Setting the default page for your website is a simple configuration step that insures the quality of your Google Analytics report data is good. The default page for a website is the page shown to a visitor when they enter just the website domain into the browser’s location bar. If you type
http://www.cutroni.com/ into your browser my webserver returns
index.php. You won’t see
index.php in the browser’s location bar, but that’s the page the server returns. This is the same for directories within your website.
http://cutroni.wpengine.com also returns
Why does this matter to GA? When the urchin.js tracking code executes it creates pageviews using the page name that the visitor requested. What if there is no page name, as is the case above? GA creates a pageview for
/. When people type
http://www.cutroni.com/index.php GA create a pageview for
index.php. See how this can cause a problem? GA collects pageviews for
/ and for
index.php. Two pageviews for the same page.
Pageviews for a page should be summarized in a single line item, not two! Note: I know the above example isn’t all that great. It would be better if 50% of the traffic was for
/ and 50% was for
index.php. But I don’t have any profiles with bad data :)
To remedy this problem enter the default page for your website in the ‘Default page:’ field in the ‘Main Website Profile Information’ configuration section.
Be sure to only enter the page name, no ‘/’ before the page name and no regular expressions. Just the name of the page, nothing else.
Remember, this change will not affect data that has already been processed by Google Analytics. It will only affect data that will be processed in the future.