In a digital age, data is king. And as a business owner, you need to know what's important data to collect and track. That's why adding Google Analytics to Shopify is so crucial. With this powerful tool, you can track your website traffic and figure out which marketing strategies are working best for you. 

We’ll show you just how important it is and how you can set up Google Analytics 4 to Shopify.

Should you add Google Analytics to Shopify?

If you're running a Shopify store, then you know how important it is to track your traffic and conversions. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that gives you insights into how your store is performing, what's working and what needs improvement, and more.

If you're not using Google Analytics yet, then you're missing out on some valuable insights into your customers' behaviour. Here are four reasons why you should add Google Analytics to Shopify. 

  1. To track your website's traffic patterns and origins: Google Analytics can tell you where your website traffic is coming from, whether it's from organic search results, social media, or paid advertising. This information can help you make informed decisions about where to focus your marketing efforts. 

  2. To learn about your customers' demographics and interests: Google Analytics can give you demographic data about your customers, such as age range and gender distribution. 

  3. If you’re not on the higher plan of Shopify, data can be limited: Adding GA to your site allows you to access a wider range of data to track both your visitors and websites behaviour.

  4. Better tracking of ad campaigns: As store owners, we put a ton of resources into ads, whether on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. GA provides you with a holistic view of your marketing campaign so that you’re in a better position to track and understand your marketing efforts. 

How accurate is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is one of the most accurate ways to understand your website and your users. However, the accuracy lies not only with Google but also with how you implement Analytics and how your users interact with your site. 

Google Analytics doesn’t have the power to measure 100% of your visitors due to users having the option of whether or not they approve of cookies and tracking. 

Common issues as to why the accuracy of Google may be impacted include:

  • Tracking scripts not properly implemented
  • Users using extensions that interfere with Javascript code
  • There is a lot of spam on your account
  • You haven’t filtered out company traffic which creates an inaccurate reading
  • The same users on different devices show up as different users
  • You aren’t tracking key events

Does Shopify Use Google Analytics 4?

Google claims that the introduction of Google Analytics 4, built upon the Web + App property, is “privacy-centric by design”. This means that the move towards protecting people’s privacy will not leave your Shopify store with information gaps.

If you are using Shopify Plus, you can use Google Analytics 4 to install the tracking code on all pages of your website, including the checkout pages. If you are using the standard Shopify, you can still use Google Analytics 4 on all of your Shopify pages, except for the checkout pages.

How do I add Google Analytics to Shopify?

How you implement Google Analytics on your Shopify store will be determined by the type of Shopify you are using - Plus or the standard. 

Step 1: Head to Google Analytics and sign up

The first step to adding Google Analytics to your Shopify store is to set up a Google Analytics account

 When it comes to adding your account name, stick to the business name associated with your Shopify Store. 

The next step in creating a GA account involves adding properties to your account - an account can contain one or more properties representing your business's web data. But for now, let’s stick with the one Shopify store that you’re connecting to and select the time zone and currency you’ll be reporting with. 

You’ll then move on to the next step within creating an account which includes filling out the relevant business information. 

Finally, hit accept to all of Google’s terms and conditions, and just like that, you’ve created a GA account that will allow you to monitor your Shopify store. 

Step 2: Create a data stream with Google Analytics 4

A data stream allows you to add a piece of code to your Shopify store that will enable you to track the movement of your site and visitors. 

Because we have a Shopify store, we don’t want to create a data stream for IOS or Android, so the option we’ll be selecting here is ‘web’. Following the prompts of adding your ‘Website URL’ and ‘Stream Name’. 

Top tip: When it comes to entering your ‘Website URL’, don’t add the ‘www.’ - only the content that follows.

Step 3: Add data stream code to your Shopify store

Don’t let the idea of this step scare you! While we’re going to encounter a little bit of code, Google knows we aren’t all coders, so they’ve made our job a little easier. 

Once you’ve entered your URL and stream name, the following information will pop up:

We need to click on the ‘Global site tag’ dropdown option. You’ll then have the option to copy a collection of code. Copy the code and then head to your online Shopify store.

Step 4: Create a backup

Before we copy the code to our Shopify site, we need to create a backup in case anything crashes or goes wrong. That way, we can simply revert to a backup site.

Simply head to the ‘Themes’ option under ‘Online Store’. From there, select ‘Actions’ and then ‘Duplicate’. Shopify will now store a duplicate copy of your Shopify store, which you can access if anything goes wrong in the future.

Step 5: Enter your data stream code to your Shopify Store

Once you’ve signed into your Shopify store, on the left-hand sidebar, select ‘Online Store’ and then select ‘Themes’. 

Select ‘Actions’ before selecting ‘Edit code’. 

We’ll then take the following steps to paste our code:

  1. Under ‘Layout’, select ‘theme.liquid’.
  2. Under the <head> tag, add three spaces - this just makes the copy we’re about to paste easier to see.
  3. Under <head> simply paste your code.
  4. Select the green ‘save’ button.

Step 6: Play around with your site

This step involves simply scrolling through your site to create some impressions for Google Analytics to read. That way, we’ll be able to sufficiently check that GA is reading our movements.

Step 7: Ensure that Google Analytics is connected to your Shopify Store

Once you’ve been active on your site, head back to Google Analytics. On the left sidebar, select ‘Reports’. Now you’ll be presented with the GA dashboard which displays the analytics of your website. You’ll be able to see how many people are on the site, what the average engagement time is, demographics and a whole load of interesting data that’ll take your Shopify store to the next level. 

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