How To Stop Google Analytics Recording Your Own Visits

If you have recently launched a new ecommerce site (or any website for that matter) you will no doubt see your own website visits heavily skewing the reported results from analytics.

Time spent on the website updating products and checking out other functionality can all be recorded by analytics programs.

Similarly if you have an office full of staff that uses the website front end constantly to check out product details and prices when dealing with customers then this can also affect the analytics results.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could exclude these visits and resulting activity from your analytics package?

Well, if you’re using Google Analytics then you can set this up in just a few minutes.

Step 1 – Create a new website access link

On any computer that you regularly use to access your site you need to create a new link to access the website from.

For example, if you normally enter the site from a ‘Bookmark’ link in FireFox or Internet Explorer then you need to amend the link so that it includes some extra parameters in the url.

So if your website address is:

http://www.xyzcompany.com/

Then you need to change the bookmark link to:

http://www.xyzcompany.com/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=internal&utm_campaign=internal

You will see that adding this extra bit of information to the end of your normal web address will not affect your site in anyway.

These extra ‘bits’ simply indicate to Google Analytics that this link is part of a campaign called ‘internal’.

Step 2 – Create a Filter in Analytics

Log into Google Analytics and click on the ‘Analytic Settings’ link towards the top left of the screen.

Now click on the link ‘Filter Manager’, which is located towards the bottom right, next to the ‘User Manager’.

Analytics Filter Settings

Analytics Filter Settings

To create a new Filter click on ‘Add Filter’.

Enter a name for the filter, this can be anything, I used ‘Exclude Own Clicks’, but you can put anything you want to, it doesn’t matter.

Select the ‘Custom filter’ button then leave the next setting on ‘Exclude’.

For the Filter Field choose ‘Campaign Source’ from the drop down list.

Type ‘internal’ (without quote marks) into the Filter Pattern box, notice this is the same as we put in the link we created in step 1.

Leave Case Sensitive set to ‘No’.

The final step is to apply the filter to your website profile, this means you should find the profile which is for your website in the available profiles box at the bottom, click on it, then click Add to move it to the selected box. You will usually only have 1 profile available anyway unless you have setup different sites.

Once completed click on ‘Save Changes’.

That’s everything you need to do. Now if you use the link we created in step 1 whenever you visit your website, then Analytics will see that it is part of the internal campaign and will not include any of the stats in your reports.

Remember to give anyone who works on the site regularly the new access link.

One final thing to note with this is that it will not work retrospectively, the filter doesn’t affect any historical data, it will only apply to visits from the moment it is switched on.

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