Filter Yourself Out of Google Analytics Profiles

by Lyena Solomon on October 3, 2012

Are you one of millions who use Google Analytics to learn about your website visitors’ behavior?

Do you realize that by default you are tracking your own visits (and edits), which can lead to inflated traffic numbers?

Don’t let your employees pollute your data and skew your reports. You want to measure what your audience is doing on your site. You don’t want internal testing or “ego” visits to bio pages affect your traffic data. Filter yourself (and your employees’ visits) out of your Google Analytics profiles. You don’t want to make decisions from data skewed by a webmaster who may make hundreds of visits a day.

Keep reading to learn how to setup your Google Analytics profiles to remove your internal traffic from your reports in order to track only external visitors.

The steps below show you how to set up a clean profile for your website.

Setting Up Analytics Profiles

Google Analytics tracks ALL visits, including those by your employees. Exclude your internal traffic from your reports to focus only on the data from your customers and prospects. Setting up profiles will help you weed out internal traffic.

BEWARE: Google Analytics profile filters are permanent.

As soon as you apply profile filters, the filtered out data gets discarded. You will not be able to retrieve it, unless you create several profiles.

SAFE SOLUTION: Set up the raw and filtered profiles in your account. (You must be an admin to view and motify profiles.)

  1. Raw Profile
    This profile has no filters. All the activities get recorded. Your raw profile can be your backup or reference point if something goes wrong with filtered profiles. ALWAYS have a raw profile.
  2. Master Profile
    Use this profile for your reports. Apply it to your production website. Filter out your internal traffic from this profile to focus on your audience.
  3. Test Profile
    You will be making changes to your Google Analytics setup in the process of analyzing your website. Create a test profile where you can test your filters and your goals without permanently damaging your master profile. When testing new settings, apply them to this profile first. Then, let it run for a little while to collect data. If all works as expected, incorporate the changes into your master profile.
  4. Development Profile
    Depending on your website setup, you can use this profile to apply to your staging servers. Apply this profile just to your testing or web development server.

Filter Out Internal Traffic

Google Analytics Admin Button

Filter out your internal traffic as a part of setting up your master profile. There are 3 ways you filter out visits, by:

  • IP address
  • IP range
  • Cookie

Set up filters in your Google Analytics Admin area (shown right).

  1. Click on the Admin button in upper right.
  2. Select the Profiles tab.
  3. Select the Filters tab (shown below).

Exclude Employee Computers

In order to exclude visits from employees’ (and outside contractors’) computers, create a new filter. Give it a name that makes sense.

Adding New Filter in Google Analytics Adding A New Filter in Google Analytics

Exclude Static IPs

Static IP addresses are one of the easiest ways to exclude traffic for a few people working in your office. Simply add each computer’s IP addresses to the filter.

This method is also useful if you have a few remote employees accessing the site. Exclude their IPs as well.

Filter Traffic by IP in Google Analytics Filter Traffic by IP in Google Analytics
  1. Create a new filter.
  2. Name it something like “Mary’s Home IP” or similar.
  3. Select Predefined filter.
  4. Exclude traffic from IP addresses and that are equal to IP.
  5. Enter the IP address of the computer you want to exclude.

Exclude Dynamic IPs

You’ll need to exclude dynamic IP addresses if you have a fair number of people working at the office. It is more efficient to exclude IPs by range than one-by-one-by-one (ad infinitum).

This method is also helpful if you have multiple office locations.

Exclude Traffic by IP Range in Google Analytics Exclude Traffic by IP Range in Google Analytics
  1. Create a new filter.
  2. Give it a name.
  3. This time, however, select Custom filter.
  4. Exclude Visitor IP Address and enter your filter pattern.
    • TIP: It can be simple like this example with a hyphen indicating the range or include regular expressions.

Exclude by Cookie

It may be impossible to have a static IP address. In that case, set a cookie on your employees’ computers to exclude them based on the cookie. Your employees will need to visit a specific page that will set a cookie on their computer.

