Eric Cressey

Tech writer - Content strategist - Developer

Getting Started with Filters and Goals in Google Analytics

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Now that you’ve modified your Google Analytics tracker to track virtual page views, there are a few steps to take before you can sit back and let the data flow in. First, you’ll want to filter the data to ensure it is higher quality and easier to parse.

I recommend setting up two filters:

  • One to block traffic from your company’s IP address
  • One to set all page paths to lowercase

To create a filter that sets all page paths to lowercase

  1. Log in to Google Analytics. Click the Admin tab.
  2. Select the appropriate Account, Property, and View for your web help.
  3. In the View column, select Filters.
  4. Click + New Filter.
  5. Under Choose method to apply filter to view, select Create new Filter.
  6. Next to Filter Name, enter Case Sensitive.
  7. Next to Filter Type, select Custom Filter. Then, select the Lowercase radio button.
  8. In the Filter Field drop-down, select Request URI.
  9. Click Save.

To create a filter to block traffic from your company’s IP address

  1. Repeat steps 1-5 shown above.
  2. Next to Filter Name, enter Block Internal Traffic.
  3. Next to Filter Type, select Predefined filter.
  4. Set the filter to Exclude traffic from the IP addresses that are equal to.
  5. Next to IP address, enter your company’s IP address or any other IP address you want to exclude.
  6. Click Save.

Using Goals to track searches and navigation through the TOC

Tracking searches in Google Analytics is tricky; you can’t use the Site Search Settings for your view because of how Flare implements its search and constructs search URLs. In addition to searches, it’s also useful to know how effective the table of contents is in helping the user navigation successfully. You can use goals to track searches and navigation through the TOC. I’ve shared these goals in the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery, so all you need to do is import them to your own Google Analytics project.

To import the goals for tracking TOC navigation and searches

  1. Click here.
  2. Click Import.
  3. In the Select a view drop-down, select the view for your web help.
  4. Ensure both goals are selected and click Create.

Once you start receiving data, you can check to see search results and TOC navigation from the Reporting page in Google Analytics.

To see search and TOC navigation data

  1. Login to Google Analytics and click the view for your web help.
  2. In the options on the left, click Conversions, then Goals, then Overview.
  3. On the Overview page, you’ll see broad data for the goals you set up. To see the results for a particular goal, select it the drop-down under Goal Option.

Now that you’ve set up goals and filters, you’re all set to start receiving high quality, informative data that can help you identify areas for improvement in your online help. You’ve done all of the groundwork for ensuring that you’ll get great data, but there’s more you can do. By creating custom segments and dashboards and generating meaningful reports, you can make your data as informative and easy to use as possible. I’ll cover segments, dashboards, and reports in my next post.