In June 2019 I created a detailed course where you can access all my checklists that my team uses to set up Google Analytics. We are giving away access to this course entirely for free. I had my videos transcribed and between them they have a word count of 36,000 words, so it essentially turned into a mini book. I have left it up to you whether you want to read the transcriptions or not. To read them, just expand the text under each of the videos.
If you are just wanting to watch the videos and don’t want to log into the course or use the checklists, then here is all the videos back to back as a helpful and thorough reference.
If you do log into the course (located at https://www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactGA) , you can access all the procedures as checklists and access several special offers only available to course participants.
BONUS (If you don’t have Google Analytics yet): How to Create a Google Analytics Account and Add it To Your Website
If you’re brand new to Google Analytics, watch this video to get your account started, otherwise if Google Analytics is installed already you can skip it.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to the Bonus Lessons in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics. I started to record some extra sections for those of you that don’t already have Google Analytics on your website at all so that then you too can process setting up your Google Analytics correctly.
The original procedures were intended for people that already had Google Analytics set up but that doesn’t have to be the case. So even though I don’t have specific lesson sections for this, I’m adding it as a bonus section and I will also add another bonus section on adding additional goals in addition to the standardized ones that I’ve got as part of this course.
Alright, so let’s just get into it, shall we? Now, so when you go into Analytics, so you go to Google Analytics at analytics.google.com. Now, unfortunately, mine won’t look exactly the same as yours because I’ve already got Google Analytics set up but if you click on Admin or it might be that you’ve only got Admin, there should be some button on your page that says Create Account and from this point, they should look the same.
So you want to have Website selected and then you want to type in your Account Name here — so I’m just going to create an example. Alright, so put your Website Name in here and your Website URL. Alrighty, now this Industry Category, look, it doesn’t hugely matter if yours doesn’t fit exactly but what this does it just lets you compare to industry averages, so just pick something that seems somewhat relevant. Alright, now I’m just going to pick an example, here we go.
Now, choose your time zone that you would like dates to be reported in and choose the — with this Data Sharing Settings, it’s just basically information gets sent back to Google. So feel free to have these things ticked or unticked. It shouldn’t really make too much difference to how you use Google Analytics. Alright, and then click on this button, down the bottom for Get Tracking ID.
Now, so you’ll get this pop-up and you’ll need to choose your country in here. So I’m picking Australia. Alright, and then it will give you the — it’s a bit small but it will give you things for you to read in here, you can click got it, to make it just a little bit — let’s just say cookies notification make it easier for you to read and click that tick box there for GDPR. And there are additional things to read as well so you can tick that tick box there once you’ve read it, once you’ve read it, I’m sorry and click I Accept.
Alrighty. Now you will receive your own Google Analytics Tracking ID here. This is the Tracking ID that goes onto your website. Alright, so they’ve given you some code here that can go onto your website and what you can do is you can copy that so that then you can use it later.
I recommend just grab — Oh look, here’s something that my two-year-old daughter provided for me. A bit of, a little bit of gobbledygook. Alright, let’s include the two-year-old stuff and — so I’m just pasting that in so that I can refer to it later.
Okiedoki, so that’s really the end of that process. But now if you go back to Admin, you’ll see that you have your Account Name will be listed here. Your, the Website Name that you listed will be the name of your Property and it will give you a default view of all website data.
Now, if you want to change any of these, you can do so by clicking on that and going to — so in the case of Property Settings, you can change the name here and in the case of the View Settings, you can change the name here. Now, in the course, I’ll teach you something’s that you should name your views as so that you could separate them based on filtering. So don’t worry about changing anything now but this is what you should be looking at.
Now, if you are wondering what to do with your Google Analytics Tag, there’s a couple of different ways to use this. Now, the first option and this is what most people do and there’s nothing wrong with it but there’s a couple of different options basically. The first option is just to take this code that Google gave you and put it straight onto your website.
Now, when you put this on your website, you want it to go in the header section of your website. And if you’re not a, like a website savvy person, don’t worry, it’s actually quite straight-forward to do so the majority of websites will in fact have a little section somewhere in the Page Builder that says The Header. So if you have a WordPress website, it’ll be most likely in your theme. There’ll be a section in your theme that says add to the Header or if you are using something like Shopify or any other kind of builder, there’ll be something in there that says add to the Header.
And in fact, a lot of websites, Shopify included, you don’t directly add it to the Header. It actually gives you the option to just add the Google Analytics Tag so the example of the Shopify one probably wasn’t the best.
So in the website builders or in WordPress, if you have a WordPress plugin, instead of adding these code to your header, you can just add this little bit here to the actual plugin or to the software where it says Google Analytics ID. Just add that part there and then once you save that it should work on your website.
Now, if you want to test it on your website, you can go to a tool called gachecker.com. I like this one because it’s just straight-forward. It’s just easy to use. So, unfortunately, I’ve got Google Tag Manager on mine but let’s just see, I’ll just show you what it looks like.
So basically, you put in your website in there and you click the Check Your Sites button and then it will start processing all the pages to see if you’ve got it on there. So if you click on — well, you can click on Analytics button, I’m just clicking on All. Now, I’ve actually got mine installed through Google Tag Manager which I’m about to talk about in a minute and I have Google Analytics.
There are a few different forms of Google Analytics, so this is the form prior to the GTAG version which they give you now but it doesn’t really matter which form you’ve got as long as you’ve got a tick under Google Analytics. So if you just picked Analytics, you’ll see this down as Universal, you might have a tick under Global Site Tag, that’s actually the type that you just got.
So as long as you’ve got a tick in there or if you didn’t just follow the instructions here and you already had Google Analytics on your website, you might have one under Universal Analytics or even potentially Analytics Classic. Although if you’ve got Google Analytics Classic I recommend upgrading it because that one’s not the best anymore and it doesn’t have the same options in it that the new ones do. This one’s really old.
Alright so, now I just said that I’ll also explain setting it up via Google Tag Manager. I’m not going to do a full Google Tag Manager tutorial at this stage. I might add that as another video. But Google Tag Manager is another way of adding Google Analytics and that’s the way that I usually recommend adding Google Analytics because you can also add tracking to your website as well.
You might wonder what tracking is. Tracking is how you can find out what people are doing on your website and then send it to your Google Analytics. So it’ll send that to your Google Ads or Facebook or email or whatever it is you can send all of that information about what people are doing on your website so that then you can use it in your marketing.
Alright, so Google Tag Manager will — yeah, I don’t want to do the full tutorial but basically, if you want to set up Google Tag Manager, I’ll just get you started and then I’ll do another video for setting it up via Tag Manager. But if you want to add it via Tag Manager, you come to tagmanager.google.com and you would create an account in Tag Manager and then you would, just in the same way as adding this Google Analytics code onto your website and you would instead of adding the Google Analytics code to your website you would add the Google Tag Manager code to your website and then you’d add Google Analytics as part of your Google Tag Manager.
So that’s actually my preferred way but that’s a lot more complicated. So if you’re just starting out, do it the way that I showed you and you can join me in — have a look on the bonus videos to see if I’ve included one about setting up Google Tag Manager. I may well include another video on this course specifically on adding it via Google Tag Manager.
Alrighty, well hopefully, that’s been helpful and I have not just confused you now but if you are starting out from scratch, please make sure that you do have Google Analytics on your website and it is bringing data in before you start running through the course.
How to Open an Account in Google Analytics
In this lesson, I’ll show you how to find your Google Analytics account using the search field if you are working with multiple accounts. This lesson might not be relevant for you if you only have one account, so if that is your scenario then move onto the next lesson which is about the right way to set up views and why you need them. It is called How to Set Up Standard Views in Google Analytics.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi and welcome to the first lesson in how to set up Google Analytics. So if you’re watching this on my blog, you will need to go to the following website. I’m just going to share my screen. Alrighty, so you want to come over here to thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. Just sign in and click on the Get Started Today button.
Now, the procedure that we’re going to walk through first is Open the client’s account in Google Analytics. Now, this one is very much a complete beginning of setting up Google Analytics. If this is your account, if you’re not working as an agency where you have clients, then ignore the fact that I said clients, but this procedure could be run by either an agency or someone who’s running their own account.
So we’re going to the walkthrough.
So the first that you’d want to do is log in to Google Analytics. Now, the URL for logging in, you’ll actually type in analytics.google.com and it will take you through to Google Analytics. Then if you have more than one account, you want to find the client’s account in there. So, the way you do that is you click here, and that will bring up all of your accounts. You can also look for the account that you need on this side here or you can type in the name of the account that you’re looking for in here.
Now, in this case, I’m going to work with this one. Now, once you have looked for and found the account that you want, so on the left, it says Analytics Accounts and then on the right, it has Properties & Apps. So Properties & Apps means which website it is. So quite often people will have one property per website although actually, I like to combine different websites into one property. So they don’t specify website for that reason because you can actually combine them into one property.
And then there is a feature here called Views. Now, I’m going to go exactly to what Views are. Your website might have one view or you might have multiple views but for now, just click on any of them to get into the right account. Alright, so in this case, we got through to the All Website Data view for this account. When you go through into the views it will take you to the Google Analytics Homepage which looks like this.
Alright, well that was actually a super, super simple procedure. We’ll go through and start doing with something in the next video.
How to Set Up Standard Views in Google Analytics
In this lesson, I’ll show you how to set up several different “standard” views. I put standard in quotes here, because they are standard in our process, but most people won’t have ever heard of these views. Most Google Analytics accounts only have the default view called All Web Site Data.
It is important to have a few different views because the default view is completely unfiltered. Filters are extremely helpful, and indeed necessary in some cases. Filters permanently change your Google Analytics data so you want to have them in their own view so that if you make a mistake or filter something out you can always refer back to the unfiltered one.
I actually like to have two filtered views, one with the full URL that someone sees when they view a page on your website, and one with the parameters stripped off the end. Parameters are little bits of code after a ? in your URL. Having these parameters can make a big mess of your SEO and reporting efforts, especially if you use Facebook for traffic or you are in ecommerce.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Two about the Exact Process for setting up Google Analytics where we’re going to go through the exact steps that my agency walks through when we set up your Google Analytics. So if you come to this website, it’s www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga, just put in your email address here and click on Get Started Today.
Now, you want to click through into Set up Standard Views. This is the second lesson. let me just explain what we’re doing here. So when you have a Google Analytics account, we’ve already gone through that you have an account, a property and then you have views. Now, the views let you separate different ways of seeing the information based on different filters that you might have set up. So filters enable you to remove information out of your Google Analytics or change it in a way that makes it more easily read by you.
Now, there are several views that we set up as standard and I’ll explain why. So first I’ll just walk through with ours. So we have a Filtered View with No Params, a Filtered View with Params and an Unfiltered View and there’s one that I haven’t got in here which is a Testing View. We add the Testing View if we add events that we need to test in your Google Analytics. We don’t usually set up the testing View here though unless we know that we’re going to be testing events.
And let me just explain what these three things are. Now, so we’ve got two things here relating to parameters and you might be wondering what these parameters actually are. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it but I’m just going to show you an example. If you put a question mark on the end of your URL on your page, you might have some historical pages come up. So this is an example here.
So a parameter is when you have a key-value pair in the URL. The purpose of this is to tell your website some information that makes the website work. So, this particular one is there is some key here which is telling the website something and then this is the information that’s sending it.
Now as you can see, this isn’t really human readable. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense to a majority of people. The other thing that you might not realize looking at this is that if this information is showing up on your page name then what this is going to do is every time this value changes, you’re going to have a different page view listed on Google Analytics. And then when you come to do your SEO or come to see which pages are ranking etcetera, it won’t work because you’d be having one page view for every page that someone goes to instead of having all of those page views grouped based on the actual page name. So it’s very important to strip out the parameters in at least one view so that you can have accurate page names. So this Filtered View with No Params, this ultimately ends up being the one that we use for setting up reports.
Alright, so let’s walk through the actual lesson and go through how we actually do it.
Alright, so we go to the Admin Page now. I’m already in Admin but I’m just going to do it here. So we click on this Admin button and then we want to find the current primary Property. Now, this particular client only has one property but some, if this is your account or if you’re working on a client account, there might be more than one property. So for this procedure just click on the one which is their primary property.
You might have to repeat the steps again for others — we’re just going to go through the first one. Then we want to find the primary View. Now in this — in 99% of all cases, you’ll have a view called All Website Data because that is what it looks like when Google Analytics sets it up. But in your case, it might have different view names – that’s fine as well. In this particular case, we have an All Website Data view. If the account has more than one view, pick the one that is the primary one that you’re going to be using most of the time.
Alrighty, so I just got a note here that if they’ve got more than one then just check with the person who’s designed the analytics plan. So that’s part of our internal procedures. So with this lesson, you are actually seeing the exact procedures that my team use. So you will see references to things like this which are internal to our business. We have literally sucked in our business procedures and put it in this lesson for you.
Alright, so what we want to do is click on View Settings. So that’s this button here. Now, what we’re going to do is rename this view to Filtered Data No Params which is the name of the view. This one’s going to become the new reporting view and we want to use the primary one as the reporting view because this one has all the historical data in it. We’re actually going to create some new views which will be Unfiltered Data which is similar to what it is now but we don’t want to turn this one into the Unfiltered Data view because we want the reports to have all of the historical data in them.
Alrighty, so the next thing we want to do is check whether the URL written in the website URL setting is correct. Alrighty, so you’ll see here we’ve got the protocol for the URL and then we’ve got the actual hostname. So what we’d do is, we actually open in another tab now. I’m just going to do it on a different screen. What we want to do is make sure the protocol and the domain are actually correct. Now, in this case, it was incorrect, so I need to change it to https and the actual website does not have a www in front of it.
Alrighty, next up you need to make sure the timezone – country and territory – is matching the client’s time zone. Alright, so I can see that this one is so that is fine. Next, you want to check what the currency is displayed as. So it needs to match the currency displayed on the website. And if there’s no currency displayed on the website then you’d want to — well, first of all, some websites don’t actually have revenue in them – so you would just want to make it the standard currency of the country they’re in.
But let’s say they were located in Australia or Britain then you want to be checking whether the currency on the website is in US Dollars (USD) or here in local dollars so Australian Dollars (AUD) or you know, what are you using in Britain? Are you using Pounds again or are you using Euros? I’m not sure. That was just an example. I probably shouldn’t use an example of things that I don’t know. Alright, anyway, so — oh, there you go, British Pound on there alright.
So the next thing we want to do is Check the Bot Filtering setting. So we want to put a tick in Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders. So this is where if Google knows that a bot is a bot. So let’s say for example there’s a — like for example, they know about their own colours, so if they know that it’s a colour, they know it’s a bot, there’s no point in counting that as legitimate traffic. So just exclude that straight off the bat.
Alrighty, and then we want to Add on-site search if they actually have an on-site search. So what you want to do is go to the client website and see if there is a search box on there. Now, I am now going to open the client’s website so I’m just going to quickly check if there’s a search box. Alright, I found one. So what I’ve done, so I’ve found a search box on the website and what I’m going to do is just click Search and what you need to do is find out what the actual URL looks like when you do a search.
So this is what the URL looks like. You’ll see it says search and there’s a question mark and then it will have type equals product and then it will have q equals this, I searched for this. I searched for this random terms. So we’ve got q equals — so what we’re trying to find out is what is the letter before the random thing that we just put in and in this case, it’s “q.” So that means the search parameter is “q”. So what we can do is we can turn on Site Search Tracking and we put “q” in as the Query parameter. And we’re not going to worry about stripping the query parameters out of the URL because we’re going to do that later anyway. Alright, oh actually, that’s alright I have got that ticked. So we will do it, we’ll follow the procedure. Alrighty, and then we want to save that.
Alright, now the next thing we want to do is Create an Unfiltered view. So if in your case you had additional views. Step one, then there’s going to be a different step to follow here. But in my case, I didn’t have any additional views on this one so I’m going to move on. But let’s just go through what we would do. So if we did see additional views, then we want to check if there’s one that’s already called Raw Data, Unfiltered Data, or All Website Data. If All Website Data wasn’t the primary one that we’ve already changed. Alright, so just to make that clear. If you only had an All Website Data then we would have already used that and we’ve just changed the name. But if you have one that’s still leftover that is called one of these things then we can rename that one to Unfiltered. But if you didn’t have any other views, we’re just going to create a new one.
So what we’ll do to create a new one is go into analytics and — so we’ve already saved that. We are going to click on Copy view. Alright, and we want to name it Unfiltered Data. It’s because we’re creating an Unfiltered data view. Alright, then we click on this copy view button. Let me right on skip ahead, let me just check this well up too.
Alright, then we want to Open the View Settings again for the new view. Alright, so we’re in the new view now. Alrighty, now we want to copy this one another time because we’re going to create one called Filtered Data with Params. So let me click Copy view and let’s just change the name of that — oh good it actually copied it out of there, I wasn’t sure because it’s iFramed in. Alright, and then click Copy view.
Alright, now just to keep everybody aware of what you’re doing. If you are doing this for somebody else then it’s useful at this point to Create an Annotation. So an annotation is a little like putting a message on the account to say, “Hey, I’ve just made some changes.” Creating views is you know fairly significant change so when you make significant changes it’s worthy to make an annotation.
So then we click on New Annotation and I’m going to add this: Added new views and filters. So we’re being very specific in terms of our procedure so that everyone is set up exactly the same. We set the visibility to Shared and the Create Annotation. Alright now, this annotation is made on a per-view basis so it’s just made in the Filtered Data with Params view so we’ll just go ahead and create the same annotation in the others.
Alrighty, well that’s the end of this procedure. In the next procedure, let me see what we’re going to go through, give me one moment. Alright, actually in the next procedure we’re going to go through Adding an Event Testing view as well. So we’re going to make the assumption that we will be testing events by creating an event testing view.
Alrighty, well I hope that was helpful and follow through in your own account and then come and look at the next lesson.
