No need to panic, Exclude Filters aren’t going away anytime soon! However, after reading this post you may not WANT to use Exclude Filters as frequently. There are still many valid reasons why you may need to set them up, but when possible – it might be time to eliminate them.
Just as a quick refresher, you can use the Exclude Filters in Google Analytics to block traffic data from certain sources from showing up in a particular view. Sometimes these are used to partition data into one view or another, for example, think of creating separate views for Internal or External Traffic. For these use cases, Filters work beautifully. You can filter based off of IP Address, Hostname, Service Provider, etc…
But then there are those occasions where you want to block out traffic completely. Just as easily, you can set up an Exclude filter for each of your views, and poof! The data has disappeared! Except, it hasn’t really.
Unfortunately, this post won’t work for payphones.
Sometimes when dealing with a website, it’s easy to throw on the classic tracking events – PDFS, mailto links, etc… But what if we wanted to track when people clicked on our phone links? In a perfect world, this should be easy. However, phone numbers can be written in many, many different ways and we don’t always have control over the content to add in appropriate phone tags. As if that’s not enough, dealing with different browsers on different devices supremely complicates the matter.
Regular Expressions: The Gift That
Keeps on Giving( and Giving)*!
When I came to LunaMetrics, I had never really used regular expressions. I had heard about them, knew they were important, but couldn’t give you one concrete use. “Learn regular expressions!” they said, so learn regular expressions is what I did, still unsure of how or why these would be useful. There were examples online, people talking about Advanced Segments or Custom Filters, but how can you begin to understand these concepts until you actually need to use them? It was only after I began taking on clients and working with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager that I was able to try out my newfound skills and truly become a convert.
Yet still, I couldn’t help but think that there must be a better way to introduce regular expressions (we’ll call them regex from here on) to complete newcomers. There are plenty of resources out there, which I’ll link to. I’m not going to recreate all of the basic instructions, but I’m going to give examples that I would have found useful when beginning my regex journey.