You’re feeling very accomplished aren’t you? Your business launched a new eCommerce site, and you’ve got Google Analytics up and running. Score. You set up the account, grabbed the tracking code, and added it to your website. Did that seem too easy? Sadly, it probably was – especially for an eCommerce site. Truth be told, there’s a good chance that the data you are collecting is muddy and there’s a lot more information you’re missing out on.
Turn on eCommerce tracking
The secret to increasing eCommerce sales is to continually analyze, test, and enhance your website. To do that, you need good data. Setting up a Google Analytics account gets you part of the way there. There are also some "optional" steps that really aren't optional if you want to do it right. One of which is activating the eCommerce tracking feature.
This is simple to do. Go to “Admin” at the top of your Google Analytics screen, use the drop down menu to pick the appropriate account, then select “eCommerce Settings” under the third column “View Settings.” Toggle the button to “on.”
Add traffic filters
There’s a lot of traffic that comes to your website that we don’t want to measure. We care about the behaviors of true visitors. Spammers, bots, and the activities of your internal team can paint an inaccurate picture of what’s really going on. Filters improve reporting accuracy for eCommerce and traditional sites alike.You can create filters in the Admin area. They can be set up across the board at the account, to a specific property, or applied to individual views. They can be used to exclude data, include data, or otherwise transform how data is viewed in your reports. Here are the basics:
Exclude internal IPs
This is a no-brainer. There are very few instances when you would want to include visits from your own company and businesses that work on your website in your analytics reporting. Set up filters to block traffic from both home and team offices. Provide clear identification of these filters so you can update them as situations change
Exclude other domains
Your website’s code is not hidden under lock and key. Shady as it might seem, there’s always a chance a web designer will take your beautiful website’s code to use as their own and forget to remove your Google Analytics tracking. So now your reports include traffic from multiple websites. To play it safe, filter out other domains.
Exclude bot traffic
In case you haven’t heard, the internet has been taken over by robots. They are seeping into Google Analytics and making a mess out of the metrics. There are advanced measures that can be done to address this, but thankfully Google Analytics has given us one simple weapon to help. In the view level of the management user interface, Select the checkbox option, labeled: “Exclude traffic from known bots and spiders.”
Goals and reporting
- Are visitors reaching the destinations you have set up? For instance, if your site is set-up to direct to a “thank you” page after a form submission, you can track those pages as a goal.
- Are there events we’d like to see happen, like downloading a PDF or watching a video on your site?
- Are visitors reaching engagement measures by viewing a certain number of pages per visit or spending a specific amount of time on site?
Once you set up goals, you also have the option to track the intermediate steps that make up the sales funnel. This gives you the ability to really see results using the “Funnel Visualization.” Google Analytics offers eCommerce tracking to capture and measure your website conversion rate, where your most profitable customers are coming from, days to purchase and other important metrics. Some eCommerce platforms such as Shopify make it easy to set up. Otherwise it is worthwhile to work with your development team to go under the hood of your website make sure everything is properly installed.
Integrate other Google tools
If you’re using AdWords, make sure to connect it to your Google Analytics account. By using AdWords you have access to a wealth of data, so use it! If you don’t have Adwords properly set up, your paid search traffic can be reported as organic search traffic. You can link Google Analytics to your Adwords account in the Property section of the Admin section.
One of the most powerful things to track in Google Analytics are your digital marketing campaigns. To do this, you create a trackable URL to use in the campaign usingGoogle’s Campaign URL Builder tool. As you use these URLs, Google will automatically track and tag these campaigns. You can review performance in the Acquisition section of Google Analytics under “campaigns.”
Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)
While Google Analytics provides insights about what happens in your website once visitors enter your website, Google Search Console provides a deeper understanding of what happens before people land on a page in your site. It’s not mandatory to sign up for Search Console to be discovered in Google, but it can help to optimize your site’s ability to be found organically. You can use it to submit your sitemaps, measure click-through rates (CTR) for certain keywords, learn how Google crawls and indexes your website, and lots more. If you associate your Search Console account with your Google Analytics account, you have access to additional analytics data in the Search Engine Optimization section. This section includes both impressions and clicks by landing page, search term (query) and geography.
Now you’ve got the basics in place you’re ready to assess. Put that data to work!