How to Add an Event Testing View in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll learn the value of having a dedicated view just for your own team to test events, and how to do this by creating an IP address filter. This filter prevents other users from being seen in the data for this view and so then you always know that you created the data when you are testing something out. It is really helpful when you are setting up E-commerce or testing events such as button clicks etc.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to the third lesson of the Exact Process for setting up Google Analytics. This third lesson, we’re going to be going through How to Add an Event Testing View into your Google Analytics account. Now, the reason why we would want to do this is if we are testing events. I’ll explain exactly what events are, but essentially events let us track the actual behaviour of the users on your website and so it’s a good idea to have those in your set up.
So let me just show you how to get to the lessons first of all. So you go to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga – we’ll get a little animation. And then click on Get Started Today, then go through to this Add an Event testing View in Google Analytics. Here’s how to do it.
Alrighty now, what we’re going to be doing here so I’ve explained what an Event Testing view is but there’s a bit extra in this. What we — the purpose of the Event testing view, as well, is to filter out everyone except your own IP address. In that way, you can see the activities that you are doing when you’re in the website and then you don’t have to worry about if someone else is coming in and doing things – their activities are not interfering with what you’re trying to test basically.
So let me show you how to do it. Alright, the first thing we’re going to do is open the Unfiltered Data view in Google Analytics. Alrighty, now actually starting from the beginning, you would have — if you, if you were still following on from the previous lesson that’s fine but if you were not, you would click on this Admin down the bottom here and then this is what your screen would look like and you’ll click on Unfiltered Data in here, click through into that one.
Now, we want to Open the View Settings, so that’s this button here. Create the Testing view. Alrighty, so we are going to copy this view and we’re going to name it Testing. Alrighty, now we’re going to open the Filters Page. So we haven’t done any filters yet for any of the others, they will all have filters but at this point in time we’ll just set up this first filter. Alrighty, so that’s what this page looks like. Okay, so there shouldn’t be any existing filters because we’ve only just created that.
We’re going to create — now, so I’ve called it Include Only The Quantified Web IP Addresses filter but this is one where you’re going to call it what you call it. So because this is literally our own procedures this is what my team call it. But you will call it what you want to call it. Alright, I guess you could call it this but that’s going to be really confusing if someone tries to, tries to understand what it is and that’s some other business other than mine.
Alright, so we click on Add filter and we name it Include Only The Quantified Web IP Addresses if it was me or something else if it was you. And we choose a filter type of Custom. Alright, so that pulls out this new drop-down box. Now, what we’re going to be doing is including only our own IP address. So choose Include and from this Filter Field, we’re going to pick IP address. It can be easier to just type it in here and then it pops up.
Alright, so the next thing we want to do is find out what our own IP address is. So what we do is open up the Google browser. Let me type in, “What is my IP address?” And then you can copy that. We want to put it in this Filter Pattern. Now, if you’ve got multiple people working on the account, then you might need to have multiple IP addresses. So if we have multiple people — so in my case, I’ve given my team my IP address and this is actually — because this is my procedures I’ve got a link in here but you won’t be able to click on this because this file is, is read-only. So if you click on this, you’re not able to get through.
So I’ve got my IP address here and my team member would put in their own IP address here and then we would use an “or” symbol (|) and separate it too. So this “or” is a pipe which is the vertical stripe immediately above the Enter key. But in this case, I’m putting one in this so we don’t need to worry about that. So if you don’t have a team who will work on with you, just put in your own IP address. Then you want to click Save to save that filter.
Now, we want to test that it’s working. So Check if the Testing view is including only your traffic. Now, if you go to Reports > Real-time > Content if that makes sense. So Real-time is over here, it’s this little clock and we want to go, where am I looking? Oh, here we go, we have Content. Alright, so at the moment no one is on the website. So if you log in — so I’m just going to log in on another browser — if you log in to the website, then you should pop up in here as a single user Here we go. we got one person and I know that’s me because I did this thing.
But basically, you could go anywhere on the website. It can be helpful to go to one unusual page so that you can see on here but to be honest, if you’ve only got one on there then you know it should be you. Now, keep in mind that if — so I’ll just change the page. So if you — it depends, to be honest, it does depend though on whether the account that you’re working with has much traffic or not. So if you’re not sure if you’ve done it right, just switch over to Unfiltered Data and go back to that Real-time and then Content and if there’s more than one person — so at the moment there’s actually, literally only one person on there.
So if there was only one person anyway which is the case when you have low volumes, you can test whether your filter worked by taking your mobile phone off wireless. So mine’s just turned off so I didn’t want to get dinged. But if you take your mobile phone off wireless, that would have its own IP address. If you log on to the website using your mobile phone and it’s not on your wireless and it doesn’t come through in here then you know that you’ve got it set up correctly.
Alright, so I might have even explained that. Oh, here we go, I’m saying something before I see it. So if you suspect that they didn’t have many clients anyway, because it’s a low volume website, then try going from your mobile phone, with Wi-Fi turned off to ensure you’d still have one user showing. So if you know you have two more users but you still only have one in your Testing view then you’re good to go.
Alright, open any link on the client website that is not their home page — I did it wrong, I clicked on the home page – and check the content graph again to make sure the traffic comes through the Testing view. So that’s alright, let’s just do it. So, I’m going to click on the Contact Us page….there it is. Cool!
Alrighty, so that is the end of this procedure I believe. Yeah. So now we have a working Testing view. Now, we are going to add filters to the other views in a soon step but the next procedures that we’re going to do are Configuring the Property Settings in your Google Analytics view.
How to Configure Property Settings in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to check to make sure you’re not breaching the Google Terms of Service which could see you being restricted from Google Analytics. You’ll learn how to add Demographics and other advertising features such as Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features. This is important if you want to set up remarketing to visitors to your website via Google Ads / YouTube.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Four or How to Set Up the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics. This is the Home Page that you need to go to to get into this lesson. It’s at www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. So just type in your email address and click Get Started Today. Now, in this Lesson Four, we are going to be Configuring Property Settings in your Google Analytics account.
Alright, so just a bit of an overview of this. The Property Settings are — let me just take you through — the Property Settings are, basically, the main settings with regards to your website and also includes main settings with regards to what type of information you want in your Google Analytics. So whether you want remarketing in there, whether you want to be linking up Google Ads, etcetera.
So let’s follow through the procedure about how to set it up for your account.
Alright, so I already showed you how to get into Property Settings but let’s just do it again. So you click on Admin down at the bottom there and then Property Settings. Actually, I should mention, so we do some other Property Settings in other procedures and they are actually split up into different procedures because, in my backend, I’ve got some situations where we need to do them in different orders so they’re actually split up. So in this procedure, we won’t go through every single thing on the Property Settings, it will only be some of the settings.
Alrighty, so let me go to Property Settings and then we are going to check whether the default URL matches the website itself. Alright, so in this case, I need to check, change this to https and in this case, I’ve got www written here but the actual website does not have a www. Now, with this, only use the main website in here if you have multiple websites that are combined.
I do actually have a completely different process for setting up combined websites and I’m not going to go into that level of detail in this procedure because I actually have a set of procedures for that. So this is assuming you’ve just got one website and this case, you would put in the URL for your website in there. So we just said. “Add www if required or exclude if not required.” Www is actually a sub-domain so not every URL has it.
Alright, and then we Select Filtered Data No Params view as the Default View. So in this case, it’s already set up like that. So this Filtered Data No Params view is the main reporting view that’s going to be used in this Google Analytics account. Now, if you’ve come in partway through, we have set this up in an earlier procedure because you might be looking at this querying What is that view? We’ve already set that up in an earlier procedure so make sure you find that lesson.
Alrighty, now the next thing we want to do is Check the Property Hit Volume. Now, this one is fine but, if you have a very large account then you could be in breach of Property Hit Volume requirements but to be honest, this happens very infrequently. I have run into one account where this was a problem. This was an account that had multiple e-commerce websites at different locations or under the one Property and at the same time, they had an error in their events that were causing events to happen very regularly and so they had too many hits.
Now, Google has a requirement that you have no more than 10 million hits per month. Now, it is actually on an Account basis rather than a Property but most people will have just the one Property. And so you should — like if you know when you’re at 10 million then it’s unusual. If you are coming close to 10 million then you want to add them up across all of your Properties. But looking here, we’ve got 440, we’re not close to 10 million.
Alrighty, then the next thing we want to do is Enable Demographics and Interest Reports. So we turn that one on. Alrighty, and we’re not going to set up the enhanced link attribution for this one. Alright, so just click Save. Alrighty, now what it needs to do actually was — Oh no, no, oh good. So what we’re going to do is go to Audience and then we want to go to Demographics and then Overview.
Alright, so this — it looks like this particular account might have already have turned this on. But you might find it if you go to this page, it pops up showing this message saying that you don’t have Demographics and Interest Reports turned on. And if that’s you then click Enable. So in this particular account, they’re already turned on.
Alright, if you didn’t have Demographics and Interest Reports and you’ve enabled just it. you should see a congratulations message that looks like this. And keep in mind that Google Analytics is always changing and because these are my procedures, there’s a chance that it could be out of date as well. But if they’re out if date then my team will update them.
Alright, so the next thing I do is save — now we don’t have Save in here because we didn’t have this. We go back to Admin > Property Settings. So I’ll just click on here Admin, go to Property Settings and we want to Turn On Data Collection now. I actually just realized — I’m actually going to have to update that because what we actually need to do is click on Tracking Information and then Data Collection and then we want to turn on — I think there’s a missing step. Alright, so we want to turn both of these on. So we have Remarketing on and Advertising Reporting Features on. Alright, and then we click Save.
Alright, so that’s the end of that one. I’m just going to update that little step there so you’ll see it in yours. So that’s the usual set up for setting up the Properties.
Now, let me just see what we’re going to go through next. So in the next lesson, we’re going to go through some more Property Settings. We’re going to go through the Session Duration Setting. Alrighty, and I will see you in the next lesson.
How to Change the Session Duration in Google Analytics
In this lesson you’ll be learning about the session duration, and why you might want to update it.
The default session duration of 30 minutes is really not that helpful if you have users who are leaving your website and coming back, for example, if they need to complete a transaction on PayPal or another third party payment processor, or if they have to fill out forms such as is the case with Afterpay or Eventbrite. In all of these cases, a session will be broken in half when the user returns to the website if their total time from the beginning of the session was more than 30 minutes.
I find it helpful instead to maximise the session time out which prevents sessions from being split in half. If a person comes back via a referral that is not an excluded referrer it will still start a new session so there is very little, if any, downside to extending the session timeout.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Five in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. So in this lesson, we are going to go through How to Update the Session Duration.
Now, what does a session — actually, let me just explain what a session is. So when someone logs into your website or they don’t even have to log in. If someone goes to your website then Google Analytics starts counting that as a session. And if someone leaves your website but then comes back again, as long as it’s within the session timeout period and as long as they don’t go to another website and then come back via a link, then it will stay as the same session.
So there are a few different reasons why it would change to a different session. One would be if the timeout period ended or another reason would be they came back via a link on another website. That would count as a new session and it would count as a referral unless – so a referral is one that came from a link – unless we have excluded that website as a referral. So these are all settings that we’re going to be setting up and I’ll be going through how to do that.
So the reason why that is important – to set up the sessions correctly – is Google Analytics has several metrics that report based on sessions rather than reporting on users. And this can run into a problem when you’re using paid marketing. You want to know what traffic channels a user have come in by. You don’t necessarily care about individual sessions, the session isn’t a person, you’re thinking in terms of people usually when your marketing.
So, unfortunately, Google Analytics, look I actually think that by focusing on sessions they’ve done the wrong thing because usually if you are trying to get a strategic benefit from using Google Analytics, you’re wanting to think about what people are doing and how you can influence people. So one thing that I do is after I have set up Google Analytics correctly, I would personally go and create a report in another tool called Google Data Studio. I would set up that report to be based on actual people, so based on users and that way we can see which different marketing channels particular user came in from not just any individual session.
But anyway, so one of the ways that we can influence what is included in the session is by — there are a few different ways. One is by changing the session timeout period and another way is by influencing what gets counted as a referrer and what is excluded from a referrer. So we have lessons on both those things.
Alright, so to get through to this lesson, you want to come to this website here, thequantifiedweb.com/exactga, put in your email address and click inThe Get Started Today button. And then you would want to go to the Change Session Duration lesson > Here’s how to do it.
Alright, so by default Google Analytics has a session duration of 30 minutes and look – most of your users probably don’t stay for longer than 30 minutes. Probably the majority of them are staying only for like one minute through to five minutes. But 30 minutes is really not that useful if you have one of several situations.
So if you have people that leave your website and come back — so for example, they’re completing a transaction off your website. So they’re completing on PayPal or they’re completing on AfterPay or Zip Pay or some other payment processor or even if you’re using a — you might have a situation where you, the payment processor on your website Even though it appears to be the same website, it’s actually a different domain because you’re using a hosted e-commerce solution that has a different domain as the payment processors. So that can happen as well.
If they are needing to fill out forms, this is particularly troublesome because it might take them longer than 30 minutes to complete the form. To be honest, someone could just walk away, go get themselves a cup of tea. They don’t, you know, people aren’t living their life based on your Google Analytics session timeout settings. So another issue would be if you had videos on your website. So let’s say someone’s watching a video – like what you’re doing right now – if you’re watching my video. Then if you watched videos totaling 30 minutes then you would actually count as ending a session on the website even though you hadn’t.
So I suggest that everybody changes their session duration. And, now this might be — some analytics specialists might have a different opinion to mine but I believe that we should actually maximize the session timeout. Google Analytics gives you up to four hours and I believe it’s best to actually maximize it and set it to the full four hours because the majority of your users won’t even get to 30 minutes anyway so for the majority of them it wouldn’t matter. But for the ones that are doing these things like transacting or filling out forms or watching videos, those are the ones you really care about and it’s worst to split a session in half than it is to — the occasional one that would be marked as a longer session when really it wasn’t that long.
The risk of splitting sessions in half and missing out on the correct attribution of which marketing source led to a transaction is, that’s much worse. Alright, so what we want to do is Open up Google Analytics and go to Admin. So, I’ve just got this happening from the previous lesson. So once we’re in Admin, we want to Expand Tracking Info and Open Session Settings. I knew it was there, but I just couldn’t see it.
Alright, so this one has been set to the default which is 30 minutes and this is where we’re going to update it. So we want to Use the Hours and Minutes menus and we want to adjust it to four hours. Alright, and we have to make that zero because the most it lets you do is four hours. So a maximum of four.
Alright, so what this will mean is if someone is doing things on your website or if they leave your website and come back, as long as it’s within four hours it will still count as the same session. So you will be able to find out what the original marketing source was of that person coming to your website. Don’t worry about this campaign timeout one, just leave that as six months. That one is really not a big deal. So let’s click Apply.
And oops, we’ve actually got to the end of this lesson. This one’s a super quick lesson.
But it’s really important especially if you run e-commerce or if you are doing anything where you really do need an accurate idea of where your converting users came from. So if you are actually tracking end conversions, especially if it does take more than 30 minutes, actually here’s another example. I’ve got is a client where the final transaction was quite a high-ticket item and so they would actually have people calling them on the telephone and they might be on the phone for quite a while on a support call before making the decision to purchase.
So let’s say you have a Google Ads campaign and someone clicked on a specific ad and then your person’s talking on the phone. The chance of them timing out of the session if only allowed to be 30 minutes is very, very high. But once we set it up so that it was four hours they could talk on the phone for quite a long time and then complete their transaction, we’d still know exactly which ad it came from.
So even though it’s a short lesson it’s a very important one. Now, if we — the very next lesson that we would do is Changing the Data Retention Settings. So till the next lesson. Speak with you then.
How to Change the Data Retention Settings in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about the data retention settings, and why you might want to change them.
The Google Analytics Data Retention controls give you the ability to set the amount of time before user-level and event-level data stored by Google Analytics is automatically deleted from Google Analytics’ servers. This is especially important if you do not want to have your user and event data automatically deleted because Google Analytics now selects this option by default.
If you are not in Europe or targeting European clients we will set it to “Do not automatically expire”. If you are implementing GDPR you may want to apply different settings and so I will show you what the options are.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Six for the Exact Process for Setting up Google Analytics and in this lesson, we’re going to go through how to change data retention settings in Google Analytics. So for this lesson — actually, let me give you a bit of a background on this. This data retention setting is only about one-year-old and it came about when GDPR was released as European Legislation. Now, if you don’t know much about GDPR basically it entitles a European citizen the right to access their own data and to request how that data is going to be used, how it’s going to be maintained and also to request a ratio of their data. So in order to hold out this out of the bargain, Google Analytics enabled various settings that could allow you to erase a user’s data.
Now one of the settings that they introduced was the ability for the data to automatically be deleted after a period of time if that user didn’t log in again and also, or based on the time settings that you chose. So what this is about is in Google Analytics there are two different types of data. There’s some data that is combined across all the people that come to your website and then there’s some data that’s collected on a per-user basis and so the data retention settings are aiming to give you an option for automatically deleting any data that is related to an individual user. Hopefully, that clears things up a bit.
Now if you are not based in Europe and you’re not targeting Europeans, the chance of someone coming and asking you to delete their data is fairly slim. So I’m actually based in Australia and I also have many clients in USA and clients in Australia and USA are not typically concerning themselves, at least not to the nth degree with GDPR simply because it’s not a requirement here.
So having all the user data deleted for users over a particular age since they came to your website doesn’t necessarily make sense if you are collecting a lot of custom data and if you are not concerning yourselves with the needs of GDPR. Now if you are trying to be GDPR compliant, then you might want to keep the data retention settings the way they are set up in Google Analytics by default or you might even want to make them stricter. But if you’re not wanting to become GDPR compliant then it doesn’t make any sense to delete the data and so I will teach you now how to remove that setting from Google Analytics. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Alright, so here’s what we’re going to do. So we’re going to go to Admin, now oops, I’m actually already there. Let’s just go from the beginning. So go to Admin and we are going to go to Tracking Info in Property and Data Retention. I can’t see it — there it is. Alright, so by default, Google Analytics will have User and event data retention twenty-six (26) months, so after 26 months have elapsed then they will delete user and event data and by default, they have Reset on new activity on. So that means that if someone comes back to the website then it resets to a new 26 months.
