19 October 2021

An Idiotproof Guide: Setting Up Google Analytics On Shopify In 2 Minutes

Written by

Faye Chong

Content Marketing Lead


19 October 2021

An Idiotproof Guide: Setting Up Google Analytics On Shopify In 2 Minutes

Written by: Faye Chong, Content Marketing Lead


In this digital age, we have all the data we need at our fingertips. While there are several analytics apps out there for your e-commerce store, nothing beats using Google Analytics.

This powerful analytics tool provides you with all the valuable data you need to help you make better business decisions because you know what works and what doesn’t. This, in turn, will help you drive more traffic to your e-commerce site and ultimately increase sales.

If you don’t integrate Google Analytics into your Shopify store, you’ll be missing out on A LOT of insights into customer experiences and data trends. 

However, adding such a complex tool to your e-commerce store might seem like a daunting task. But we promise you, you’ll be seeing an overview of all your data in no time. 

In this article, we’ll go through the importance of Google Analytics, how it differs from Shopify Analytics, and how to go about adding the tool to your store. Let’s dive right in! 👇

In this digital age, we have all the data we need at our fingertips. While there are several analytics apps out there for your e-commerce store, nothing beats using Google Analytics.

This powerful analytics tool provides you with all the valuable data you need to help you make better business decisions because you know what works and what doesn’t. This, in turn, will help you drive more traffic to your e-commerce site and ultimately increase sales.

If you don’t integrate Google Analytics into your Shopify store, you’ll be missing out on A LOT of insights into customer experiences and data trends. 

However, adding such a complex tool to your e-commerce store might seem like a daunting task. But we promise you, you’ll be seeing an overview of all your data in no time. 

In this article, we’ll go through the importance of Google Analytics, how it differs from Shopify Analytics, and how to go about adding the tool to your store. Let’s dive right in! 👇

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool created by Google (duh) that monitors and reports website traffic as well as conversions.

Google Analytics dashboard. Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Analytics dashboard. Source: Search Engine Journal

You can gather in-depth data such as bounce rates, conversion rates, organic traffic, and so much more. It’s essentially an analytics platform that helps you gain a deeper understanding of your customers.

Using Google Analytics eliminates any guesswork about whether a marketing campaign sticks — because you’d have a holistic view of all the metrics you need that tell you if the campaign is worth investing more money and effort in. 

When you look at the bigger picture, this helps you create more opportunities for optimization and generate fresh ideas for future marketing campaigns.

Why do you need Google Analytics?

Understand user behavior

Understanding how your web visitors use your website is one of the reasons why Google Analytics is so powerful. 

Here are some metrics that you can track with Google Analytics for your e-commerce site (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • Average Session Duration: The amount of time a user spends on a page or pages
  • Bounce rates: When a user opens a page on your site and then exits without taking any action
  • Entrances: The number of times a user enters your site through a specified page or set of pages.
  • Exit Percentage: How often a user exits from a page(s) when they view the page(s).
  • Page Views: The total number of pages viewed.
  • Revenue: The total revenue you have.
  • Top Pages: Which pages are performing the best.
  • Transactions: The total number of completed purchases on your site.
  • Unique Page Views: The number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once. 

These metrics can give you valuable insight into what pages are getting the most traffic, engagement, and revenue. And when you can understand how users use your website, you can better optimize and change the way you interact with your users.

Measure the effectiveness of your campaigns

As an e-commerce business (or any business for that matter), running campaigns is what helps drive traffic and ultimately improve sales. 

If you’re running multiple campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads, how do you track each of them? How would you know which campaign is gaining traction? Which channels generate the most sales for the lowest cost? 

So many questions, so few answers.

Not with Google Analytics though!

You can create unique campaign links and input them in Google Analytics for easier tracking. This way, you can pinpoint how users found your campaign or website, their geographic location, and whether they’re taking any action.  

