Information Computing and Technology Services

Google Analytics Tips

If you have your own Analytics account that you are using in a Custom Footer, here are two quick tips for making the results easier to interpret.: 

1. Set a default page. 

If you don't have a default page set, then you probably have noticed some pages show up twice in your results. For example, the ITCS home page can be accessed via http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/ and http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/index.cfm. By default, Analytics tracks those as separate pages, but we would like them to show in the results as one page. We do this by setting "index.cfm" as the default page. Then when any page is accessed without an explicit filename, "index.cfm" is added to the end. So http://www.ecu.edu/cs-bus/ is converted into http://www.ecu.edu/cs-bus/index.cfm. 

To set the default page, click on "edit" in the account that you want to add the default page to. 

google analytics

Then click on Edit on the settings page 

Google Analytics 1

Finally, type in "index.cfm" (without the quotes) in the Default page field. Click Save Changes. 

Google Analytics 2

The changes should begin showing up in the report the next day. It does not do this retroactively. 

2. Add a filter to merge short URLs. 

Many of you have a short URL that has been set up to access your pages. For example, the library's home page can be accessed via http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/ or just http://www.ecu.edu/lib/. Once again, Analytics considers these as two separate pages. But with the Filter Manager, we change that. 

First, click on the link to the Filter Manager. 

Google Analytics 3

Then click the link to Add Filter 

Google Analytics 4

You can name your filter whatever you want. Pick "Custom Filter", then "Search and Replace". Use "Request URI" as the filter field. In the Search String, put what you want to remove from the URL, and in the Replace String put what you want to replace that with. In our library example, we want to replace all the "cs-lib" strings with just "lib". Make sure that Case Sensitive is set to No. Click on the website profile you want to use this filter on and then the Add button. Then click Save Changes to finish. 

Google Analytics 5

You can apply more than one filter to a site if you wish. 

Doing these two simple steps will combine all your pages that have more than one address into one record in Analytics, giving you a more accurate report.

Need Help?