I admit… I think tracking is fun. Who doesn’t love the excitement of launching a website and seeing how many visitors there were, where they came from, and what they did on the site? Shopify does include some analytics on the dashboard, but Google Analytics provides much more detailed information.
Tracking data is so helpful to see which pages or products are being viewed most often, how much time people are spending on the website, and even noticing if there’s a problem on the website. For example, you’re getting a ton of website views but no one is adding to cart or completing the checkout then there’s likely a problem that needs to be addressed. Analytics can help you find where that problem occurs.
If the brand is planning to run ads, it’s absolutely essential to have data about website visitors. For these reasons, I always include a GA setup in my website packages. It only takes about 15 minutes for a basic setup, so it’s easy value for me to provide.
This article will show you a basic GA setup. For businesses that require custom data collection, I suggest working with a marketing expert.
Steps to set up:
1. Go to https://analytics.google.com and sign in to your Google account.
2. Create & setup an account for your client’s website. If you are new to GA, you’ll be prompted to do this immediately. If you already have a GA account with your own properties on it, go to the Admin page (the gear icon in the bottom left corner) and click “Create Account”*.
Account Setup: You can name the account anything. I suggest your client’s name. Adjust the Data Sharing settings if necessary, and continue to the next step.
*Warning: Do not make the mistake I did of creating your client a “property” on your account rather than an “account” for their website. They need their own “account”. If you create a property, you will never be able to transfer the ownership over to them. You’ll only be able to add them as a user. If you’ve already made this mistake and realized after some time, there is a way to remedy your mistake. First, create an account for the client and a new property. Add both tracking codes to their website (the existing and the new one), so that data is being collected on both accounts. After 12 months or so, you can delete the original tracking code you added. This way, they always have 12 months of data to use for their marketing campaigns.
3. Property Setup: Add a property name (for example, “Business Name Website”), the business’s time zone and currency. Click “Show advanced options” – the blue link.
With the advanced options showing, toggle ON “Create a Universal Analytics property“. Add the website URL. Keep the first radio button option, “Create both a Google Analytics 4 and a Universal Analytics property”. Although in this tutorial we’ll only be using the Universal Analytics property, you can use the GA-4 property with Google Search Console.
4. About your business: Fill in this information and complete the setup. Accept the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement.
5. Turn on e-commerce tracking & reporting: On the bottom left of your Google Analytics dashboard, click Admin. Make sure you’re on the correct property that looks like with “UA-XXXXXXXXX” in the second column. In the third column, click “E-commerce settings“. Turn on the first toggle, and then the second.
6. Copy your tracking code: Go back to the Admin area, double-checking that the “UA” property is the one selected at the top of the second column. Click Tracking Info > Tracking Code in the same column. Copy this code, and then go to your Shopify dashboard.
7. On the Shopify dashboard go to Online Store > Preferences. Scroll down to the Google Analytics section, and paste the code you copied. Make sure to click save at the top.
Once you have saved it, the box will change to look like this, and a checkbox will appear under the account. Click the checkbox and save again.
All done! It may take up to 24 hours for Google to start showing collected data on the GA dashboard, so don’t panic if it doesn’t look like it’s working immediately.
Leave a comment if you have something to add, or if you think I missed a step!
If you found this helpful, you might like to check out our Shopify Store Launch Kit.