How to Filter Out Paid Ad Traffic in Google Analytics

Viewing Only Organic Search Traffic

As an SEO, there are a lot of times that I want to look at how just the organic traffic is doing, without information about other kinds of traffic. Sure, you can get some information on the “organic” tab under “keywords” in the “acquisition” section, but what if you want to look at other kind of information about organic-only users?

The easiest way to do this is to use the advanced segments tab. It’s really easy to find, and very powerful. At the top left corner of your analytics viewing pane, there is a little arrow, and next to it there should be a little blue circle and some text that says “all sessions.”

Where to find the advanced segments tab in Google Analytics

Click the little arrow, and you should get a dropdown pane with lots of little boxes that have lots of options. Choose the one that says “Non-paid Search Traffic.”

Non-Paid Search Advanced Segment

Then click the little x at the top right corner of the “all sessions” box, and click the arrow to close the drop down pane. Now, all analytics that you see will be statistics for organic search visitors only.

Viewing All Traffic Minus Paid Search

But say that’s not what you wanted. Say you really did want to view all traffic minus paid search traffic. That’s okay. We can do that too. It will be a little more complicated, but I can take you through it, step by step.

First, go to Acquisition ➨ Keywords ➨ Paid. On this page, find the little tiny words underneath the graph on the left side that say “Primary Dimension.” Click on “Medium.” Check what the medium is for your paid search campaigns by scrolling down and looking at the list of mediums. There should only be one. On mine the medium is “cpc.” I don’t know if this is true for every single analytics account everywhere, which is why I’m having you check.

Find the Medium of your paid search campaign

Now, go back up to that arrow with the drop-down pane. Drop it down and click the button that says “+create new segment.”

Create a New Advanced Segment in Google Analytics

When presented with the menu of options along the left hand side, choose “Traffic Sources.” For the drop downs, choose “Medium” “does not contain” and then when you click in the text box, choose “cpc” or whatever matches the medium for you paid search.

Google Analytics Advanced Segment: Medium does Not Contain CPC

Name your segment something, hit save, and then you’re good to go! Now you can view the statistics for all the traffic on your website, minus the paid search traffic.

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  • Andres

    Is it just me or did Analytics recently get rid of “non-paid” as a built in filter, and it looks like has replaced it with “organic.” Any ideas if this is the same data?