Track online traffic

Figuring out where your users are coming from can tell you a lot about your audience and whether you’re going in the right direction with your campaigns or website. 

For example, most of your web traffic comes from social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. This means that your social media marketing strategy is working well and your ads are driving traffic to your website. You can then decide to double down on these efforts and make more data-driven decisions on how to further grow these numbers. 

These are the main channel groupings that Google Analytics measures:

  • Direct: Users who come to your website by typing your URL into their search bar or using a bookmark on their browser.
  • Organic Search: Traffic from search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • Referral: Users who come to your website from a website that links to yours.
  • Paid Search: Traffic from search engine marketing (SEM) such as Google Ads and other paid search ads. 
  • Social: Users who come to your website from a social network such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Other: Traffic from campaigns that you’ve set up UTM parameters for. 

Improve SEO And content marketing

With Google Analytics, you can also identify which of your blog content is driving the most traffic. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword-optimized content is a sustainable way to grow your business and drive more traffic. Though users directed from content to your website are mainly marketing qualified leads (MQLs), they are still necessary to help you monitor marketing efforts.

Finding out what your top pages are can help you pinpoint what exactly interests your audience. Do they like lengthy how-to guides? Visually appealing infographics? Cheat sheets or templates? 

This allows you to replicate your keyword research, the format of your posts, and expand more on the topic that drives the most traffic. 

That said, you can apply the same concept to your worst-performing pages. Learn not to make the same mistakes again and focus your content marketing team’s efforts on optimizing the best-performing ones! 

Google Analytics vs Shopify Analytics

You’re probably thinking, “I already have Shopify Analytics, that’ll do.

Well, we hate to break it to you but you’d only be getting half the picture! 

That’s not to say Shopify Analytics isn’t great. Shopify Analytics gives you an overview of the "big ticket" metrics such as average order value (AOV), conversion rate, sessions by location, and sessions by traffic source.

Shopify Analytics dashboard. Source: Shopify

Shopify Analytics dashboard. Source: Shopify

A plus point is that it’s also integrated right into your account so you can view all metrics without having to toggle to a different tab. 

However, its tracking and metrics aren’t as robust as using Google Analytics. You can’t compare different variations of metrics such as pages per session, source of the traffic per page, or even add advanced filters. 

Why limit yourself to only using Shopify Analytics when you get a whole range of in-depth metrics, and for free?

How to set up Google Analytics

Step 1: Create a Google account

This goes without saying but let’s get this out of the way — You need a Google account to use Google Analytics. If you have an existing Google account, you can use the same account. 

But keep in mind that it is good practice to keep your personal Google account separate from your work account. This makes it much easier to filter out important emails like Google Reports. 

Step 2: Create a Google Analytics account

There are two types of Google Analytics accounts — the Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Because isn’t supported by Shopify yet, we’ll be focusing on Universal Analytics.

1. Sign in to Google Analytics.

2. Click on ‘Admin’ at the bottom left corner. 

3. Click on ‘Create Account’. Give your account a name. 

4. Click ‘Next’ to add the first property under the ‘Property’ column. 

5. Enter a name for the property. 

6. Click ‘Show Advanced Options’ and toggle the switch for ‘Create a Universal Analytics property’. Enter the website URL.

8. Click ‘Next’ and provide information about your business.

9. Click ‘Create’. A tracking ID will appear — this is your Universal Analytics tracking code.

Step 3: Enable Google Analytics

Enabling Google Analytics more than once can lead to inaccuracies in data collection. If you’re unsure if you’ve enabled Google Analytics before, follow these steps:

1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online store > Preferences.

2. In the Google Analytics section, make sure that the box is empty. If you see a code beginning with UA- instead, then you have Google Analytics enabled already. 

3. In your Shopify admin, go to Themes > Actions > Edit code. Then, in the Layout section, click {/} theme.liquid. If you have any of these tags: ga.js, gtag.js, dc.js, or analytics.js, it means you have Google Analytics.


If you don’t have Google Analytics enabled, follow these steps:

1. From step 2, copy the Universal Analytics tracking code.

2. Open a new tab and log into your Shopify Admin account. 

3.  Navigate to Online store > Preferences.

4. In the Google Analytics section, paste your Universal Analytics property in the Google Analytics account field.

Input your Universal Analytics property into the Google Analytics account field. Source: Avada

Input your Universal Analytics property into the Google Analytics account field. Source: Avada

Step 4: Turn on e-commerce tracking

Now that you’ve set up Google Analytics, you have to implement Google’s e-commerce tracking. This gives you more valuable insights about your e-commerce store and customer journeys. 

Do note that there are two different degrees of tracking:

  • Basic e-commerce tracking: If you only want to get transaction and revenue data
  • Enhanced e-commerce tracking: If you want additional information about visitor behavior

To turn on basic e-commerce tracking:

1. In your Google Analytics account, click ‘Admin’.

2. In the ‘View’ column, click ‘Ecommerce Settings’.

3. Toggle the ‘Enable Ecommerce’ from OFF to ON.

To turn on enhanced e-commerce tracking:

1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online store > Preferences.

2. Navigate to the Google Analytics section and check ‘Use Enhanced Ecommerce’. 

3. Click ‘Save’. This enables Shopify to track and send all of your website data to Google Analytics.

4. Head to your Google Analytics account and click on ‘Admin’.

5. In the ‘View’ column, click ‘Ecommerce Settings’.

6. Toggle the ‘Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting’ from OFF to ON.

7. Click on ‘Save’.

And that’s it! Within the next 24 to 48 hours, you should be able to see e-commerce reports on your Google Analytics account.

Set Goals and Funnels for Shopify

Once you’ve added Google Analytics to Shopify and familiarized yourself with all the metrics (that we’ve covered above) and filtering options, you need to set up pre-built goals for Shopify. 

This helps you understand how your customers arrive at a purchase decision or how they don’t. 

For example, your goal is for a user to land on your thank you page. Hence, when a user reaches your thank you page after completing a purchase, you have achieved your goal and this will be logged as a conversion on Google Analytics. 

Funnels are specific paths of URLs that you expect your Shopify store’s visitors to follow. At the end of this path, they should complete your goal. This helps you to visualize your visitor’s interaction with your business before completing a goal. 

Google Analytics’ funnels. Source: sixads

For a more in-depth explanation of how to create goals, check out Google’s page.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool created by Google (duh) that monitors and reports website traffic as well as conversions.

Google Analytics dashboard. Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Analytics dashboard. Source: Search Engine Journal

You can gather in-depth data such as bounce rates, conversion rates, organic traffic, and so much more. It’s essentially an analytics platform that helps you gain a deeper understanding of your customers.

Using Google Analytics eliminates any guesswork about whether a marketing campaign sticks — because you’d have a holistic view of all the metrics you need that tell you if the campaign is worth investing more money and effort in. 

When you look at the bigger picture, this helps you create more opportunities for optimization and generate fresh ideas for future marketing campaigns.

Why do you need Google Analytics?

Understand user behavior

Understanding how your web visitors use your website is one of the reasons why Google Analytics is so powerful. 

Here are some metrics that you can track with Google Analytics for your e-commerce site (this list is non-exhaustive):

  • Average Session Duration: The amount of time a user spends on a page or pages
  • Bounce rates: When a user opens a page on your site and then exits without taking any action
  • Entrances: The number of times a user enters your site through a specified page or set of pages.
  • Exit Percentage: How often a user exits from a page(s) when they view the page(s).
  • Page Views: The total number of pages viewed.
  • Revenue: The total revenue you have.
  • Top Pages: Which pages are performing the best.
  • Transactions: The total number of completed purchases on your site.
  • Unique Page Views: The number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once. 

