The changes I make to my campaign should be based on real, actionable data. Making any assumptions is bad for business, so I need the facts.
- How many unique visitors did I have last week?
- Where did they come from?
- Did they do something when they got here?
This sounds like a job for, dun-di-duh, Google Analytics!
Setting Up Google Analytics
Becoming a Google Analytics Jedi Master can take years to accomplish, but installing GA on your website is easy – and it’s free.
You can view the source code of this page by holding CTRL (control) and pressing the letter u. By default, I can see that this page is ready to start collecting data for my account, UA-35549968-1 and is tracking pageviews (traffic). Excellent!
However, if your website is brand new, you might be disappointed to see little to no traffic. But don’t get discouraged! I started this campaign on November 2, 2012, so my traffic numbers are really low and that’s OK.
Your first order of business is to ensure that your website can collect data. You should work next to collect clean data. You want to exclude visits to your website that might distort your view of how your campaign is progressing. If you’re anything like me you’ll probably visit your own website several times a day. If we don’t filter out our own visits, traffic may appear higher than it actually is.
Google calls this an “Exclude internal traffic” filter and offers the following tutorial:
Exclude internal traffic
Instructions for creating filters are in Create Filters.
To exclude internal traffic from appearing in a report view, create a custom filter to exclude a specific IP address or a range of IP addresses.
Filter Type: Custom > Exclude
Filter Field: Visitor IP Address
- For example, if the single IP address is 22.214.171.124, then enter 176\.168\.1\.1.
- For example, if the range of IP addresses is 126.96.36.199-25 and 10.0.0.1-14, then enter
Remember to use regular expressions to enter an IP address.
For help finding the correct expression for your range of IP addresses, use the IP Address Range Tool.
For an overview of profile filters, read About Filters.
Real World Example
I haven’t set up my own Exclude Internal Traffic filter yet, so I’ll do that now. I start by logging into my Google Analytics account and clicking on the admin button.
On the left, I select the account for this website, click the Filters tab and then click the New Filter button.
From the drop down menus, I’ll select the following options:
- traffic from the IP addresses
- that are equal to
Next I’m prompted to add my IP address. Visit www.whatismyip.com to find yours.
Enter the full IP address and take a break! Repeat these steps at all other locations you or your team might access your website from to further scrub your data.