10 Google Analytics Views that you must always use

Different people analyse and interpret the same data differently. It all depends upon the context in which they analyse and interpret the data.

Context is very important in digital analytics. You change the context, you change the direction of your analysis and by extension business outcomes.

For example,

One sharp peak in a 3 months sales graph make look like an anomaly to someone who is not familiar with a business’ day to day operations.

But if you ask the business owner, he can tell you that he ran a radio campaign on that day which spiked the sales. He interpreted the data correctly because he knows the context in which the data should be interpreted.

The context in which data should be interpreted and analysed comes from great understanding of the client’s business and day to day operations.

In order to develop that great understanding, you need to look at the data in the right context.

So you need right context to build great understanding and you also need great understanding to use the right context. It is a virtuous circle.

You can break this circle to an extent by segmenting and comparing the data.

Data segmentation and context

When you segment the data, you develop better understanding, even without the need to find the right context first.

More you segment and compare the data, better the context becomes automatically.

Once you have segmented the data to it most granular form then the only way you can refine the context further is through an external resource like your client who may tell you about an event/activity/news which occurred outside the digital realm or which changed the way you collect data.

For example, lets say your client’s developer accidentally removed conversion tracking code from certain part of the website.

Now this activity changed the way you collect data. With incomplete data, your analysis will never going to be accurate, no matter how much you segment the data.

One of the best ways to analyse the segmented data in Google Analytics is through filtered views (profiles).

Advantages of filtered views

If you use filtered profiles all the time, you can never forget to segment the data. The data is already segmented for you. All you have to do now is, to interpret it.

On the other hand if you use advanced segments, then you need to consciously remember to use advanced segments each time before you begin your analysis.

That is a lot of load on your brain esp. if you are like me who handles more than one client/website

Biggest disadvantage of using advanced segments over filtered views is that, Google Analytics doesn’t let you apply advanced segments on Funnel visualization report and multi-channel reports.

So you would never know how organic traffic convert in comparison to paid search traffic or how social media traffic moves through the checkout process or how email traffic take users to conversion funnel.

The ordinary ‘new vs returning users’ report look very different when viewed through a profile which include only paid search traffic.

If I see myself using a particular advanced segment often, I just go ahead and create a filtered view.

Hopefully by now, you are convinced that if you are not looking at the data from a filtered view, you are not being a true ninja and you are committing a crime against humanity 🙂

Without further ado, I present to you the 10 most important filtered views in Google Analytics:

#1: Target Market View

If you sell your products only in two countries say ‘US’ and ‘Canada’ then why do you analyse the website usage data of people from all over the world?

People from other countries can/will visit your website, but won’t buy your products because you don’t sell to them, they are not your target audience. Then why you are optimising your website for them?

By default, Google Analytics view report traffic from all over the world.

Now problem with such type of traffic is that, it skew all of your website usage metrics from: average time on page, bounce rate to goal conversion rate and ecommerce conversion rate.

Here is how Google Analytics calculate the conversion rate of your website, by default:

But these conversion rate formulas are correct only when every person on planet earth is your potential client, which rarely is the case.

So in order to calculate your true conversion rate, true bounce rate and other metrics, you need to learn to track, only the traffic from your target market location:

You can do that by creating a new view which includes only traffic from your target market location, in our case: ‘United States’ and ‘Canada’.

Note: I have explained the importance of segmenting your data by location in great detail in the article: Most important Advanced Segment for Conversion Optimization

To create target market view, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the Admin section of your ‘All Website Data‘ View

Step-2: Click on ‘view settings’ and then click on ‘copy view’ button:

copy view button

Note: Make sure that ecommerce tracking and goal conversion tracking is enabled and setup for the ‘All Website data‘ view before you make a copy of it. Otherwise you will need to manually set up goals, conversion and sales funnels in each new view you create.

Step-3: Name your new view ‘Target Market View’.

Step-4: Once you have created the new view, click on the ‘Filters’ link in the Admin section of your new view.

Step-5: Set up following custom filter, in order to include only the traffic from your target market location:

target market view

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

Use the target market view to analyse your data and to take business and marketing decisions. This is you main view.

