Are You Diluting Your Google Analytics?

Are you causing your Google Analytic stats to influx by your own visits? Are you diluting the statistics to a point that you’re the majority visits?

Although it’s nice to see a high number of visits in your Google Analytics, it’s pointless if the visits are all coming from you or from your company.

Let’s learn how to combat that with 3 different options.

1. Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on (easy)

The easiest way to exclude traffic is to get the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

This is a small piece of software that Google has developed in order for you to exclude your traffic from being picked up on Google Analytics.

Simply go to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout & click the “Get Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on”.

“Read” the terms & conditions and click “Accept & install”.

Just save or install the add-on to your browser & then it should be ready to start excluding.

Tips to remember

  • The add-on is browser specific, so if you use multiple browser, you need to install it multiple times (just watch out if you have users install new browsers on their computer)
  • You need to do this on each computer you wish to block Analytics from (might not be feasible for large firms)
  • This blocks Analytics universally (so other website Analytics will be blocked)

2. IP Address Exclusion (medium)

The second easiest way to exclude traffic from your company is to exclude the IP address in which your internet runs off.

Get your data

Firstly we need to obtain the IP address, a great place to find this out is from WhatIsMyIP.com.

Once you’ve obtained your IP address, open up & log into your Google Analytics account.

Setup the filter

Whilst in your Google Analytics account go to:

> Admin (found in the top right)

> From the left column, choose the account you want to filter (from the dropdown box)

> From the left column, click “All Filters” & “+ New Filter”.

The “filter name” is to help you identify which filter is which, so just call this filter, “IP Exclusion” (you can call it whatever you like).

The “filter type” is where we need to get the IP exclusion, so set:

Filter Type: Predefined

Dropdown 1: Exclude

Dropdown 2: Traffic from the IP addresses

Dropdown 3: That are equal to

IP Address: Type in the IP Address obtained off WhatIsMyIP.com

The “apply filters to views” is where we select all the views we want this filter on, so select all that require the filter.

Then all you need to do is hit Save & the filter will get going straight away.

Tips to remember

  • This will only filter traffic to the views you select (so it doesn’t have to be all websites)
  • This will only filter traffic from the IP address provided & won’t stop traffic from other places (e.g. you accessing from home)
  • The IP filtering will only begin once it’s setup, it won’t change your historical data (so get it in places ASAP if you intend to use this)

3. Set a Cookie (hardest)

The last option is the hardest to setup, but it captures all your website traffic, with the option of filtering out all your employee data (rather than the last two automatically not including it).

Setup your HTML exclude page

You’ll need to create a separate page on your website that will be only given to people who you wish to exclude their traffic (don’t make it readily accessible to the general public).

This separate page can look however you want, but you need to make sure to add the “setVar” line (seen below) to your normal Google Analytics code.

You can make the variable anything you like, but in our instance, I’ll be using employee.

<script type=”text/javascript”>
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-XXXXX-YY’]);
_gaq.push([‘_setVar’,’employee’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

Custom Segment for the cookie

Now that the filter is up & running we need to create a new custom segment in Google Analytics to remove their traffic from being included (when segment is applied).

Go to your dashboard go to the “+ Create New Segment” button.

We’ll want to call this segment something meaningful, such as “Exclude Employee Traffic”.

For this we need to choose a “Conditions” type.

We want to Filter “Visits” & “Exclude”.

Dropdown 1: User Defined Value

Dropdown 2: exactly matches (used in case of other variables)

Dropdown 3: employee (or what you chose the variable to be)

Hit save & now anytime you choose to turn the segment on, you’ll be excluding the employee traffic.

Tips to remember

  • The custom page needs to be visited on every device a user has & on each of their browsers on their devices
  • If a user deletes their cookies, they need to return back to this page to re-apply the cookie filter

So which options the best?

There is no one best solution when trying to filter out employee traffic, it’s very hard to manage what someone does on their own devices.

What I prefer (and use) is option 2, IP Address Exclusion.

This option requires no action on a users end & it can’t be gotten around.

If you go down this route you need to remember that if they access it via 3G or on another internet connection (e.g. at home), it will be counting that traffic still, so always be on the look out & perhaps (if you’re a smaller company), ask for everyone’s home IP addresses (to then filter out that IP).

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