How To Add Google Analytics To Shopify
Analytics is a full-proof way to learn what your customers really need instead of what you think they need. Google Analytics has become a goldmine of eCommerce data for online sellers all over the world.
Shopify provides its users with a possibility to integrate their online stores with Google Analytics and get all the benefits of this free tool.
In this article, we will go over some basic tips and best practices on how to integrate your Google Analytics with Shopify and set it up to get the best out of it.
What is Shopify Google Analytics?
If you are a beginner at Shopify selling, you might wonder why to install Google Analytics on your store. After all, you pay for a Shopify subscription and why would you need to install some third-party solution on your website to track your sales.
The fact is that Google Analytics is something of a golden standard in data collection and it has features specific for eCommerce stores. So, Shopify went an easy way and just got its users an option to install analytics by Google on their website. This is actually good news for any seller since Google Analytics is free and allows you to collect loads of data. 📊
How to add Google Analytics to Shopify
The process of actually adding Google Analytics to your Shopify store is actually quite easy.
You can read a detailed step-by-step manual from Shopify to get it over with the technical part. It is not overly complicated by itself.
The real question here is “How to use Google Analytics in your Shopify store?” What is more important to you as a seller is the actual data that you get from Google. And that’s where things might become somewhat complicated.
Settings up Google Analytics on Shopify
After you get it over with adding Google Analytics to your store, the next step is to set it up properly.
Firstly, create a view for your store. A view is where your data is collected, stored, and presented to you in the form graphs and charts. You need to have at least two views for a store: a raw view with unfiltered data and a view with some filters. The former is basically your backup of all store data.
You can also set up a few other views depending on your preference, like desktop, mobile, or test.
Then you need to create some filters to structure and narrow down the data. You can apply some global filters to all views in the Account section on the left or just apply filters directly to some view.
Start with IP addresses exclusion. The ones to exclude are usually your office or remote employees’ computers IP addresses. Use Regex if there is not enough space for all your IPs.
Then go ahead and enable bot filtering to clear your data from spam visits. For that, go to View Settings and check the “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” box.
Another filter you want to apply is the type of device. If you do that, then you definitely need to create two separate views: mobile and desktop. For example, to apply the mobile filter to a view choose Custom filter type, in the drop-down menu select Device category -> Mobile and click Save.
The next step is to exclude referral traffic. Shopify shows how to do that in a few short steps here.
Enable additional tracking
Now that you have excluded unimportant data you need to include some important data that is not included by default in Google Analytics.
Opt into tracking demographics. This is a necessary step that quite a few Shopify store owners skip for some reason. Despite the fact that this data can give you an idea about who your customers actually are. To enable it, go to Admin -> Property Settings and use the slider button “Enable Demographics and Interest Reports”.
Include Site Search tracking. It is extremely important for you to know what customers are searching for in your store. To turn it on, go to your Analytics account -> Admin -> View -> View Setting -> Site Search Setting.
Click on the slider button to turn it on. To fill out the Query parameter field just run a search in your store. In the example below the search term was “white shirt”. The q between the equal sign and the question mark is the parameter that you are looking for.
Finally, check the box Strip query parameters out of URL and Save.
Avoid mistakes when analyzing the data
Right off the bat, here are a couple of rookie mistakes to avoid. First of all, don’t get hung up on the so-called “vanity metrics”. Instead of obsessing over the number of visitors you get on your website, pay your attention to the number of conversions. Meaning how many of those visitors actually buy from you.
Secondly, do not treat all your visitors/customers equally. Each visitor gets different shopping experience in your online store depending on many factors, like the device that they use, what age they are, how they got on your website in the first place, etc. In fact, a recent study found that about 33% of Shopify store owners do not even opt into demographics tracking that is available in Google Analytics.
What you might be tempted to do is to just check average numbers in your analytics. What you should do is segment your visitor data and analyze each segment separately.
For example, you might be surprised to see a huge difference in conversion rates between your mobile and desktop customers: mobile users are not converting as well as desktop ones. This information definitely tells you a lot more than just seeing an average number of conversions for both of those segments. It tells you to at least check how well your website is optimized for mobile devices.
A third common mistake is paying attention to unrepresentative data samples. These are the so-called outliers. Basically, they are samples of data that differ too much from other data that you usually get. They are unusual spikes or low points on analytics graph. Therefore these outliers are not something that you can base decisions on.
For example, an outlier can show up during a holiday promotion that you run in your online store or when you have too little data to make any decision at all.
These are some basic settings for Google Analytics in your Shopify store that you can set up pretty quickly and start analyzing your relevant eCommerce data. Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles about Shopify.