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If you have a website using Google Analytics tracking, there may be reasons to filter out certain data from being reported on. Filters are applied to the information coming into your account, to manipulate the final data in order to provide more accurate reporting. These filters can be set up, for example, to exclude visits from particular IP addresses, to report only on a geo specific region or exclude traffic from a region, or even take dynamic page URLs and convert them into readable text strings.

For example, you may want to filter a profile by the visitor country or even city. You can pull the values for this filter from your Analytics report. Simply dig into a demographic report and segment it as you choose and the values given are what you would use to filter. Knowing this helps you get the filter right the first time and provides you with clear information on the metrics being reviewed.

Visitor filtering by country or city could be used for all sorts of filtering, management and analysis. Maybe you want to setup a profile that looks at your efforts in a specific city or region. Perhaps you are running a local advertising campaign and want to review local traffic patterns and the response to your local campaign. The filtering can also reveal new, potential geo targets from a specific region or country where you have a noticeable traffic source. Conversely, perhaps the international traffic is meaningless to you and you just want to filter it out all together so that your reporting is geo specific.

Another helpful filter with Google Analytics is IP filtering. This feature is a must have for any company who uses or reviews their own website frequently. Find your static IP address and then set up a filter so Google knows not to include traffic from your company network. This ensures that your stats are not inflated due to employee’s surfing habits. This also is something you should consider adding if you have any partner companies or affiliates using your website frequently.

There are two ways to create a filter in Google Analytics: using a predefined filter, or creating a custom filter.

• Predefined filters are a quick and easy way to accomplish some of the most common filtering tasks.
• Custom filters allow more advanced manipulation of data.

When a filter is created in your profile, it’s immediately applied to new data coming into your account only. A profile’s filters are applied to raw visitor data as the data is subsequently processed into the database. New filters will not review or manipulate historical data, and not able to re-filter historical or data prior to the new filter being implemented.

Whether you’re excluding your internal traffic with a simple predefined filter, or creating advanced filters to rewrite your URLs, the Analytics Filter Manager offers you a powerful way to control the data in your reports and provide you with the most accurate information to make the most of your marketing initiatives.