This method works for those who travel and/or when you have to set up demos at trade shows, for example.

Exclude Traffic by Cookie in Google Analytics Exclude Traffic by Cookie in Google Analytics
  1. Create a new filter.
  2. Select Custom filter.
  3. Select User Defined from the Filter Field pull down.
  4. Enter the word by which you chose to identify your employees.
  5. KEY: Create a page that sets the tracking cookie.

The Result? Audience Data

The only way you will be able to make the right decisions about your website is when your data reflects your true website audience and not that of your employees, your marketing team, or your Web developers. When your internal traffic is removed, your data represents the visitors you care about.

Resources

ADDED 6/22/13:

  • IP Address Range Tool – Google has a tool that enables you to automatically generate the regular expression for a range of IP addresses.

Have any additional tips to share or your own blog post that shows how to filter IP addresses? Please share below.

 

Yo!  Yo!  Please share & engage if you like this page:

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Eubanks October 12, 2012

Hey Lyena,

Thanks for this reference – I’ve been looking for a solid post to point people to when they ask about filtering out their internal visits. Once the basics are covered I usually introduce analytics users to advanced segments, and have written a post to help get them up to speed. If you’re interested you can check it out here; http://getstat.com/blog/seo-strategy-analytics/

Thanks again,
Nick

Reply

Jordan July 15, 2013

Brilliant article, it was very helpful.

I created a copy of my existing profile to test the new filters on so that if anything went wrong I wouldn’t loose all my data.

My newly copied profile with the filters applied has no historical data at the moment, will this begin to come through within the next 2-3 days, I’m sure I have seen somewhere that GA is 2 days behind.

Reply

Dana Lookadoo July 15, 2013

Jordan, you did well by creating a new profile. Glad to hear it!

Google Analytics is not real-time, correct, for regular stats. That should begin collecting in about 24 hours. We have not seen 2-day delays.

You may, however, see some real-time data, which is now available to all accounts. Navigate to the Reporting tab; select Real-Time from the left hand report navigation column.

Reply

Trung Vu September 15, 2013

If i filter adress of the same ISP, what i will do, please?. Because they have similar IP range, but they don’t colleague in the office with me???

Reply

Trung Vu September 17, 2013

If i want to checking success for setting, what are components i have to using to check it??? :)

Reply

Dana Lookadoo September 18, 2013

Trung, I’m not fully understanding your first question; however, the best way to test is:
1) Exclude your address(es).

2) Access your site from one of those addresses or have someone at those locations view the site.

3) Testing: There’s an excellent post that helps explain this by TechWyse. Look for Testing the Filter Works in Analytics for tips on setting up a new profile and a test page.

Hope this helps!

Reply

Trung Vu September 30, 2013

Issues was resolved, thank you very much Dana :D

Reply

Dana Lookadoo October 1, 2013

Glad to hear it, Trung!

Reply

iti jha November 5, 2013

Hi, google analytics is not tracking Us ip. Any way to enable it.
Thanks

Reply

Dana Lookadoo November 11, 2013

Iti, there could be a number of reasons, and I’d suggest you look at the “Google Analytics support forums.

First, you want to ensure you have your Google Analytics code setup properly. You may want to try Google’s Tag Assistant plugin for Chrome.

Reply

jkalachand January 9, 2014

Great tips..I do not have the edit option on my analytics. It seems that I am on read and analyse only. I have already contacted the web company to do needful. Great article by the way.

Reply

shah February 25, 2014

I have my website sitting on 3 different servers. I would like to filter traffic report from 2 servers in Google analytic how can i do that? All 3 server has static IP
Inshort any one who come s to my server “A” just exclude all those IP in my report
Traffic coming on server B & C is okay Please help

Reply

Lance nickel March 7, 2014

Nice! I was given an IP like this. 123.125.16.26/28

How would I go about excluding that?

Thank you!!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: