New Feature Spotlight: Advanced Filters

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | 1:27 PM

Here is another in-depth look at one of our recently announced new features: Advanced Filters (or Advanced Table Filters), written by the excellent team at LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant.

For the daily user, Advanced Filters may be the most useful new feature of the bundle of new features, in terms of streamlining your actual process once you access a report and are actively doing analysis. They are found at the bottom of the table in any report. As a habitual poweruser, I've been clamoring for it for years, and it has made my process so much simpler. It's the equivalent of replacing a screwdriver with a powerdrill.

You no longer need to export your data to slice and dice it to see your desired subsets. Now, you can set a filter while looking at a certain report to get the information you want, without having to exit and create a filter or advanced segment. Within seconds, you can whittle down a massive data table to look at a subset that is important to you.

One example already given in this tutorial video is to show just the keywords that have a low bounce rate (less than 30%) and that referred at least 25 visits. Right away, you've found high value and high traffic keywords. We're using this feature almost every time we look at a data table in a report. It makes you feel much more command over your data.


Here are three more interesting uses of the new Advanced Table Filtering:


Looking for specific non-branded keywords

Sometimes, it helps to see keywords that contain a certain word or phrase, but exclude the brand name. Taking a company called DeLallo Italian Foods, for example. If I wanted to see all the keywords that contain the word Italian food but exclude the brand name DeLallo, I could easily use the advanced filters for this. Previously, I would have done this using regular expressions in the filter:

Filter Keyword: containing ^(?=.*italian food)(?!.*(delallo)).*

No more! Now, we don't need to do this! Now, it is so easy with the advanced filters. Just filter for Keyword containing Italian food and excluding DeLallo.

And presto! Your report is updated. And, at any time, you can edit this filter to further refine it, or delete it altogether.


Landing Pages, Sorted by Bounce Rate


Has this ever happened to you - you're looking at your Top Landing Pages report, and you sort by bounce rate, only to have a bunch of pages with 1 entrance clogging the top of the report? With advanced filters, you can filter out those pages with a low number of entrances to get a better look at which landing pages with significant traffic have a high bounce rate. All you have to do is filter by Entrances greater than 50 (or whatever threshhold floats your bounce-rate-boat).


Top Content, Sorted by $ Index


Another similar use for sites with e-commerce or a goal value enabled is when you're looking at the Top Content report, sorted by $ Index. What you're trying to find are the pages that have the highest value - those that are viewed during a visit that results in a conversion. Again, it's common to get a lot of pages at the top that have a low number of pageviews.


First, it helps to filter out those pages that have a low number of pageviews. But once you do that, you'll likely see the pages with the highest $ Index are pages of your shopping cart or checkout process. We can filter out these pages with the advanced filters too - just add a new condition below your first filter that excludes pages that contain the word cart (or checkout, etc.) in the URL.


These three examples give you a taste of Advanced Table Filtering for your analytics, but they just scratch the surface. Once you explore your own analytics, I’m sure you’ll find many more uses of this flexible and powerful new feature. You'll really notice it's use when you find you're happily lingering for 5 extra minutes, using this new interface feature to easily gain insights and ask questions that would've taken you an hour before and possibly a data export. Pure wizardry. :)