Google Analytics is an awesome tool for bloggers. Here are three reasons why:
- It’s free.
- It’s packed with a ton of useful information.
- It’s fun to look at (especially if you ♥ data).
Here’s the thing though: Google Analytics isn’t so awesome if the data it provides is inaccurate. If your Google Analytics data is inaccurate it’s usually because (1) something is off with the tracking code, as FBP member Rachel recently shared on the community forum, or because (2) you haven’t taken measures to make sure that you’re not tracking yourself.
We’re going to talk about that second issue in today’s blog post.
Tracking yourself can really throw your numbers off, especially when you’re first starting out. Why? Because in the beginning stages your blog will have less visitors, which means that a single visit has a bigger impact on your overall stats.
For example, let’s say that you had 50 visitors to your blog yesterday. 49 people viewed an average of two pages each, but one person viewed 30 pages. That would put the average page views per visitor at 2.56. That’s pretty good.
The only problem is that the one person that viewed 30 pages was YOU.
You had been tracking yourself and therefore you inflated the visitors and page view stats. You actually had 49 visitors who averaged 2 page views each. That’s a pretty big difference in page views!
As your traffic increases the impact that tracking yourself can have decreases, but even if your blog gets thousands of visitors a day it’s nice to know that you’re not included in those numbers.
The good news is that it's really easy to block yourself from being tracked by Google Analytics with an add-on called Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.
You should install the add-on for every web browser that you use.
Here’s the step-by-step for installing the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on:
- Open a web browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera)
- Go to https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
- Click the blue install button.
- Follow the prompts to install the add-on.
- Go back to #1 and repeat the process for any other web browser that you use.
The install process will be a tiny bit different for each browser, but you should get prompts that walk you through the installation process. Leave a comment below if you have any questions with it.
Keep in mind that this will block you from all Google Analytics tracking, not just the tracking for your blog. So if you were the only person visiting your Great Uncle’s ant farm blog and you install this add-on then it will look to him like you are no longer visiting his blog (which we both know isn’t true).
If you’re an FBP member be sure to check out the Google Analytics course to learn about other Google Analytics tricks that you can use to help you grow your food blog.