How To Filter IP Traffic In Google Analytics

For More Accurate Reports

  • How To Filter Internal Traffic in GA4

    1 Mar 2024

    Original Article April 2018. Updated for GA4 in March 2024.

    Discovering how visitors engage with your website is invaluable. However, the effectiveness of your GA4 data hinges on its accuracy. Ensuring that you're tracking genuine visitors rather than internal staff or remote workers is paramount. That's where IP Filters come into play. Follow this step by step guide to setting up IP Filters in GA4

    As website owners and marketing managers, understanding and analysing website traffic patterns in GA4 is crucial for optimising performance and making informed decisions.

    However, internal staff and remote workers using the website for information can skew the data in the GA4 reports, giving increased traffic and incorrect engagement metrics, potentially leading to wrong decisions being made about marketing.

    Filtering traffic from these specific IP addresses can provide you with a cleaned view of actual visitor activity, offering valuable insights into genuine user behaviour and excluding irrelevant or internal traffic noise.

    You should also consider removing visits from your designers, developers, freelancers and other agencies.


    Make sure the data you're seeing is accurate by filtering out these IP addresses. Don't know how to? Read on below...

    How to Filter Traffic from Specific IP Addresses

     In Universal Analytics setting up these IP filters was a “simple” 1 step process, in GA4 it is split into 2 sections, although both are straight forward to do:

    • Adding the IP address to the Filter
    • Activating the Filter

    We'll start by setting up the IP address on the filter.

    STEP 1

    Go to Admin > Data Streams

    Select Data Stream

    GA4 Menu Showing Data Streams selected

     

    STEP 2

    Find and click “Configure Tag Settings”, this can be found under the  Google Tag section (you may have to scroll) 

     

    Find configure tag settings

     

    Step 3

    Next find and click “Define internal traffic”, you may have to click “Show More”

    Google Tag Settings menu

    Find Define internal traffic

     

    Step 4

    To enter a new address to filter, click “Create”

    Create a new Internal Traffic Rule

     

    Complete the fields

    Adding an IP Address to the filter

    1.    Rule Name - Give it a name that you will find useful and easy to understand what is being filtered

    2.    Traffic Type is defined as “Internal” as default, and in most case this is fine to use as a catch all. 

    You can enter your own custom name (can’t include space or special characters) to allow for better categorisation or increased flexibility and control on which filters are active (we’ll get to this part in a bit).

    3.    Match Type - If entering a single IP address to filter select “IP Address equals” from the dropdown, again if you are blocking a multiple or a range of IP addresses from the same location etc, you may want to use one of the other options.

    4.    Value – Enter your IP address. If you’re not sure what this is, click “What’s My IP Address?” link on the right hand side. However, if you’re working in an office. 

    5.    Click “Create”

     

    You’ve created or added an IP Address to  your Data Filter and should be able to see it listed under Internal Filter Traffic.

    Now you need to make sure that the filter is active.

     

    Activating Internal Traffic Filter

    Step 1

    From the Admin Menu:

    Find and Click on “Data filters” either in the left hand menu or on the main centre menu under “Data Collection and modification”

    GA4 menu showing Data Filters

     

    Step 2

    By default there will be 2 two filters available, “Developer Traffic” and “Internal Traffic”.

    You want to make sure that “Internal Traffic” Operation is set to Exclude and Current State is “Active. 

    Data Filters Menu showing Internal Traffic

     

    Step 3

    If this is not the case then click “Internal Traffic”

    Find “Filter operation” and choose “Exclude” from the dropdown and then under “Filter state” select the “Active” button

    GA4 Internal Traffic Filter configuration

     

    Step 4

    Click save in the top right hand corner.

    And that’s it, you’re done. The filter is now set up and active.

    Remember, this will only affect reports going forward from this. It will not filter out internal traffic from past reports. 

     

    Note: Home workers may have Dynamic IPs

    However, your home workers may have dynamic IP addresses, which means their IP address may change regularly.

    Even though an IP address is “dynamic” people tend to think that this means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is constantly issuing a new IP address every time you go on line. This was the case when we were on dial up systems that required a unique connection between the ISP and modem, but this has not been true for a long time.

    These days ISPs don't change the IP addresses that often (perhaps every 6 to 9 months).  So you should try and filter out home workers but it is worth spending a few moments to find out if they have a Dynamic IP and if so get them to check it every few months or so to see if it has changed.

    To determine if a PC's IP is static or dynamic follow these steps.

    Open the Command Prompt by searching CMD from the search box in your Task bar.

    Using Command Prompt for finding your your IP for Google Analytics filters

    Type ipconfig /all.  Then look for the Ethernet connection listing.  Find the IP Address line and this will give you your currently assigned IP address.  Next, look at the DHCP Enabled line in the same section.  If DHCP Enabled is set to 'Yes', you have a Dynamic IP Address.  If DHCP Enabled is set to 'No', you have a Static IP Address.

    Next look for the Wireless connection listing.

    How to see if your IP is Dynamic of Static

    The example above shows Yes for both, so on this PC the user has a Dynamic IP.

     

    If your key website editors have Dynamic IPs you could ask them to check it every few days to see how often it changes.  If it changes a frequently you may have to accept that you can't filter this user out but most of the time this isn't the case.

    Want to learn more about Google Analytics? Take a look at our 1 day Google Analytics courses in Manchester, Liverpool & Leeds and Online. 

     

Author

Martin Woodfield is a Digital Marketing Trainer, running courses for M Training and various universities. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has worked for some of the UKs leading companies. He has 20 years experience in digital marketing and has worked in senior marketing roles for over 30 years.

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