Google Analytics is a powerful tool for your website (and free!) – allowing you to track in-depth how your site is doing – how many visits it’s getting, where those visits are coming from, what pages they’re landing on, etc.
Looks great on “paper”, but…
You want to make sure that the incoming traffic you’re seeing is as accurate as possible. One way to ensure that is to remove yourself from the equation with a Filter. Analytics is extremely smart, but it doesn’t know that this is YOUR site unless you tell it so. Every time one of you or your co-workers or contractors visit the site, Analytics is going to record that as a visit.
You may login to Analytics one day and say “Holy cow! Look at all those visits! We must be on the right track”. But if you haven’t created a Filter, your results are going to be skewed. It’s a simple concept and right now you might be thinking “Duuuhh” – but it’s a common occurrence for business owners to forget this important step.
First Step – Finding Your IP Address
The first thing to do is find out what your IP address is. An IP address is the unique number that identifies your internet network. The simplest way to do that is to go to an IP lookup site like http://www.whatismyip.com. Just go to this site and your IP address will appear right at the top. It will look something like this:
Make sure that you instruct all your employees, co-workers, independent contractors to do the same to add to the Filter. Make that sure that everyone provides you with an IP address from anywhere they visit the site, including their home IP.
Creating the Filter
Login to Analytics and click on your website’s name to access the Profile. At the bottom right you will click the link that says Filter Manager.
From this page, you will click + Add Filter
Enter the Filter name. This can be anything you decide to identify each individual person’s IP address. For example, if your name is Rob and you want to filter out your work computer, you would name it something like Rob – Office.
Make sure the Predefined Filter bubble is selected
Next there are 3 pull-down menus to choose from. You are going to select Exclude > Traffic from the IP Addresses > that are equal to.
Next type in the IP address for “Rob-Office”. Make sure that you keep it in the same format with the periods in the same place.
In the next window, highlight your website profile and click Add.
Click Save Changes at the bottom.
That’s it! You will repeat this process for each IP address that you want to exclude from your Analytics reports. If you’re a one-woman or one-man band, then you’re done!
Photo courtesy of Christian Beirle Gonzalez