The objective here is to ensure that pages are reported in one line and not duplicated.
We
‘re going to look at how to make sure that pages aren’t fractured and reported
more than once.


Fractured Pages

You might have come across your ‘All Pages’ report and seen something like this:


The majority of these links are the same page but are reported separately in different
rows. We’re going to be tactical here and see how to address this issue so that all the
separated lines appear in one line. We will first remedy this by excluding query
parameters and then other causes for duplicate pages.
In case you don’t know what a query parameter is:

A query parameter is a series of characters that are in between a question mark and an equal sign: “?” and “=”.

For example, this URL’s query parameters is “safe“.


Now what you’ll want to do is find all these parameters in Google Analytics and decide
what to do with them since not all parameters have to be excluded.


Exclude URL Query Parameters

Step 1: Find All your Query Parameters

Go to your ‘All Pages‘ Report.

You can find it in Behavior > Site Content >> All Pages

Do a search typing the question mark


Note: I suggest that you increase the date range to a few months.

Remember the question mark “?” preceding the query parameter? By conducting this
search you’ll locate all your query parameters.


All these different links are related to the same page, which in our case is the homepage. Look at the
following image to illustrate:

Now, the question is how to fix these fractured pages and figure out which ones we need to
remove and which ones we need to keep and bring together in one row.

So these are the pages that have the query parameter.
Note: the query parameter doesn’t have to be exactly “fbclid” as highlighted in the image.
As long as the string is between the “?” and the “=”, that’s what you’re looking for.

Here are some common query parameters you’ll see in your All Pages report:

fbclid = Facebook click ID
gclid = Google Ads Click ID
mc_cid = MailChimp Campain ID
mc_eid = MailChimp e-mail ID
msclid = Microsoft (Bing Ads) Click ID

Why does this happen?

The reason why this occurs is that these different platforms (Facebook, MailChimp, etc.)
add these identifiers to links. So if a user clicked on a link to your website that was shared
on their platform, they will add this to your URL for tracking. On their side, this provides
good data but unfortunately messes up your Google Analytics reports.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. And to do so we have to merge them.

Step 2: Create A List of Query Parameters To Remove

You will build this list inside the advanced filter first using Regex. You’ll have to copy-paste
them.
Go the ‘Advanced Filter’ , copy your query parameters.
Paste them in the filter and separate theme with a straight bar “|“.

In our example I added the fbclid and mc_eid queries.
So I’ll type fbclid|mc_eid


Ex: First I add “fbclid“, Then I apply the filter. After I add “mc_eid” and click apply,
and so forth. You’ll notice that the number of pageviews reduces.

here i wrote : fbclid | mc_eid

Now, if there are some query parameters that you’re unsure of or that are
relevant you can keep them and not add them to your list of
parameters to remove.

Step 3: Put Your Queries in The Exlude Query Parameters

Copy all the queries you’ve written in the Advanced filter and paste them in
into ‘Exclude URL Query Parameters’
To do so go to View Settings >> Exclude Query Parameters

Note: Replace the straight bar “|” with commas.

notice the straight bar was replaced with a comma.

Note: if you have a large account, or many properties and views, it is recommended
to do exclude queries at the Account level. Here we did it at the View level and that’s
how it’s done most of the time. But this method doesn’t scale well for sizeable accounts.


Trailing Slashes

Verify if there are pages that are the same with and without trailing slashes at the
end
of their URL. In this example, you can see there are pages with the slash and others
without.

Step 1

Stay on the same report and apply this Regex in the advanced filter.
This is what you want to write in the advanced filter using Regex:
You’re adding a $ sign at the end of each and separate them with a straight bar “|”.

/about-us$|about-us/$

Step 2

Go to Admin > View >> Filters
Here you will create a custom filter and add those in

^/(.*?)/+$
/$A1

This filter is suitable for all websites and you should apply it across your different views
(except for the Raw view – you always want your Raw View to be unfiltered, more about
this later).


Lowercase Filter


Here’s a good example that necessitates a lowercase filter. Remember that Google
Analytics is case sensitive and this could affect your data. Let’s say you’re visiting an
eCommerce website and look for shoes for men. If you typed “men’s shoes” and “Men’s Shoes”
they will be reported separately by GA.

So the same search term will be duplicated. But you the analyst would want them to be
treated as one. So make sure to create a lowercase filter.

Note: lowercase filters aren’t fit only for search terms but also the following:

  • For medium
  • For case URI
Watch out With Lowercase Filters

There is a situation where lowercase filters can seem to conflict with the functions of the
“URL Exclude Query parameters” we covered. Again, we’ll look at an example.


EXAMPLE:
Remember how we excluded fbclid query in the View settings in “Exclude Query Parameters“?
But why is it that some still appear in our “All Pages” report?
See the image:

There are 2 tied reasons for these occurrences {follow me on this one):
1) we have a lowercase filter
2) how we we wrote the queries in the ‘exclude query parameters’, keeping in mind that
The Exclude URL query parameters in Google Analytics is case sensitive.

What this means is that if some query parameters values came to your site as uppercase
your ‘exclude query parameters‘ will not work because you didn’t specify them as
uppercase values. So now, they are reported in the “All Pages Report“.
But, since you created a lowercase filter, what will happen is that they will be converted
into lowercase, hence the confusion.

After excluding queries, if you still see them appear in your “All Pages Report”, go to your Raw view.
The view where all your website data is untouched, unfiltered.
Go to the All Pages report, and there you will see exactly how these queries truly look like. And now
you’ll know exaclty how to write them in your URL exclude query parameters.
As you can see here, they appear in uppercase.

And the only reason why we can see it is that this view has no filters. Now you understand
why so often analysts insist on untouched and unfiltered Raw Views. Otherwise, you would
have never identified the problem.

What you want to do now, is to add these uppercase queries into your URL Exclude Queries
Parameters.

Conclusion

We looked at making sure that pages don’t get fractured and reported twice We made sure
that pages were not reported separately by first learning about the query parameters and
how lowercase filters would disrupt our data. We also looked at how trailing slashes also
duplicated pages.