So definitely keep that but what I would like you to do if you are not trying to be GDPR concerned is to set User and event data retention to Do not automatically expire. So if you don’t set this then it will remove User and event data after 26 months if they don’t come back. Alright, so click Save and repeat for as many Properties as you’ve got, basically.
Now obviously if you, if you are in Europe then you wouldn’t necessarily want to follow my advice here. What you would probably already have is a GDPR Policy Task Force and you’d want to confirm with them what settings you want. There are different options so you can make it more strict so it deletes after 14 months or you can make it less strict or the option that I prefer is not to delete the data at all.
Alright, well that’s a super short one and I’ve already recorded some videos on How to Set Up the Referral Exclusion List in Google Analytics so that’s what you’ll be seeing next.
How to Change the Referral Exclusion List in Google Analytics
In this lesson you’ll be learning about the Referral Exclusion list, and why you should update it.
The Referral Exclusion list determines which domains will count as an external referral and which ones will be ignored (considered to be internal).
This is especially important if your online sales process or product offering spans more than one website or domain, uses an iframe to link third-party tools to your website, or uses payment processors like paypal.com which are hosted external to your main website.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Seven in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics. Now, in this lesson, we are going to go through Setting Up the Referral Exclusions and these referral exclusions will enable you to have certain websites that can refer traffic to your website without it counting as a brand new session.
Now, just an explanation on what this means. When we went through the session timeout lesson, I explained that there were only two ways that a session would end if someone came to your website. So one is if the session timed out and the other would be if they left your website and then even, well if they came back but they came back via a link then it would count as a new session.
So we can run into situations where we have sessions that accidentally split in half due to sending our users away to another website and then they use a link to come back. Now, if we don’t have the other website included in our excluded referrers, then when they come back via the link then it will break the session in half. And if this process is a key conversion on your website then you won’t know what marketing channel led to that conversion because the conversion will be attributed to the source that the final referrer came from.
So for example, Paypal. You may send someone to Paypal and then they, the user may click on a link that says return to the website and that’s a link. So if you don’t have Paypal set up as an excluded referrer, then if someone comes back via the link then you’ll see paypal.com as a referral and that will be attributed to the actual conversion as the originating source of traffic which isn’t the case. And that will really mess up your reports because it won’t let you see which campaigns led to conversions and that’s what we’re trying to achieve here.
Alrighty, so I’m going to just — let’s go through the lesson now, shall we? So go to this website, www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga and put in your email address and click Get Started Today. And then go down to the lesson, here it is, Set Up the Standard Referral Exclusion List and then Here’s how to do it.
Alrighty, so — alright, so you might have more than just Paypal that would be considered a referrer. So what we’re going to do, we’re going to just do a bit more detailed procedure of checking if there are any other referrals that we might want to include. So let’s follow through the steps.
Alright, so we’re going to Check the Referral Traffic graph. So we go to the Acquisition, All Traffic, Referrals. Okay, Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals. Okay, now this particular website doesn’t have any referrals coming in for this time period. Let’s just see. So actually, I don’t have the steps in there for it but if we don’t have anything, might want to extend the time period. So I’m just going to do a bit more time. Now we don’t have any — Oh, I’m in the wrong view. Okay, so we want to make sure that we’re on the right view first of all.
So if you’ve been following along, you want to make sure that you are in the Filtered Data No Params view. Might actually add that to the procedure. Okay, so now, I’ve already got that in there, I just didn’t follow the procedure. So switch over to Filtered Data No Params view and expand the number of rows if necessary. So we have 17 rows in this case so let’s just increase the number of rows.
Alright, now what we are looking for first of all is: are there any referrals from URLs that have a similar name or a subdomain of the client’s domain. These URLs may be owned by the client. Alright, so you will see fairly commonly you’ll have websites that they have sister websites or basically, there’s more than one website now as an aggregate to the user’s business.
So there’ll be — okay, so different situations where this could occur. So you might have a blog on one website and then a business page on another website and in fact mine is like that. So I’ve got petramanos.com as my blog and then thequantifiedweb.com is my business page so that’s one situation or you might have a domain is being used for a particular software.
So now that we’ve got courses and things being hosted the — typically you’ll find that the course website is being hosted on one website and then the, your main domain name might be on another one. Similar with forms and you’d have lead pages and landing page software – they are often hosted on different domain names. Then another situation that you might see is where you have payment processors. So you can have completely external payment processors like Paypal or you can have pay, payment processors that are hosted on a subdomain.
So subdomains are counted as a completely different hostname in Google Analytics. So what we want to do is we want to find any URLs that have a similar name or a subdomain or basically any domain that we know is also owned by the same business that we would want to link in some way.
Another situation you might see is the same domain but without the www. So this particular one that I’m going through actually, they do not have a www in their URL. But www is a very common subdomain of a hostname. In fact, it’s so common that it’s ubiquitous on the internet. We just assumed there’s going to be a www but it is actually a subdomain and it’s not a requirement.
But some websites, if they’ve got their hostname a little bit wonky, some pages will have the www’s and some pages will not. And then, if people are clicking between the two, then you get a really messy situation where the sessions keep getting split in half all the time because every time they switch from the www to the not www, it counts as a different subdomain, therefore a different domain and Google Analytics restarts a session. Nasty. So we want to be looking out for that kind of situation.
So we’re on referrals and I am not seeing — Oh, here we go actually I have found one. So this particular person has a Clickfunnels website that has — so they have a Clickfunnels website which is part of the same business group. And then there’s also this myshopify one as well. So both of these have subdomains that are close enough to the business name that we would want to consider them as the one business.
Basically, it’s not — so Facebook is obviously not this client’s business but this Clickfunnels page is associated with this, but this Clickfunnels page is. Alright, so we want to — if you’ve got multiple domain names, we want to add all of them to Referral Exclusions. So I’ve just said be a bit vigilant when looking through. So I’m going to write down some notes about — I’m just going to do it really, really quickly.
Alright, so I just wrote those down. Good old pen and paper. I’m fond of just having a piece of paper next to my desk.
Alright, so I’ve noted down the domain names that need to be added to Referral Exclusions. Now, do also look for any obvious issues such as payment processors or booking or appointment setting websites or websites that have a large percentage of referrals that might not be owned by the client but that is or owned by yourself but are integral to your business.
So let’s have a look. So we’ve got Facebook, that’s social media. Social media, Instagram, Facebook. Now, we’ve got a Clickfunnels one. Now, this app.clickfunnels.com, that one is, often that one is usually associated with testing on Clickfunnels. But in general, once we’re getting down into the ones and twos, it’s really not a big issue. It, we want to be concerning ourselves with the bigger ones and to be honest, referral traffic isn’t — we’ve gone all the way from January and we haven’t got too many anyway, so, in this particular one so we don’t have to worry about that.
Alright, so let’s set this up. So let’s go back to Admin. And I’m going to open the Referral Exclusion list. Alrighty, so I’ll just look into it, Tracking Info, Referral Exclusion that’s right. It’s blank for a second there. Alright, so what you should find is your own domain name – should already be in there. If you have blank in here then we’re going to be adding your domain name but that’s, I’m probably getting ahead of myself.
So, so far, the Referral Exclusion List should include referrals from your own website and payment gateways. So if you — if it’s not already added, add your own domain to the Referral Exclusion List. Alrighty, so in this case, we already have so we’re good. Now, add any additional referrals noted in the earlier step to the Referral Exclusion List. So what we do is we click this Add Referral Exclusion button and I’m just going to add those now.
Alrighty, now the next thing we want to do is exclude paypal.com. Paypal is so common that I just do it as part of the standard set up just in case because the chance of someone eventually adding Paypal to one of their websites is not far-fetched. So let’s click on Add Referral Exclusion again and let’s just add Paypal.
Alrighty, look I often work with e-commerce businesses. And in e-commerce businesses I quite often see afterpay.com so I’ll just be adding afterpay.com as well. If you have no intention of ever using it then don’t worry about adding it, but that’s one that I often just add up because, to be honest, it doesn’t hurt just to have it in here. It’s not going to create any problems.
Alright, so at the end of this step, you should now have your Referral Exclusion List correctly set up and now if someone clicks your website from any one of these, well from any links from any one of these domains, it won’t count as a new session. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Alrighty, well the next lesson that we are going to go through is Creating a Traffic Has Dropped Alert which we do before we start setting up all the filters and I will go through that with you on the next lesson. Bye!
How to Create a “Traffic Has Dropped” Alert in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to create an alert via email that lets you know if your traffic suddenly drops. We create a Traffic Has Dropped alert so that if anything goes wrong during your analytics setup you are notified promptly. This prevents you from losing data due to a small mistake.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Eight of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics with The Quantified Web.
Now, this lesson is going to be Setting up a Traffic has Dropped Email so that it sends an email automatically from Google Analytics if you have your traffic drop. This is very useful to do while setting up the filters which will be coming in the next lessons because if you make a mistake with the filter then the email will come through and let you know.
Alright, so to get to this lesson, you need to go to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. Put in your email address and click Get Started Today. Alright, then scroll down to Create the Traffic Has Dropped Alert and here’s how to do it.
Alrighty, alright, so one thing I’ve put in here – I tend to remove these alerts after I complete a project because if you have 200 Google Analytics accounts like I do, you quickly end up with a lot of emails saying the traffic has dropped because there are regular ebbs and flows of traffic so you don’t want to have this setup forever.
But it is really useful when you’re setting up your account if you’re worried about making a mistake or even just setting it up anyway. We’ll just have it set up as an automatic, as a process because if you don’t — if you set up those filters and you make a mistake then you will not necessarily know that you’ve made a mistake until later and then you might have a chunk of traffic that’s literally missing from your report. So don’t do that. Well, don’t make a mistake and not know about it. Not that you would not but try not to. So the way that you’d avoid it is by doing this.
So we’re going to go to Custom Alerts on the Admin page. Let’s do it. So go Admin and we’re going to go on the View column and then Custom Alerts which is all the way down here. Here it is. Alrighty, then Create the Traffic Has Dropped alert. So we’d do New Alert and we will name it Traffic Has Dropped. Alrighty, we are going to apply the alert to all views. So we want it to be applied to — actually, do you know what, we don’t, yeah no, we will. That’s also in the procedure.
So here we go. We don’t want to add it to the Testing one though. So it’s okay to add it to Filtered Data with Params and Unfiltered but do not add it to Testing because your Testing one will be only used by yourself and the chance of the traffic dropping from that is extremely high.
If you have multiple clients like I do, then be careful not to include any other clients. Alright, so let’s set up the email notification. So we’ll set the period to Day and click the Send me an Email when the trigger alerts ticks. Alright now, if you are working with clients then you might want to add their email address in there. Otherwise, if you don’t want to worry them, then you don’t have to worry about this.
Alright, now we want to set up the Alert Conditions. So we want it to go All Traffic, so this alert applies to All Traffic and Alert me when Sessions Is — so we want to change this to Percentage Decreases by More Than. So if the percentage of sessions, so if — okay, what this is actually saying is if the sessions decreased by more than this percentage, I’m putting 70 percent, so if the sessions decreases by more than 70 percent, compared to the same day in the previous week, then it’s going to send you an email.
So what this is going to do — so let’s say it’s a Monday and you are applying filters, now if, if it’s a Monday and there is — this can be a bit confusing because it’s kind of upside-down but if it decreases by more than 70 percent, so if it decreases by 75 percent or let’s say you normally have a hundred people and then you end up instead with only twenty-five or twenty then this alert, well compared to the same day in the previous week, then this alert will send you an email and say, “Hey, might be worthwhile checking.” Alright, it will just say Traffic Has Dropped Alert. So we’re going to click Save in that.
So that’s actually the end of this procedure and hopefully, you won’t even have to worry about this email once it’s set up because if you follow this procedure, you shouldn’t make a mistake in the filters and it shouldn’t be an issue.
But if you create new filters that change the traffic then it’s always a good idea to have an email like this to notify you if you do make a mistake because there have been some situations where I’ve seen — this has occurred. For example, there was one client who had, well it was only one website but some of them was set to www and some of them weren’t and so this was also causing problems in their Referral Exclusion but basically, people would be clicking through the website and then they hit the page that had www in it and then they hit another one that didn’t. My team had set it up so that if it had the www version of the website then it was included as — we’re going to do this in the next filters but it was included as legitimate traffic or legitimate page.
But anything else was not counted as a legitimate page to exclude spam. So we’re going to do the spam filters soon. And what happened then was the — because half the pages, well actually, in this case, more than half the pages were with this other domain name, all of a sudden after we applied the filter we had a lot less traffic coming through.
So again it only happens in the Filtered views, it won’t happen in the Unfiltered views but this email can help to identify that because when the traffic dropped suddenly then this email will get sent through. Now if you have a very, very — if you have a very large amount of traffic and if you are risk-averse, you might actually want to change this to be a smaller number like 50 percent but the less traffic you have, the higher the variation is naturally in your traffic.
So if you have it set to — if you have this set so that it can be too easy to trigger then you’re going to get this email all the time it will be worrying you. So I just set it to 70 percent. But if you are quite risk-averse and you have a lot of traffic then the chance of you suddenly having only half our traffic is more likely to be because of the filter than because of anything else. So if you have a lot of traffic then you can always adjust that number to whatever suits you.
Alright, hopefully, that makes sense. The next lesson that we are going to go through is setting up some of these filters for cleaning up spam, cleaning up the way that the pages are displayed in Google Analytics and the very next one being the Include Valid Hostname Filter, just the one I was talking about. Alrighty, well I will see you in the next lesson.
How to Create an “Include Valid Hostname” Filter in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to add an Include Valid Hostname filter to your Filtered Views. This filter prevents spammers and malware from sending fake data to your account by using your Google Analytics ID.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to receive bogus data in Google Analytics – if your Google Analytics ID is added to someone else’s website due to either human error or malice, your Google Analytics data could be ruined, especially if invalid data is received in high volume.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Nine in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics, The Quantified Web. This lesson we are going to go through how to set up a filter that specifically includes your website and therefore excludes any other website.
So to do that let’s and actually, the lesson name is — Alright, yeah, so it’s actually called Create the Include Valid Hostname Filter. Alright, so this is how we get in. We need to go to the website www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. Now, you want to put your email address in here and click Get Started Today. Alrighty, just scroll down to Lesson Nine, that one, here it is, Include Valid Hostname Filter.
Alrighty, so the reason for this procedure is to prevent spammers and malware from sending fake data to your account or using your Google Analytics ID. Now, actually, a little bit of a funny story with this. So when I first started this business, I think it might have even been my first client or it was my second, something like that. It was my first or second client. I was setting up some filters for this client and then I was also setting up my own website at the same time. And I installed the plugin for my website that integrated with Google Analytics.
So when, because I had the client in my Google Analytics account, it just automatically picked the account name based on alphabetical order and my new client had, I mean, my business at the time was called Web Data Analytics so that’s obviously late in the alphabet and my client’s name was obviously earlier in the alphabet and so it automatically picked my client’s account instead of mine. And while I was testing my website, the software was doing pop-ups on my website, so I was testing pop-ups. And then my client invited me in to teach their entire marketing department how to read Google Analytics data. And so we were going through the events and I was so embarrassed because the event from my website was coming through to their Google Analytics and I’m like, “That shouldn’t be there.” I was just mortified. So I like – do was say sorry and they said, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s okay.” But they never had me back again. Oh, I just went bright red.
So but the, how about this, there actually was a problem for their Google Analytics account because when they had asked me to go through and set up all of these filters. But basically, they had a problem on their Google Analytics account because their account allowed anyone to use their ID and send fake data to their Google Analytics even though the hostname was not their website. So even though I made a mistake, their Google Analytics wasn’t set up right.
And if you do this procedure it would stop anybody from using your Google Analytics account ID and putting it on to their website and setting things to it. And which also essentially can help with getting rid of spam because one way that people can spam you is if — basically if they want to ruin your Google Analytics account, they could steal your Google Analytics ID and put it on a fake website and have a whole bunch of fake data go through to your Google Analytics. There wouldn’t be anything that you could do to stop it until you added this filter. So it’s very, very important to do the Include Valid Hostname Filter.
Now, just make it clear, none of these filters are included by default in Google Analytics. You do need to actually set them up manually. There’s no out of the box option where you can just choose to have it included or not. No, you actually have to set it up.
Alright, so what we’re going to do — now some of these names, so if you have done the earlier lessons you’ll know that I’ve taught you to create things that are Filtered Data No Params view. If you’ve come in at this lesson and if you come into some of the earlier lessons, you’ll get to see where this was set up. I do recommend following these procedures in order.
Alright, so let’s do it. Now, the first thing I want to do is go to Admin and we want to make sure we’re in the Filtered Data No Params view. Then we want to go into Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels Report. Set the Date range to the last 30 days. Okay, now this filter can be a little bit risky because if you only include certain IP addresses or certain domain names but there are other domain names that are included in your website then all of a sudden you’re going to filter out other domain names that should have been included. So this is why we need to go through and check.
So we want to set a Secondary dimension of hostname. So we’re going to Secondary dimension here, type in hostname. Alrighty, so basically we want to see if there are any hostnames in here that are different from the normal hostname for the website. So I can see that they don’t have, for this particular client, they don’t have any other hostnames. But if they did have other hostnames in there then you would need to investigate if some of them are actually legitimate hostnames or not.
So we want to look for hostnames that had more than 20 sessions in the past month. If you got one sess and two sess then they could either be spam or they could be some third-party tool that you’re using that isn’t really part of your website that has Google Analytics set up on it.
