Why Block Sessions from Your Website Analytics Scripts and Reporting

Block SessionsWhen working with a new website, I would definitely recommend blocking the IP address of any network or computer in which the user(s) from those machines are not your actual customers. I’m talking about you, your employees, your customer support staff, and partners outside your office, like your search engine marketing team. This will block sessions from being tracked in your data.

Assume you are on your website using your own online catalog to look up product information. I’m sure your employees do it, especially customer service, as well. When you look in your analytics for something like Time on Page or Conversion Rates, can you imagine how skewed it must be to have all your organization’s hits? Time on Page would be higher, Bounce Rate lower, direct views higher, Conversion Rate lower, etc. But your hits are also affecting other tracking software like social media plugins, double click or adwords scripts, and so much more!

If you already have a website that has been tracking these for years, you might be better off NOT blocking these network hits if there’s been no difference in behavior year over year. At this point, comparisons are at least equal to each other theoretically. If you do change and block the hits, remember to add a note to the date this change was placed so your team will know why and how the stats changed from that date onward.

Here are the details on how to hide hits from networks or IP addresses in Google Analytics, just as an example.

Why You Would Want to Hide Yourself

Instead of blocking yourself in the tracking software, you can block the tracking software from seeing YOU. Not only is this helpful for your own websites, but also from your competitors capturing you or if you would like to hide more information about yourself personally from all sorts of websites.

There are a few ways to manage this, but a popular one now-a-days is a browser extension called Ghostery, which boasts that it blocks nearly 2,000 types of trackers. It is available for many browsers and devices and instructions on use are available at their website.

You Can Also Beat the Extensions

You can also de-activate Ghostery for users who have it installed on their computer, so you can still retrieve user data on your website even if they have it installed. Techniques like this would work with all sorts of extensions. Ethically, when a user visits your website, they agree to your terms of use or privacy policy, which generally includes accepting cookies on their browser, so you have every right to allow your tracking analytics software to “do its thing.” Personally, you didn’t hear this from me – I’m all for user control, but hey, you have a business to run, right?

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