They say content is king, but it’s data that places the crown. Having oversight of who is visiting your store, what they’re doing, and where they convert gives you an incredible advantage in eCommerce. Google Analytics for Shopify gives you this data and allows you to do great things with it.
- This article will dive into why Google Analytics is important for eCommerce merchants, how to set it up on your Shopify store, and how to set up advanced eCommerce.
- You’ll also learn how to use the data you receive to boost your conversion rate.
Why is data so important to merchants?
Merchants drive traffic to their Shopify stores through organic traffic and paid ads. But how do they know which ads are effective? How do you know what kind of content you should be producing to drive more traffic to your site? Simple: data.
The key is knowing who your customers are.
If you understand your customers, then you can produce content that resonates with them and people like them. With data, you can target your ads to certain age groups, geographic areas, or prioritize ads on a particular social media platform that your target audience is likely to use.
Google Analytics: King of data
Google Analytics can be integrated with your Shopify store to provide you with a full oversight of who is visiting your store, where they’re coming from, which pages they spend most time on, which pages they bounce on, what device they’re using, and more.
This data allows you to optimize your content, website, and marketing strategy to best fit the needs of your audience. It allows you to create sales funnels that will increase your site’s conversion rate, you can also improve your ranking on search engines by optimizing your SEO strategy, and much more.
The sheer volume and value of this information are not to be taken lightly. Using Google Analytics for Shopify gives you a birds-eye-view of your business and everyone who comes and goes to it. You can see who bought your products and how they got to your site, meaning you learn which content and ad campaigns are working, and which ones need the boot.
Google Analytics vs Shopify Analytics: Make love not war
Shopify has its own system for collecting data called Shopify Analytics. Some merchants point out that Shopify Analytics goes into more depth when it comes to transactions because their system is integrated with your store at its heart.
Shopify Analytics only credits the direct path that visitors take to get to your store and ignores previous campaigns that they may have interacted with. This is why pairing Google Analytics with Shopify Analytics is the best path.
How to add Google Analytics to Shopify (for profit)
Setting up Google Analytics for Shopify isn’t difficult. It’s essential that you get the first steps right, otherwise, you’ll make your life difficult further down the line.
Step 1: Sign up to Google Analytics using your main Google account. Also sign into your Shopify store and go to the Dashboard.
Step 2: Follow the instructions until you get your tracking code
- Track Web when asked if you’re just tracking your website data.
- Use a single account to manage all your stores to save time.
- Name your ‘property’ (website or app) something relevant - only you will see the name.
- Paste your Shopify store URL (real URL, not .myshopify link).
- Select ‘Shopping’ for the industry category.
- Make sure the time zone on your Google Analytics and Shopify store are the same so you’re not getting delayed data.
- Copy your tracking code.
- Go to Online Store > Preferences > scroll down to Google Analytics.
- Paste your tracking code into the text box under ‘Google Analytics account’.
- Check the box that says ‘Use Enhanced Ecommerce’ - this tracks your store revenue on Google Analytics and is essential for merchants.
- Click ‘Admin’ > under ‘Property’ click ‘Ecommerce settings’.
- Check the ‘Enable Ecommerce’ box.
- Check the ‘Enable Ecommerce Reporting’ box.
- Click ‘Save’.
- Select ‘Demographics’ from the drop-down selection.
- Click ‘Overview’ from this drop-down selection.
- Click ‘Enable’ under ‘Demographics and Interests Reports’.
- That’s it. You’re all set up.
You’ll have to wait for around 24 hours before Google Analytics starts analyzing the data it receives from your Shopify website.
Enable Enhanced Ecommerce
Enhanced Ecommerce on Google Analytics allows merchants to gather deeper insights into transactions, marketing campaigns, and Shopping Behaviour Analysis.
I’ve covered how to activate Enhanced Ecommerce earlier in this article, in Step 4 under How to set up Google Analytics on Shopify (for profit).
- Use Shopper Behavior reports to identify markets where you’re performing best - and worst.
- Use Checkout Behaviour reports to find drop-offs in the checkout process and fix these issues.
- Use Product Performance reports to see which products have a high rate of returns, how often a product is added to the cart after being viewed, and more.
- Use Sales Performance reports to see live details about tax, refunds, revenue, and more.
- Use Marketing reports to see how many purchases result from coupons, on-site promotions, and more.
6 Google Analytics hacks to boost your conversion rate
Most merchants only scratch the surface when using Google Analytics for Shopify. I don’t blame them, it’s a difficult tool to master. The following hacks will allow you to get more out of Google Analytics and eCommerce analytics for Shopify to know your customers and explode your conversion rate.
Use Audience Data to optimize marketing campaigns
If you’re not using audience data when strategizing your marketing campaigns, then I honestly don’t know how you’re going to make good sales. There’s a lot of data that you can bring into your marketing campaigns on GA, but the audience data is a great place to start.
Location reports allow you to better target ad campaigns and optimize your site for different countries.
- Geo: Knowing where your site visitors are located allows you to target ads and campaigns in their specific region. You can also launch an ad campaign in a specific city and track how well it performed based on how much traffic you receive from this place over the coming weeks.
- Technology: Google Analytics allows you to see whether your visitors use mobile or desktop, and it even lets you see which devices they use. You can optimize your site for mobile if most of your audience is using mobile. If most of your traffic is using expensive devices, then you know you’ll have more luck targeting them with more expensive products and services.