Alright, so for this particular example that I’ve got in my procedure here, we actually have two main hostnames. So we have one without www and we have one with a www. So in this particular instance, we actually need to include both of those in our Include Filter or we would inadvertently filter out one of this whole chunks of traffic. But in the example that I’m doing over here, we’ve actually just got the same hostname for all.
Alright, so we do want to be very careful not to include any hostnames that might be spam and we don’t really care about including all of the Google cache and things. Alright, so always ignore not set and googleweblight things.
Alright, so if there is a hostname that’s unexpected in the list of hostnames then we want to look into that. So one of the things that I do is our procedure says that we email our client and ask about it because there might be a reason for their — usually when we see this, they’ll have a third-party software. And that third-party software has Google Analytics on it and it’s part of their business. But I do like to check because we definitely don’t want to include any spam in that hostname, allowable hostnames. So we just wait to get their response back about that.
So once we’ve got the list then we need to apply a filter to the smallest version of the hostname. So what do I mean by smallest? So let me just annotate the screen actually. Okay, alright, so we got www.example.com and we’ve got example.com. Which of these is the smallest? So this one, not that one because if we create a filter that says only www.example.com is going to be included, then this one won’t be included but the way this filter works is it encompasses everything that is a subdomain if we go for the smallest one.
So if we would type in example.com then www.example.com would be included. But if we would type in the www.example.com then the example.com without the www’s would not be included. Hopefully, that makes some sense. Let’s just clear it out. Oh, I have repeated the same one. Yeah, so we’ve got basically if example.com and subdomain.example.com were all valid hostnames so we want to include everything containing example.com.
Now, of course, there’s an exemption. So if we have subdomains that we want to exclude from a production view then we want to apply a smart filter. So one example that we have here is we might have — if you have a more, let’s say you’re running e-commerce or you’ve got a corporate website that has a more in-depth process for deploying that website then you might have some non-production versions of your website floating around. So you might have a staging or pre-production or you might have both of these and this is basically testing version that you would be testing on before it going live and we don’t want to have that testing data going into your live production one.
So if you have staging and pre-production, then we actually want to exclude those subdomains. We don’t want to be including everything at your domain. Now, if we do have multiple subdomains then we do want to confirm with somebody. Now, in my business, we confirm with the person who designs the analytics one which should be me as which subdomains will be included. One way that I usually like to set it up is if we have a lot of subdomains then I would normally like subdomains to have their own views. And then we do a multi-site setup and I’ve got a different procedure for that.
Alright, so we’re going to just assume that we’ve got standard, put standard situation here, we’re going to create a new filter for that. So let’s go to Admin and we’re going to open the Filtered Data No Params view which we created in an earlier lesson. We’re going to go Filters and click Add Filter. Alright, Filtered data No Params, go Filters, click Add Filter, alright.
Alright, so let’s call this one Include Valid Hostname. Alright, now we want to select Custom as the Filter Type and we want to tick the Include option. Alrighty, now from the Filter Field drop-down menu, we want to select Hostname or just type in.
Alright, so if there is just one hostname or if there are multiple variations of the same domain then I have a step here called Write a Filter Pattern for one hostname. But if we’ve got multiple hostnames then, and including if we have cross-domain tracking which I haven’t got into yet in this series, we want to follow a step called Write a Filter Pattern for multiple hostnames.
Then I’ve got some examples here. So for the multiple hostnames then some examples might be if you have an e-commerce shopping cart that’s hosted on a separate domain. So this would be — alright, so let’s say next week for example. Is that the one that’s called? Next week. I think that’s what it’s called. They will have a shopping cart which is actually on its own subdomain and it’s a hosted shopping cart. So that’s one example. There’s plenty of others as well. Just thinking of, it’s in my head. I think it could be Shopify has this in some accounts.
Alright, so clients using a booking engine of some sort. So you see this all the time in hotels industry or in health industries. So when you have Cliniko, that’s a health one. Bookonthenet is an accommodation one. There’s plenty of others, you’ll see that they’ve got a completely different domain name for their booking engine. And then you’ve got clients with more than one website. So that’s an example if you have multiple hostnames.
Alright, so you can, it’s like multiple choice here, you can pick which one is your situation. So in this case, we just have one hostname so I’m going to go to that one. Thirteen. Oopps. actually, if you click on it, it opens a bigger version so feel free to do that anytime. I’ll go back to it. Cool. Where do we go up to? Here we go.
Now, so I’m just doing one hostname. So if we have different variations of the same domain name then like I told you before we want to choose the smallest domain name that can be matched by all of them. But if we only have one hostname then we can just enter into the Filter Pattern text box.
Now, we want to have a backslash (\) before any dots. So this is just going to be really weird if you’re not a programmer so let me just type again for you. Alright, so if — so let’s say your website was www.example.com then we want to put in www and then we want to do backslash dot example backslash dot com (www\.example\.com) and the reason for that is this dot has a special meaning if you’re a programmer. And that dot actually represents any character at all. So it’s actually called a wildcard, so it could represent any single character.
Now, I have seen spammers take advantage of that to get themselves included in an Include Filter by changing their hostname to look like yours but with some other character in it. So they might have like, that or something in there and look this is not going to happen very often but it can happen.
So if you put in backslash before the dot, what this does is called an escape character and what this says is: we are only going to include it if it is literally a dot – not if it’s any other character. So that’s actually called a regular expression or regex and that matches any other character. So let’s just clear that. Hopefully, that makes sense. It’s a little bit, that’s a bit nerdy on you but hopefully, I’ve explained that well enough that we can continue.
Alright now, alright, so if we have subdomains, what we’ve got, so we’ve got an example with the backslash in there and if we have a subdomain then we still want to make it the smallest one that matches all of them. So if we don’t want to include all the subdomains then what we need to do is we need to pick the longest specific domain. So and then, in fact, we end up having to go to do multiple hostnames.
So if we do not want to include all of the subdomains, if we only want to include one subdomain then we do in fact want to specify the longest one. We want to specify the subdomain. Now, in this particular case, we just have the one, the one domain so it ended up being really easy and oh I didn’t write it down but I have it from up here so I’m just going to paste it in. Alright, so this one was really easy – we just added one.
Alright, so if you have multiple hostnames then what you want to do is separate them with this little pipe symbol here (|), this vertical line means OR. So I’ve been putting it in brackets. I can’t remember where this is actually managed or not but I’ve been doing it anyway. So I’d do a bracket and then I put in the first hostname and this little symbol here that means OR and then the second hostname etcetera, and what that would do is it will say: any of these hostnames will be included in this view.
So I’ve got here the pipe character means OR.
Alright, so if we have cross-domain tracking which I haven’t gone into cross-domain tracking so far in this procedure but if we do have cross-domain tracking then we always have two or more domains. So if you know that you have cross-domain tracking then you should definitely have two domains.
And sometimes the second domain is embedded as an iFrame and so you wouldn’t necessarily realize that you have more than one domain but you would definitely start to see it when you look in the earliest step of checking for more than one hostname. So you do that using Google Analytics. We should have already done it in the earlier step anyway.
I’ve just got an example using Cliniko because we do actually have a set up specifically for Cliniko. So if you are a health clinic using Cliniko, feel free to reach out to me because we’ve actually got a standardized procedure just for Cliniko which makes it really budget-friendly.
Alright, next up we want to Verify the filter. There’s like a little link here down the bottom that says: Verify this Filter. Alright, so there are a few different situations you might see here. You might see, “This filter would not have changed your data.” If you see that, then you’re good to go, you can just click Save. So in this case, it’s what I’ve got so I’m just going to click Save.
Now, another situation you might see a table like this and you might have all the hostnames on the left and then you might have a sub-set of those hostnames on the right. So what you want to be doing is you want to check through this and make sure that the hostnames that you do want to include are present on the right because what you see on the right will be what will be coming through in the future. And if there’s anything blank on the right that’s present on the left it means that those will no longer be included in this view. Hopefully, that makes sense. This can be a little bit confusing for some people so basically, whatever shows up in the right of the graph, oh sorry, the right of the table is what will be coming through in the future after the filter is applied.
Alright, so if a valid hostname is showing on the left but there is blank on the right then there’s an error in the filter and the filter will need to be fixed and verified again. Now, this is one area where errors can cause loss of data so do check your work and do make sure that the filter has been applied correctly.
If you do have multiple hostnames and you filter them out then it will cause a big drop of traffic on your account and it’s one of the most common filtering issues and does have some pretty nasty results if you don’t realize for a while. So please be careful before saving the filter that you’re not filtering out any hostnames that should be included especially if you see a table like this.
Hopefully, that all makes sense. This particular one turned out to be a really easy case but your case might not be easy. Look, if you have a complicated case just feel free to reach out to me because my team can help you out. Alrighty, the next lesson that we go through will be — so I’ve put the Create the Exclude The Quantified Web filter but it will basically be excluding your own team. Alright, stay tuned for that one.
How to Create an “Exclude Own Traffic” Filter in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to add a filter to your Filtered Views that excludes all of your own traffic. This filter prevents your own team from inadvertently triggering goals, events, and other conversions when they use your website.
We always add this filter when we are working on a clients account, as it also filters out our own testing activity from your Google Analytics data. It is our own way of keeping our muddy footprints away from your carpet 🙂
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Ten of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web and in this lesson we are going to go through setting up an Exclusion Filter in Google Analytics to exclude any IP addresses that are known. So specifically you want to be excluding your own IP address or if you are an agency then you want to be excluding the IP address of your known team members who’ll be working on the account.
So let’s go into the procedures. So the way you get in there is you go to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga, put in your email address and click Get Started Today. Yeah, we’re going to be going down to Create the Exclude Quantified Web Filter and here’s how to do it.
Now, obviously, this Exclude Quantified Web Filter is what my business calls it but you’re going to be calling it what you call it. In fact, I think I will change the label so I’ll probably just call it Create the Exclude Filter over here.
Anyway, so basically we want to be excluding IP addresses in this stage because if you are going to be testing things in your Google Analytics account you want to exclude your own activity from whatever you do. So because this procedure is used exactly as written by my team, you’ll see references to my teams’ IP addresses. Now, we’ve actually removed our IP addresses then I put it on another file that can be accessed but if you are a member of the public and you’re looking at this, you will be plugging in your IP address instead of our IP address.
Alright, so here’s how you do it. So the first thing we want to do is go to our Filtered Data No Params view and if you’ve been following along from the beginning, you know what I’m talking about. If this is the first time you’ve seen any of these lessons then we set up this view earlier in the lessons.
Alright, so to do that we go into Admin and we’ve got our Filtered Data No Params view there and we want to go into View Filters and then Add Filter. Alright, so that’s Filters and Add Filter.
Now, my team names the filter Exclude The Quantified Web but you will — actually, we’ve got — my business name used to be Exclude Web Data Analytics so I’m going to update that but we, so we name ours Exclude The Quantified Web but you will want to name yours differently. So basically, you want to name it something like Exclude my IP Address or if you’re an agency Exclude and then your business name.
Now, for the Filter Type, we want to choose Custom. Alright, and then we want to choose Exclude. There it is. Alrighty, now we want to choose IP Address. Now, we don’t do it as a Predefined because we typically have more than one person working on it and so we do it as a Filter Pattern instead of Predefined which just means we just got the one IP address. So if you just follow this it will work no matter how many IP addresses you have.
Alright, so next up you find out what is your IP address. So you do a Google Search for “what is my IP address” and that will tell you what your IP address is. Then you want to add your IP address to the filter to exclude it from the view. Now, you’ll notice that this is very similar to what we did before which was Include but we did that only for the Testing view whereas this is an Exclude and we’re going to be excluding the IP address from all the other views.
Alrighty, so in our case, we have more than one person who’ll be working on Google Analytics. So if we’re going to be adding another one then we do an OR symbol and we’re going to put in another IP address. In this case, I’m just setting it up with just the one.
Alrighty, now when you have finished setting up just click Save. We can’t have a way to verify for this one, unfortunately. So we want to check the Real-Time Content report to make sure that we still have traffic. Alright, so we go to Real-Time and go to Content.
Now, do you remember before in an earlier lesson where we showed you that when we’re actually testing we — so I’m going to go to the client’s website, oops, sorry I went to the wrong folder, I’m meant to be in Real-Time content. Now, if you recall we went to Testing and it came up as one person on the website. So I’m just doing that again on Testing just to remind you.
Alright, so we’ve got one person on the website in Testing because in Testing we have our IP address included. Now, here’s the thing, in the Filtered Data No Params, we’ve now added that filter that excludes our IP address. So now if we go to Real-Time Content report, we will not have that user on the website.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that — so if you, if your website has lots of people on it you’re not going to see zero so we do need to do a bit more testing than that. So what we want to do is choose Content which is what I’ve done and then we are — I’m just looking at this actually, I think that, oh actually, so I found out I should have worked out what we’re doing.
Okay, so we want to make sure that we did actually have traffic in general. So, unfortunately, this particular website that I’m doing, it doesn’t have any traffic at the moment, so even on the normal website, they don’t currently have traffic. Now your website probably does have traffic normally so we want to make sure that we still have some traffic come through.
So what I’ve said here is if traffic is infrequent on the website then try logging onto the website from a mobile phone with wifi turned off. The main thing we don’t want to have here is to have accidentally excluded all traffic that could possibly come through from any source. So I’m just turning on my phone. I actually had it turned off for the video. Here we go. Alright, we’ll come back and do that in a moment.
So basically, if traffic is infrequent and it says zero then try logging on a mobile phone but it must have the wifi turned off. So the internet has to be coming through a different IP address, not the one that your computer is using. In order to make sure that the filter is fine, we do need to make sure that some traffic is coming through so we want to make sure that the traffic from the phone is coming through.
Alright, so I’m doing that now. I’m turning off my wifi. So I’ll just turn that off and now if I go to the website. Oops, I’ll just type it. Now, so I’ve just gone from my phone and I’ve got my wifi turned off, so if we’ve done this properly we should see one come through on the Home page. There it is. Good. Now, if you don’t have a phone then just wait 30 minutes and come back. Hopefully, someone’s come within the last 30 minutes.
Alright, so we do want to make sure that our own traffic is not coming through though. So what we’re going to do is we are going to search from the IP address that we’ve blocked. We want to go to a page that is unusual. So I’m going to do a search and if my page view was coming through then we would now see our search come through here.
Because it hasn’t come through then it means that it’s behaving the way it should. We would see it in Testing, we would actually see two people logged in because we’ll have the mobile phone plus the, plus my desktop. Actually, sorry, no no, on Testing we will have one because on Testing it would just be my desktop because we’ve included it in but in the Unfiltered Data, so Unfiltered Data has no filters applied at all, we’ll expect this one to see two.
It keeps leaving there for some reason. So in Unfiltered — okay, it didn’t work. Alright, there, here we go it’s up. So in Unfiltered, we’ve got two. So in Testing, you see my desktop. In the Filtered Data, you’re seeing my mobile phone because I haven’t filtered out the IP address from my phone and in Unfiltered, you’re seeing both of them.
And the benefit of that now is I can now do anything at all on the website. I can test forms a hundred times and it won’t come through into this reporting view. So if you keep in mind that we might be wanting to use this view to pull out some reports about what’s happening on the website, the idea is to clear away any junk that we don’t want in there and included in junk is our own activity especially if we’re testing things out. We definitely don’t want that to look like it’s coming from a prospective customer.
Alrighty, so that is the end of this procedure. That is a pretty short one.
Now, the next procedure that we are going to go through is the Lowercase and Crawler Spam Filters. So this is where we are going to improve the way that pages are written in Google Analytics to make sure that it is accurate and — well not just pages but actual — other dimensions, we’ll go through that and also clear out spam. So it’s going to be really useful. And I will see you in that lesson.
How to Add Lowercase and Crawler Spam Filters in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to create filters that set some fields in your Google Analytics to lowercase, and why you’d want to do this in the first place. This step is key to data integrity in Google Analytics as it prevents your page views from being assigned incorrectly.
We’ll also add filters that prevent crawler spam from reaching your Google Analytics. This crawler spam can create havoc in your Google Analytics accounts by making it look like their website is referring traffic to you. It often attacks you worse if you follow a link back to the spammer’s website. Unfortunately, there is no 100% definitive way of preventing crawler spam, but following this process will make it much less likely to happen to you because the known sites will be blocked from your primary views.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Eleven in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. In today’s lesson, we’re going to go through setting up Lowercase Filters and Crawler Spam Filters. So these improve the accuracy of Google Analytics so that hopefully you can trust the information that you have in there.
So if you want to see this lesson just come through to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga, put in your email address and click on Get Started Today. Once you’re in you want to scroll down to Add Lowercase and Crawler Spam Filters.
Alrighty, now we got a little warning here. My team member put that in. This little warning sign is just pointing out that the data that’s being entered in this procedure really needs to be spelled the same. It needs to have the same capitalization, spelling, and spaces as the text in the procedure. So I would say, there have been several situations where my team member attempts to type in but didn’t get the spacing quite right and if you’re not a programmer then you wouldn’t necessarily realize the reason for some of the things here so I’ll try and explain that as best as I can but if you’re copying and pasting so make sure that you enter it correctly.
Alrighty, so now what we want to be doing is going in to at Admin Settings. So far we’ve been doing most things in Admin and we wanted to go into the Filtered Data No Params view. So if you have joined us here we created this view earlier in the course. And we want to go to the Filters page and click on Add Filter.
Alrighty, so we want to copy this text and we want to paste it into Filter Name and then we are going to Set up a Custom Filter. I’m going to choose — oh that was supposed to be, basically, put a circle in Lowercase. Okay, and choose or paste Request URI into here. So I made the Filter Name the same name as the thing that we’re pasting in so then you’ll only have to cut the same thing once and paste it twice. Just makes it a little bit more efficient.