#2 View which includes only organic search traffic

Through this view, you can determine how organic search traffic use your website and move through the conversion funnel.

This view/profile includes only organic search traffic from your target market location.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

 

Filter #2:

Filter Name: Include only organic search traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Medium

Filter Pattern: organic

filters list

#3 View which includes only paid search traffic

Through this view, you can determine how paid search traffic use your website and move through the conversion funnel.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include only paid search traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Medium

Filter Pattern: cpc

Note: you don’t need to create the filter which includes the traffic only from your target market location, as you are most probably advertising only in your target market location.

#4 View which includes only search engine traffic

Through this view, you can determine how search engine traffic (both organic and paid) use your website and move through the conversion funnel. This view/profile includes only search traffic from your target market location.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

Filter #2:

Filter Name: Include only search engine traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Medium

Filter Pattern: organic|cpc

#5 View which includes only social media traffic

Through this view, you can determine how social media traffic use your website and move through the conversion funnel.

This view/profile includes only social media traffic from your target market location. Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

 

Filter #2:

Filter Name: include only social media traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Source

Filter Pattern: Facebook|Twitter|LinkedIn|Toolbox\.com|Stack Exchange|reddit|Pocket|Disqus|Google Groups|Pinterest

#6 View which includes only mobile traffic

Through this view, you can determine how traffic from mobile devices, use your website and move through the conversion funnel. This view/profile includes only mobile traffic from your target market location.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

Filter #2:

Filter Name: Include only mobile traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Device Category

Filter Pattern: Mobile

#7 View which includes only referral traffic

Through this view, you can determine how referral traffic, use your website and move through the conversion funnel. This view/profile includes only referral traffic from your target market location.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

Filter #2:

Filter Name: Include only referral traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Medium

Filter Pattern: referral

 

Filter #3:

Filter Name: exclude social media traffic

Filter Type: Custom exclude

Filter Field: Campaign Source

Filter Pattern: Facebook|Twitter|LinkedIn|Toolbox\.com|Stack Exchange|reddit|Pocket|Disqus|Google Groups|Pinterest

Note: referral view can also include social media traffic. So you need to exclude all such traffic.

#8 View which includes only direct traffic

Through this view, you can determine how direct traffic, use your website and move through the conversion funnel. This view/profile includes only direct traffic from your target market location.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

include direct traffic

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

Filter #2:

Filter Name: Include only direct traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign source

Filter Pattern: direct

#9: Test view

This view is just another copy of the target market view. Use this view for testing new Google Analytics configurations like filters.

#10: Unfiltered view

This is the unfiltered view of your website. It does not contain any filter, not even the filter you use to exclude internal traffic.

You must always maintain one unfiltered view as data once incorrectly filtered cannot be unfiltered.

 

Other optional views which may help you:

# View which includes only Google Adwords traffic

Through this view, you can determine how Google Adwords traffic use your website and move through the conversion funnel.

Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include only google traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Source

Filter Pattern: google

 

Filter #2:

Filter Name: Include only paid search traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Medium

Filter Pattern: cpc

Note: you don’t need to create the filter which includes the traffic only from your target market location, as you are most probably advertising only in your target market location.

# View which includes only Facebook traffic

Through this view, you can determine how facebook traffic use your website and move through the conversion funnel.

This view/profile includes only facebook traffic from your target market location. Use the following filter configuration to create this view:

Filter #1:

Filter Name: Include traffic only from US and Canada

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: country

Filter Pattern: United States|Canada

Filter #2:

Filter Name: include only facebook traffic

Filter Type: Custom Include

Filter Field: Campaign Source

Filter Pattern: Facebook

Other article you will find useful: Implementing Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in Universal Analytics – Nerd Guide 

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Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
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Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over eleven years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
  • Google Analytics certified
  • Google AdWords certified
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Award for Excellence
  • Bachelors degree in Internet Science
  • Founder of OptimizeSmart.com and EventEducation.com

I am also the author of three books:

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