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:
START: Go to https://analytics.google.com and sign in to your Google account.
1. Account Creation: 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 the blue button, "Create Account".
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 of creating your client a “property” on your existing 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 the situation. 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 remove the original tracking code you added. This way, they always have 12 months of data to use for their marketing campaigns.
2. Property Creation: Add a property name (for example, "Business Name Website"), the business's time zone and currency.
3. Business Details: Fill in some information about the business industry and size.
4. Business Objectives: Choose your business objectives to get personalized reports. Or, choose "get baseline reports" to get a less detailed summary of all the above topics. Click Create to complete the property creation, and complete and accept the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement.
5. Data Collection: Tell Google where you'll be collecting data. Select Web for Shopify websites. If the below options are faded out and not clickable for you, just go to the account dashboard home and you'll have the same prompt waiting for you there.
Set up a data stream by adding the website URL and name. Adjust the Enhanced measurement settings if needed and click Create stream.
Instructions will pop up. Close this with the X. Copy your Measurement ID by clicking the copy symbol on the right side of the ID.
6. Add your tracking code: In another tab, go to the Shopify Admin of the store. On the left sidebar, click Sales Channels. Look for the Google & Youtube sales channel. If it's not there, you can install it from here. Once it's installed, enter the sales channel.
If you didn't already have the Google sales channel set up, it will prompt you to connect your Google account.
If you did already have it set up or now do, click Settings at the top of the channel information. Scroll down to "Your Google Analytics property" and paste in the Measurement ID you had previously saved. Click Save.
7. Add your client to the account: If you've created this for a client, you'll want to make them an Admin of the GA account. Go back to GA and click Settings in the bottom left corner. Under the first column (Account), click "Account Access Management" and then the blue plus button at the top right > Add User. Enter your client's email address and make them an Administrator.
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.
If you found this helpful, you might like to check out our Shopify Store Launch Kit.