Google Analytics is the most valuable online tool you can have; there’s no doubt about that.
However, only 56% of all websites use it, and over 90% of Shopify stores have it set up incorrectly. MOST of our new clients usually have their Google Analytics broken, one way or another.
We’ve got you. Here’s Mike Zima’s complete course on how to set up Google Analytics for your Shopify store, step by step!
We’re here to help you set up your Shopify Google Analytics correctly, but first, here is why it’s so important.
Why you need Google Analytics
When Shopify Google Analytics is set up correctly, it can help you:
- learn which channels are driving the most sales,
- understand who your customers are,
- track your ROI and avoid spending money in the wrong places, and
- track your marketing campaigns’ results.
This means it can provide all the information you need to plan your future marketing efforts and get the most out of your money. Because when you DON’T have Google Analytics set up correctly, YOU’RE WASTING YOUR MONEY: you don’t know your results, what’s working or what channels are bringing in customers and revenue.
This is why we built a guide to help you set up Google Analytics properly.
Get your Shopify Google Analytics Dashboard!
How to set up your Google Analytics on Shopify
Completing the basic implementation settings for a new GA account is not that hard, and it’s even easier for Shopify stores as Shopify has a native integration.
Here are the 11 steps you need to follow:
- Create a Google Analytics Account
- Set up the necessary views
- Exclude Internal Traffic
- Exclude Traffic from known bots and spiders
- Set up site search
- Set up demographic reporting
- Add Your Site to Referral Exclusion List
- Set up Google Signals for Cross-Device Tracking
- Add the Google Analytics tracking code to Shopify
- Verify Google Analytics Implementation with Real-Time Reporting
- Set up Enhanced eCommerce
STEP 1: Create a Google Analytics Account
If you don’t already have one, the first step is to create a Google Analytics account. To do this, you need to:
- Go to the Google Analytics homepage.
- Click Start for Free.
- Set up a property in your Analytics account
- Set up a reporting view
- Add the tracking code to your website to start collecting data.
If you already have a Google Analytics account and need to add a property, then:
- Go to the Google Analytics homepage and sign in to your account.
- Go to Admin.
- In the ACCOUNT column, select Create Account.
- Choose website
- Enter the website URL
- Select an Industry Category
- Select Reporting Time Zone
- Under Data Sharing Settings, choose the setting you want
- Get tracking ID
- Add Tracking code to your website
STEP 2. Set up the necessary views
Next up is creating your views. A view is where you can access, customize, and analyze your data and reports. Always create 3 views: All Website Data, Master View & Test View.
- The Master View is your working dashboard. Here you can apply different filters to get the most accurate and actionable data.
- The Test view is your testing playground. Here you can test out all the filters you want without affecting the overall report.
- The All Website Data is your backup. Here you can review all the information without any changes. This gives you something to fall back on should something go wrong with the other two views.
STEP 3. Exclude Internal Traffic
Your visitors come from all places, including your own corporation. Your team has do perform daily monitoring, testing, launching, and reviewing, which translates in visits, clicks and time on site.
This extra data can skew your numbers, which is why internal traffic needs to be excluded. To do this, you need to create an IP address filter:
- Create a new filter for your view
- Leave filter as Predefined
- Click the Select Filter Type drop-down menu and select Exclude
- Click Select Source or Destination drop-down menu and select the traffic from your IP addresses
- Click the Select expression drop-down menu and select the appropriate expression
- Enter the IP address or a regular expression.
For more information or examples, you can visit the Google Analytics Help Center.
STEP 4. Exclude Traffic from known bots and spiders
The reason behind this is a no-brainer. Not being actual customers, this is traffic that brings no actionable data to your website.
To do this, you need to:
- Click Admin
- Go to View Settings
- Scroll down to the Bot Filtering section
- Check box to “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders”
- Click Save
STEP 5. Set up site search
Site Search allows you to understand your site’s search function and engagement. It will show you the products users are searching for and if they’re converting or not. This is important because it can help you optimize your website.
To set up Site Search for a view, you need to:
- Click Admin and navigate to the view where you want to set up Site Search
- In the View column, click Settings
- Under Site Search Setting, set Site Search Tracking to ON.
- In the Query Parameter field, enter the words that make up your internal query parameters (like term, search, query, keywords). You can enter up to 5 parameters separated by commas.
- Select whether or not you want Analytics to strip the query parameter from your URL
- Turn Site Search Categories ON or OFF. If your site has few products/categories, we recommend leaving this OFF.
- Click Save
STEP 6. Set up demographic reporting
As the name states, this reporting will give you demographics and interests information pertaining to your business.
To enable the reports from the Admin tab:
- Sign in to your Analytics account.
- Click Admin.
- Navigate to the account and property where you want to use Demographic and Interests data.
- In the PROPERTY column, click Property Settings.
- Under Advertising Features, set Enable Demographics and Interests Reports to ON.
- Click Save.
For more information on demographic reporting, you can visit the Google Analytics Help Center.
STEP 7. Add Your Site to Referral Exclusion List
The Referral Exclusion List excludes the domains you don’t want to attribute as referrals. This gives you more accurate reports. To add it, you need to:
- Click Admin
- Go to Property
- Click Tracking Info
- Click Referral Exclusion List
- Add the following domains:
If you have any external payment gateways (like Paypal.com), be sure to include them as well.
