How to Filter Internal Visitors and Analyze Site Traffic with Google Analytics
The number of people that visit a website has a significant influence on a site’s ranking, product conversion, and brand reach. However, increasing one’s organic traffic is a tricky businesses.
There are various ways to get people land on a website. Owners can buy cheap website traffic. For a while, this has been the hottest commodity in online marketing. But as search engines become more and more wary of suspicious SEO tactics, this move requires professional skill and experience. SEO article writing service and media press releases are also proven ways for website promotion.
However, the question remains on what can be done when traffic does come in.
How can you tell that the traffic is organic or real and not just bots?
How can you filter out real web visitors from website administrators or business employees?
What can you do to screen the web traffic data and focus only on the essentials?
These solutions can help in screening out employee traffic in order to come up with data-driven business plans and decisions:
Filtering by IP Address
Perhaps the most popular and frequently used method among businesses, IP address filters to discount employee traffic is also the easiest method to implement.
Most businesses have a static IP address. This comes in handy in that the company can exclude all traffic coming from this IP address.
Creating Traffic Filters for IP Address
In order to create a filter, one must first have editing permission from the Account level of Google Analytics.
Here are the quick steps on getting started:
- Navigate the Admin Screen in Google Analytics.
- Navigate to the Left Side of the Screen and choose Account.
- Click on Account and from the dropdown, select All Filters.
This enables the admin to apply the filter to multiple views at the same time.
For only one IP address, users can just use the default filters and copy it to the IP Address box.
For a range of IP addresses, the admin can control the employee traffic by choosing Custom Filters, selecting Exclude, and Choosing IP address from the dropdown. After which, enter the IP address regular expression.
Filtering by Custom Dimension
This filtering option stresses on a specific browser and computer unit that a staff uses to browse the website. This type of filter option is only applicable in Universal Analytics. Although it is not so common, it gives users the advantage of greater flexibility and advanced features as compared to custom variables, which is its predecessor.
Filtering through Domain Networks
For very large companies that have network domains, they can use this option to improve website traffic.
There are various tools that Lookup Domain wherein a user can key in an IP address and see if the company name is generated.
It can also be identified from Google Analytics by the following steps:
- Go to the Audience option.
- Select Technology.
- Navigate to Domain.
- Choose Domain Reports.
Creating Voluntary Opt-Out Page Options
This is a manual solution for weeding out employee traffic from Google Analytics. This method requires the collaboration between the company’s web administrators and the employees themselves.
Because this option is voluntary, it needs the participation of the employees to work. Opt-out pages need a button to click and may ask for the employee’s name so the admins can see which of the staff participated.
Spreading Awareness and Implementing Rules
The company can also turn it into a team effort by explaining to employees the importance of web traffic data filtering. The company can implement rules which require the staff to opt out of all browsers and all devices.
Companies can also use a custom reports tool that will check which employees participated. It is up to the companies to decide whether to incentivize the ones who do or penalize the ones who do not.
Why It’s Important to Filter and Analyze Web Traffic
It may not be a well-known fact but internal traffic can actually have serious negative implications on the company’s Google Analytics. Because employees do not behave as typical web users do when visiting a site, internal traffic can alter important metrics. Such metrics which are often reported are page views, number of users, sessions, and duration of stay.
Internal traffic can also influence conversion rates and attribution reports data. Ultimately, this information influences budgeting, bid and financial strategies, and corporate decisions.
As with most things that concern online businesses, there isn’t a single, cut-out solution that will help identify and analyze web traffic. That is why it is wiser to build a multi-layered strategy that combine these various, effective solutions.