Create Google Analytics Filters: A How-To Guide Plus Benefits

How to Create Google Analytics Filters & Why You Should

By Shaun KanaryJan 6 /2022

With a constant influx of data collected from your website, Google Analytics can often be an overwhelming space for business leaders. An unprecedented sea of raw data tends to feel like unorganized filing cabinets filled with years’ worth of information. There’s certainty that the data can provide some valuable insights, but the question is where these insights live and how to find them.

Google Analytics filters make it faster and easier for business leaders to find these answers. By segmenting their website data with these filters, businesses can control the data that appears in their Google Analytics reports and use customized metrics to simplify the analysis of their data.

Before we dive into the types of Google Analytics filters you can create — and their benefits — let’s run through a quick how-to on setting up these filters in Google Analytics.

Your Step-By-Step Guide for Creating Google Analytics Filters

You can create Google Analytics filters at one of two levels: at the account level or view level.

Filters created at the account level can be assigned to the respective views, while filters created at the view level can be created right from the reporting view.

(Note: While there are options to construct custom Google Analytics filters, we’ll focus on using predefined filters for the context of today’s conversation.)

Setting Up a Filter at the Account Level

  1. In Google Analytics, click on Admin and select the account where you want to add filters
  2. Click All Filters in the account column
  3. Select + Add Filter
  4. Add a name for the filter
  5. Select Predefined to choose from the predefined filter types
  6. From the Available Views list, select the views where you want to add the filter and click Add
  7. Click Save

Setting Up a Filter at the View Level

  1. In Google Analytics, click on Admin and select the view where you want to add filters
  2. Click Filters in the view column
  3. Select + Add Filter
  4. Select Create new filter
  5. Add a name for the filter
  6. Select Predefined to choose from the predefined filter types
  7. From the Available Views list, select the views where you want to add the filter and click Add
  8. Click Save

When setting up any filters, one thing to always remember is to keep an unfiltered flow of traffic coming into Google Analytics for each of your property types (e.g., your website, your mobile app, your microsites, etc.). The reason is when you turn on filters, you’ll permanently include, exclude, and alter the data that hits that view — and you can’t go backwards to retrieve the raw data you may need to pull in the future. Having an unfiltered view of your data ensures you have access to your full data set at any time.

Examples of the Ways You Can Leverage Google Analytics Filters

Exclude Internal Traffic

Often recognized as the most common and popular of Google Analytics filters, the exclusion of IP addresses can help businesses filter out internal traffic from website data results. In the light of the fact these individuals tend to be the biggest website users, removing these figures helps avoid artificially inflated metrics as well as improve the accuracy of conversion rate optimization.

Analyze the Behaviors of Certain Audiences

Consider the case of a telehealth app that’s used by patients, doctors, and employees alike. With Google Analytics filters applied to this property type, you can segment out these specific audiences based on their IP address or how they first entered the app. This division enables you to analyze the behaviors of these specific audiences within the app and better understand if the app is meeting their needs.

Analyze Individual Traffic Streams

Alongside looking at the sources of website traffic (e.g., organic search, email marketing, paid search, etc.), Google Analytics filters give you the option to segment properties so you can look at individual streams of website traffic. For instance, businesses could opt to filter out subfolders so they can look only at the careers page website on a domain, versus seeing all domain traffic. This makes it easier to understand how specific pages are performing and identify opportunities for improvement.

Customize Internal Resources

These subdomain and subdirectory filters can also support the needs of internal teams. For instance, you can create a report for HR that includes all of the traffic coming through the careers section of your website, so they can understand how individuals are consuming that content. Meanwhile, customer service can benefit from a report that includes all the traffic from your website’s learning library, so they can see where users are coming from and which articles they’re looking at.

And the List Goes On…

The list shared above only scratches the surface of what’s possible with Google Analytics filters. Beyond the examples highlighted, you can also create filters based on country, search terms, Google AdWords, e-commerce traffic, different operating systems and browsers, and more — with a list that can only be anticipated to expand in the future.

The Best Place to Start Your Google Analytics Filter Conversation

Before you start to create Google Analytics filters, the first step is to assess your business properties and goals. As you map out your properties and the data you need to deliver on your business objectives, you’ll establish a roadmap to define the views (and subsequent filters) you need to support your demand generation efforts.

The New Demand Generation
The Author

Shaun Kanary

With several years of marketing & sales experience for both the Cleveland Clinic and John Deere, Shaun brings a wealth of healthcare, consumer goods and industrial B2B marketing experience to Kuno Creative. Additionally, Shaun is a recognized authority in digital marketing and advertising as a respected college professor at Lorain County Community College, a professional speaker and columnist.