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Google Analytics Best Practices

These best practices will ensure that your Google Analytics is receiving only clean and meaningful traffic and your data is protected.

Note: Each setting requires different privileges. If you are not the administrator of the account you may need to ask for the

required permissions

Assign Google Analytics permissions

Permissions needed: User Management

If you are the owner and only user of the account, you will have all the permissions, and shouldn't worry about this.

If there is more than one user, you should assign the right permissions for each person on the team to avoid possible misconfigurations or data loss.

There are 3 levels of permissions; you can distinguish them by the columns in the admin panel. From higher to lower:

Google Analytics User Permissions Administration tab
- Level 1: Account Level 2: Property Level 3: View

And for each level you can assign one or more of the following permissions:

  • Manage Users: Can add, remove, and edit users permissions.
  • Edit: Can make configurations like add, edit or delete accounts, properties, views, filters, goals.
  • Collaborate: Can create user assets and share them, like segments or annotations.
  • Read & Analyze: Can see report and configuration data and manipulate data within reports.
Google Analytics User Permissions

As an example, if you have the following structure in your Google Analytics:

Example

  • Account (UA-000000)
    • Property 1 (UA-000000-1): Site A
      • View 1: All Website data
      • View 2: Blog
    • Property 2 (UA-000000-2): Site B
      • View a: Mexico
      • View b: USA

And you have:

  • Marketing team for Site A and one for each country of Site B
  • An external consultant for both sites
  • Technical Auditor to apply filters in Site A
  • Administrator of both sites

Following the example you can assign the permissions as follows:

USER PERMISSION LEVEL DESCRIPTION
Marketing A Collaborate Property Can make assets and see data from both views in Site A
Marketing Mexico B Collaborate View Can make assets and see data from view b - Mexico 
Marketing   USA B Collaborate View Can make assets and see data from view a - USA 
External Consultant  Read & Analyze Account Sees the data from all properties all views but can't make permanent changes
Technical Auditor Edit Account Can create filters. *Even if is only needs for a specific view edit permissions at account level are needed to create filters
Administrator User Management Account All permissions - Can add/remove users

Full information on user management and permissions.

Keep track of Important Events with Annotations

Annotations are another simple but yet powerful feature that Google Analytics users usually overlook.

This small notes will help you to keep track of important events like marketing campaigns, new filters, important mentions, theme changes, goals, etc. They will help you understand spikes on traffic abrupt changes on your analytics.

How to create annotations

You can create annotations at any time on any date.

  1. Go to the reporting section and select any report.
  2. Click on the small triangle at the bottom of any Graph.
    How to make Google Analytics Annotations 1
  3. Click on  +Create new annotation and fill in the form. From left to right:
    • Star the annotation for the most important events
    • Select the date of the event
    • Enter a description
    • Choose between Shared(Everyone who has access) or Private (only for you)
  4. Finally, Save (You can edit the annotations at any time)

 

That's it, now you can keep track of all your important events. You can add as many Annotations as you need.

Best Practices for Views.

Permissions needed: Edit at Property Level

This is one of the most important things you should do in your Google Analytics. Data in Google Analytics can't be permanently altered, deleted or recovered once it is stored. If you lose a part of your data because a wrongly configured filter or incorrect setting, it will be gone forever.

To avoid this to happen you should have configured the following views.

  • MASTER view: Used for analysis that will contain filters and custom configurations
  • UNFILTERED view: This will have your Raw data. You can consider it as a Back-up
  • TEST view (Optional): If you want to be extra cautious you can try your filters in a TEST view before applying them to your MASTER view.

If you need help creating views you can check this post: Best practices for views

Exclude Internal Traffic (IP)

Permissions needed: Edit at Account Level

Besides spam, this is the most frequent reason for inaccurate data. Internal traffic is all the hits generated by you or any member of the team. This is one of the first things you should do even before installing the tracking code on your website.

There are different ways of filtering your traffic depending if your IP is static or dynamic. Go to this post for full instructions on how to exclude internal traffic.

Exclude Spam and Irrelevant traffic

Lately, the spam has been lowering the quality of the data in Google Analytics by injecting lots of fake traffic.

This guide will help you keep away the spam and maintain accurate reports.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Soon I will add more best practices that will help you boost your GA and get the best out of it, so keep an eye on the post.

Author

Analytics Expert. Passionate about SEO and User Experience or what he calls UX-SEO

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