Like many other businesses, we moved to remote work in March 2020 and have remained that way. The move to a virtual workplace was relatively smooth, but like many companies one area that has created issues is accurately recording website traffic data with web analytics.
We use Google Analytics and Foureyes to provide comprehensive reporting dashboards for our clients, and it’s important to us that each analytics tool we work with maintains data integrity. When our employees moved remote, we needed to make sure the employees who visited the company’s website did not inadvertently impact website data.
We used a few workarounds to make sure our website traffic insights weren’t disrupted while our employees are working remotely. Here are a few options to leverage:
1. Install an opt-out browser extension
Google Analytics offers a browser add-on that stops analytics from recording your visit. To take advantage of this easy fix, ask all employees to install the add-on in each browser they use and select the correct options that will stop sending tracking data. This may be cumbersome for some organizations, but could be a quick fix for others.
2. Ask remote employees to VPN
If you have a virtual private network (VPN), ask employees to use VPN access each day. You can then filter out the VPN IP from analytics and ask employees to stay logged in to the VPN during working hours. This ensures employee visits aren’t artificially inflating numbers for any websites you track and report on. Make sure to loop in your IT team before making this decision though—having all employees use the VPN at the same time can overload smaller systems!
3. Create a filter for IP addresses
In addition to filtering out the IP address of your company office, you can filter out the home IP addresses of employees as well. This will ensure that regardless of device, their website activity will be filtered out of reporting totals.
To keep the filter up-to-date, you need to ask all employees to share their IP address, which they may not be comfortable doing. You’ll also want to check in frequently to make sure you’re catching new IP addresses as a result of a move or change in internet provider. If that’s too unwieldy or you simply have too many employees and IP addresses to manage, you may want to leverage Google Tag Manager instead.
4. Filter remote employees in Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager
Depending on your comfort-level with Google Analytics settings and Google Tag Manager, you can filter employee traffic out with custom dimensions. This requires a bit more coding knowledge than other options, but is a clean way to ensure unwanted traffic is kept out of your website analytics. There are a variety of online tutorials you can follow, including this helpful resource.
I’m curious to hear what other companies who have gone remote have done to disrupt website analytics and reporting as little as possible. Shoot me a note or let us know if you’re interested in learning more about dynamic reporting from Adpearance.