Analytics & Marketing Insights

Google Analytics Profiles and Filters – So Much Power!

February 26, 2009           Google Analytics

Google Analytics Profiles and Filters allow you to have so much more power and control over your analytics data. In fact, they allow you to do almost anything expensive web analytics packages can do.

Why Use Google Filters and Profiles?
Most importantly, filters allow you to make analytics data more meaningful by segmenting and cleaning the data to provide distinct, customized views of your data for different purposes and audiences. Profiles allow you to create separate views of your analytics data and they are key to using filters because you don’t ever want to add filters to your primary account profile. A word of caution, never add a filter to your primary profile as you must protect the integrity of this data and when setting up advanced filters it is easy to make a mistake that can severely damage your analytics data.

Basic Google Analytics Filters
You can create basic filters to exclude people (based on IP address, domain name and etc) from your company or your web agencies to avoid skewing your analytics reports. This is a filter that everyone should already have setup and in use. If you don’t have this setup this is where you need to start and you need to get this setup right away. Other basic filters give you the ability to separately track site subdomains, include only traffic from a specific geography, and etc. For example, we recently are working with a client that approaches marketing to USA and International (outside the USA) audiences separately and even has different agencies

Advanced Google Analytics Filters
More advanced filters can allow you to track your search engine rankings, see what adwords searchers really typed, see only organic traffic from Google, see only Google Image Search traffic, and much more. As we mentioned above, the power and potential of filters and profiles is really only limited by your imagination. Of course, many of us don’t have the time to play around and experiment so we highly recommend leveraging off the great ideas and examples that others in the industry are readily making available.

Great Resources on Google Analytics Filters and Profiles

WARNING: Before you go crazy with adding filters always make sure that you leave your original profile untouched as a raw data profile with no filters applied. This is critical to maintain and protect the integrity of your analytics data because once you have filtered data out it is gone forever. New profiles are quick and easy to create. At the bottom of your account screen (the page that lists your website profiles) you will see an “Add Website Profile>>” link and to the right of it you will see the “Filter Manager>>” link where you manage your filters (screenshot provided below).

As always please leave your comments and we will be happy to answer your questions. Have a great day!



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