Custom Filters for GA, Part 3c: User-defined tagged links


How do custom filters work for the six options you might attach to a link that you would create in your e-mail marketing, or in your Yahoo! search ads: campaign name, source, medium, term, content and ID? If you want to learn more about some of those options (as opposed to the filtering), check out this blogpost by Meredith Smith from ROI Revolution.

This is an easy one (that’s why I did it today, when I am supposed to be on vacation.) As always, you give the filter a friendly name, you choose Custom, you choose the action you are interested in — for example, do you want to an include filter? — you choose one of those six filter fields I specified above, and you write your regular expression.

So let’s say that you are writing an include filter for just your paid search. We know that Google calls it cpc, but you may have tagged it as ppc in your Yahoo or MSN ads. (Side note: having a filter like this, and applying it to a new profile, would be incredibly helpful, because then you would be able to apply all your GA tools against just your paid search.) Here’s what the filter would look like:

Google Analytics Paid Search Include Filter

Notice the Regular Expression — the filter pattern — at the bottom. cpc|ppc. The pipe in the middle means OR, so this will capture and include only visits that came on a paid search where the search was coded with cpc OR ppc.

End notes: Many thanks to ROI Revolution for updating their blog with our new info (Yes Tim, you were right when you wrote this comment.) Also to June Li (who has to suffer with me at the Summit), and to Justin Cutroni (who loves creating a separate profile for important campaigns like cpc), both of whom updated their info. And then there is Jacques Warren, who shoes I try to fill at the WAA. And how about this one, AutoJini? (AutoJini, you have to write a comment and introduce yourself to the WA community, or maybe just to me.) And of course, the Benri Blog. I would write about future blog posts coming from Benri, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on the author. Thank you all for updating your info. It comes through slowly in WordPress, I just saw the link from Mine That Data, and I know that Kevin Hillstrom did that update a week ago…


Our founder, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics in 2004. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership. In 2017, Robbin sold her company to HS2 Solutions and has since retired from LunaMetrics.

  • “Suffer” at emetrics with you? Looking forward to it, Robbin 🙂

  • Hmm.. introductions… always bad at them… so here goes… At AutoJini, we specialize in building elegant, sales-driven websites for auto dealerships. Our number one goal is to help dealers convert website visitors into leads and that’s where our interest in analytics comes into play.

    Current software in use is GA, HBX, AwStats, and WebTrends 7… love to analyze how the stats differ between them… using ClickHeat for click maps. Have some extra inhouse code for A/B testing…

    On LunaMetrics my favorite posts are Conversion Analysis.

  • Oh how cool, web sites for auto dealerships. It is so much fun to meet readers.

    Thank you for telling me that about the conversion analyses, and I promise to get back there (I just feel obligated to finish up on Custom Filters. Maybe I will intersperse them….)

  • William Alvarez

    Robbin, I really love all your blogs on GA. It has been really helpful for me, but still sometimes I’m confused when it comes to my own implementation. What is the case for when you want to track traffic coming from Google Base?

    William A.

  • William – I had to research this a little bit, I really don’t know that much about Base. There are lots of Base statistics (it appears), but it seems like your best bet is just to pretend it is a referrer like others and tag it. ?utm_campaign=Spring&utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=Affiliate , that would be my choice, if I had a Spring campaign. If I knew more about Base, I could help you better.

  • I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot

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