Understanding Google Analytics is vital when you are managing a website: data is knowledge and knowing where, when, how and why do visitors come to your website is pure gold for your business. (tweet this)

Google Analytics lets you analyse the mean features of your Marketing Funnel: Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversion, compiling data taken from the desktop, tablet and mobile devices, but also from video games and CRMs.

Understanding Google Analytics’ process of collecting data

  • The first step for setting up your Google Analytics account is to create your own account and to add the Google Analytics code to all pages of your site.
  • From this moment on, the tracking code will collect, for every visitor of your site and for every session, their
  • Language
  • Type of browser
  • Device
  • Operating system
  • Traffic source

One session begins when a visitor opens a page of your site and ends after he spent at least 30 minutes inactive. A new session begins if they reenter.

Understanding Google Analytics’ hierarchy and filters

After you started tracking data from your site, you will want to only collect the relevant one. So you probably will need to set some filters, for example, to exclude from being tracked your own company traffic or from some specific Countries you are not interested in.

Be very aware now: the traffic stored can’t be changed, so make sure you don’t exclude any important data! (tweet this!)

For this reasons, you need to set up the Google Analytics Hierarchy in the right way: once the data is saved, it can’t be changed anymore.

Here’s the hierarchic structure of any Google Analytics account:

Understanding Google Analytics Hierarchy
Google Analytics Hierarchy

In the Google Analytics Hierarchy, you may want to have different properties (2), for example for different sales regions or different brands.

Views (3) are where you can see reports, with filters to Include, Exclude or Modify. You can have max 25 views per property.

It is at a View (3) level that you can set up Goals (like for example how many users subscribed, and so on), which are so important that we will dedicate an entire article specifically for them.

Understanding Google Analytics’ views and permissions

If you delete a view, only administrators can recover it and only within 35 days, otherwise it will be permanently deleted.

  • Each level inherits the users’ permissions from the level above it. This means that, for example, if you can only View/Modify an Account (1),
  • you can only View/Modify a Property (2)
  • and you can only View/Modify a View (3).

You can set up Users permissions by clicking the Admin tab.

  • Managing Users CAN Add or remove user access to the Account (1), property (2) or View (3);
  • Editing Users CAN change configuration settings;
  • Collaborating Users CAN share parts of data or settings;
  • Reading & Analysing Users CAN view data, analyse reports & dashboards, but it restricts them from making changes to the settings or adding new users.

Step-by-Step guide: How to set up account views with filters

Now try and set up your very first filter o your account by following step by step the following instructions:

  • Open Admin Tab at the top
  • Under View (3), click View Settings
  • View Name is “All traffic”, but we suggest you rename it now as “Raw Data”
  • Now test your view to be sure you aren’t losing any traffic:
  • Create New View, name “Test View”
  • In “View Settings”, “Bot Filtering”, select “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”
  • Copy and rename this as “Master View”
  • Set up a common filter on the “Test View” to exclude internal IP traffic:
  • Choose the right “Test view” and click “Filters”, then click the red button “+ADD FILTER”
  • Name this Filter “Exclude internal traffic”: it is common, so choose “Predefined”.
  • Select Filter Type= Exclude, then Select Source or Destination = Traffic from IP address.
  • Select Expression = That is equal to. (You can find your IP address typing “What is my IP address” in Google)
  • To check that your IP address has been excluded, then click: Reporting ->
  • Real-time -> Overview and see your viewers.
  • Once you’ve verified this filter is working in your Test View, you can add it to your Master View:
  • Go back to Admin, Choose Test View, Filters, Add View -> Apply existing filter instead of Create New Filter. Select the filter and copy.
  • Filters have a rank and get inherited from top to bottom.

Please, let us know in the comments or on our Social Media channels if you succeed in creating your first filter and how was this experience.

To learn more, stay tuned for next Thursday’s Understanding Google Analytics lesson. If you wish to proceed further, you can also follow the online insights of the Google Analytics Academy.

Email us anytime if you struggle setting up and gathering the most relevant data from your Google Analytics. It is so important!

Print this lesson and keep it in your personalised PinkSEO.Marketing Guide together with the next one in which you will learn How to understand Google Analytics Audience, Acquisition and Behaviour