Want to view your website data in a different context? These are the Google Analytics views you should be using.
Filters and views are the foundation of your Google Analytics reports and when used correctly, can help you view your data in an entirely different context. How you view your website data will directly impact various different businesses decisions and outcomes, which is why it pays to know how to work with Google Analytics views in the most efficient way possible.
There are four main levels that make up a Google Analytics account, including:
Each Google Analytics user can create up to 100 accounts, each of which can have 50 properties. Users can then also create 25 different views for each property.
A view refers to the level where you can access your website reports as well as all analysis tools. Google Analytics will automatically create one unfiltered view for each of your website properties; however, it’s possible to set up multiple views on a single property.
The data that you send to anyone Analytics property will appear in all views that are linked to that property. For example, if you’re tracking data for three websites but they are all linked to one property, all data for those sites will appear in one report.
To pull reports that are more specific, filters can be used to customize your views. Excluding data in your views and using tools such as Goals, Alerts, and Segments will help make your data more accurate.
Below are the views that you should definitely be using:
This is the view that you will use when applying all of your segments and filters. Your Master view is what you will use to pull all of your reports and optimize your website. If you are tracking stats for different websites, you would set up a Master view for each of them.
While your Master view is what you will apply all of your filters and segments to, your Test view will serve as a testing environment. It’s important to always make sure that you’re applying filters correctly and that they’re working as you envisioned before you use them for reporting purposes.
You always still want to be able to access your raw data, which is why you should have a Raw view that doesn’t have any filters applied to it.
Your Master and Test view is what you will use for the application of filters and segments that will give you a more accurate view of your website data.
Below are a few best practices that you can follow to really benefit from Google Analytics views.
A measurement plan is directly linked to the optimization of your website and will give you a better idea of the types of views and filters you should set up. Your measurement plan should include information on:
A repository will allow you to create all of the filters that you want to use without immediately applying them to any of your views. You will require Edit access at an account level to set up an initial overview of filters.
Filter out any bot and spam traffic from your reports by using the bot filtering option. Just be sure not to apply this to your Raw view.
Macro and Micro goals are an incredibly important configuration in Analytics. Create your goals in your Test view first before sharing them across your other views.
Applying naming conventions to your views and your filters will make them easier to identify and work with.
Even if www.testsite.com/ leads to exactly the same page as www.testsite.com/index.php, Google Analytics will see the two domains as separate and generate separate reports too. It’s best to rather define the Default page of your site so that Google will treat the two pages as one.
Your data needs are going to keep changing, which is why your reports and configuration will also need to be updated on a regular basis. It’s also important to actually apply the learnings from your reports so that you’re not just tracking your stats but benefiting from them too.
By having a thorough understanding of which views are most important and how to use them correctly, you can truly benefit from Google Analytics in a whole new way.