Google analytics – how to use filters

If you’ve never used Google analytics filters before don’t worry, as they are relatively simple to use and once you know how you will be rewarded with valuable information that you can use to increase your websites performance. This information includes details about the how many unique views a page is getting, the average time a user spends on a page, the user bounce rate and the exit rate. If you’re an eCommerce site, it will also display conversions allowing you to keep track of commerce activity within your business.

But that’s not all there are other stats that the service will provide you with and if you’re looking at it all at once, it can be a bit overwhelming. This is why using filters is recommended, as these will give you the information you require saving time and decreasing the chance of you getting confused when being presented with a load of varied yet valued information.

Predefined filters
Some of the most basic filters are the most relevant and useful. One of which is the Include/Exclude filter, which allows you to take out information that may give you an inaccurate result. This can be used to take out visits made from your own IP address, which is perfect if you find yourself visiting your own site multiple times during the day for whatever reason. You can also Include/Exclude traffic heading to a certain subdirectory of your website. Separate your stats to show how many users are coming in from paid ads or organic results and whether the terms they use are brand or non-brand.

Custom filters
The chances are that you will find what you need within the predefined filters but if you need to get a bit more technical with what you’re searching for then the custom filter option is worth a go. Whether you want to use a predefined or custom filter, first of all you will need to create & name your filter. Once you’ve chosen your filter name, simply select ‘Predefined’ or ‘Custom’ and then enter the details of what you want to filter, click save and you will then be presented with a screen displaying the info you requested. If you didn’t get something quite right, you can either edit your filter or create a new one from scratch.

Content performance
Although it’s always good to optimize every page of your site but if you have very limited time then we recommend that you focus your time on improving and optimizing pages that allow users to convert. Product pages are the obvious target here but make sure that you thoroughly target your checkout & contact us page because if they aren’t easy to use or laid out in an efficient manner, this alone may cause users to exit faster without converting.

User journeys
Mastering filters allows you to accurately see the journey of a user, starting with where they come from, where they go, what they look at and how long they last on each page & your website as a whole.

 

Author Adam Dougherty

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