Alright, so what we’re doing here is we are setting the Request URL, URI to Lowercase. Now, there were, Request URI — let me go in it anyway — the Request URI is actually the page data. Now the reason that we want this to be lowercase is if it was not set to lowercase then someone could manually type this in or even you might have some web pages that have different capitalization on your own website and each one of those would count as different pages in your Google Analytics even though it was supposed to be the same page. So this Lowercase Filter will make sure that no matter what capitalization someone puts in you will still be able to see it as the same page.
Alright, so we can verify this one. So if you click on Verify this filter and you can see here as an example where on the left-hand side, there was a page that had capital letters and things in there and after we have applied this filter, it would have lowercase instead. Now, this particular one actually is a Facebook ID so we’re going to be filtering some of this out but you can see an example of what it will be doing. So if the page has uppercase letters in there as well then it would count as more than one-page if there was a different combination but now that we’re going to be setting up all those lowercase, they won’t be any abnormalities in terms of how many people viewed different pages.
So okay, so we do want to just check that we’ve done things right though. So if you get a verification saying, “This filter would not have changed your data.” Then it’s fine you can click Save. Now, if you do get a, a result like this then it could be fine as well. So we just want to check that the result is in fact what we’re expecting which is lowercase, which it is. So we’re happy with that. We can click Save.
Now, we actually want to do the same with all of these other fields. So I’m going to — actually, I think I’ll just do it and will put it on fast forward or something. Alrighty, so just to explain what all these different things were: The Campaign Medium explains the way in which the campaign was sent so a medium could include email, for example.
The Search Term would be any term that was used on your website to search for a page. So obviously people can capitalize that in any way they want so it’s important to make that lowercase. The Campaign Source, now this one will be whereabouts on the internet people came from so this might include Facebook or it might be Instagram or Pinterest or it can be Referral or you might even override it and set your own source.
And actually, this is interesting because if you are a marketing agency, or if you use a marketing agency, you might find that the capitalization can be different if you override it. And therefore you’d have like a Facebook with a capital there and then a Facebook with a lowercase there so this will aggregate them together.
Alright, so the Campaign Name would be if you had an actual — go back to turn this off— if you have an actual paid campaign then you might have an actual name of a campaign. And then if you had a, again if you have a paid campaign you might have a term in your campaign that indicates what that specific campaign was. The Campaign Referral Path would be the actual, that’ll be the hostname of the page that the campaign points to. Alright, so just copy and paste all of these different fields into the Google Analytics filter like I shared here and set them all to lowercase.
Now, the next thing we want to do is Create the Crawler Spam filters. So let’s add a filter again and we want to name this one Crawler Spam #1. Alright, now we want to set this to Custom and we’re going to choose Exclude and then we want to choose Campaign Source in here. Exclude, Campaign Source, sorry, Exclude not in there we want it in here. Exclude, Campaign Source and then the Filter Pattern — now, you’re not going to go here because that’s one of my private web pages.
So what I’ve done, for the time being, I have put in a picture but that’s not going to be really helpful. What I plan to do is I’ll take it off this private wiki that I’ve got and I’m going to put it into a text file. But in the meantime, I’ll just go to Confluence myself and I’ll copy over. Okay, so I just don’t want you to have access to my Confluence that’s all so I’m just going to have to move it to a text file.
So, I don’t think it was here either. So basically, what I’ve got here is I’ve got a whole bunch of spam filters that we’re going to copy in. So we’re just literally copying it and pasting it in. Alrighty, so I’ve copied that in the first one and I think we’re going to hit Verify, yeah. Yes now, so this filter would not have changed your data which means that the person wasn’t being spammed to whom I’m setting this up for but if it says that it was going to change your data then you might have already been hit by one of these spammers. Let’s see if we should have saved that, let me just check. Yes.
Now, we’re just going to do the other filters, so the other spammers. Basically, we’re just going to repeat it again. So I’ll just quickly do it and again it will fast forward. Alrighty, now we’re adding new Crawler Spam to our list all the time so in order to have the most up to date list then you would want to come back and check on this later and when I’ve actually linked through to another document other than my Confluence website then you want to keep up with the latest spam filters.
Alrighty, well hopefully that is helpful to you. You should now have several different — if you look at your filters you should now have several different filters. You should have a whole lot of Lowercase ones and these Exclude ones which are excluding the spam and this will make a difference in terms of improving the accuracy of your Google Analytics.
So the next thing that we’re going to go through is the Remove All Parameters Filter and that’s where we remove trailing parameters that cause your pageviews to get split up inaccurately. Alright, I will see you in that lesson.
How to Create a “Remove All Parameters” Filter in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to create filters that clean up your website URLs in Google Analytics by removing all the bits and bobs of code that end up at the end of the URL. This step is really important to getting accurate pageview numbers in Google Analytics as it prevents your page views from being split up into thousands of different combinations.
Trust me your SEO team will thank you when you apply this filter!
This filter will also fix Facebook’s fbclid ID which is being appended to the end of your page URLs in Google Analytics and creating a big mess. This issue is impacting people worldwide as it is leading to Facebook views being separated from the rest of your page views, leading to incorrect pageview values when you try to see which pages are effective in engaging visitors on your website.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Twelve of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. In this lesson, we are going to go through removing parameters from the end of the page URL. So what we’re going to do is Creating a Remove All Parameters Filter.
Now, to see this lesson you want to go to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga and you want to put your email address in here and then click on Get Started Today. Now, let’s scroll down to the Create Remove All Params Filters and here’s how to do it.
Now, this is another one with a little exclamation mark because, with all of these filters, we do need to copy the text in exactly the way it’s written because if there are incorrect spaces or the characters are typed in wrong then the filter might not work and then you’ll have unusual results. My, my team members actually put this in because they got some weird results and I corrected them. So rather than be corrected by Petra, they thought, “Good idea to put in a little exclamation mark.”
Alright, so what we’re going to be doing is removing parameters from the end of the URL. So if you saw one of my earlier lessons, you’ll see where I showed you an example. So I’m just going to put an exclamation, sorry, a question mark here. Now, can you see how we’ve now — when I typed in a question mark, we’ve suddenly got this cf_uvid= and then all of this stuff. So this is actually called a parameter. Now, if this was changing to some other ID then you would actually have lots and lots of different parameters and they would all be changing the page name.
Alright, so I don’t know if that sound was coming through to your head – the family member that was kicking – I don’t know what they were kicking. I had a child kicking something in the room next door. Alright, hopefully, it’s to be quiet now.
Alright, so what I was saying was if we have all these different values in here then it’s going to look like people have looked at different pages when in actual fact it was the same page. So if we remove the parameter – go away – from the page name then every time someone looks at this page it will get aggregated which means that the — so let me just explain what this aggregated business is.
So you’ve got the page name on one side and then you got the numbers on the other side. So the numbers will be how many people looked that up, you know, basically, it was how many Pageviews there were, what the conversion rate was, how much time people spend on it, etcetera. Now, those numbers get added up in Google Analytics based on all of the times people looked at that particular page.
But if you have a hundred different page names or representing the same page, that pie is going to be split a hundred different times and you’ll have you know, one Page name with one parameter saying one person looked at it and then another one with another parameter saying one person looked at it and another one with another parameter saying one person looked it up when in actual fact there might have been a hundred people looking at that page, it’s just the parameter changed.
So we want to be getting rid of those parameters in the Filtered Data with No Parameters view which is the one that we’re going to use for SEO, for reports, for basically looking at in Google Analytics in general.
There are some times when you want to see the parameters and that’s why we have another view where we keep them in. Alright, so let’s go through how to remove those parameters from your Google Analytics.
Okay, so first up we want to create the filter so let’s go in. Now, we want to — oh look, I haven’t said what the name of the views. Well, we’re actually going to go into the Filtered Data with No Params view. Okay, so that’s the one we want and we do that in Admin. Alright, and then we’re going to create the filter that — alright, actually I know I have set up. Select the Filtered Data No Params view, go to Administration, View Filters and click the Add Filter.
Alrighty, and then name the filter Remove All Params. Sometimes there can be a little bit of irregularity between the different procedures because I actually train my team to help write them as well. So we have an interesting process behind the scenes, we actually record videos of everything that we do and then write them all up as procedures.
So alrighty, now we’re going to set up the Filter Type and Filter Field and it’s going to be a Custom one again and this time though we want a Search and replace Filter and we’re going to set the Filter Field to Request URI. Okay, Request URI here, there it is.
Now, this one is a bit of a funny one. So under Request URI, the Search String we want to type in is this one here. Now, actually, let me explain what a Search and Replace does. So what the Search and Replace is going to do is it’s going to look for any instance of this string and it’s going to replace it with this string.
So this backslash here is telling us that we want exactly a question mark here. If we didn’t have the backslash, this question mark would have a special meaning in geeky programmer language. The question mark can be used as a wildcard to mean, to mean a character. So we have to use the backslash to say that it needs to be a question mark.
Alrighty, and then we’re actually going to leave the Replace String empty. So what this is saying is if we find — oh actually, I didn’t continue to explain what this is. So this backslash and then question mark represents a literal question mark, whereas this dot star actually is not literal. This is a wildcard and this means it could be anything at all. So if you see a dot star(.*) like that it means nothing or anything.
So if we have any URL because your Request URI is the page URL, we have any URL that has a question mark in it followed by anything at all, we’re going to replace that with nothing. As in, it’s going to delete it. So what we’re doing now is deleting the question mark plus anything behind it.
Alright, so we’re going to Verify this filter and we can see there are some situations here where that would have made a difference. So if this particular situation is an e-commerce one and so you can see we have variants. So this one we have variant 566802 and then we’ve got this one it has variant 654215. Now it could well be that if it wasn’t for these variants we’d be having different numbers of Pageviews.
So this particular client doesn’t have a lot of volume of traffic actually but if we had a lot more traffic, we’d see a lot of things in here and we would see these numbers that change but because we have — actually, this one here is an interesting example. So Facebook, sorry, I’ve kind of changed topic but I’ll get back to it.
So Facebook has started doing this new thing where they put in fbclid. So Facebook something ID and they like put in a lot of bunk of junk in there and I don’t know if this is specifically to upset Google Analytics but basically what the result of this is anything that has this fbclid in there will break the number of pageviews because the fbclid changes each time and you end up with each one just having just one session.
So what happened here is by removing that parameter, it’s rightfully identified that this is actually just a view of the Home page and it’s merged into just the Home page. So before you could see the Home page had fifteen sessions and this one which was actually the Home page that had the fbclid on it had one page view and now that we have removed the parameters on the end, it has correctly now said that we’ve had sixteen sessions and it’s also added up the Pageviews so we had twenty Pageviews and sixteen sessions of the Home page which is true because it was the Home page that someone looked at so they had this, with parameters on the end.
So oops, so you’ll see that if we had been — if we had a whole lot of people that were looking at different variants here in e-commerce then it would have also shown across here that we would have been basically squashing the number of pages. This can have a huge impact when you have a large e-commerce store with lots of different variations or lots of different products. Because on e-commerce stores you often have things that will have like order by price or order by alphabet or order all these different things and it completely breaks down the Pageviews. If you have let’s say selling shoes and you’ve got, I don’t know, one shoe called Louis, a shoe called Ellie and a shoe called Fredo. And then you had Louis Order by Price and then Variant Black or Variant Brown then you can’t see how many people looked at the Louis shoe because you’ve just got all these junk in the end. This is going to fix all that so you can see exactly how many people looked at this page.
Hopefully, I didn’t just rumble too much then I explained it properly. Alright, so, in this case, it has — so we either want to see the filter won’t change the data, that would mean that you didn’t really have parameters or if it does have a table you want to see that it has correctly stripped the parameters of the end which it has done in this case. Alright, and then we want to Save it.
Again that’s a pretty short procedure this one. But this one is actually really important and I strongly urge you to set this up especially if you have e-commerce. But now that Facebook has been putting in these Facebook ID’s, honestly, I think that everyone needs this particular filter. Not that the other ones aren’t important. Basically, all of these filters in here are really important but this particular one can make a huge mess of your Google Analytics and really impact the attempts of your SEO Team or other teams to work out what’s going on when it’s split up in so many different Pageviews like this. It just makes it nonsensical. And it removes your ability to look at data in a human way.
Alrighty, well the next one we are going to go through is Removing Trailing Slashes. That’s basically, depending on how you have web pages set up. Some pages would have that it the end and some pages don’t. The page works either way but Google Analytics counts it as two separate ones. So I’ve got a filter, just on how to get rid of a slash on the end. Alrighty, we’ll go through that one next. Hope you have a good day!
How to Create a “Remove Trailing Slashes” Filter in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to create filters that clean up your website URLs in Google Analytics by removing slashes from the end of the URL. This step is really important to getting accurate pageview numbers in Google Analytics as it prevents your page views from being split in half, as a slash at the end of a URL registers a separate number of pageviews from no slash. The crazy thing is many page builders add the slash sometimes which drives you crazy as then you don’t have consistency.
You’ll also see that when users come from Pinterest sometimes your URL will have a slash at the end and sometimes it won’t. It’s enough to send you completely bananas.
Trust me your SEO team will thank you when you apply this filter!
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Thirteen of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics.
Now the way that you will access that lesson is to go to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga, put in your email address and click on Get Started Today.
Alrighty, now we want to go down to the Create, oops this one here, Remove Trailing Slashes Filter. Alrighty, so I’ve been through what this filter is on our previous video but basically, some pages will have a slash on end and some will not. And, I mean, your website might be set up really well that this doesn’t happen but the page will work whether there’s a backslash at the end or — Is it a backslash or a forward slash? I think it’s forward slash actually.
So, basically, the page will work whether that slash is on there or not. Depending on how your website is set up, you may find that some of your pages have them and some of them don’t. And this creates havoc in your Google Analytics especially if sometimes the page has it and sometimes it doesn’t because if you don’t filter this in your Google Analytics, you will literally have pages that have been split in half where you have half of the users are being combined into one page name and half of the users are being combined to the other. And it’s just that the other has a slash on the end and that’s all. So then when you come to look at your Google Analytics you might think that a page isn’t very popular when in fact it is. It’s just it was being split in half. So we want to fix this.
Now, again my team has put a little warning here because if you don’t type in exactly then it might not work. Alright, so let’s create a new filter. So we want to go to the Filtered Data No Params view. Now, again we have gone through this view in an earlier lesson but if you’ve come in on this lesson then you might want to have a look at some of the earlier lessons on what views we’ve created and why.
Let me just do it from the beginning. So we want to go Admin and then Filtered Data No Params and then we want to click on Filters. Alrighty, so we’re going to a new filter and we’re going to call this filter Remove Trailing Slashes. Now, I think we can just copy from this rather than type in to save you time. Now, this one is going to be Custom one again. I think they’ve all been Custom so far. And this time we’re going to pick Advanced.
Now, in the Field A – Extract A, we want to choose Request URI here. So Request URI is the URL across the top and so that is. Then in the Field A – Extract A, we are going to type this specific character. We don’t want any spaces on the end so we just want to copy, I’ll be very careful copying this one, we don’t want any weird things. So let’s paste it in, we just make sure we don’t have any spaces. We don’t want that.
Alright, so this is a very weird bit of code I know and you’re probably looking at going what the hell does that mean. So what this is saying is if we have the — this is basically the beginning of the line and that is the end of the line. We want to take everything between the brackets between the first slash and the last slash. That’s what we’re doing there.
And then Field B – Extract B, we’ll keep this one empty. And then the code in the Output To, we put Request URI in here. Because we’ve got Request URI here and Request URI there, we are actually going to override what you currently have on your page. So instead of having the page the way it was with the backslash at the end, we are going to override that completely and remove the — sorry I’m calling that backslash. For the life of me today I cannot remember if that’s called backslash or forward slash. It really depends on which direction you’re looking, doesn’t it? So I can’t remember. Alright, but it’s a slash.
We’re going to copy this and we are going to paste that in and this A, this $A1, this has a special meaning. This means the inside of the brackets. So and we are putting a forward slash there because what we’ve done is we’ve, we’ve excluded the first forward slash and then we’re going to add it back.
And the reason for that is your home page probably just has a single forward slash and if we didn’t include, if we didn’t leave it out then you’d end up with the home page being completely blank and that just looks really weird. When you look in the report and saw why is there a blank page in there, we don’t want to be removing the slash of the end if the slash was the whole page.
Alright, so we want to Save this filter once we’ve checked that these are right. So we want one tick in Field A Required and we want a tick in Override Output Field. Now, we can’t actually do a preview for this one because it doesn’t do a preview for Advanced Filters. So just click Save.
Alrighty, now that’s the end of the step. A really short one but that is one that definitely can be very confusing and I have been, I have had people email me asking me specifically for this filter so I think that will come in handy for a lot of people.
Alright, so the next one that we are going to go through will be Applying the Filters to your Filtered Views. So this will be — so far we’ve been setting up your filters just on the one Filtered view but we want to set them up to go onto more than one Filtered view. So it needs to go on to both Filtered View with Params and the Filtered View without Params but — How about when I show you that lesson I’ll go through all of that? There are some filters that we exclude from the with Params one. Okay, so we’ll go through this one next and I will see you in that lesson.
How to Apply Filters to Filtered Views in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to take filters you’ve already created in Google Analytics and then duplicate them to other filtered views, saving you time and effort. You’ll definitely want to do it this way if you have more than one filtered view in your Google Analytics account because it is quite cumbersome to add filters one at a time at the view level. You’ll need account-level access to do this.
It’s also a super quick lesson!
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Fourteen of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. Now, if you’ve been following along with the previous lessons, we’ve just created up a bunch of filters and now what we’re going to do is apply those filters to the other Filtered, the other Filtered view on your account so that we have those filters spread around rather than just in the one view. We don’t want to have to type them all again so we might as well copy them.
