The setup process is well documented by Google and other websites, so here we will discuss the strategies behind setting these up.
This is the highest level and is the umbrella that houses your Properties and Views. You are limited to 100 Properties within an Account. Very rarely will you need to exceed this limit unless you are an agency or have tons of random domains. Although the latter probably contains SEO issues as well. Our advice is to start with a single Account and read on.
Here is where the strategy begins. Properties are typically used for a single website address. Often marketers will setup a separate Property for sub-domains as well. Our advice is to track all traffic under a single Property utilizing different Views UNLESS:
- You want to limit login access to different data sets (You cannot do this for Views)
- Traffic between sub-domains does not happen, so they are independent and visitors do not cross between them
View filters allow some pretty granular targeting so we opt to use different Views when we can. The biggest problem is that Google Analytics restricts you to just 25 Views. To start we always recommend a Raw Data View that is completely unfiltered. This may help diagnose website issues down the line. From there we will discuss how we want to see our data. Here are some questions we typically ask to determine if a View is needed:
- Do we need to replace URLs to better group webpages?
- Do we have very specific site sections, such as News or Sports, that we want to easily see separately?
- Are we focused on a particular traffic source?
Remember that Views are NOT retroactive and often you can utilize Advanced Segments for many of these reports. Typically we only advise different Views if you need to rewrite URLs (your or any other data for that matter). If not, Advanced Segments should do the trick, AND they ARE retroactive!