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Ignoring website traffic from your own offices

You might be surprised how much of your website traffic comes from your own offices. Although this traffic likely to be steady, and therefore won’t affect trends so much, internal users could make a significant impact on absolute numbers. For that reason, it’d be nice to take their activity out of your visitor analytics data, wouldn’t it?

It’s not too difficult, but it does involve setting up a ‘filter’ in Google Analytics. If you’re not familiar with filters, these are ‘destructive’, in that anything you set up using them will take out the specified data from that moment on, permanently. So we recommend that every Google Analytics property has three ‘Views’ set up. The first should be the everyday view you use, with any tested filters applied. The second should be a test view, where you can try out filters before applying them to the everyday view. And the final one should be a ‘raw data’ view, with no filters, so you’ve always got something to fall back on. Never change this one.

If we start working with a Google Analytics account that has just one view which has been in use for a while, we normally rename this ’01 – Standard View’. Then we make a copy called ’02 – Test View’, and a final copy called ’03 – Raw Data’. If there are any filters set up, we remove them from this last view.

Then, if we want to set up a new filter, such as one to exclude the company’s own internal website traffic, we create this and apply it to the Test View. After a day or two, we return and check that it’s been working as expected. It’s very easy to set up a filter which accidentally eliminates all visits or something equally daft, which is why we use the Test View.

To set up a filter to eliminate website visits from your own offices, follow the instructions here. Run it for a few days on the Test View, and you’ll see how much difference it’s made (compared to the Standard View). Then, if the change seems reasonable, just add the existing filter to that view too.

If you have other offices, or an independent website developer, you might like to get them to supply their IP addresses and repeat the exercise with additional filters.