Alright, to see the lesson what you need to do is go to www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. Type in your email address here and then click Get Started Today. Alrighty, now you want to scroll down. We are now up to this lesson here, Apply Filters to Filtered Views.
Alrighty, so the purpose of this procedure is to copy all the filters that we’ve created into other Filtered views. Now, for the purpose of this example, we’ve just got one other Filtered View and in fact, normally we would just have one but there are some situations where you might have a more complex Google Analytics set up where you have multiple environments, multiple websites or other Filtered views for some reason and in that case, we’d want to copy it into multiple Filtered views.
So I’m going to go through the simple version of copying it into one Filtered view but just keep in mind I have written the procedure in a way that it will work no matter how many Filtered views there are.
Alright, so first of all, we want to identify if there are any filters that refer to Custom Dimensions. Now, in this example, we don’t have any Custom Dimensions but this particular procedure is written to be able to be slot it in with other procedures and when we are adding in Custom Dimensions there will be some filters that are relevant for those. But we don’t have any Custom Dimensions in this particular lesson so, so we can skip past.
Okay, so for all the remaining filters, now we want to go to Admin, All Filters under the Account Settings. So alright, so let’s go to Admin, go Account settings and oh sorry, clicked on the wrong thing, All Filters, sorry. So we want to, we want to go through each filter one at a time and we want to copy it over. So this is another one where we might just do the rest on fast forward but we’ll just do the first one. So it looks like this when you click on it.
And what we’re going to do is we want to choose which views are going to have it applied. So we want both of the Filtered Data Views to have this filter but we do not want the Testing View to and we don’t want the Unfiltered Data View too either. There would be some situations where we want the Testing view to have it if we were testing a filter but if we’re not testing a filter then don’t worry about it. Usually, the Testing View is just for testing events which we’ll go through in another course.
Alright, so we’ll be adding the Filtered Data with Params over here and then we’ll be clicking the Save button but I’ll just check first if we have — so yeah basically, don’t apply it to Unfiltered, don’t apply it to Testing unless it is necessary for the test. Click Save. Yes.
Alright, now basically, we want to repeat the same step for all the outstanding views and filters. Hmmm, that should be filters, so we’re going to, I’ll fix it and change it to filters. Except we don’t want to copy the Remove all Params filter because that one is only going to be on the one view. And we don’t want to copy over the Include only The Quantified Web filter or whatever you’ve named yours. This one only stays on Testing view. We don’t copy over any filters with custom dimensions in them which isn’t applicable for this particular course. So but all other than those situations we want to copy all the filters over to the Filtered Data with Params view.
So I’m going to do it quickly and we can put on fast forward. Alrighty, done. So we want to check our work now. So we want to see that we have Filtered Data with No Parameters should contain one more filtered, sorry, one more filter than Filtered Data with Params and Unfiltered data will contain no filters.
So type C in here actually. So the way we can see that is we can go to Filtered Data with No Params and we can go to Filters and there will be sixteen of those. Okay, we go look at this one there should be one less, there should be fifteen of them, Yes. And if we go to Unfiltered Data, we should have no filters. Cool.
Alrighty, well that’s how to copy over all those filters. Now, if you have, again, if you have more views than I have then you might need to be copying those filters across to all of those views.
Alright, so in the next one what we’re going to be doing is checking for Destination Goals which have now been upset by the fact that we have gone and removed parameters or removed backslashes. In some cases, if you’ve had an agency set up Destination Goals for you then these goals won’t work anymore and we’re going to need to fix them. So that’s what we’re going to do in the next lesson.
How to Assign the Filter Order in Google Analytics
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to rearrange the order of your filters in Google Analytics, because there are some filters that only work if you have them in a certain order. Out of order, they might do something unpredictable, particularly the Search and Replace filters. If you’re adding advanced filters in Google Analytics, do make sure you watch this video!
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Fifteen in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics. Now, we’re going to go through ordering the different filters that we’ve just created so that they’re in the correct order to work correctly. Some of the filters do require them being in a particular order otherwise they won’t work.
So let’s go through and do that. So the first thing you want to do is go to the website here, www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga and you’re going to type in your email address and click Get Started Today. Now go down to, here we go, Assign the Filter Order. Oops, it’s hidden, there it is.
Alright, so what we’re going to do is we’re just going to reorder the filters that we created and ensure they occur in a different oops, there are some filters that need to be in front of the other filters. Now, this particular image, I actually re-use this for a few different setups so it includes some filters relating to bookings and things. So we don’t have to worry about all of those, let’s just relay through — we’ve just got these at the top here as a reference for my team.
But okay, so let’s go through and Open the Filters page for the Filtered Data No Params view. Now, if you’re just starting this Filtered Data No Params view, we created in an earlier lesson. Now, you’ll see there’s a whole lot of rows here, right there’s sixteen of them whereas it normally shows just ten and we want to click on Assign Filter Order. Alright, so it looks like this.
Now, we want to use the Move up and Move down buttons to change the order of the filters. So just get past anything that isn’t — like basically, if we don’t have it then don’t worry about it. So the first one we want at the top we’ve got Include Valid Hostname and then we’ve got Exclude, we’ve actually changed my business name. And then we’ve got all out Lowercase ones. So yeah we go all of those and then we’ve got all the spam, so those are all fine. And then we’ve only got two actually, we’ve got Remove All Params and Remove Trailing Slashes.
So with some setups, when they have multiple websites we also have Add Hostname to URL, we have some different bookings and things. So in this case, we don’t have an Appointment Token. Alright, we want to make sure that Remove All Params comes before Remove Trailing Slashes, so let’s just check. Yes, we’ve got Remove All Params and Remove Trailing Slashes.
As it turns out I ended up reordering a lot of the procedures so that it should just work but because we use this procedure for various other setups, we do sometimes end up with different things in there. So now we don’t have a Started Booking and Confirmed Booking, so that’s all good and we make sure that Add Hostname to URL is at the very bottom. We don’t have that one in this setup.
So we are actually all good we don’t need to change anything in this particular one. In fact, I might even remove this from the course altogether although this is probably helpful for you if you’re coming up with other filters so you know all of this. So it looks like we don’t need to actually do anything but I will just check for the other filtered one as well just to make sure because we copied over the filters into this one from the other so let’s just see.
Oh no actually, this is completely out of order in this one. So let’s go through and put them in the correct order. Alright so Include Valid Hostname at the top and then we want the Exclude — now, just to give you a knowledge on this. So you can’t have — actually, let me just explain this order. So no, it is good that it is in the course because there’s a couple of different things in there to know.
First of all, you can’t have more than one Include Filter at the same time because if you — when you have an Include what you’re basically saying is we are only going to have this data and no other data. So if you have an Include that has one condition and then you have a different Include that has a completely different condition and they don’t overlap at all then the second condition can never be included in the first condition and you end up with no data at all. I don’t know if that makes any sense.
So if you have two — well it is possible to have two Includes but it will only include the overlap between them. So if you’ve got like one condition that’s got, let’s say you’re saying Include this IP address and then you’ve got another one where you Include this IP address and they’re different IP addresses, then it will try and include everything in this IP address and then it will try to include everything in that IP address but that won’t be there so it will just delete everything.
But if you have Include that has the ability to overlap then it will take the union between the two Includes. Basically, in any case, having more than one Include will give you odd results that you’re not expecting because you might be thinking it’s going to be including them but what it will actually do is exclude everything else first.
And the way that it works out what to exclude is it’s based on the filter order. So whatever comes first is going to get done first and then all of the data in your Google Analytics will be filtered based on that filter and then it moves to the next one. So I always like to do the Include Filters first because that will get rid of everything else that’s not supposed to be in there and then I like to do like any major Excludes after that so then again we’re filtering the data down. It just means that it needs to run the Lowercase and Spam filters on less data which is faster for the service running at.
Then we’re going to perform changes on the data after doing the Include and Excludes. So after doing the Include and Excludes, we’ll then do all the Lowercase and with these Crawler Spam ones, they are actually Excludes as well. So but with the Lowercase and the Crawler Spam, they don’t need to be in a specific order whereas some of these ones at the bottom do.
So this Remove Trailing Slashes, what we’re doing there is we want to remove the slash at the end of a URL and if we have also a, oh we don’t have it in Filtered Data with Params but in the without parameters, we also have a filter that removes the parameters. Now, it’s really important that we remove the trailing slashes after removing the parameters because if we do it the other way around then you’d end up with a trailing slash after removing the parameters. Hopefully, that makes some sense.
So alright, so we’ve got the Include and then we’ve got the Exclude IP Address and then we just got Lowercase and Spam and then all the other stuff that we don’t have anyway. So Lowercase then — that one’s actually a Lowercase one so I’ll put it with all the others. That one’s a Lowercase one so I’ll put it with all the others. It just helps to organize it a little. Then we’ve got all the Spam and then Remove Trailing Slashes at the end. Alright, Save that.
Now, we won’t have any filters in the — we’ve also got Testing and Unfiltered Data but we don’t have filters on those. Alrighty, Oh, I’ve just got ahead of, oh no, that’s a No Params view. Oh yes, just ended with Repeat for any other views that have filters, so we’ve done it.
So that’s actually a very short procedure but it is very important, especially on this page. This is the one where it’s the most important we need to make sure that in the No Param or this one that we definitely have Trailing Slashes being removed after removing all the parameters. So that’s key in this procedure.
Alrighty, well that was a really quick one. The next one that we are going to go through is Checking Destination Goals to make sure that the filters haven’t broken your goals. Alright, so I’ll go through that in the next lesson.
How to Check Your Destination Goals are Working
In earlier lessons, I taught you how to create various filters for Google Analytics to reduce spam and abnormalities and make your page view counts accurate. The problem with adding pageview filters is that if you have any hardcoded URLs in your goals settings, these filters might break your goals.
In this lesson, you’ll be learning about how to find these goal settings in Google Analytics and then update them so that you can be confident they are accurate and that your goals will keep working after you add new filters and settings.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Sixteen of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. In this lesson, we are going to go through checking goals, specifically for destination goals, to see whether a new the filter we just set up have broken them.
Alrighty, so the page that you want to be going to is www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga and pop your email address in here and click Get Started Today. Now, let us scroll all the way down to Check Destination Goals. Here it is.
So if you’ve followed with me with all of these earlier lessons we’ve just created a whole lot of different filters that improved the accuracy of your Google Analytics. The only problem is that if you’ve already got goals set up in your account then you might find that now some of those goals broke. We don’t want to have broken goals, we want to fix them up.
Now, the account that I was working from didn’t actually have any goals so if you don’t have any goals at all then you skip past this lesson. However, some of you will already have goals in place.
Because the account that I was working with didn’t have any goals. I’ve made up a couple of goals and, so they’re a little bit contrived because I just made it up on the fly and that they’re not really doing anything useful but we’ll just work from that so that you got something to look at.
Alrighty, so we want to go into the Filtered Data No Params view. Now, if you’ve followed through earlier you know that we created that pretty early on. If you are starting here then please have a look at the earlier lessons. From the Filtered Data No Params view, we want to open Goals. Alright.
Alrighty, so we want to look for any Destination Goals. So the two that I created are both Destination Goals. Now, for each of those goals, we want to open them. So we open them by clicking here. We want to have a look whether it meets one of those conditions which would warn us if there was something wrong.
So in this case, we want to check, is the goal set, is the goal – an Equals to goal, so we want to click on this edit here first. So is the goal an Equals To set up and does it have a forward slash at the end of the URL. So we’ve got a picture over there. So in this case, no it doesn’t.
However, we do have this situation we’ve got OR a parameter at the end of the URL (a parameter would look like ?parameter=something). So we haven’t got a picture of that but yes, we do have that one. So we’ve got question mark and we’ve got this parameter here. We’ve got a status equals test. So I’ve just created this one.
Now, this goal will be broken by the filters because we have now removed parameters from this particular view. So when it goes to find this, it’s not going to find it because this parameter is going to be removed and the page will now actually look like just that. This filter won’t be — this goal will no longer work. So we need to adjust that goal to fix it up.
So what we want to do is we want to remove this part here of the goal. Now, if in doing that it no longer is the same goal then that can be an interesting situation where sometimes you’ll use a destination goal but the destination is dependent on the parameters.
Now, if that is the case, then what I suggest that you do instead is actually set up that goal as an event-based goal because parameters can undo change and if you have it set up as a destination-based goal and it requires a particular parameter to be in there then there’s actually a reasonable chance that the goal won’t fire when it was supposed to because parameters can be added in any order.
So let’s say Facebook started to put in their ID and that was a parameter and you had your parameter that you are checking for and then some other parameter. They could be in any order at all and it could actually break that goal anyway. But if the parameter doesn’t matter for determining the exact page name then just remove the parameter altogether and leave it at that. Hope that makes sense.
So I haven’t really gone into events but one of the key services that my business does is setting up all the events for all the different things that people can do on your website. So, so let’s say you’ve got buttons and you’ve got different things happening in the cart. You’ve got user sign up, you’ve got different checkout steps, all of that, my business will help you to set all of those up as events. Set up the, you know e-commerce checking, etcetera.
So where we have something that’s dependent on a parameter that implies that the parameter is being used to tell the website what to do. So in that case, we would have an event that we capture using a tool called Google Tag Manager and we would send that through as an event where if someone did that particular thing then the event would come through and then we would capture it as a goal.
So, in fact, most of the time I recommend having goals set up as event goals rather than destination goals because destination goals are notoriously buggy. They will break anytime the page name changes and they would break if you had parameters in them and the order changed the parameters. So do be very careful with destination goals, it is always better to use event ones. But for the purpose of this lesson, I do want to show you how to fix up those destination ones.
Alright, so let me just remove the parameter and then save that change. Now, we want to go through and do that for all of the Destination goals. So I’ve got one here as well. Now, in this particular one, I have put a forward slash on the end. So if you refer here, you’ll see that is another scenario where we will not have a tracking anymore because we’ve now removed slashes from the end as part of our filters. So we want to, oops, we want to remove that and click Save.
Now, this is actually like I said, it’s a really contrived example because we’ve actually got two goals with exactly the same destination but that’s only because I just invented it for the training. If you’ve noticed that they’re now exactly the same, you’ve got a good, good spotting but hopefully your goals will be, will be quite different. Alrighty, so we want to save those changes.
Now, actually, I forgot to verify. So let’s — oh, because I made it up, we might not actually have anything to verify. No, I don’t have anything to verify on this one because I made it up. But in yours, if you click Verify, then you want to check whether it has anything coming through.
Now, the only thing here is depending on how quickly you get into this, you’ll notice it says, “This goal would have a percentage conversion rate based on your data from the past 7 days.” Now, if you were Speedy Gonzales and you’ve got through all of these lessons or let’s say you’re doing it yourself and you are doing it on the same day as you’ve added all the filters then it’ll look at the past 7 days anyway and it might not recognize the change yet.
So sometimes you can’t trust this verification because you’ve gone a bit ahead of Google Analytics in this case. So if you’re confident in what you’ve put in then don’t worry about what it said in the verify but we do have a testing step in a later lesson where we go through and check to make sure those goals are working.
Alrighty, oh here we go. I’ve just written it here. So Verify this goal will not work if you changed the filters on the same day as the goal as it only checks past 7 days. If the filters were done on the same day this verify won’t be helpful but we do have a procedure to test. This is like exactly what I’ve just said. Okay, so I’m getting ahead of myself. And then we want to do the same for any Destination Goals what we’ve just done.
Alrighty, now with the Filtered Data with Params one, we want to do those next. Now, I didn’t actually create any goals in here. I’ve actually left it. So I didn’t think of that. But you do want to go into the Filtered Data with Parameters view now and go through and again look for any goals that have slashes on the end.
So with the ones with the parameters, it doesn’t matter anymore if they still have parameters on the end because those ones will still work. We’re not stripping any parameters out in this view but we are still removing any trailing slashes so you do want to go through and make sure that there are no trailing slashes in this particular view.
Now, do keep in mind that with this one, you’ve actually created the Filtered Data with Params view when you started working. So it might be that you haven’t got ay data coming through yet. However, if you have copied that from the original view then you should have also copied all the goals.
So you might have goals even though you haven’t got data coming through yet so if that’s the case, do just check through with them anyway even if it has zero listed against all of the goals in terms of people having completed them. I hope that makes sense.
Alright, well that’s another quick one. So in the next lesson, we are going to go through — Goodness, we are so close to being done now — we’re going to go through Creating Standard Goals and then Copying those Goals through the views.
Alrighty, well we’re on the homeward stretch. Alright, see you at the next lesson.
How to Copy Goals to Another View in Google Analytics
Once you start to add goals to your Google Analytics account, you can sometimes find that you have 5, 10, 15 even 20 different goals! If you’ve been following along with this course we’ve asked you to add a few extra goals, and a few extra views as well. The last thing you want is a cumbersome process for copying all those goals around, so luckily Google Analytics has supplied us with a method for copying them across views.
Now this process is not entirely intuitive (I think their UI could really improve in this area!) so do follow along with the videos to see how to do it yourself, otherwise, you might get stuck trying to work it out on your own.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! How are you going?
Welcome to Lesson Eighteen in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. Now, we are going to do the lesson Copy Goals to Another View. So in some of the previous lessons, we’ve created some standardized goals that will work in any situation and we’ve created them in just one view and I’ve taught you how to create multiple views. So in this lesson, we’re going to go through how to easily copy those goals out so that you don’t need to retype them each time.
Alright, so the first thing you need to do is go to the website, www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. Put your email address in and click Get Started Today and scroll down to — we are so far ahead now — so we want to go to Copy Goals to Another View. Oops, why am I waiting? I’m like, “When is this going to load?” It’s like all the way up here.
Alright, so basically, we’re going to be duplicating goals from one view to another quickly and easily retaining the same IDs wherever possible. Alrighty, so the first view we want to open up is our Filtered Data No Params view because that is where we put our goals.