These metrics can give you valuable insight into what pages are getting the most traffic, engagement, and revenue. And when you can understand how users use your website, you can better optimize and change the way you interact with your users.

Measure the effectiveness of your campaigns

As an e-commerce business (or any business for that matter), running campaigns is what helps drive traffic and ultimately improve sales. 

If you’re running multiple campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads, how do you track each of them? How would you know which campaign is gaining traction? Which channels generate the most sales for the lowest cost? 

So many questions, so few answers.

Not with Google Analytics though!

You can create unique campaign links and input them in Google Analytics for easier tracking. This way, you can pinpoint how users found your campaign or website, their geographic location, and whether they’re taking any action.  

Track online traffic

Figuring out where your users are coming from can tell you a lot about your audience and whether you’re going in the right direction with your campaigns or website. 

For example, most of your web traffic comes from social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. This means that your social media marketing strategy is working well and your ads are driving traffic to your website. You can then decide to double down on these efforts and make more data-driven decisions on how to further grow these numbers. 

These are the main channel groupings that Google Analytics measures:

  • Direct: Users who come to your website by typing your URL into their search bar or using a bookmark on their browser.
  • Organic Search: Traffic from search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • Referral: Users who come to your website from a website that links to yours.
  • Paid Search: Traffic from search engine marketing (SEM) such as Google Ads and other paid search ads. 
  • Social: Users who come to your website from a social network such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Other: Traffic from campaigns that you’ve set up UTM parameters for. 

Improve SEO And content marketing

With Google Analytics, you can also identify which of your blog content is driving the most traffic. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword-optimized content is a sustainable way to grow your business and drive more traffic. Though users directed from content to your website are mainly marketing qualified leads (MQLs), they are still necessary to help you monitor marketing efforts.

Finding out what your top pages are can help you pinpoint what exactly interests your audience. Do they like lengthy how-to guides? Visually appealing infographics? Cheat sheets or templates? 

This allows you to replicate your keyword research, the format of your posts, and expand more on the topic that drives the most traffic. 

That said, you can apply the same concept to your worst-performing pages. Learn not to make the same mistakes again and focus your content marketing team’s efforts on optimizing the best-performing ones! 

Google Analytics vs Shopify Analytics

You’re probably thinking, “I already have Shopify Analytics, that’ll do.

Well, we hate to break it to you but you’d only be getting half the picture! 

That’s not to say Shopify Analytics isn’t great. Shopify Analytics gives you an overview of the "big ticket" metrics such as average order value (AOV), conversion rate, sessions by location, and sessions by traffic source.

Shopify Analytics dashboard. Source: Shopify

Shopify Analytics dashboard. Source: Shopify

A plus point is that it’s also integrated right into your account so you can view all metrics without having to toggle to a different tab. 

However, its tracking and metrics aren’t as robust as using Google Analytics. You can’t compare different variations of metrics such as pages per session, source of the traffic per page, or even add advanced filters. 

Why limit yourself to only using Shopify Analytics when you get a whole range of in-depth metrics, and for free?

How to set up Google Analytics

Step 1: Create a Google account

This goes without saying but let’s get this out of the way — You need a Google account to use Google Analytics. If you have an existing Google account, you can use the same account. 

But keep in mind that it is good practice to keep your personal Google account separate from your work account. This makes it much easier to filter out important emails like Google Reports. 

Step 2: Create a Google Analytics account

There are two types of Google Analytics accounts — the Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Because isn’t supported by Shopify yet, we’ll be focusing on Universal Analytics.

1. Sign in to Google Analytics.

2. Click on ‘Admin’ at the bottom left corner. 

3. Click on ‘Create Account’. Give your account a name. 

4. Click ‘Next’ to add the first property under the ‘Property’ column. 

5. Enter a name for the property. 

6. Click ‘Show Advanced Options’ and toggle the switch for ‘Create a Universal Analytics property’. Enter the website URL.

