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Tips for structuring your Google Analytics account
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Tips for structuring your Google Analytics account

February 20th, 2013, By

Properly setting up your Google Analytics account is key for correct data collection and its presentation, so that you get the most comprehensive view of your performance. In this post, I focus on best practices for setting up your company’s Google Analytics account structure.

 

Google Analytics Account

What is it? A GA account is typically the set of all the websites and mobile apps owned by a single company or person.
How many do I need? One for your organization.

 

Web Properties

What is it? A Web Property is typically a single website or app. Each Web Property has a unique ID (UA-XXXXXX-YY) as part of the code implemented on each of the property’s pages.


How many do I need? Typically one for each major entity (website, sub-domain or app). Use the following practical guidelines:
– Combine several websites in the same web property only if you need to see data from all them in the same reports, e.g. if you’d like to track navigation form your website to an external payment page in a single visit.
– A Web Property is limited to 10 million hits per month, so consider splitting properties if approaching these limits (a hit is a pageview or event).

 

Profiles

What is it? A profile is a subset of a Web Property’s data, defined by filters – e.g. including only a specific traffic source, or only a specific part of the website.
How many do I need? On one hand, as few as possible, in order to minimize maintenance overhead (e.g. you need to define and maintain goals and filters for each profile separately).
However, it is recommended to have at least the following profiles:

  • Raw data – always have one profile with no filters, to make sure that all your data can be found in one place regardless of filters and data manipulations done in other profiles.
  • Main reporting profile – includes all of your data, clean of internal traffic and extraneous parameters.
  • New Visitors – not a must, but very useful for analyzing first-time visitors separately from returning visitors.
  • Major traffic sources – it’s often worthwhile to create a profile for a main source of traffic to easily track its trend and performance.
  • Use additional profiles for restricting data access. E.g. create a profile including only traffic from a specific affiliate, so you can grant them view-access for this data without sharing all of your site’s traffic stats with them.