Clean Up Landing Page Reports by Excluding URL Query Parameters

Marketing SEO
Chris Sharpe
01/10/20

Sometimes Google Analytics data can be hard to handle…

Have you ever run into the issue of seeing multiple URLs for the same landing page?

These URLs are only unique in the appended portions (excluding UTM tracking) and generally have less traffic than the original page URL.

Example of multiple urls being generated for one page

Multiple URLs being displayed for the same landing page.

Depending on the number of variations, this can quickly become problematic. The varying metrics for each version of a landing page make it difficult to understand the actual page performance and make well-informed decisions.

Here’s how to clean up the data in your Google Analytics and increase the accuracy of your reporting.

Step 1: Create multiple views in Google Analytics

Ensure you have a raw data view, a filtered view, and a test view in your Google Analytics account (this is just good practice in general). If you are unsure of how to set this up, check out this article from Google.*

*Note: If you are just now creating a raw data view, it won’t be usable for the rest of this guide. Google Analytics views do not work retroactively, so you will have to use your old view of the data.

Step 2: Identify any additional parameters that are being added to your URLs

I recommend using your “Raw Data” view for this step to ensure you are catching as many parameters as possible.

There are a couple of ways to identify these elements.

  • Option 1 – If there are not a lot of different parameters, you can manually identify them. However, this becomes nearly impossible when there are hundreds or even thousands of unique parameters present.
  • Option 2 – Using this spreadsheet from Google can help speed the process of finding the different URL query parameters. Simply follow the directions provided on the first tab and return to this guide.

Step 3: Exclude unwanted parameters

Once your unwanted parameters have been identified, enter them into the “Exclude Query Parameters” portion of Google Analytics. To do this, follow these steps:

First, navigate to the admin portion of Google Analytics by clicking on the gear in the lower-left corner of your dashboard view.

Screenshot explaining oho to navigate to navigate to the admin section of Google Analytics

Then, under the “View” column, click on View Settings.

A screenshot illustrating how to navigate to view settings in google analytics

Finally, in the box labeled “Exclude URL Query Parameters,” enter each specific parameter that you want Google to strip away. Separate each of these parameters with a comma and remember that this portion is case sensitive.

Screenshot explaining where to exclude URL paramaters

Step 4: Monitor results

Monitor your data to ensure you didn’t miss any parameters. In addition, if you see new parameters, add them as they turn up.

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