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Basic Guide to Excluding Your Own Traffic from Google Analytics

Think you know how much traffic your site is getting?

Think again. 

Follow our step-by-step guide, designed to help you understand how to exclude your own traffic from Google Analytics. 

 

Google Analytics – What is it? 

A free-to-use marketing tool, Google Analytics allows you to monitor traffic to your page – with the knowledge that you gain from this, you will be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your site – meaning that you can then take action to improve your site and drive up your traffic to your site! 

 

Benefits of Excluding your own Traffic:

Your business’ internal traffic to your website can have a massive effect on your metrics, this could lead to misguided decision-making, negatively impacting your business’ performance. It is important to keep data as clean and accurate as possible. 

Setting Up

You will need to check if your own traffic is being recorded, in order to do this, you will need to have the Google Tag Assistant extension installed. Follow these steps to find out how:

  1. Start on your website
  2. Select the Tag Assistant extension icon (you will see its next to the address bar) – you will now need to click “Record”.
  3. Now refresh your page before clicking on the extension icon again, you will now need to select “Stop Recording”, and then “Show Full Report” 
  4. You will be shown the Google Tag Assistant Report. Then, you need to click on “Google Analytics Report”. 
    1. You can only do this if you are logged into a Google Account which gives you access to an Analytics account.
    2. At this point, if you see a message like this: “No hits were found in this recording”, it means your personal traffic is not being recorded, this may be because of the following factors:
  • An AdBlocker 
  • Privacy Extension 
  • Google Opt-Out extension 

This means you’re free to stop reading here, or carry on if you want to be really efficient and make sure the traffic from your network is not being recorded on devices which do not have the above mentioned extensions installed – if so, then these extensions need to be disabled, before you proceed to step 5. 

  1. If you have more than one view configured in Google Analytics, then you would need to select the views you want to analyse before clicking “Ok”.
  2. You will now need to select “Change location” and then “Use my externally visible IP address”, before clicking “Update”
  • Important – if you are not in your office, or connected to the local network during testing, you will need to find out your local network’s IP Address, and choose the “Use a specific IP address” option – to do this you could:
    • Ask your Internet Service Provider of the person responsible for the office network if the IP Address is static and what the external IP Address is.
    • Alternatively, you could find out yourself
      • Connect to the office’s local network
      • Find your IP address on the page
      • Call your ISP to see if you network’s iP address is static.
        • To exclude your local IP address, your Office’s IP address has to be static.

 

  1. The page will now refresh, and you will be taken to the “Google Analytics Report” again – you then need to scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the page you just loaded, and then click “Hit 1”.
  2. Under your views, the way the “hit” was processed will be visible.
    • You will be able to see the hits under the groups – if you see the “Hit captured with modifications”message, then this means website interactions are being recorded to this view. 

Specific Devices

This is the method that you use when using Google Chrome, if you’re using an alternate browser, then steps may vary slightly. 

  • This stops traffic from these devices being recorded, regardless of which network they are connected to. This is beneficial to use on the device that you use to work on developing your website. 
  • By doing this, your device’s traffic is no longer recorded on any website that uses Google Analytics – however there is always an option for you to turn off the extension if you want it to be tracked again.
  1. Go to: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout 
  2. Download the Add-on – click the blue button 
  3. The Chrome Store will open – click “Add to Chrome”
  4. Select “Add extension” 
  5. You will now see a grey Google logo on the extension bar – this means your extension has successfully been installed and the device is no longer being recorded by Google Analytics (so long as you are using this browser, and the extension is turned on). 
    • In case you want to verify that its working, you can follow the procedure shown at the beginning of the blog – if everything is working, then you will see the message: “No hits were found in this recording”. 
  6. At this point in the tutorial, you have successfully excluded your own traffic from being recorded – now it is important that you get your employees and contractors to to the same thing. 

 

Excluding a Network 

  1. Find out your network’s IP address 
    • If you have already done this during the previous steps, then you don’t need to do it again – it is the same procedure as before. 

Ask the person responsible for the office’s network or your Internet Service Provider:

    • Is the network IP Address static?”
      • If it isn’t static, then excluding it from Google Analytics will not have a long-term effect.
    • “What’s the external IP Address?”
      • You will need to type this IP address in the “Change Location” menu, in the “IP Address” field.

Check yourself:

    • Connect to the office’s local network 
    • Open http://beta.speedtest.net/ in a new tab
    • Find your IP address on the page
    • Call your ISP to see if your network’s IP address is static. 
      • To exclude your local IP address, your Office’s IP address has to be static. 
  1. Open your Google Analytics Admin panel and select the relevant account, property and view.
    • Important – Filters are destructive, they will permanently alter the incoming hits – this is why changes aren’t made in your main and only view. This blog outlines the method used for the “Staging View”. 
  1. Click on “Filters” and then “Add Filter” – you will then need to choose either a “Predefined” or “Custom” filter 

 

  • 1 IP Address – choose “Predefined” 
  • Filter Name – Select an identifiable name 
  • Filter Type – Predefined 
  • Select Filter Type – Exclude 
  • Select Source of Destination – IP addresses’ traffic
  • Selection Expression – That are equal to 
  • IP Address – Your network’s external IP address

 

  • Several IP Addresses – choose “Custom”
  • Filter Name – Select an identifiable name 
  • Filter Type – Custom 
  • Select Filter Type – Exclude 
  • Filter Field – IP address 
  • Filter Pattern
    • Familiar with regex?
        1. Insert your own regex expression here to match the IP addresses you want to exclude. 
    • Unfamiliar with regex? 
        • Follow these steps:
          1. List the IPs you’re looking to exclude
          2. Separate all of them with a pipe symbol – this is a pipe symbol
          3. At the beginning of each IP Address, add this symbol at the beginning ^
          4. At the end of each IP Address, add a dollar sign at the end $
          5. Example of a completed regex:

^170\.240\242\.20$❘^73\.235\.25\.192$

          1. Now you just need to add a \ before each dot, and you’re ready to copy your expression to the field in Google Analytics. 
    1. You have now excluded the selected networks from your view – this is something you should be able to see in the “View Filters” table:
  • Important – Filters may sometimes take up to 24 hours before they are applied to your data – after monitoring the results (and making sure you’re happy with them), you would now need to replicate this procedure on your Main View.

Congratulations! You have now excluded your own traffic from your website, meaning you now have a clear image of exactly how much traffic you’re really getting. 

If you found this tutorial useful, then check us out on social media – More blogs coming soon! 

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