Website traffic – have you excluded internal traffic from the data?

 

Are you excluding internal traffic from your web stats?What I mean is are you tracking visits that you and your staff make to the company website?

Internal traffic can be a major traffic source, especially for low traffic sites, sites where there is a lot of testing going on, sites where the staff use the company home page as there default new page and where staff are major uses of the site perhaps to find information or as a sales tool.

I was at a networking event a couple of days ago and one business owner was saying how funny it was that there were always traffic spikes just before she sent out a newsletter – she thought her visitors were psychic!Actually she was monitoring herself checking all the links for the new content she was putting up relating to the newsletter. It sounds silly but it is very easy to do.

You can exclude all traffic from a specific IP addresses from the web data, simply look at Google Analytics set up for details on how to do so.You may want to monitor how your staff are using the site themselves, in which case you can set up a separate filter that includes internal traffic and one that does not.

Don’t forget to exclude other people who may not be staff but are still internal traffic, your web developer for example.

If you are interested in intranet traffic, then this will usually be within a sub directory and you can set up a filter that monitors only traffic to that specific sub directory.

One of the challenges of web analytics is to be sure that you know what data you are looking at and inadvertently watching yourself or your staff visiting the website is all too easy to do. This can be quite a tricky problem where you have sales staff visiting prospects and using the company website as a sales tool using laptops. In this situation, it is possible to exclude this traffic from the stats by setting a cookie on your website and then visiting it from all the company laptops. Google explains how to do this at http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en-uk&answer=55481

Alternatively, a less than ideal workaround is to just look at the new visitor segment.This is useful if your main interest is in increasing online visibility, eg SEO but of course you lose all information relating to repeat visitors, vital for every site that does not sell on the first visit!


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