How to Make the Most of Google Analytics Views

2018/09/17 08:00

views google analytics

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.

Understanding Google Analytics Views

There are four main levels that make up a Google Analytics account, including:

  1. The account user
  2. The analytics account
  3. The property
  4. The view

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.  

Key Google Analytics views

Below are the views that you should definitely be using:

  • Master View

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.

  • Test View

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.

  • Raw View

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.

Tips for making the most of Google Analytics views

Below are a few best practices that you can follow to really benefit from Google Analytics views.

  • Have a measurement plan in place

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:

  • Your objectives and KPIs
  • Your target audience/s
  • Key marketing channels that you want to focus on
  • The domains you want to track
  • Any apps that you want to track
  • The people who should have access to your data
  • Any automation requirements
  • Any CRM data that needs to be merged with your Google Analytics data
  • Create a filter repository

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.

  • Test out bot filtering

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.

  • Utilise the Share Goals function

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.  

  • Naming conventions make a difference

Applying naming conventions to your views and your filters will make them easier to identify and work with.

  • Define your default page

Even if leads to exactly the same page as, 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.

  • Keep updating and optimizing

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.