Are you ready to take your Digital Marketing activities to the next level, but don’t know where to start when it comes to Google Analytics? We get it. Google Analytics is complicated and can be overwhelming when you first explore it, but that’s why we’re here – to help you utilize this amazing free tool!
By now you’ve probably found and read a fair amount of articles on how to set up Google Analytics and integrate it with your website, and are now able to view your data within the Google Analytics interface. Great! But what comes after that? The first thing you need to do is set up different views and filter out internal traffic. Why? Internal traffic basically means your own views to your website – which don’t help you when it’s time to analyze data which should be about your customers or visitors. If you do not set up your account correctly, you will be working with incorrect data and possibly make inaccurate strategic decisions. Read on to get the most out of your data.
1. Creating Raw Data, Test, and Master Views
After you have integrated Google Analytics with your website, you should create three types of views. This is important because it is not possible to recover lost data during a misconfiguration in Google Analytics. Every Google Analytics Account should have the following three views:
- Raw Data View: This is your backup; you will never touch this view when using Google Analytics.
- Test View (optional): This view is useful when you want to be extra cautious; you can test your filters here before applying them to your Master View. This view is especially helpful when you are beginning with Google Analytics.
- Master View(s): This is the view you will use to analyze your data. You might have more Master Views depending on your website goals. You may want to have two master views. Why would you want multiple Master Views? To make it easier to compare and analyze your dataLet’sts say your website visitors mainly come from The United States and England – you could separate these geographical locations to two master views to easily analyze the differences and similarities between users from these two countries.
How to create these views:
- Go to Admin on the bottom left corner, and click View Settings in the last column to the right.
- Change the view name to “All website data – Raw Data View”, insert your website URL, and set the correct time zone. Click Save.
- Now click “Copy view” as seen in the image, and change the name of the view to “Test View”. Don’t forget to click “Copy view” to save your new view. You have now created your test view! Easy, isn’t it? You can see your separate views when you hit the drop down box in the third column.
- Copy your Raw Data View one more time and change the view name to “Master View”. Click again on “Copy view” to save your view, and you are well on your way to getting clean and ready to analyze data!
2. Google Analytics Exclude Traffic From Internal IP Addresses
The second thing to check off your list is to filter out Internal IP Addresses. This is important as internal traffic patterns often differ from external traffic patterns. This means that it could become difficult to understand how customers interact with your website if you don’t exclude internal traffic from your Google Analytics account. To give a few examples – internal traffic includes anyone working on the website you are trying to analyze: web developers, management, and you yourself.
To exclude internal traffic, you will have to create an “IP Address Filter”. The following steps explain to you how to create this filter.
- Collect all IP addresses you want to exclude. You can find your own IP address through searching “what is my IP address” on Google.
- Now you have to create a filter – like we explained before, it’s best to try and construct this filter in your Test View. Be aware: you need to have edit permissions to create a filter! Please ask the administer of the account to provide you with this permission. Go to Admin and select “Filters” displayed in the third column under “View”.
- Click “Add filter” and select “Predefined” for the filter type. Select “Exclude” right below it, from the “Select filter type” tab.
- Under “Select source or destination” choose “traffic from the IP addresses”.
- If you only have one IP Address to exclude at this point, select “that are equal to” from the “Select expression tab”.
- Click “Save”.
In future articles, we will discuss how to exclude multiple IP addresses using RegEx code, but don’t worry about that for now. You just excluded your first IP address! Now you’re ready to continue over to THIS POST to create a measurement plan.
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