So I’m just going to click Admin and make sure you’ve got Filtered Data No Params and then go to Goals. We can see we’ve got two goals there. Now we want to select the goals that we are going to share. Now we, we would typically want to select all the active ones. So if there’s some that we don’t want to copy like if they’re inactive then don’t worry about copying them.
But if we have them turned on then generally it’s useful to copy them all. Alright, so we’re going to click on the two boxes here then we click the share button. Alright, and this comes up with this little pop-up. So we want to Share with a template link and then click Share.
Now, we need to actually add this into a new tab. Now, if you are using — I’ve got a little note — so you need to be logged in to Google as the account that has permission for this Google Analytics account. So if you’re an agency and you’re doing this in incognito then what will happen is when you paste into this tab, it will actually try to log in as whatever active Google account that you’ve got personally. So do keep that in mind that you will need to log out of your Google account, whatever it is if you have more than one and make sure that you’re logged in as the correct one in this browser. Alright, because it won’t open in the incognito tab.
Alright, oops, did I copy it? Copy the URL you’d like to share and then paste, there it is. Cool bananas! Alrighty, okay. So it’s going to say which view do we want to copy into. Now, I’m going to have millions of them so I’m going to find this client. Oh. I’ve got so many. Alright, and this only one of my accounts because I’ve actually got — this is my second account for analytics users here we go, I’ll pick this one.
Alright, so we want to choose the same ID as what we have. Alright, so if we open this page here you can see that Goal ID 1 is the Visit 1 Minute. So it’s a good idea to just keep it as the same goal ID because if you have some in here that you’re getting rid of then if you just choose First Available ID then it will compress them on the next, on the next view and then if you created a report that needed particular report, particular goal IDs then it becomes cumbersome if the IDs are different between different views.
So look it’s probably not going to be an issue if you’ve just very simple Google Analytics account but when I work with really complicated Google Analytics accounts and they have lots of different goals and some active and some not and even if we try to duplicate different reports then it becomes a problem. So just best practice is to match the ID.
So we’ve got 1 Minute is Goal ID 1, so pick Goal ID 1 there and we’ve got 3+ Pages is Goal ID 2. Now, if you’ve got 20 different goals just go through and line them all up the way that they should be.
Alrighty, now, now we want to do the same for all the views that you are planning to use. So in this case, I won’t worry about doing it for Testing because I’m only using Testing for testing events but it is useful to also do the same for the Unfiltered one. So basically, I just do that again and this time I’m going to pick the Unfiltered one, we’re now going to find it, Unfiltered and this is going to be the same.
Now, if you’ve got other views then — I mean I’ve got some clients that literally have twenty-five views. You’ll want to go through and do it for each one. So it can be a little bit cumbersome but it’s best practice to like I said, is to keep the IDs the same across all of them especially if you have lots of views like that. The last thing you want to do is would be looking at Analytics trying to work out what views go with which IDs. It’s best if you keep them all exactly the same.
Alright, well that is a short one as well. Now, the next thing that we’re going to do is e-commerce specific. So if you’re not in e-commerce then you probably won’t need to do this one and this next one is going to be a bit tricky. So put your, put your brainy hat on for the next one. Alright, see you in the next lesson.
How to Convert Parameters to Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics
This lesson is more relevant for businesses who have Ecommerce on their websites because they are more likely to have relevant data on the URL that would benefit from being turned into a custom dimension.
Basically, in this lesson, you’ll learn how to find the extra information on the URL that your website uses to talk to itself and store it in a more helpful place in Google Analytics. So for example, if you have fields on your website that sort products by an order, say price or product name, you might have a parameter orderby=price in your URL. Each of these different parameters breaks your pageview data because it changes the name of the page by adding all the extra data at the end.
In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to take the data off the URL and store it in another field called a custom dimension. This way you can finally see how many people visited each page on your website and where they came from. Your SEO team will be thankful!
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Hi! Welcome to Lesson Nineteen of the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to pull parameters off the URL. Now, if you have watched my other lessons, you, I would have taught you that parameters are pieces of information that a website tell, well the URL tells the website what to do on the website. We’re going to pull those parameters off the URL and we’re going to save them as Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics.
And this is helpful because the reporting view that we have set up, we’ve actually removed those parameters from the end and well that’s really helpful for being able to see exactly how many people looked up your page, that information might have been useful to you especially if you’re in e-commerce and so I suggest adding them as Custom Dimensions and then you can access them again in reports or if you’re manually looking through Google Analytics.
Alright, now this one is going to be somewhat more technical lesson than others and also we’re going to be using a, a tool, a Python script which I’m going to be running on some software called Cygwin. Now, you don’t need to follow that exact procedure if you don’t want to. You can also do it manually but I’m going to run through what I do and you can follow along and I’ve given you access to the Python script in case you want to.
Alrighty, so let’s go ahead and do it. So what you want to be doing is going to this website,
www.thequantifiedweb.com/exactga and put your email address in and click Get Started Today. Then you want to scroll all the way down to Convert Parameters to Custom Dimensions.
Alrighty, So I’ve just explained that anyway but basically, we’re going to be creating custom dimensions from the key parameters on the URL that are being stripped in the No Parameters view. Needs a little bit more interpretation and don’t worry about doing this if you are just using a — if you have a very basic website. It’s helpful if you have e-commerce, booking engines or other more complex websites that are putting parameters on the URL. But if you just have, like, a WordPress website and you’re just logging, it’s really, there’s not really going to be many parameters in there that you don’t want to keep. So that’s not going to be an issue.
Yes, so most small business lead generation sites don’t have much in the way of that. Alright, if you have a strategy plan and it turns out that you do have things that we want to keep then I’ll let you.
Alright, so for this tool I’m using something called Cygwin and this is some software that emulates the next —you don’t actually need to do it but I like running scripts using Cygwin because I used to be a computer programmer for 10 years and I used to use Linux, so that’s my, that’s my preferred tool. And I have put a tools folder under my G:/MyDrive/tools and you can put it wherever you like. The only reason why I’ve specified this is because later I’ve got a screenshot showing you how to do it and there should be a split_params.py script that — feel free to download it, you can use it as well.
Alrighty, so what we want to be doing is going to the Behavior, All Pages, sorry, Site Content, All Pages. It’s missing up here. Alright, now if you are just doing this by yourself then we want to go the Unfiltered Data but if you’re doing this as part of the setup then we actually need to go to the Filtered Data with No Params because your Unfiltered — your previous historical Unfiltered Data got turned into this view when we set up your Analytics. So this one historically has all of your Unfiltered. But in the future, if you’re to come and do this in a few weeks time then it would be the Unfiltered Data that we would want to use.
So now, we want to get a list of all the pages that have parameters on them. So, now I’ve just realized that I’ve come to the homepage, you know I’m talking and I haven’t gone to the right place. So let’s go there. Alright, now we want to get a list of all the pages that have parameters in them. So we want to type the question mark symbol in the search box which is here. Okay, and what that would do is it will find all of the parameters — now, actually, we probably want to change the date range.
Make sure that the search returns several different parameters, if not increase the period of time. Now, this particular website doesn’t have a lot of traffic so let’s just increase the amount of time. Look, there’s no exact amount of time that you need to apply, we just want to have several parameters in there. Alrighty, go aim for 3000-5000 pages of parameters if possible or two months of data, if not enough. The main thing we want to do is uncover the different parameters that are on the website.
Now, we want to change the row count because more than likely there will be more than ten. It always has just ten on there so we increase that based on how many rows you have. Now, if you see over here, you can see this is some examples of some of the parameters that are on this website. So we’ve got this one here sort_by=best-selling and then we’ve got another parameter that says &page=1. So there are actually two parameters on this. We’ve got sort_by and then we’ve got page.
And then we’ve got this one here has Variant. What else do we have? We’ve got one here that has channel=facebook and then you’ll see that you’ve got some that are not readable. Now, this is actually a Facebook ID. So Facebook is driving everybody back here at the moment by adding an ID at the end of everything that came from Facebook which means that you end up with like — so this slash here is the homepage and literally you just have like one person listed against being at the homepage because of all these Facebook IDs. This is one, oops, this is the key reason why you want to be stripping parameters off the end because it’s just ridiculous. You can’t read your Analytics report if it’s split up into individual one people.
Alright, well this gives us a bit of an idea anyway of the types of parameters that are in there. I’m seeing more so far variants, I’m seeing q which is for search and yeah that’s pretty much what I’m seeing. There might be some others in there.
Now, we want to export those to your computer. So we click Export and choose CSV and choose to Save the file. So it is important that you increase the number of rows first because if you only have ten rows list in there then you can only export ten lines which won’t give you all of the information.
Alright, so we want to click on Export and we want to pick CSV and it will say Exporting CSV, we want to Save that. Cool! So it’s going to quote something like this. Now, just for — if you’re using Cygwin, you might not be familiar with how to use Linux, so I recommend renaming it to a file without any spaces. So let me just go and find it and I recommend putting that in wherever your Cygwin, sorry, wherever the Python script is, wherever you’ve installed that. So I put mine under tools. So I’m just going to put that in there.
Alrighty, now this is actually for my team. I don’t think it’s public. So this link won’t work for you, unfortunately. Alrighty, so we want to put it in the — put the CSV file in the same folder as where you have your Python script. Now, my team member has Cygwin typed in but I’m familiar with using Linux so I tend to use the tab key and I do it — basically if you hit tab well then know the system that it will order the way it populates it.
Alrighty, so we need to do python3 split_params.py, that’s the name of the script that I’m using and I called mine exact-process-ga-example, oops, I end up with two csvs. It doesn’t matter. And what that’s going to do is it’s going to read the file. It ain’t a bit slow. Oh, it just took a long time. That’s strange. Alright, I was getting impatient.
Alright, so what it’s done is found all of the parameters that were in that data sample and it’s got the name of the parameter and how many instances there were. And then it has all of those listed out in the line as well, in case we want to add them somewhere else. We’re not going to go through doing that.
Alright, so we can see that sort_by has been used twice, page and we’ve got this variant, twenty-two times, that’s obviously pretty common. We have twenty-four instances of Facebook annoying our users that were there, annoying us. We’ve got a couple of search queries and then this one, it looked like there was some kind of a custom thing, it just had channel=facebook.
Alright, so these are the types of parameters that we’re dealing with on this website. You will have different ones. Some of them you’ll have will be similar but you may have different ones and it also depends on which system you’re using. So if you’re using an e-commerce system you might find that you’ll have some of the same ones as other people using the same e-commerce system as you.
Alrighty, so we want to come up with a list of parameter inclusions from that. So basically, what we want to do is pick out the ones that you think you’re going to be useful to keep. Now, the ones that I would keep on here would be — so we wouldn’t want to keep the search one because that’s kind of a, we’re using it elsewhere. So we already got that search term being used.
But I would keep the sort_by, so I’ll just make a note of that, we want sort_by and I would want to keep variant. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want to keep any others, that’s not really useful. And it’s good actually that this particular client doesn’t have a million of them because it makes it easier for me to show.
Alright, so if there’s some that you’re really not sure, just write it as a list of maybes then you can investigate them. So you can, you can systematically go through each maybe and check them and if you’re not sure about one — so let’s just say we wanted to look at what that channel was. Now, I totally see what the channel was but I’m just going to show you. So, actually, no. No. we’ll just do that.
Alright, so what we’ll do is we go back into here and we will, instead of having just question mark, we will type in this word here, yeah, have I explained? Okay, I haven’t really explained it very well how to do that. So instead of having this question mark, we would put in the actual parameter itself so we’re going to check for Channel.
Alright, and basically so we want to see if this is a useful parameter or not. So we’ve typed in that parameter name and we just want to see whether this is a parameter that we care about keeping. Now, I’m not going to worry about this because we already have channel coming in through other means but this will help you to see if it’s human-readable or not.
So what we’re looking for are things that are either human-readable because they have text or something where a particular number maps to a particular value so in this example here we got color=4 where 4 maps to something specific and those can be really useful as custom dimensions.
Alrighty, so another thing you might have is you might have a value that matches an ID from other software. So you might have a Mailchimp ID for example. So even though it’s not human-readable it’s still useful because if you want to map an ID back to your software then you can just pull up straight out of Google Analytics.
Something’s are just completely not human-readable and you just don’t even want to include them. There’s no point in having custom dimensions for things that you don’t know what they are anyway. They’re just, they’re just for the software. Alright, we want to reduce the list to no more than 15 custom parameters preferably no more than 10-12 and in this case, we’ve only got two.
So let’s go through the first custom dimension that we’re going to create. So we want to go to Admin and select Custom Dimension from the drop-down menu and that is under Property. So let’s go Admin and under Property Settings, we go down to Custom Definitions and Custom Dimensions. Then click on New Custom Dimension. This client doesn’t have any Custom Dimensions. You may or may not have some. Most people don’t have them.
Alright, so let’s give it a name that is human-readable. So the one that I’m going to do now is sort_by. So I’m going to do it as sort order because I think that makes sense. And we want to choose Hit. So Hit means every time that happens it will save it in Google Analytics. And we want to click check Active and once it has a check and then click Create.
You’re going to get a window that looks like this and you want to click Ok to that or Done and then we want to do one for each so luckily, this one is super easy because we’ve only got two. I’ve just given some examples here.
Now, if you open the Filtered Data No Params view in a new tab, we are going to create some filters that will let us turn these into Custom Dimensions. Alrighty, so we want to go to Admin and we want to select Filtered Data No Params again, yeah, we’ve got that one and if there is an on-site search parameter in the parameters list, edit the view, check to make sure, oh okay.
So in the parameters list here we had, this one here q, q is for searching. That’s for an on-site search. So we’re just going to double-check that we did correctly set it up. Alright, I do recall that we did it but let’s just check anyway. So it’s under View Settings. We just want to make sure that we have q in there and we do. Alrighty, now I can just hit Cancel instead of Save because I didn’t change anything.
Now, we are going to add a filter. So go Filters, we want to go Add Filter. Now, the purpose of this filter is to turn this custom dimension or the, we’re going to turn the parameter that was in the URL that we got rid of into a custom dimension in Google Analytics and the filter is going to do that for us.
Alrighty, so refer to the list of custom dimensions open in your other tab. Alright, so we have two custom dimensions here. Index 1 and index 2. Let’s just pick the first one. So we’re going to pick sort order. Now, if you, if you click on that then you can copy the text directly.
Alright, so what we are going to do we are going to create a new filter and we’re going to name that the same name so that it’s really easy for us to know what we’re referring to because it’s the same one and we are going to make it Custom and we’re going to set it to Advanced. Now, actually, if you want to make it even easier you could call it custom dimension sort order. I probably should have specified that in the procedure actually but I’m in the habit of making it easier on myself to get through this quickly but you might find that easier actually to call it custom dimension sort order.
Alrighty, and then we want to — now, this is a little bit tricky, this part here. We want to actually copy, oh we haven’t got that like little symbol that we had in some of the earlier symbols but we want to copy this exactly. So in — actually, I’ve skipped it, to Advanced and in the Select field here we want to pick Request URI. So that Request URI that is the URL across the top. So we want to pick this text and we need to replace the ID with the parameter from here from Cygwin. So in this case, it is sort_by. Alright, that was a couple of examples.
Now, under the Output 2, we type in $A2 and this Constructor, we need to pick our custom dimension in here. Now, if you scroll down a bit all the way down the bottom and we want it to be down here and we want to go $A2. So what this is doing is taking the value of the parameter and it’s going to save it in that custom dimension. Alright, I’m going to save that one. We want to do that for all of our custom dimensions.
So I’ll just do another one quickly and this one is going to be variant, custom, okay it was that one. You can just go back and see it again. So it was Advanced, we do Request URI in here and then here we picked variant. So we want to copy this. I’m going to put it in here. I’m going to replace this ID with the actual parameter. So in this case, it will be variant and then under variant, we do $A2. So I know that is just so geeky, I’m really sorry to hurt your brain. Alrighty, click Save.
Alrighty, so we want to re-order the filters again so that the removing parameters and removing the trailing slashes are at the end. Now, we probably don’t need to add this custom dimensions to any other views. It’s unlikely that you would be using them all the time. So if you just add them to Filtered Data No Params view, that’s the only one that’s really relevant and to be honest, the other filtered data still has parameters in there so the other one will actually have them on the URL. So it’s just this one view that we want to change.
So now if we go into Filters, oh I was in there. Assign Filter Order, we want to go and re-order the filters so that the remove parameters and remove trailing slashes are at the end. So you can see now that these ones have been put to bottom so let’s just move them up. Move this one up and then what it will do now is it will take the custom dimension out, put it in a — or take, it will take sort order parameter out and put it in this custom dimension. It will take variant out and put it in a custom dimension and then it will remove all the parameters so that way we can save it. If you have them around the other way around, it will remove all the parameters first and then you won’t be able to find them.
Now, we need to wait a couple of days to make sure that that’s working. So I can’t do that straight away. But we want to just test that that’s working because it’s really easy to make a mistake when it comes to copying that text. So the first thing we want to do is test the Search Query Behavior is set correctly by going to Site Search, Searched Terms.
Now, it will not show you in here because it’s been less than 48 hours. But if you go to Searched Terms, you should start seeing any searches coming through in here now. So basically, you want to see, you want your graph to be looking like, like something’s happening. And then you want to test that your Custom Dimension filters are working correctly.
So the way that you would do that is — so you’re already in this Behavior –> Site Search –> Searched Terms, it doesn’t really matter what report you’re in but let’s just go in here anyway let’s see if it is doing anything. Yeah, so no one has done any searches since yesterday when I recorded that one but what you would do is — actually it’s probably best to go into an Acquisition one for this rather than Site Search. So just go to All Traffic –> Channels and then choose a Secondary dimension of the Custom Dimensions that you’ve created and if it’s working correctly then you should have data now coming into this field here. Obviously, we’ve only just set it up in this case so there’s nothing coming through yet.
