Google Analytics filters limit or modify the data that appears in a view. We recommend that most views include a set of “best practices” filters to ensure data quality:
- Exclude internal traffic
- Trailing slashes
- Lowercase – URIs, campaign parameters, event naming
- Social traffic sources
Filter Out Internal Traffic
In most cases, you don’t want to see what people at your own organization are doing on your website, because you want to see what your customers are doing on your website. An Exclude Internal Traffic filter removes data that originates from your organization’s office(s). Typically, this filter removes data based on IP addresses.
It might also be useful to remove data from your organization’s outside development team or analytics consultant (e.g. E-Nor).
- Some organizations want to see what their teams are doing on their website. They create an Internal Only view that with filters that include only internal traffic.
- This IP address-based filter won’t filter out data from, for example, employees who are working from home and it will include data from customers accessing your site from your organization’s office.
Trailing Slashes Filter
Google Analytics sees these as two different URLs, but we know that in real life, they lead to the same content:
This can make it hard to get answers to key analytical questions, because, for example, filtering on “/cats” would include all data for the /cats content, but filtering on “/cats/” would not.
Because of this, we recommend creating a trailing slashes filter. Either all requested URLs have trailing slashes or none do.
Google Analytics is case sensitive. For example, these are all different to Google Analytics, though to most users of Google Analytics, they are the same:
|Requested URL||Campaign Name||Event Category|
|/Cats||Cat Hats 2015||Cat Videos|
|/cats||Cat hats 2015||cat videos|
Without a lowercase filter, Google Analytics users who want to know the total number of pageviews for /cats would have to find every permutation of /cats by case. That could be time-consuming and error-prone.
For these reasons, we recommend using filters to transform all this data – requested URL, campaign variables (name, source, medium and content) and events (category, action and label) – to lowercase.
Social Media Filter
Google Analytics currently categorizes sessions generated from social media, e.g. Facebook, Twitter or Google+, as medium equal to Referral. If you want to find them, you need to filter the Referral report by those referrers you know to be social media sites.
Since most organizations E-Nor works with are very interested in social media, we create a filter that re-classifies social media sources with medium equal to “social”. This makes finding those high visibility sources much easier.