Identifying and Filtering Internal Traffic from Google Analytics
Filtering out the internal traffic can be a huge challenge for an organization to tackle. There is no single solution for this issue but we can work on finding one. First, let’s get to know this problem in detail. Here we go-
Why Filtering our Internal Traffic is Important?
The number of employees in your company can lead to major troubles in the Google Analytics reports of your website. If you have a large number of your employees visiting your website consistently, it could affect conversion rates, attribution reporting and can also impact your budget adversely. Think of the time when you worked on your personal laptop and did not clear the cookies. The cookies will end up adding numbers to the traffic that your website receives and give wrong reports and analytic numbers. You need to have smart tools and techniques to address these issues. Some of the solutions could be-
IP Address Filtering
One of the most popular and sought-after way to filter internal traffic is using the IP address of the employees. For a company with a brick mortar physical location and a static IP address, the best option would be to block all the traffic coming from that IP address.
To apply filters to your website, you can start with the ‘Admin’ option on the Google analytics screen and chose the filters that you want to apply. It also allows you to apply a filter to multiple views at a single time. For a single IP address you can just choose one of the filters and paste your IP address.
Network Domain Filtering
Some large organizations have their own network domains. A domain lookup tool can be used to filter out the internal traffic by just using the domain name. While doing so, you should be careful so as to not filter out the useful, non-employee traffic.
Custom Dimension Filter
What would you do if you are not able to figure out the location from where your employees have connected to your website? This is the case when IP Address and Network Domain filtering options fail, and Custom Dimension comes to rescue. Unlike IP Address and Network Domain filtering, Custom Dimension focuses on the browser and the computer that the employees are using to browse your website. Separate identities will be created for different devices, different chrome profile, etc. to identify them as employees.
Custom dimension are used to add information to Google Analytics related to users, sessions, products, etc. It provides the digital marketers better flexibility and features those other similar tools. In this technique, a user-scoped custom dimension called visitor type is created and the index number is noted. Google will match this index number if the employee comes back with more cookies on the same browser and will filter it. Now the filter will just have to look to match a certain value which can later be named as an employee.
Everything given above was about filtering employees, but what would you do if you are not able to identify employees who are out of our physical location. Let’s find solution to this too-
- Common Page Tagging
If your organization has an intranet, employee portal or a common login page that is only accessible to the employees, we can use that to our benefit. These portals make the employees self-identify themselves and make it easy to filter them out of the analytics. If these pages are present in your website’s domain, adding tracking to the pages will be the best available option.
- Domain Common Page
If you have a page or a login portal that people living on different domains also access, you can use it to your help. You can ask all the employees who visit this portal to set their custom dimension to ‘employee’, so that the analytics can identify them as internal traffic and can filter them out.
- Opt-Out Options
If blocking access through domains and common pages are not working for your website, the only option that you are left with is manual opt-out. Instead of automated processes, you can ask your employees to identify themselves as internal traffic when they visit the website.
Internal traffic can cause a huge mess in your marketing budget and strategies by providing you wrong numbers. Whatever option you choose to filter it out should ensure that all the internal traffic gets filtered out without having a significant effect on your website.