Filters are a Google Analytics function that give you the ability to exclude, rename or customise data before it gets into your analytics reports, this can be very useful in cleaning out issues with your reporting. Below I will go through the 4 Google Analytics filters I find most useful for recruitment. But first, some things to remember when using Google Analytics filters:
– They can be found under admin -> views, once a filter is created it can be shared with other “dashboard views”.
– They only apply to new data and do not allow you to overwrite data already in your Google Analytics’ rapports.
– It matters in which order the filters are applied, Google goes down the filter list applying the top filters first and then working its way down; you can set the filter position by clicking on the “assign filter order” button.
– Remember that Google Analytics allows you to create multiple views, always leave one view with just the raw data in case there is an issue with one of the filters.
There are many different kinds of filters, you can read Google’s explanation of them here. Below I will discuss the 4 filters I find most useful.
1.Filter that excludes own IP Address
Let´s start with a simple one; this filter excludes internet traffic from your own office. Every internet connection has a unique public address (IP address). It is easy to find yours; just type “what is my IP” into Google. After you got your IP address create a new filter:
Enter your filter name: “Block my IP”
Select “Exclude”, “traffic from my ip addresses”, “that are
equal to”, and go ahead and fill in your IP.
That’s it! Now the actions of the recruitment consultants in your office on your website will no longer show up in Google Analytics rapports.
2.Filter that removes case sensitivity from source/medium parameters
Google Analytics is by default case sensitive, this means Google can see identical URL´s, sources or mediums as different if one of them contains a capital letter and the other one doesn’t. For instance, if I would write the URL of this blog post in uppercase before switching to lowercase it will show up in the Google Analytics reporting twice:
Google sees these as two different pages when in fact they are the same. A similar capitalisation issue exists when working with UTM codes (see my article on UTM codes), where, based on different capitalisation, Google can perceive identical sources and mediums as different. By adding the following filter, we can save ourselves all duplicate data that arise because of differences in capitalisation:
Enter your filter name: “Force lowercase URL”
Filter Type: Go to “Custom” then select “Lowercase”
Filter Field: In the drop down choose “Request URL”
3.Filter to rename the medium “referral” to “social” for social websites
Google has four default mediums of traffic: “referral” (traffic arriving from another site), “cpc” (traffic from Google Adwords), “organic” (traffic from search engines) and “direct” (traffic coming directly to the website). Social Media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter fall under “referral”. However, many companies prefer to see Social Media as its own medium to get a quick insight in how their Social Media channels are performing. The below filter changes the medium from “referral” to “social” for Social Media sites.
Enter your filter name: “Set referral from social sources to -> social”
Filter Type: Go to “Custom” then click on “Advanced”
This is a regular expression, feel free to add or remove any website mentioned in the regular expression if you don’t want them classified as “social”.
Set “Field B” to -> Extract B to Campaign Medium: referral
Set “Output to Constructor” to -> Campaign Medium: social
Select the first 3 of the 4 boxes (Field A required, Field B required, Overwrite Output Field)
4.Consolidate Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn naming variations
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are often key sources of traffic; however, they sometimes show up in Google Analytics under different naming variations. Take for example the traffic from Facebook in the image below.
This makes it hard to see the total traffic from Facebook since it is spread under multiple names. The following filter fixes this:
Enter your filter name: “Consolidate source=facebook variations”
Filter Type: Go to “Custom” then “Search and Replace”
Set filter field to:.*facebook.*
Set replace string to: facebook
The filter field “.*facebook.*” is a regular expression which tells Google Analytics to replace any source containing the word facebook to the exact word facebook, this consolidates all the Facebook naming variations into one. Repeat this filter for Twitter and LinkedIn.
These are some of the most useful filters I have implemented for my clients; hope they are useful to you. Alternatively, you can get in contact with us here at Recruitero; a proper Google Analytics setup, including custom-made filters, is part of our Google Analytics for recruitment offering.
I am an online marketer that spend three years working as an online marketer for a large internationally known recruitment firm, I started Recruitero to help small & midsize recruitment enterprises with their online marketing so they can benefit from the recruitment industry´s best practises online.
We aim to provide small to midsize recruitment firms the kind of specialised online marketing capabilities they need to stay competitive in the online recruitment market.