Google Analytics: Honing in on the visits that count

This content is 13 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Every week I create a report that looks at a variety of social media metrics, including visits to the Fujitsu UK and Ireland CTO Blog.  It’s developing over time – I’m also working on a parallel activity with some of my marketing colleagues to create a social media listening dashboard – but my Excel spreadsheet with metrics cobbled together from a variety of sources and measuring against some defined KPIs seems to be doing the trick for now.

One thing that’s been frustrating me is that I know a percentage of our visits are from employees and, frankly, I don’t care about their visits to our blog.  Nor for that matter do I want my own visits (mostly administrative) to show in the stats that I take from Google Analytics.

I knew it should be possible to filter internal users and, earlier this week, I had a major breakthrough.

I created an advanced segment that checked the page (to filter out one blog from the rest of the content on the site) and the source (to filter anyone whose referral source contained certain keywords – for example our company name!).  I then tested the segment and, hey presto – I can see how many results apply to each of the queries and the overall result – now I can concentrate on those visits that really matter.

Google Analytics advanced segment settings to remove internal referrals

Of course, this only relates to referrals, so it doesn’t help me where internal users access the content from an email link (even if I could successfully filter out all the traffic via the company proxy servers, which I haven’t managed so far, some users access the content directly whilst working from home), but it’s a start.

The other change was one I made a few months ago, by defining a number of filters to adjust the reporting:

Unfortunately filters do not apply retrospectively, so it’s worth defining these early in the life of a website.

One thought on “Google Analytics: Honing in on the visits that count

  1. That’s both interesting and useful, thanks Mark. I don’t use Analytics in any depth (My blog doesn’t get enough hits to make it worth while ;-) – but I suspect knowing about this will come in handy in the future.

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