Google Analytics is an invaluable source of information for every company operating online. You can track everything from visitor demographics to campaign performance. You can get far more granular to better understand user behavior.
But there’s a catch:
Analytics doesn’t show you these insights automatically. In order to get access to certain data, you have to set Google Analytics up manually to unlock its full potential. In this article, we’re going to show you how to do it:
1. How to block spam bots to avoid fake traffic in Google Analytics
Spammers can use bots to send fake traffic websites. In Google Analytics this fake traffic appears in reports as weird keywords or referral traffic. How to identify bot traffic in google analytics you might wonder. Well, check your acquisition channels in analytics. Sources like the one below (üééép) can quite easily be identified as bots. Fun fact: t.co is not a bot but traffic from Twitter 😉
The intention is usually harmless: These websites use this method to generate traffic and make money with ads. However, clicking through to those websites could expose you to serious security threats.
Fortunately, there is a way to exclude bot traffic Google Analytics. Here’s how:
Go to the admin tab in your dashboard menu(1).
Under“View” on the right side, go to“View settings”(2)
Scroll down and tick the box that says“Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”(2).
Now Google Analytics will exclude all hits from known bots and spiders. Keep in mind that this will only exclude the majority of fake traffic from spam bots in your analytics. Some bots and spiders might still manage to slip through since new bots hit the market on a daily basis. It might take Google some time to identify bot traffic that’s brand new, but Google identifies fake traffic sooner or later.
2. How to unlock not provided keywords in google analytics
If you are already working with Google Analytics, you probably noticed that some Google Analytics acquisition keywords are not provided. The source of that problem could be that you haven’t yet connected your Google Search Console/Webmaster tools with Analytics yet.
The Google Search Console shows you keywords that generated organic traffic for your website on Google. In other words, people searched for those keywords on Google, you appeared as a result and they clicked through to your website. These are the keywords you might want to integrate into your SEO and SEA strategy since they are already working for you. Apart from making your analytics more precise, merging these accounts allows you to see the not provided keywords directly in Google Analytics.
On a sidenote: keyword research is crucial! We’ve discussed subject in other articleslike this one.
So here’s how to unlock not provided keywords in Google Analytics (you need to have a Google Analytics and Google Search Console account set up):
In the left-side menu, click the“Admin”(1) tab.
Go to“Property Settings”(2) in the“Property” column.
Scroll down to “Search Console”, then click“Adjust Search Console”(3).
You should be seeing“Search Console Settings” section. Click the“Add link”(4). After you added the website, this is where you can remove the selected search console.
Find and select the website of which you want to integrate the search data and don’t forget to save(6).
If you followed these steps you can navigate to the“acquisition tab in the left-side menu and select“search console”.
In this tab, you will see the landing pages people arrived on, which countries they are from, which devices they use and the exact keywords/queries that drove free traffic to your website via Google.
3. Enable audience tracking
The standard Google Analytics dashboard gives you information about the devices your visitors are using and where they’re located but it can do way more.
However, Google Analytics enables you to see more advanced details like visitor age, gender and more information if you enable audience tracking.
Be aware that in order to use audience tracking, GDPR demands that you ask users consent to do so when they visit your website.
Set up audience tracking.
In the left-hand menu, select the “Audience” tab, go to “Demographics” and click “Overview”. If audience tracking is not enabled, you should be seeing this:
You can now see demographic data(1) and interests(2) of your visitors. You should use this data to gain a deeper understanding of your visitors and adapt your communication.
4. Filter your IP addresses from reports
This will exclude your own website visits from your metrics, making your reporting more precise. Especially bigger companies with multiple people working on the same website should consider excluding their IP address from reports.
To find out your IP address simply Google“What is my IP address?”
Once you know your IP address, go to the Admin tab we’ve used before.
Click“+ Ad filter”
Tick“Create New Filter”(1), name your filter(2), select“Predefined”(3) and select the following parameters:
“Exclude”(4) +“traffic from the IP addresses”(5) +“that are equal to”(6)
Paste your IP address into the box(7) and save(8)
Google Analytics now excludes data of traffic coming from your IP address.
If you are working remotely or with freelancers, for example, make sure to exclude their IPs as well.
Taking the time to tweak Google Analytics can go a long way in understanding your customers. If Google Analytics is not already your best friend, you are wasting an invaluable resource that can make or break a business.