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In the previous article, Fixing the Problem of Parameters in your Ecommerce URLS in Google Analytics, you learned about what a big problem parameters can be in your URLs, but how they’re also very useful because they provide insight into how your visitors are using your store.

If you have already been using Google Analytics for a few months then you have the ability to extract your store’s unique parameter list.

Note: Keep in mind that if you’ve changed or upgraded eCommerce platforms in the last three months, you will have a mixed set of parameters. This is because parameters are associated with a specific eCommerce platform, and may even change with an upgrade of the same platform. So if you do know that you have upgraded recently, choose a smaller time frame within which to select your parameters.

To see what parameters were in your URLs, you need to go into your All Web Site Data view.

Go to your All Pages report which is located at Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

We need to perform an advanced search in order to find the pages containing parameters. A list of parameters always starts with ?, so if you search for any Page containing a question mark you will get a list of all the pages containing parameters.

This will return all the pages that people have visited during the time period selected in which there were parameters in the URL.

Set the start date for your Google Analytics date picker far enough in the past that you have captured 5,000 rows of pages in the All Pages report (incidentally the fact that you have this many pages listed is the reason why you need to filter those parameters out in the first place!). Ensure that the date picker does not cover any time periods in which the eCommerce platform has been changed.

Click Export to export your data to Google Sheets, Excel or CSV depending on which spreadsheet you prefer to use.

To identify each of your parameters is a little bit tedious unless you have a script to do it. I have written a script which I use with my clients which automatically finds all the parameters and how many times that parameter was found in the sample. You can do the same manually using your spreadsheet.

Sorry, this is a bit geeky.

To do this, find a parameter by searching for the ? symbol. The parameter will look like <key>=<value>. Then you can strip that parameter out of the list using a regular expression and search for ? again.This is a little tedious, but quite achievable if you only have about 20 or so different parameters.

The example below will strip all the parameters with key <param name> from your data. If you click ‘Replace all’ it will also tell you how many instances it found of that parameter. You will want to write down all the parameters you find and the number of instances of each one. This will enable you to find out how common your parameters are, in addition to what they are called.

So if you’re still with me here, you should now have a list of all your most common parameters.

If you want to see the output of my script, it gives me a list of all the parameters and their frequency, followed by them listed as a comma separated list in case I want to use them in that format.

Google Analytics Parameters

Do any of those parameters contain data that you’d like to access? If so, I will show you in the next article How to Turn your Parameters into Custom Dimensions. Custom dimensions will let you access those parameters in various reports throughout Google Analytics, making you look like a genius, and giving you the ability to do some very fancy things with your data.

Nadia Rossi

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Petra over the last year and a half. 1834 Hotels centralises marketing for over 20 hotels around Australia, all with different branding and websites. On an analytics level Petra’s skills have allowed us to monitor and track our marketing efforts in the digital space. Bringing Petra onboard to manage our Google Ads was one of the best marketing decisions we have made. Her thoroughness and attention to detail is incredible, her insights have helped develop better marketing strategies and demonstrate to shareholders return on investment. I would highly recommend working with Petra.

Nadia Rossi Digital Marketing at 1834 Hotels Ecommerce / Hotel Google Ads April 23, 2020

Kiley Hay Baby Carriers Australia

I have been working with Petra for over a year now after changing from a much larger digital marketing provider and I could not be more pleased with the service and results my business is achieving.

With my previous providers I felt disconnected with limited communication. Petra on the other hand provides me with knowledge and information in a language I can understand that helps me make informed decisions not just about digital marketing but also my e-commerce business as a whole.

Petra has helped me navigate seasonal drops in trade creating a strategy that helped us grow and establish a healthy position in the market. It is an absolute joy to work with someone who loves what they do. I have complete confidence in recommending Petra to anyone considering e-commerce digital marketing, she is efficient, trusted and a true professional.

Kiley Hay CEO of Baby Carriers Australia Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020

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Your attention to detail is beyond what I had expected. The detail of the data is incredible. The best part though was to learn the profile demographic - which is very different to whom I think I've been trying to target through social.

David Clayton Director, Myomasters Massage Health Clinic Google Ads April 23, 2020

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Hi Petra, Hope you are well, I checked out the Google Analytics and all I can say is AWESOME. You have essentially doubled her revenue in a month and the Google Ads seem to be popping off!

Brett Leggett Brett Leggett ✪ eCommerce Growth Specialist Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020

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I am so grateful to have met you, as I think your insights are the BEST I have ever come across.

Leesa Dawson CEO, The Uniform Stylist Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020