STEP 8. Set up Google Signals for Cross-Device Tracking
Google Signals can show Cross-Device remarketing ads to Google users who have turned on Ads Personalization. This helps enhance remarketing and reporting for your website.
To activate Google Signals, you need to:
- Click Admin
- Select Property
- Click Tracking Info
- Click Data Collection
- Click GET STARTED in the blue notification banner
- Go through the activation panels
- Read over the Google signals information and click Continue
STEP 9. Add the GA tracking code to Shopify
Now to one of the most important parts: adding the Google Analytics tracking code to your Shopify store!
- From your Google Analytics account, click Admin
- Go to Tracking Info
- Select Tracking Code & copy the code shown
- Log into your Shopify store
- From the Shopify Admin, go to Online Store > Preferences
- Scroll down to the Google Analytics section and paste the code
Next, you need to turn on eCommerce tracking. You can turn on Basic eCommerce tracking or Enhanced eCommerce Tracking:
- Basic eCommerce Tracking – allows you to ONLY view transaction and revenue data.
- Enhanced eCommerce Tracking – gives you more information about customer behavior.
We recommend setting up Enhanced eCommerce Tracking. Here’s how to do it:
In your Shopify Admin:
- Click Online Store > Preferences
- In the Google Analytics section, click the Use Enhanced Ecommerce checkbox
In your Google Analytics account:
- Click Admin
- Go to View menu
- Select Ecommerce Settings
- Click Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting to ON
When you’re done with this, move down and add your checkout funnel (add to cart, cart, billing, shipping, payment) in order to successfully track your sales.
For more information on this step, you can visit the Shopify Help Center.
STEP 10. Verify GA implementation with Real-Time Reporting
This one’s easy and will make you feel like a detective. All you need to do is open the site in Incognito mode and see if there is an active user from your location!
STEP 11. Set up Google Analytics Goals Tracking
The last thing you need to do is set up Google Analytics Goals. This will help keep you measuring everything you need. Take note of the destinations (AKA, web pages) you want to keep special track of. For example, if you want to know how many people visited certain product pages, you can set up a Destination Goal to track this information.
Once you have the necessary information, you’re ready to set up Goals in Google Analytics:
- Click Admin
- In the View column, click Goals
- Click New Goal
- You can choose one to create a Goal from a Goal Template, Create a Custom Goal or Create a Smart Goal. For now, you can choose the Template.
- Pick the Goal you need to measure for your Shopify store (Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry, Engagement, Conversion, etc.).
- Repeat the process and add new goals as necessary
Of course, you might want to track more than just sales like form submissions or button clicks. For that, you’ll need to set up custom goals, which is a bit more complicated and we’ll discuss it in a separate article.
And that’s it! You’ve set up Shopify Google Analytics correctly and are ready to make the most out of your store and all the key insights and information it can provide on a daily basis. The road to amazing ROI is paved with data… Google Analytics data. And you’re on the right track for conversion and success.
The next thing to review is what the insights Google Analytics can bring to the table. Let’s dive into it:
Google Analytics Insights
It’s time to understand what those numbers you just set up mean for your business.
There are a lot of reports in Google Analytics:
- Acquisition – shows the volume of users coming to your website (total users, new users, sessions)
- Conversions – focus on Goals (conversion rate, completions, value).
- Real-Time – shows live users, events & goals happening right now on your site.
- Audience – answers queries related to users (location, age/gender, interest, devices, etc.)
- Behavior – focus on how well users engage with your site (bounce rate, pages/session, session duration).
The Most Important Google Analytics Reports for Ecommerce Sites
All this information is useful. However, there are two reports we believe are the most important because of their direct relation to sales: Acquisition and Conversions.
Report 1: Acquisition
To increase your sales, you need to know where your traffic is coming from. To see this report, select Acquisition from the left-hand menu. Travel down All Traffic and Select Channels.
- This report will help you figure out which traffic sources lead to purchases and better conversion rates.
- The main thing you can do is INCREASE YOUR SALES. This acquisition information helps you determine where the people that come to your site and convert are coming from. This way you can push this traffic source to further increase your converting visitors and sales.
Report 2: Conversions
This report answers queries to the Goals you previously defined. To see this report, select Conversions from the left-hand menu and choose Goals or Ecommerce to view your results.
- Your website’s Goal Conversion Rate, your transactions, AOV & revenue, your sales, and product performance and the conversion funnel.
- This report is GOLD: it can help you distribute and re-allocate your marketing budget according to how every channel contributes to your conversion, improving your marketing funnel and boosting your sales.
Check out this video to learn how to “read” these Google Analytics Reports and get better insights about your Shopify store and your marketing efforts.
Bonus! Google Analytics Best Practices
Through all our years of experience, we’ve gathered together a few best practices when it comes to Google Analytics. We wanted to share them with you:
- Never share your parent Google Account with others (marketers, developers, etc)
- Set up Custom Dashboards to view all the information you need in one place
- Create annotations (notes under specific dates to tell a story or understand different time-based events)
- Link your AdWords account to help you measure campaign performance
- Set up Intelligence Events (Custom & Automatic Alerts)
- Use different UTMs in your URLs to filter your efforts correctly
- Monitor at least once a day to make the most out of your realtime report
And last but not least: make actionable plans out of the data. All these reports, numbers and information mean nothing if you’re using them to improve your business.
And that’s it! You’ve set up Shopify Google Analytics correctly and are ready to take on the world of eCommerce with actionable insights and data that will help you push your sales and conversion. Here’s to smarter marketing.