- Age, gender, and race: Knowing who your visitors demographically allow you to create ads and content that resonates with them.
- Behavior: Are your visitors mostly new or returning customers? Returning customers are 60 - 70% more likely to convert than new ones. Create a separate campaign for return customers.
Find slow-loading pages to optimize
Slow loading pages crush your conversion rate and cause you to rank lower on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google research found that 53% of mobile users leave a page that takes longer than 3-seconds to load.
Google Analytics allows you to identify slow loading pages so you can optimize them. You’ll likely notice that your bounce rate is higher on these pages. Go to Behavior > Site Speed > Page Timings.
Most users won’t wait three seconds for a page to load when browsing on mobile.
Tips for improving page load speed
- Use JPG images to reduce their weight
- Be careful when including too much visual media on your site
- Optimize your website’s coding (seek professional help with this one)
- Reduce the number of redirects
- Improve your server response time to under 200ms
PRO TIP: Don’t only rely on Google
People point out that Google Page Speed Insights aren’t that important because they don’t always judge the overall speed of your website - they’re more focussed on improving its existing speed. This doesn’t mean you should ignore these reports, but make sure you’re testing your site speed yourself on a regular basis.
Use your internal site search data
Using your internal site search data is a fantastic way to gain a deeper understanding of what your visitors expect from your site. If you see lots of people searching for a page you don’t have, then it’s probably time to build that page!
More than 50% of online shoppers go straight to the search bar when they land on an eCommerce store.
Go to Behaviour > Site Search > Overview to see a breakdown of your internal site search data.
- You can use the search terms that frequent your internal site search data to improve your SEO ranking.
- Use ‘% Search Exits’ to see where people make a search then leave your site. Use this data to plug the exit holes.
- Use the Sessions with Search data to optimize your search bar. Try moving it or making it stand out more and test whether this increases the number of people who use it when they visit your site.
PRO TIP: Use Boost Analytics
Google Analytics doesn’t explore the Internal Site Search data well enough. The Boost Analytics feature allows you to measure how users interact with filters on your collection pages, including measuring the value of each filter.
Boost Analytics allows you to see internal site search terms that don’t show any results.
It also lets you see data for searches that don’t yield any results, which you can use to better meet user expectations. You can see synonyms and stop words that people use, and much more.
Install the Product Filter and Search app by Boost Commerce on the Shopify App Store if you’re serious about utilizing internal site search data.
Map the user journey to boost conversions
Properly mapping the journey that users take on your website will allow you to plug exit holes, create better sales funnels, and increase your conversion rate. Go to Behaviour > Behaviour Flow to see the path users are taking on your site and where they’re dropping off.
Mapping the behavior flow allows you to track your funnels and plug drop off holes in your website.
Identify pages that have a high drop off rate and take steps to plug these holes. You can also try adding a Call to Action button somewhere on a page with a high drop off rate and see if this convinces users to dig deeper.
Your visitors should be able to get from their starting page to the checkout in three clicks. Try to funnel them to the product or collection pages you want to push.
Use landing page reports
Landing page reports are a gold mine for boosting your conversion rate. Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages to see which pages people are being greeted by. You can use this information to optimize funnels from these pages to get users deeper into your product collections.
You might be tweaking your homepage every day when in reality most visitors are landing on your blog. This means you need to put more attention on your blog and set up sales funnels to get people from reading your content to filling out their card details.
- Landing page reports give detailed insight into your bounce rate and session duration.
- You can identify high-performing pages.
- You can apply what works elsewhere on your site to reduce your overall bounce rate.
Seeing where your site visitors are coming from helps you to find out what content works best on what platforms.
Find where users are coming from
You can view information, including landing page reports, in Acquisition > Social > Overview / Landing Pages. This allows you to see where the people landing on different pages are coming from and how high the bounce rate is for this type of traffic.
For example, posting collection pages on Facebook might not be as effective at bringing in traffic as posting blog posts. You can recognize what works on social media and what doesn’t. The same tactics can be applied for Google Ad referrals and more.
Set up funnels and goals
Setting up goals and funnels allows you to measure the value of your customers. A funnel is a pathway of pages you expect visitors to follow to reach a goal.
If you don’t give yourself something to aim for, then how can you measure progress?
Goals could be receiving a sign-up, a purchase, or sharing a blog article on social media. A great example of a website goal would be a user reaching the ‘Order confirmed’ page, or a ‘Thanks for signing up’ page.
Tracking your goals helps you to measure the success of your website, sales, and marketing.
Go to Conversions > Goals to set and edit your website goals.
Funnels help you to make sense of other data, like exit pages. Setting up funnels allows you to identify pages that slow progress towards reaching a goal - these pages are known as bottlenecks.
It’s essential to make funnels if you want to continually improve your conversion rate.
You now have a deeper understanding of how to use Google Analytics for Shopify to boost conversions than most merchants. I haven’t covered every nook and cranny of Google Analytics. Quite simply, there’s just too much to mention.
One final thing that I will say is that you should combine the data you get from Google Analytics with more traditional data like customer surveys, product and UX reviews, and other user feedback. Always keep channels of communication open with users.
Finally, make sure that you also use Shopify Analytics to gain a deeper insight into the metrics of your store performance. Use Boost Analytics to get the most out of internal site search data and improve your SEO, UX, and better meet customer expectations.