Trying to do some advanced analytics stuff

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Hi - this may or may not be advanced depending on how good you are but to my its in the mind blowing category.

I have a high traffic site and I want to look at a specific thing in analytics, I think this means I need to make a segment, what I need to see is:
  1. All traffic entering the site (not just what analytics calls organic but all entry traffic)
  2. However, I dont want to include traffic that enters the site via the blog. The blog lives on /blog/ and all blog posts are then /blog/post-name
  3. I also want to exclude forum traffic forum is all on /forum/ and posts are on /forum/post
  4. There is also one page I would like to exclude because we removed the forum today and redirected all traffic to site.com/the-forum-has-gone
Id like to be able to look back at this data in a "normal" analytics view if possible so I can see if traffic to the main site excluding blogs and forums has gone up or down over the months.

Also I dont want to break any of the existing views in analytics.

Ive been struggling with this for the most part of the day and getting nowhere, I imagine this must be possible but it has me beat, does anyone know if there is any reading on this or even better could someone give me a quick play by play if its possible?

Thanks
 

Ryuzaki

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Either of the ways I know how to do this won't give you historical data, unfortunately. You'll only have data from the creation date and forward, either with a View or with a Content Group.

Creating a view with filters is easy, but you can also create a Content Group. This post breaks it down pretty good on why, when, and how to do this.

Things to know are you're limited to 5 content groupings (not groups, but "groupings") per view and you cannot delete them. So use them wisely. Within the groupings you can have as many groups as you want.

You'll want to create a grouping based on "Rule Definitions." You can use logic like "exclude URLs containing /forum/ and /blog" to make it easy.

I'm not sure which is better for you, a view or a content group. Maybe a view since you only have one "group" you want to look at versus many that you need to compare.
 
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Thanks this is helpful reading, I might be going off on one here a bit but if I look at traffic coming from say organic traffic by going to

acquisition > overview > organic search

I can then use the filter and exclude all //forum/ and /blog/

I think this gives me what I need from natrual traffic only, I guess there is no way to do this with all traffic coming to the site (assuming Ive not made a mistake on what Im doing above?)
 

Ryuzaki

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There is a way. You can do the exact same filtering on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

The only problem is you have to re-do this each time you want to look at it. It's not a big deal really if you don't live inside Analytics. I do it to see how batches of content I've rolled out are performing.
 
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There is a way. You can do the exact same filtering on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

The only problem is you have to re-do this each time you want to look at it. It's not a big deal really if you don't live inside Analytics. I do it to see how batches of content I've rolled out are performing.
I just found this and was coming back to post it but you beat me to it.

A question though, you suggested using "all pages", I was thinking to use "landing pages" in the site content drop down. I cant get my head around what the difference between the 2 is?
 

Ryuzaki

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I cant get my head around what the difference between the 2 is?
All Pages is exactly that. It's every page and all the traffic metrics, regardless if they have had visits or not or if people landed on them as an entry page.

Landing Pages are only pages that have both had traffic and were an "entry page," meaning the session began on that page. If they land on a page and then visit Page B, Page B doesn't count because it wasn't the entry page, it was a secondary page.
 
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Okay great, sorry to labour this a bit but if i am looking for pages that brought traffic into the site only, in this case, I would want landing pages then?

Now this might be a really amature queston but why would you use the all pages version of this?
 

Ryuzaki

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Okay great, sorry to labour this a bit but if i am looking for pages that brought traffic into the site only, in this case, I would want landing pages then?
Yeah, you did say that in the opening post. Looking at Landing Pages is what you want.

Now this might be a really amature queston but why would you use the all pages version of this?
I use All Pages when I'm trying to look at which posts are responsible for the most traffic, even if it's coming from internal links. Some cases for doing this might be split-testing internal anchor texts or seeing which posts generate the most CPM ad revenue. Because with All Pages you can still split it up by traffic source if you want, including or excluding ones to get to the data you want.

That's the thing with Analytics. It drops a ton of data on you and leaves it up to you to filter, create views, create specialty tracking, etc. It's not really like "why would I use this part of Analytics" so much as "how can I use this part." When you have the need, you find the method to extract the data. Until then it's all a giant mess.