IP Address Location
- Location: Ashburn, United States
- Continent: NA
- Timezone: America/New_York
- Latitude: 39.0481
- Longtitude: -77.4728
What Is an IP Address?
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique number assigned to every device to identify it on the internet or a local network. It helps information pass between devices on the network.
Your IP address has two key jobs: ID for your host or network interface, and location addressing. An IPv4 address is 32 bits, and IPv6, the latest version of IP, has 128 bits in length.
How Do Small Businesses Use IP Address Information?
Here are some common ways small business owners or webmasters use and benefit from IP address data.
Filter out internal traffic to your website
All small businesses should use a web analytics tool. One of the most popular ones is Google Analytics which has a robust free version. We’ll use Google Analytics in the example below, but you can use any similar tool to do the same thing.
In Google Analytics, you can filter out all traffic to your website coming from internal sources (such as staff, freelancers, and vendors.) This is commonly done by using individual IP addresses or by excluding a subnet of IP addresses.
Filtering like this is considered a best practice to avoid skewing your traffic patterns via activities like internal testing on select pages. This type of filter is so common that Google Analytics has one pre-configured; you simply need to “flip a few switches,” so to speak. Before we go through the easy process of adding IP filters, let’s ensure your “views” are set up.
Google Analytics recommends that every property have at least three views. This is considered to be a best practice. These can be named any way you like, but usually are named:
- Raw Data
The Raw Data view has no filters or goals applied to it.
The Master view is the one you’ll use to do most of your analysis. It will have filters configured to screen out internal traffic via IP address, and may contain other filters. Once you apply filters and other configurations, those filters will change the data being collected and stored. Always maintain a raw data view, and test new configurations via the Test view before implementing them in the Master view.
Here’s how to filter traffic by IP address:
First, have employees and freelancers visit this page, use the IP address tool to discover and document their IP address, then email it to you. If they work in more than one location, ensure they identify all the IP addresses they use (e.g., co-working space, home, Starbucks, or library).
Log in to your Google Analytics account.
- Select “Admin”
- Select Master view, then select Filters
- Click the red “Add filter” button
- Name your filter (You could use the employee name)
- On the “Select filter type” dropdown, choose “Exclude”
- On “Select source or destination” drop-down, choose “traffic from the IP addresses”
- On “Select expression” drop-down, choose “that are equal to” and type in the employee’s IP address
For more advanced filtering questions, see Google’s help page.
Periodically recheck employee IP addresses since these will change when staff move or alter where they are telecommuting from.
IP address uses in marketing automation
Marketing automation software can do remarkable things by tracking IP addresses. Small business owners don’t need to know the granular details of marketing automation, but understanding the broad contours of what’s possible today is critical to building an effective digital strategy.
Current software on the market can affordably execute the following processes automatically, which begin with IP address tracking:
- Track all website visitor behavior and assign an anonymous ID number to it (e.g., Anonymous #1432).
- Once Anonymous #1432 converts by signing up for a free ebook, for example, they go from an unknown to a known person. Their email address is enriched with other publicly available data like LinkedIn photo, employer, title, industry, number of employees in their company, city, state, personal website, and Twitter handle. This information populates an instantly created non-public visitor profile page.
- Anonymous #1432 is now known by name. Let’s call him Mike Mackerel. His previously anonymous browsing history on your website is now appended to his profile chronologically.
- All his interactions with your site going forward are recorded as well, including which pages he visits; what services, events, or products he signs up for; what he downloads; and how he interacts with your SMS, email, in-app messaging, pop-ups, on-demand print, coupons, and more.
- Mackerel receives highly personalized interactive communications geared towards your brand staying top of mind with him. The communications are “interactive” in that how he interacts with each message (opening, dismissing, clicking, ignoring, and such) shapes the nature of the next communication he receives.
- Automated lead scoring can be applied to Mackerel’s on-site behavior via parameters you and your team set. Once that score reaches your threshold, he is a qualified, sales-ready lead. At that point, he may receive a new communication series designed for his status or be identified in your customer relationship management (CRM) as ready for a sales call.
Most websites don’t have a traffic problem but rather a conversion problem. It’s best to avoid being a boat in a sea of jumping mackerel you cannot catch because you have forgotten to bring some nets. IP addresses are like a major rope strand in your marketing nets that can capture folks like Mackerel.
IP addresses can be the first link in transforming your anonymous website visitors into known and qualified leads and then repeat sales and lifetime customers.
What are you doing with your anonymous website traffic?
Note: As a small business owner or webmaster, you can implement marketing automation solutions without writing a line of code. You will likely need to copy and paste a few lines of pre-written code to your site, but this can be done easily via Google Tag Manager (GTM). If you have never used GTM before or don’t have time to learn, you can hire a freelancer online to set it up and drop in your code. All of that should cost less than a burger and a movie. And remember: the way IP addresses are identified and used within marketing automation solutions is automatic and does not require input from you.