Discover the potential of Google Analytics filters

Written by

Susana Argudo

ANALYTICS · 18 / 03 / 2020

Why using Google Analytics filters will allow you to optimize your daily work as a web analyst? Whether your passion is web analytics or if you work occasionally with Google Analytics, this article interests you!

Filters allow us to modify the information that a view reports to us. When we create a property, a view called “All website data” is associated by default. We recommend you leave this view that is created by default and create new views to which to apply the filters.

For example, a web page that is an e-Commerce and has a built-in blog, we can have a view with “All data on the website”, which reports all the data on the page, another view with a filter that only allows us of e-Commerce data and another view with a filter that only reports the blog information. In this way, whether you are a web analyst or content manager, with a simple glance, you can access the data quickly for later analysis.

Before we begin to explain how to create a filter, let’s remember what the structure of Google Analytics is:

  1. Account: it is the access point to Google Analytics. From the account, we can manage users, properties and permissions.
  2. Property: a property is a website or an app. An account can include several properties. Each of them is associated with a specific tracking code. For each property, Google Analytics creates a view with “All website data”.
  3. Views / Profiles: The view is where we see the reports. It is the data to the access point. A property can have different views, but they all share the same tracking code. In this way, we can create for a property different views to which we will incorporate filters. For example:
      • A view with all website data. It comes predefined and we recommend you to leave it.
      • A view that only reflects the data for a given country.
      • A view that only reports Google Ads data.
      • A view with the data of a specific subdomain.
      • A test view.

How to create a filter in Google Analytics?

Before starting to create the filters, it is important to know what the KPIS are and what information we want to analyze. Based on this, we create a certain number of views for an account and apply some filters or others.

Predefined filters in Google Analytics

In this article, we will learn to create predefined filters. To create a filter, we go to the Google Analytics administrator and select the account, property and view. From the view, we access the filters.

Descubre el potencial de los filtros de Google Analytics

Within filters, we select “Add filter”.

Descubre el potencial de los filtros de Google Analytics

Next, we begin to create the filters. In this article we will explain the 4 filters that are predefined:

1. Include / exclude traffic from IP addresses:

This filter serves to exclude visits from a specific IP.

Descubre el potencial de los filtros de Google Analytics

2. Include / exclude ISP domain traffic. Some companies have their own ISP or a company network.

To create the filter and exclude the traffic that comes from the ISP, follow these steps:

  • We select to create a new filter.
  • In the name of the filter, we can put: Exclude ISP
  • In the “filter type” option, we select predefined.
  • We select the option “exclude”, “ISP domain traffic”, “which are equal to”.
  • Finally, we enter the domain and save the filter we have created.

3. Include / exclude only traffic to host name. This filter serves to include / exclude only traffic for a given hostname. Example:

Descubre el potencial de los filtros de Google Analytics

4. Include / exclude only traffic to subdirectories. This filter is very useful, for example, when as we mentioned at the beginning, we have an online store and we want to exclude blog traffic:

Creating this filter, we would have a view with only the data of the store.

The configuration would be as follows:

Descubre el potencial de los filtros de Google Analytics

On the contrary, if we want only the data that comes from the blog, the filter to be applied would be the following:

Descubre el potencial de los filtros de Google Analytics

It is important in both cases to select the option “starting with”, since if we select “that are equal to / blog /”, it will only show us the traffic of the main page of the blog.

5. Campaign labels in lowercase. If several people create campaign tags to analyze their performance, the assigned names may not be homogeneous, so it would be useful to add filters to force all of your campaign tags to lowercase.

This will clean the data in Analytics reports to prevent, for example, that the data from “Campaign One”, “Campaign One” and “Campaign One” are viewed separately. With the application of this filter, you can see the combined data.

You must create additional lowercase filters for “Campaign Source, Campaign Medium”, “Campaign Term” and “Campaign Content”.

Etiquetas de campañas en minúscula6. Search and replace

You can use the search and replace filters to clean a range of data in your reports. For example, you can use this type of filter you can track the submissions of forms called “sub_form_dm” and replace them with a more understandable and easy-to-read name, such as “Subscription form” in your reports.

Filtros de buscar y reemplazar

7. Add the web domain in the reports

If you have added your tracking code to several websites (for example, if you are using cross-domain tracking), it will be interesting to add this filter to your report view.

This filter makes it easy to see how your different websites and their content work from the same Analytics report. The application of this filter will mean that in the “Site contents” report, you will be able to see “”, instead of just “/ courses /”, so that you can analyze the operation of different websites in a single Analytics report.

Most common uses of Google Analytics filters

  • Exclude traffic from an IP.
  • On websites with a large number of subdomains, filters are used to obtain data for each subdomain and track.
  • Analyze users from certain countries.
  • Track users who access our website through tablet / mobile.
  • Reflect only Google Ads traffic, in case we carry out PPC campaigns.

Some considerations of Analytics filters

  • Filters are not retroactive, that is, they are applied from the moment they are created.
  • To create a filter you must have an account with administrator rights.
  • Filters may take up to 24 hours to update data.
  • Filters can be removed.
  • The order of the filters is important.
  • If we filter by a domain we don’t have to use “www.”

The next articles, we will discuss how to create custom filters in Google Analytics.

What do you think about the predefined filters? Have you already applied them? Tell us!

If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you to solve them 😉

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