You need to leave enough time, so I’ve set 48 hours but you need to leave enough time if someone’s actually tried to do this. Though if it’s not working straight away then you just come back again after a week or so.
Alrighty, well hopefully that just didn’t explode your head too much. I know some of these analytical things can be a little bit detail-oriented and not everyone’s into that. So if that’s the case, I’m sorry if you found that painful but hey, my team really love this stuff so if you have anything like this that you want some help with just, just shout out to us. We’ll give you a hand with that.
I think we’ve got a little link here, here you go, you can click on Support and you can just contact us if you want us to help with. Okay, so in the next lesson, we are going to go through Configuring Custom Channels and then we’ve only got a few more lessons left and then you are done. So Configuring Custom Channels next and I will see you on that lesson.
How to Configure Custom Channels in Google Analytics
The Channels report is a lot more useful than Source / Medium or Source in my opinion because it’s higher level rather than being too deep in the weeds. Source / Medium can be really frustrating to use because of the level of detail. Your marketing team may even customize the Source / Medium when they use third-party tools to upload content. When this happens you end up with Facebook, facebook, facebook.com, m.facebook.com and lm.facebook.com in your Source / Medium report. These are all treated as different sources unless you combine them all in one place. All of this leads to just way too much detail to be useful. Channels are the best way to pull all the related Source / Mediums under one label that can be used for your reports.
The channels that come out of the box with Google Analytics take a high-level perspective, but sometimes you need just a bit more detail. If you’re a heavy user of social media, for example, its helpful to compare Facebook results directly against your Google Ads results, but unfortunately the default channels just lump all Social Media together and all Paid Search together. The best way to separate them out into traffic sources that are highly relevant for your business is to create custom acquisition channels. These are basically labels that you give to the primary ways that you bring in traffic so that you can compare them to each other.
Unfortunately, even though custom channels are incredibly useful and I always set them up for any clients I work with, they’re not the simplest thing to set up. With this video you will learn our templated way of doing it, otherwise, you might get stuck trying to work it out on your own.
Click to Open Transcription of Video
Welcome to Lesson Twenty in the Exact Process for Setting Up Google Analytics by The Quantified Web and this lesson we are going to go through setting up custom channels. Now, the channels are going to help you find out where your traffic came from. So there’s a couple of different ways that you can look where your traffic came from. It’s called Acquisition in Google Analytics. There’s the Channel Report and then there’s also Source/Medium or Source Reports.
Now, the trouble with using Source/Medium is you just have too much detail in there, it’s really not useful for getting a good snapshot of what’s going on but when you use the default Channel Report that comes with Google Analytics, things aren’t always helpful in there either. For a start, all of the social channels are just lumped under social and there’s no separation — so there’s no separation between paid and free traffic sources. They’re all lumped in together as well.
So I usually like to separate out major social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest if you’re using it and in some cases, depending on your data strategy, I like to separate paid Facebook from organic Facebook for example.
Alrighty, so let’s go through and see how to set up these Custom Channels. Alright, so the first thing you’re going to want to do is to go to thequantifiedweb.com/exactga. Oh, I don’t know why that took so long to load in and then you want to put your email address in and click Get Started Today. I think I might be having a slow internet connection today. Oh, goodness, oh here we go.
Alright, so you want to go down to Configure Custom Channels and here’s how to do it. Hmmm, it’s got to be my internet connection. We haven’t got it running slow before. Alright, so the first thing we want to do is — actually, let me just go through here. So, so basically we’re creating custom names for each of the main marketing channels that you’re using to bring traffic to your website and this enables you to set up reports that aggregate well.
So we want to have, you want to be able to separate the different ways that people are coming to your website in a way that is useful to you when you’re trying to work out how much money to spend on different things.
Alrighty, so let’s go back to the Filtered Data No Params view. Now, if you’ve been following along with me we set this one up quite early in the piece and if this is the first one that you’ve looked at please go to an earlier lesson to learn about that view.
Now, just to note here sometimes it can be… there’s a little bit testing involved in getting the custom channels right so it’s best to get it all working in one and then follow through in all of your other views to make them all look the same.
Alright, so let’s go to Acquisition and we want All Traffic and Source/Medium. Now, what we’re going to do is find out what kind of traffic you have coming through your Google Analytics. Now, if you have paid campaigns or if you’re using an agency, you might have some custom things in here that we need to turn into their own channels.
So we want to look for any traffic that doesn’t fit any of the standard channels. Now, that helps my team know what those are but basically in terms of standard — actually, I can, Acquisition, I have to go to the channels one. Let me just show you want the standard channels are first.
Alright, so standard channels will be Direct, Organic Search, Social, Referral. Then you’ll have, you’ll have paid ads, sorry, paid search and there’ll be display and there’ll be a few others as well but you’re going to see this. So the Standard Default Channel Groupings there are a little bit too few, there’s just not quite enough of them whereas if you go to Source/Medium you just get too many.
And the other really annoying thing about Source/Medium is Facebook, for example, have facebook.com and then that will have l.facebook.com and then there’s like instagram.com and l.instagram.com, m.facebook, all these different services that are all essentially the same thing and you don’t want — like if you want to know how many people came from Facebook, you don’t want to know that 19 people came from facebook.com but 6 people came from l.facebook.com and five came from m.facebook.com. That’s just far too complicated.
Whereas if you look at the default channels it just lumps them all under Social. So now you know you’ve got 40 people coming from Social and then if you want to break it up into Facebook, Instagram, etcetera, you need to click through onto that but then you could no longer compare these to all your other channels which are quite annoying. I like to see them all compared against each other because then you can do nice pie charts at the top of the thing.
Alrighty, so anyway back to what we were doing. So we’re really only interested in the top ten or so because you’re going to have little, you’re going to have weeds down here. There are actually seventeen rows and there’s going to be all of this one season, two seasons that you’ll start to see because you’ve got a long list, we’re just interested in the top ten.
Now, I can see that this particular client has direct traffic. They’ve got organic search through Google organic. They’ve got Facebook. They’ve got — so this can come on the organic search. So they’ve got Instagram, again Facebook and we got this Facebook one as well. Now, you might notice that this one has a capital F whereas this one has a lowercase f and that one doesn’t have .com is because this one is being set up manually with a tool of some sort. So you can have a tool that posts directly to Facebook and then it will override what you’ve got as the Source/Medium. So you’re going to be looking out for those types of things.
Alrighty, so we basically just wanted to see if there was anything unusual. So we’re looking out for any traffic that doesn’t fit any of the standard channels and in this case, we do have one actually. We’ve got that one that was Facebook with a capital C, so I’ll just make a note of that, sorry, not C. Facebook with a capital F. Don’t know where I learned to spell.
So we made a note here that it might have been customised by overriding the Source/Medium, so that’s the case with that Facebook one. This can easily be done by marketers and software and can be the top cause of much gnashing of teeth in the custom channels set up.
Alrighty, so let’s actually do it. Let’s go to Channels and we’re going to Admin. Now, go to Channel Settings and Channel Grouping. Now, we don’t want to lose your current Default Channel Grouping — oh, here, this is what all the standard ones are by the way. So you got Direct, Organic Search, Social, Email, Affiliate, Referral, Paid Search, Other Advertising and Display. So those are the standard ones but I like to have a few more.
Alright, so we’re going to copy this one by clicking Copy over here. Actions –> Copy and we want to rename the copy to Original Default Channel Grouping. So that we still got it, you know where our leads at, okay and click Save.
Alright, so now we’ve got a Default Channel Grouping and an Original Default. So we want to open the default one, do open this default one and not the original default because it only has one default at a time it won’t — it can let you switch to the other one but if you go to import your data into Google Data Studio it will only use the Default Channel Grouping.
Alright, so we’re going to create a Facebook channel. So let’s define a new channel and name it Facebook. Alrighty, so you click here, Define a new channel. Now, if we’re going to be separating the PPC traffic from Organic traffic, name it Facebook Organic. If unsure, check with the person who designed the data strategy. So I like to check what their paid ad strategy is and make sure that we have these channels the way they want to.
So in this particular client, I’m just going to set it up as Facebook and not Facebook Organic and Facebook PPC but if they’re wanting to compare their organic with their PPC then I would set it up the other way. Alright, so I’m going to ignore this, I’m just going to call it Facebook.
Alright, use the search box to find the Source and select it. I’m going to type in Source. Alrighty, now we want Facebook in that text box and then facebook.com. Alright, so this facebook.com, that is the standard default way of, oops, this is the standard default way that Facebook comes in. Alright, so — but this isn’t going to capture the Facebook with a capital F. So I think we have, I think we have some instructions for it down later for the unusual ones but I’m actually just going to do it while I’m in it.
So, oops, go working, alright. Now, I think I’ve got some instructions later but basically, if the Source contains facebook.com, that’s definitely Facebook and you can see that you can pick through facebook.com, m.facebook.com, l.facebook.com but the, if we use contains instead of equals then all of them contains facebook.com so you’re fine.
Now, in this particular case though, the client also has Facebook with a capital F, not capital C and that also was facebook traffic. So I’m just going to actually skip ahead and I want to do OR because this procedure can be a little bit confusing if you’re not used to logicals. So I’m just going to do OR–>Source–>contains–Facebook. Alright, so we’ve got one with the capital F as well because this one with a capital F would not have been picked up by that so we need to choose both of them.
Alrighty, now what do we get up to, oh actually I’ve said that we want — I shouldn’t have skipped it. Alright, so we want Facebook Organic. For this Facebook we want Source–>contains. Alright, so let’s actually just remove what I started doing in. So we want facebook.com, we do AND Medium – exactly matches – referral because that’s going to pick up the standard ones. Sorry, I got a bit ahead of myself. Alright, so that’s going to pick up the standard one. Okay, it gets a bit tricky actually.
In this case, we actually have to go against this, this — because we have one with a capital F and one that doesn’t have like — because we’ve got one standard and one that has a capital F, we actually can’t do it this way so the way that we would go and set it up isn’t going to work in this case because it doesn’t let us create a new row. So I would actually change this in this case, to instead of Source I would do Source/Medium–>contains–>facebook.com/referral. That’s still going to capture all of those and then I would do OR and this is where it can be a little bit tricky setting up these custom channels. Sometimes we have to test it a few times because my team will follow the procedure but sometimes there’s a few, a few ones.
Alright, so in this case, it’s actually Source/Medium–>contains–>facebook.com/referral would be one definition of Facebook or we’ve got Source/Medium–>contains–>Facebook with a capital F. Alright, now we want to pick a colour. So it doesn’t really matter which one, whichever colour you like. Alright, picked that, picked the red and then done.
Alright, now we want to create an Instagram channel. So let’s Define a new channel and we, now we didn’t have anything weird with Instagram so we’re just going to follow the procedure for this one. So we’re going to call this one Instagram and again if we’re going to be separating PPC from Organic we can do Instagram Organic.
Some of the pictures will show Instagram Organic or it kind of depends on how we did it in the example that we took screenshots from. Now, we want to go and find Source and we’re going to do the instagram.com. Oh, hang on, we don’t want the l.instagram.com. So if we do just instagram.com then it will cover all the different permutations.
Alrighty, and we want Medium – exactly matches – referral. I usually separate out the Source and the Medium because there can be times when you need to — there can be times when the logic requires you to separate them all out because people are overridden certain parts of it. So exactly matches – referral. Alright, and pick a different colour. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s different.
Alrighty, now we’re going to rename the Social channel to Other Social because it’s going to have other things other than those. Social, that one and what we can do here so this will match anything that’s social but the way that it works is if it’s matched from the ones that are higher in the order then it won’t match here. So it won’t match twice. So the Instagram and Facebook will come in first and then anything that’s left over will get across this Other Social.
So we want the Paid Search channel to be called Other Paid Search because we’re going to add AdWords. Alright, so we’re going to do Google Ads. Now, this client doesn’t have Google Ads but it’s so common that we might as well add it anyway. And I like to separate Google Ads from all the other paid search because I don’t really want to combine — I don’t want Bing ads to be combined with other paid search and sometimes depending on how some others set it up, Facebook paid can sometimes end up in that other paid search which is really annoying because it’s not a paid search. It’s actually, you know display or social, social advertising but yes, so I like to separate out Google Ads. You don’t really spend that much on Bing Ads generally. At least I haven’t come across that many who were using Bing Ads as their primary traffic.
Alrighty, so we’ve called that Google Ads and we’re going to say that it’s a System Defined Channel. Select System Defined Channel from the Ad — oh, it’s not at the Ad Content Menu, it’s actually the rows here but we’re going to choose System Defined Channel and have Paid Search –> AND –> Source exactly matches. Basically, if it’s Paid Search and it’s Google, we’re going to have this in lowercase, yes google. We want a different colour.
So basically, if it is, if the System Defined Channel is Paid Search and also the Source exactly matches google then it’s going to come up as Google Ads. Alrighty, email channel, alright, so let’s adjust this one. So we open Email and we’ve got System Defined Channel matches Email but we can do better than that. We can also do OR Medium contains Email because sometimes I see emails come through but for some reason, System Defined Channel doesn’t pick it up.
Now, I’ll tell you what, this is an interesting one. So I think if it has a capital Email then it comes through as in the System Defined Channel but if it has lowercase it doesn’t always so I’m doing lowercase email. Select the lowercase option. Alright, and pick a different color. Again it doesn’t matter what colour you’ve done.
Alright, and this is one you will see if you noticed traffic sources/mediums that don’t fit any of the standard channels then we want to — okay, now actually this is some other social media ones. So we’ve also got Pinterest and LinkedIn but not everyone uses Pinterest or LinkedIn. I didn’t recall saying Pinterest or LinkedIn in this particular set up so we’re not going to worry about these ones. So if you didn’t see Pinterest or LinkedIn then skip them but otherwise, you can create Pinterest and you can create LinkedIn.
If we’re separating PPC from Organic then do these PPC specific ones but we’re not doing a separate PPC set up in this case. Alright, so we’ve got to save it. So it’s one of these things actually where these custom channels are very much based on what you’ve got in your traffic so you could follow exactly what I’ve done and that could be a little of bit off so we do have some testing that we have.
So after a period of time, we always want to test this custom channel. The custom channels can take a couple of hours to get right. Alright, so — and I always suggest doing an annotation when you change custom channels just because it’s a good idea to know when you did it so then you can go back and make sure you pick a date range since you made this custom changes.
So to leave an annotation you want to go to Admin and then View, now I’m actually already in the view so I don’t need to do it again and I’m sure you guys can see it, I can’t see it at the moment. Where did it go? Oh, there it is. I bet you guys were like pointing on the screen going, “There it is. There it is.”
Alright, so we’re going to do an Annotation. Alrighty, and we are going to do Added new Default Channel Grouping. Backed up old Channel Grouping as “Original Default Grouping.” Alrighty, just make it visible to everybody.
Now, we’re only changing it in this one view at this point in time but then we’re going to repeat that. So to save you guys the time, I’m not going to repeat those channels now. You don’t need to really see it twice but we would normally want to repeat it for each view and then we want to test. So we want to wait at least 48 hours but preferably even wait a week. But there are times when – if we have to do it within a certain period of time so if there’s a campaign coming up then we want to basically wait 48 hours and then check. And then if we start a new campaign, we want to check that it’s working straight after we started the new campaign as well.
So we’ve got, we’ve got a quick check here and then after a week we’ve got another more detailed check that we’re going to do as well because these custom channels is an area that can definitely get flaky because it was — it’s so hard to standardize actually, it’s very, very much needs to be fit in with the way you got your Analytics set up or what kind of traffic you’re using I should say and whether particularly if you have, if you’re using a marketing team or if you’re a marketing team and you’re or if you’re using a software that’s overriding some of the defaults then that can get really tricky.
Okay, so I’m not going to go through — yeah, okay, I’ll do the motions of going through it but obviously, we haven’t waited 48 hours. So to test that we want to open the Channels graph. So, oh did I do this already? I think I did that with another two last time. Alright, so let’s just do the motions so we’d like to go to the Channels graph which is in Acquisition –> All Traffic –> Channels.
We’re going to set the date range to include only dates since the change was made. Now, that doesn’t help in this case because we only just made it. So let’s just pretend that was the last week and we’ll pretend that it was since then and we want to check the Primary Dimension menu. Expand the Primary Dimension menu. Okay, yes, so we want to check whether we have the two different Channel Groupings in there which we should do. Alright, so first we — and we want to make sure the, like normally the Default Channel Grouping will always be ticked. Then we want to make sure that the new traffic channels are visible.
Now, they won’t be visible in this case because we haven’t had time go past so it won’t change any historical data. It will only start working from new data. We want to avoid things being listed as (other). So if you made a mistake then you’ll see a channel listed as (other). So if you see that it means you made a mistake and then you need to rectify it.
So you want to open up any listings that have (other) and try to work out what is going in there and then whatever is in there will indicate what you need to fix in the Custom channels and basically, we want to test each view that we’ve changed the Custom channels for.
So that’s a very quick check after you’ve or a couple of days after you’ve done it and then in about a or after about a week, we’ll do a more detailed check. Then like anybody having a set up that isn’t perfect because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Alright, well that’s the end of that particular lesson and the next thing that we are going to go through is — oh, so we’re up to testing now. So we’ve got three things test and then we are finished setting up.
So we’re going to be Testing the Remove Trailing Slashes Filter and the Remove All Parameters Filter. We’ll be Testing the Goals and later we’ll be Testing the Custom Channels.
Alrighty, well I hope this lesson has been helpful to you and like I said, these Custom channels can be a bit tricky so if you need any support with this just click on this Support button here and you can get through to a member of my team or to myself. Alright, have a good day!
Test Remove Trailing Slashes Filter and Remove All Params Filter
In this lesson you will learn how to test these key filters have been applied correctly.
In this lesson you will learn how to test your Goals have been updated correctly after making changes to your account.
Test Custom Channels
In this lesson you will learn how to test your Custom Channels have been set up correctly.