Posted on | September 7, 2010 | No Comments
Before you start ogling your reports, there are a few things you absolutely must do to your data as soon as you install Google Analytics on your website (and, of course, you make sure it’s installed correctlty) This stuff isn’t sexy or fun (unless you’re someone like me) but they are things you must do as a newbie to get clean, accurate and relevant data you can actually use. Ready? Take a deep breath and read on. There will be a test later.
Step One: Filter your internal traffic.
Unless you are using Google Analytics for your office intranet or looking to track an internal audience (say, if you work for a library or schooll) you’ll want to have a profile that excludes the web traffic that comes from within your office. If you’re looking to track the web traffic coming from an e-mail or social media campaign, for example, you won’t want the web traffic from the folks in your office (or you) unintentionally inflating your numbers. So exclude it! The easiest way to do this is by filtering out your own (or your office’s) IP address. Here’s how:
- Go to the “Analytics Settings” page and click “Filter Manager”
- Name your Filter
- Choose the “Predefined Filter” radio button
- Choose “Exclude all traffic from an IP address”
- Enter your office IP address in the “IP address” field. You’ll need to use regular expressions here. For example,if your IP address is:
in Google Analytics, you’ll enter it as 192\.168\.1\.114
as I did below for my personal blog:
So now some of you are thinking “holy crap this is confusing.” I don’t blame you. RegEx is not easy. If you are still confused by regular expressions and/or you have absolutely no clue what I am talking about, there are many online resources should you want to DIY it: you can either check out Regular Expressions Info for more background information. Or grab your friendly neighborhood IT person. Or drop me a line.
Outside of the Regular Expressions part, these steps are pretty easy to follow and absolutely necessary when you want to start using your reports later on, trust me. I highly recommend setting up a new profile for your filtered data so that you’ll have your raw data handy in case you ever need it.
Now you can move on to the real fun stuff. setting up Goals, which I will get to next week.