When we encounter most pre-existing Google analytics accounts they have a similar trait in common – they do not have any filters set up. Filtering your analytics data is an easy first step to take in the direction of looking at clean data. It is also extremely easy to do. Here are the steps:
1. Come up with a list of filters
When looking at your filtered analytics reports you want to get a clean look at what your potential and existing clients are doing on your site. Data showing what you, your staff, and your web designer or web master are looking at or potentially working on will only cloud the data. A great list of starting filters is actual locations: your home location (if you work from home); your office location(s); and the location of your web designer or web master.
2. Gather IP addresses
To filter out the traffic from the above list of locations you will need the IP addresses for each. Getting access to an IP address is actually very easy to do. I recommend using IP Chicken at: http://ipchicken.com/. You simply visit http://ipchicken.com/ from the location that you want to filter and the website will give you the needed IP information.
3. Add a New Website Profile
Before you actually set up any filters, it is good practice to create an additional profile in your Google analytics account. This allows you to store ALL of your web analytics data in one profile while looking at a filtered view in the next. Once a filter is set you cannot capture past data that the filter may have prevented, so this additional profile safeguards you from any mistakes that could result in data loss. The new profile you create will be the one that has the filters, and thus, the filtered data. To add this new profile simply:
- Go to the Analytics Settings screen and click on ‘+Add New Profile’ next to the appropriate website.
- On the next screen select ‘Add a Profile for an existing domain’ and name the profile (something with ‘Filtered’ in the name would be a good idea).
- Hit ‘Continue’.
4. Set the filters
- On the analytics settings page, click on ‘Edit’ next to the newly created Website Profile.
- Scroll down to ‘Filters Applied to Profile’ and click on ‘+Add Filter’.
- Select ‘Add New Filter for Profile’
- Name your first filter (i.e. Lynx Consulting Corporate Office)
- Select ‘Predefined filter’
- Select ‘Exclude’; Traffic from the IP addresses; that are equal to; enter the IP address in the slots.
- Select ‘Save Changes’
Do this for each of your locations and you will be looking at more accurate data in no time!