One of the challenges in Google Analytics is reporting on traffic that comes to your site from outside of your company. While this may not sound like a big deal, but when you’re viewing reports that include traffic from yourself, your colleagues, or your agency partners, the data can become quite misleading.
Excluding traffic and data to your site from your own internal team is simple to do with an easy IP Exclusion Filter in Google Analytics.
Why Exclude Traffic in Google Analytics?
Consider a web design group or content marketing firm you’ve hired to help with your site. They will be generating hundreds, if not thousands of sessions and page views per day or week simply from doing work or research you hired them to do. If you count those as views or visits in your data, you will be making decisions on a lot of meaningless numbers.
The point is that internal teams and partner agencies don’t act like your customers or visitors on your site. If you’re taking analytics and your data seriously, you need to exclude the factors that influence conversion reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. If you have 10k visits that never convert, but 9k of them are your own team that you are including in the report, you’ll be making a very poor decision on how to improve or make / cut investments in your marketing programs.
A simple way to deal with this is to exclude traffic in Google Analytics from a specific IP address, which is what we’re going to cover in my second 52 Weeks of Marketing Tips and Tactics series.
Exclude Traffic by IP Address
To be honest, we are not going to be able to catch everyone. There will always be exceptions, but the goal is to do our best to eliminate as much noise as possible from our reporting. Excluding traffic by IP address is fairly easy and just a simple step everyone should take in their Analytics account.
One thing to note about this tactic is that it works only when we have dedicated or private IP addresses to deal with. If your office or location you want to exclude is on a shared or public network, the filter will still work, however, it will filter out ALL traffic from that location. This could be what you want, but it could also be what you don’t want. To be most effective in your reporting, you’ll want to take multiple steps and layer your filters to find the right mix of data. But for now and this 101 level guidance, we’re going to focus on a single IP exclusion filter to get you started in the right direction.
Google Analytics IP Address Filtering
Filtering out traffic and data by IP address is probably the most well-known and the easiest filter to build and implement. The main goal is to block or filter out all traffic coming to your site from your own office, team, or partners.
To start, you need to know your public IP address. If you don’t know what this is, head to Google and just type in “What’s my IP Address?” Google will tell you. (remember, you need to do this FROM the location you want to exclude) You can use a variety of other tools and sites to get this address, but honestly, Google is the only one that matters, especially in this case.
There are two types of IP addresses – IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 are the ones you’re likely most familiar with and look something like 188.8.131.52 and the IPv6 addresses look like a hot mess of numbers like 2001:0db8:0a0b:12f0:0000:0000:0000:0001. Don’t worry about what each of these mean, just know that Google Analytics supports both, and if you’re reading this, you’ll likely be sticking to the v4 edition.
Create Your IP Exclusion Filter
So now that you have your IP address, you’re going to have your filter up and running in less than a minute. In order to build filters in Google Analytics, you must at least have Edit permissions within your account. If you’re not an editor, request it from your GA admin.
Once logged into your account, head to the Admin page and make select Filters under the VIEW column. This will take you to the Filters page where you can create, modify and delete any filters on your account. Keep in mind that you will be creating this filter for ALL views under your analytics account if you’re looking at the default All Web Site Data. If you want to only add the filter to a specific view or property, then simply select those before going into the Filter level page.
To filter out your single IP address, you use one of the Predefined filter types ( Exclude ), select traffic from the IP addresses and that are equal to from the dropdown menus. In the blank field below for IP Address, simply paste your IP address value in there and click Save. You’re all set!