Website analytics isn’t just putting up a tool and it delivers everything that a business needs for their reports. What these website analytics tools do is collect the data that they can find and present them to the user. What most people forget is to set the proper parameters so that the data is presented properly and accurately. And one of the most common culprits for this is internal traffic.
What is Internal Traffic?
One of the biggest causes of inaccurate data is internal traffic. As mentioned, the analytics tools collect the data that comes to the website. All of them. This includes the traffic from the organization’s own people. This can severely inflate the data.
There’s usually at least one person who would visit the organization’s website on a daily basis. It can be the marketing manager, the owner, the content writer, web developer or webmaster, or all of them at the same time.
There was a time that a former client of mine was asking to help replicate the success of traffic from a particular month. When I reviewed the data, it showed that they had a huge spike in traffic for almost an entire month. However, digging deeper the visits seemed too good to be true. They have very low bounce rate and average time spent on each page was very high. On top of that, the conversion rate increased but was not proportionate to the increase in traffic.
As it turns out, they had a third party consultant doing web development work on the website during that time and they forgot to filter out the traffic from their office which led to the spikes and the numbers. The slight increase in conversions was them testing the site as well.
In essence, internal traffic gives wrong data and it will lead to wrong assumptions and decisions.
Filter Out Internal Traffic
Most of the time websites use Google Analytics to monitor traffic. If that is the case, then filtering out internal traffic is quite simple by using IP addresses.
Once logged in, click on Admin at the bottom left of the screen which should show this and click on Filters as indicated.
Then click on Add Filter
Now fill up the form with a name and the IP address to be filtered out. It is advisable to use a name for each office location IP address to distinguish them. This will help later on. Next is to put in the IP address of the connection in the office. Make sure to choose the correct drop downs.
If you are not sure what is your IP, simply Google “What is my IP address” to get it. And Done!
Other Concerns with Internal Traffic
This solution is not perfect. It has some downsides and it is important to keep vigilant. For one, most service providers use dynamic IPs nowadays which means that your computer’s IP address can change regularly. It is important to check this from time to time in order to ensure that the IP filtered for internal traffic is still the same.
Also, this solution is difficult for large organizations with offices all across the world. This would mean putting up several filters and monitoring them regularly. This is why it is ideal to use proper filter names which will help in maintaining each one.
If you need helping in doing this or in digital analytics in general, do not hesitate to contact me and we can work this out.