Five Rocking Google Analytics Tips, Tricks & Hacks


Google Analytics has made a name for itself as a market leader in the free web analytics segment. With a simple layout, clean design, great features, unbelievably intuitive user interface and unparalleled report quality, it is not hard to see why.

google analytics

Although most of the features and reports in Google Analytics are accesible directly, there are many hidden uses and hacks that can help you get advanced analysis, better results or results in the format you want.

Here are some of the coolest tips, tricks and hacks that you can apply to your GA code right now-

1. Error Page Tracking: Error pages are those pages that throw up an404 error error when the visitor searches for a nonexistent URL. These are the 404 error pages or the “Page not found” error pages. Tracking the visitors on it can prove to be very useful for knowing what exactly they were searching for. This hack is obtained from the Google Analytics help page –

Please follow the steps below to obtain reporting on missing or error pages:

1. Add the Google Analytics tracking code to a custom 404 error page.

2. Modify the tracking code on the 404 page as follows:

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” = = document.location.protocol) ? ” https://ssl .” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + ”’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));
<script type=”text/javascript”>
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxx-x”);
pageTracker._trackPageview(“/404.html?page=” + document.location.pathname + + “&from=” + document.referrer);
} catch(err) {}

This code sends a virtual pageview of”/404.html?page=[pagename.html?queryparameter]&from=[referrer]” to your account, where [pagename.html?queryparameters] is the missing page name and referrer is the page URL from where the user reached the 404 page.

3. Look for /404.html in your Top Content report.

2. Track Outgoing Links: Tracking outgoing links is useful to identify the links that are clicked the most and also to find out if certain links on your site are leading to excessive bail out. [Tip: I highly recommend that you always customize your out going links to open in seperate window.]

With this code hack you can optimize your website to reduce visitor bounce and increase visitor engagement.

Format the outgoing links by adding the onClick Javascript attribute:-

<a href=”” onClick=”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview(’/outgoing/’);”>

3. Exclude Internal Traffic: By default, Google Analytics will not filter the internal traffic data. Each visit from you or people from your organization to your website will be added to GA data set and this can result in inflated numbers.

To exclude internal traffic from the web analytics reports follow these steps:

1. Go to Analytics Settings -> Edit -> Add Filter.
2. Enter a filter name such as “Test Filter” and filter type as “Exclude all traffic from an IP address.”
3. In the IP address column, enter the IP address of the website.

4. Track Successful Ecommerce Transactions: If you are an analytics ninja 🙂 and want to track your customer data separately from visitor data then this code can do the job for you. Tracking customer data separately not only helps you in finding new up sell/cross sell opportunities for existing customers but also allows you to design new capture mechanism for your visitors.

By using this small Javascript snippet, you can easily track only paid customers under an entirely new heading.

On the body tag of the successful transaction page, just add -onload=”pageTracker._setVar(“Customer”);”

And all customers will be tracked under a new custom segment called “Customer”.

5. User Group Tracking: By attaching a small piece of code to the landing page of the website, you can track where a definite user group “splits” into. This is especially useful for a test market survey.

user group



to the landing page to see the users to have a segment subgroup for tracking.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Now go do it!

Please share your thoughts, insights and comments because it really helps me write more effectively.

Here is a list of other helpful blog posts –

Bounce rate…Does it really matters?

What is Web Analytics?

Bounce Rate Calculation in Omniture Sitecatalyst

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Google tips
11 years ago

I knew about the rest tricks but the last one, for a user group is new to me. It would be really nice to track specific people for say survey purpose.


[…] If you have not already done so then I would highly recommend visiting Google Analytics(GA) website. If you want to learn advanced techniques to optimize your current installation then please read “Five Rocking Google Analytics Tips, Tricks & Hacks“. […]

11 years ago

This is a wonderful post….though its easy but very effective when used smartly.