8. Click ‘Next’ and provide information about your business.

9. Click ‘Create’. A tracking ID will appear — this is your Universal Analytics tracking code.

Step 3: Enable Google Analytics

Enabling Google Analytics more than once can lead to inaccuracies in data collection. If you’re unsure if you’ve enabled Google Analytics before, follow these steps:

1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online store > Preferences.

2. In the Google Analytics section, make sure that the box is empty. If you see a code beginning with UA- instead, then you have Google Analytics enabled already. 

3. In your Shopify admin, go to Themes > Actions > Edit code. Then, in the Layout section, click {/} theme.liquid. If you have any of these tags: ga.js, gtag.js, dc.js, or analytics.js, it means you have Google Analytics.


If you don’t have Google Analytics enabled, follow these steps:

1. From step 2, copy the Universal Analytics tracking code.

2. Open a new tab and log into your Shopify Admin account. 

3.  Navigate to Online store > Preferences.

4. In the Google Analytics section, paste your Universal Analytics property in the Google Analytics account field.

Input your Universal Analytics property into the Google Analytics account field. Source: Avada

Input your Universal Analytics property into the Google Analytics account field. Source: Avada

Step 4: Turn on e-commerce tracking

Now that you’ve set up Google Analytics, you have to implement Google’s e-commerce tracking. This gives you more valuable insights about your e-commerce store and customer journeys. 

Do note that there are two different degrees of tracking:

  • Basic e-commerce tracking: If you only want to get transaction and revenue data
  • Enhanced e-commerce tracking: If you want additional information about visitor behavior

To turn on basic e-commerce tracking:

1. In your Google Analytics account, click ‘Admin’.

2. In the ‘View’ column, click ‘Ecommerce Settings’.

3. Toggle the ‘Enable Ecommerce’ from OFF to ON.

To turn on enhanced e-commerce tracking:

1. From your Shopify admin, go to Online store > Preferences.

2. Navigate to the Google Analytics section and check ‘Use Enhanced Ecommerce’. 

3. Click ‘Save’. This enables Shopify to track and send all of your website data to Google Analytics.

4. Head to your Google Analytics account and click on ‘Admin’.

5. In the ‘View’ column, click ‘Ecommerce Settings’.

6. Toggle the ‘Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting’ from OFF to ON.

7. Click on ‘Save’.

And that’s it! Within the next 24 to 48 hours, you should be able to see e-commerce reports on your Google Analytics account.

Set Goals and Funnels for Shopify

Once you’ve added Google Analytics to Shopify and familiarized yourself with all the metrics (that we’ve covered above) and filtering options, you need to set up pre-built goals for Shopify. 

This helps you understand how your customers arrive at a purchase decision or how they don’t. 

For example, your goal is for a user to land on your thank you page. Hence, when a user reaches your thank you page after completing a purchase, you have achieved your goal and this will be logged as a conversion on Google Analytics. 

Funnels are specific paths of URLs that you expect your Shopify store’s visitors to follow. At the end of this path, they should complete your goal. This helps you to visualize your visitor’s interaction with your business before completing a goal. 

Google Analytics’ funnels. Source: sixads

For a more in-depth explanation of how to create goals, check out Google’s page.

Conclusion

We hope that this article has helped you understand how to implement Google Analytics on your Shopify store. 

There’s no doubt Google Analytics can give you insightful data to help you make powerful business decisions. Simply using Shopify Analytics is not enough

Hence, to rise above your competition and spearhead towards success, such important insights provided by Google Analytics cannot be overlooked. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started with Google Analytics for your e-commerce business today!

Conclusion

We hope that this article has helped you understand how to implement Google Analytics on your Shopify store. 

There’s no doubt Google Analytics can give you insightful data to help you make powerful business decisions. Simply using Shopify Analytics is not enough

Hence, to rise above your competition and spearhead towards success, such important insights provided by Google Analytics cannot be overlooked. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started with Google Analytics for your e-commerce business today!