn't Live Without!

    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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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Daniel Bianchini is the Director of Services at White.net, a creative digital marketing agency based in Oxford. When Daniel isn’t talking about digital marketing, he can be found in the gym or discussing football with friends.

    12 Responses to “6 Google Analytics Filters I Couldn't Live Without!”

    1. Dawn Carberry says:

      Thank you! I’ve been wanting to exclude our IP address from our GA but didn’t know how – eureka!

    2. Prashant says:

      Thanks daniel, never knew i could this using google analytics itself.

    3. [...] Google have been kind enough to give us extra backlink data in Webmaster Tools this month. Bolster your SEO analytics further with these great filters! [...]

    4. […] post 6 Google Analytics Filters I Couldn’t Live Without! appeared first on White […]

    5. Aurélien says:

      Hello Daniel, very interesting. Thanks for all these tips!

    6. […] post 6 Google Analytics Filters I Couldn’t Live Without! appeared first on White […]

    7. […] can also make use of these fantastic Google Analytics filters to track web email […]

    8. Arbaz Khan says:

      That’s a great post Daniel.
      I use Google Analytics for only tracking the traffic to my blogs and not for anything else. I never knew that we can do these many things with it.
      Thanks for this amazing share :)

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      […] can also make use of these fantastic Google Analytics filters to track web email […]

    10. What I Have Read This Month – October 2013 | Digital Media Hub - Social Media Entertainment says:

      […] can also make use of these fantastic Google Analytics filters to track web email […]

    11. Kevin Brydon says:

      Very useful, thanks.

      I think your “Add Trailing Slash” filter is incorrect. Should the output be “$A1/” instead of “/$A1/”? $A1 includes the preceeding slash. My analytics reports now have pages such as “//directory1/directory2/”. The regex in the screenshot also does not match the regex in the text (although I believe they are functionally the same).

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