Control is everything when it comes to website analytics. You want to make sure you’re tracking the right data, and you need to make sure you’re tracking the data right. With traffic filters, you can control exactly which data are flowing into your Google Analytics profile, and which aren’t.
There are three predefined filters that you can use, right out of the box:
- Exclude all clicks from a domain (hostname), which can be used to exclude all clicks originating from one network. Get rid of the hits from your internal office network. Just plug in your hostname here and apply it to your profile.
- Exclude all clicks from an IP address, which is great for removing any clicks from a single IP address, or even a range of IP addresses. Take a visit to www.whatismyip.com, then plug in the IP address here to exclude any computer that has a static IP address from your data results.
- Include only traffic from a subdirectory will allow you to set your profile to only report on a subdomain or a subdirectory. Use this to only see traffic to your nonfiction titles (www.example.com/nonfiction/) or to your user’s section (users.example.com).
In addition, you can apply custom filters to any of your profiles. Use Exclude Patterns to remove hits that contain certain criteria (visitor’s browser type, operating system, or even the city they’re surfing in from). Include Patterns do the opposite, so be careful with them. You’ll be matching only results that match your filter and excluding everything else.
Search and Replace filters are great for converting query strings into useful Analytics data. (/fiction/detail.php?id=9376) doesn’t mean much to the average user, but change it to (/fiction/detail/harrypotter5), and everyone’s on the same page, so to speak.
Lookup Tables and Advanced filters, while more complex than the filters listed above, are also great tools for manipulating the data coming into your Analytics profile. For more information on applying the right filters to your website’s Google Analytics profile, drop us a line or check out the Google Analytics Help Center.