Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links in which I receive commissions. The reviews and opinions expressed in this article are my own.
It is true that a small portion of being a successful eCommerce business, or any business for that matter, lies in being at the right place at the right time.
However, the biggest difference that makes a business succeed is working hard, properly defining and planning the goals and strategies, and measuring things.
You can’t expect to just come up with a good idea, make a website, throw some money into marketing, and experience immediate success when it comes to your sales.
It’s just not how it works. The whole experience is more of a “trial and error” process where you apply some things and then measure how successful they are or how customers respond to it.
After that, you adjust things accordingly.
In this context, Google Analytics is an extremely powerful and helpful tool to have with your eCommerce business.
But if your eCommerce is done through WooCommerce, integrating Google Analytics might be a bit tricky for some people.
That is why in this post I will try to clearly explain how you can easily add Google Analytics in your WooCommerce platform. But before I begin, you would like to see this video.
Why is Google Analytics important in eCommerce?
Saying that Google Analytics is important for eCommerce is quite a vague sentence, and people that are in eCommerce might wonder why exactly is that the case.
Accurate data is a thriving fuel for any eCommerce business, and it might be quite difficult to get to a higher level without it.
If you don’t base your decisions on accurate data, you are basically guessing things and shooting in the dark.
Sure, sometimes your intuition might score you some advantage, but in most cases, it shouldn’t be done like that.
What’s even worse than this is working with data that is not accurate. That can damage your eCommerce business beyond repair.
In any case, the best-case scenario for any eCommerce business is to base decisions and reactions on accurate data.
That is where analytics tools like Google Analytics come into play.
What does Google Analytics allow you to track?
- The behavior of your visitors on your website
- The pages which are visited the most
- The time spent on each page by your customers
- The location from which the customers are visiting your website
- The performance and results of your SEO strategies
- The conversion rates
- The bounce rates
- The interactions per visit
- The exit pages
According to this data, you can make a lot of important conclusions. For example, by the most visited pages, you can conclude which pages you need to improve and optimize.
The time spent on pages lets you know how engaging they are to customers. The location lets you know where your customers come from so you can know how to optimize your strategies and target those people the right way.
If your conversion rates go up, you’re doing something good. If your bounce rates go up, you have to improve.
There is a lot more data that you can gather from Google Analytics, and with experience, you can learn to conclude the right things or what things cause what effect.
How to sign up for Google Analytics?
This part is for those of you who are starting from scratch and have no existing Google Analytics account.
If you do already have a Google Analytics account, then skip this section of the post and move to the next one which is the integration.
Start the process by creating a new Google account for the eCommerce business if you don’t already have one.
I wouldn’t advise you to use your personal account for the business because in case of future opportunities like possible acquisitions or sell-offs you won’t have to give up your personal account.
After you have that, the process is quite easy. All you need to do is visit the Google Analytics login page and click the “Start measuring” button.
Next, you need to fill out the name of the account and agree to a bunch of things. After that, you will have to choose what you want to measure: your website, apps, or a collection of both.
The last step includes adding the property details like the name of the website, URL, industry, and a time zone. Make sure that you choose the correct time zone so you can have accurate and on-time data.
Once you click on “Create” you will enter into your Google Analytics account. Take note of your Tracking ID since it will play an important role into the integration of Google Analytics with WooCommerce.
Click Save, and you’re ready for the next step which is the integration of Google Analytics and WooCommerce.
How to integrate Google Analytics and WooCommerce?
It doesn’t matter if you just created your Google Analytics account or you will be using an already existing one.
This next section is for everybody.
The content assumes that you already have installed WooCommerce and have it up and running.
The simplest way of integrating WooCommerce and Google Analytics is by downloading a plugin called WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration Plugin.
There are different plugins for this purpose, but many of them have a lot of limitations. I find it best to work with the previously mentioned one.
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the plugin before you can start using it, and the place that you can get it is the plugins page on the WordPress admin dashboard.
Once you have the WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration plugin open, click on the “Download” button.
A zipped file will be downloaded. In this case, the installation process goes a bit differently than if you install the plugin directly from the plugin directory.
Go to Plugins>Upload Plugin>Choose File>Select the zipped file>Install Now.
After this is done, click “Activate Plugin” and voila! It’s done.
Otherwise, you can go to Plugins>Add New>Search Plugin where you type the name of the plugin>Install Now>Activate.
Whichever way you prefer is okay, as long as the plugin ends up successfully installed to your WordPress.
Once activated, there will be a popup asking you to connect your Accounts account. This will only happen if Google Analytics is not already running on your site. If it is, you can start the tracking without any further ado.
Next, go to WooCommerce>Settings located on the left menu on your WordPress dashboard.
A new tab will be available called Integration. Click on that tab and start setting up the WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration plugin.
In the top section, you will input the Google Analytics ID that I mentioned earlier. You can also set the domain.
For more information on setting up the domain name, you can click on the link below for additional information.
Then, enable standard tracking. There are different tracking options available and you can choose which ones you’d like and which ones are not necessary for you.
You can experiment with them and change them up after whenever you want.
Once you have all the settings selected, you can click Save Changes and that’s it.
After this, you are running WooCommerce Google Analytics on your site. To track all the data, just go and log into your Google Analytics account and see how your online store is performing.
Another plugin that you can use for this purpose is the Monster Insights Google Analytics plugin.
This plugin contains many different settings that allow for a high-quality analytics integration setup.
For example, there is a function that includes an ability to integrate into WooCommerce very smoothly and lets you track all the relevant eCommerce data.
The only disadvantage here is that this is not free and there is some fee that needs to be paid for the pro version.
MonsterInsights is my personal favorite. It truly provides the best detailed reports on your WordPress dashboard.
Using this plugin lets you set up Enhanced eCommerce and you can start with your tracking with ease.
For activation, go to Insights>Addons and then find eCommerce. Once you’ve activated the addon, log into your Google Analytics account.
Once you are logged in Google Analytics, choose the website that you’re enabling Enhanced eCommerce tracking for.
Go to Admin on the left and click it. Choose Ecommerce Settings and turn on the sliders to Enable the related products
Once this is done, go to WordPress and access MonsterInsights by going to Insights>Settings> select eCommerce.
Enable the option to use the enhanced eCommerce. The addon from this point will start to automatically track the online store and give you the necessary data to grow your business.
Google Tag Manager
If you prefer, you can do the integration of Google Analytics and WooCommerce through Google Tag Manager.
First, you need to open the Google Tag Manager and sign up under the same account which is connected to your eCommerce.
Click on “Create Account” and fill out the boxes accordingly.
Down, you can choose the target platform that you want according to where your store is available and which data you want to analyze.
After this, you need to agree to a bunch of terms and conditions, you know how it goes.
Once you do, you get a dashboard that presents you with a code that you need to incorporate to all the pages of your website in order to install the Google Tag Manager.
Now, you need a plugin. A Google Tag Manager plugin. Of course, there are different plugins offered here too. Surprise huh?
If you choose the GTM4WP plugin, they have a pretty thorough guide on how to finish and re-check all the settings that you have.
If you don’t measure things, how do you know what’s working and what’s not? There is a reason why decisions should be influenced mainly by measurements.
A lot of eCommerce businesses lose the game, not because they don’t offer good products, but because they have trouble connecting to their customers.
To connect with them and to offer them something they need, you have to first know and observe their behaviors on your website.
Even just observing and analyzing the simple analytics that is easy to understand by the vast majority of people you can achieve amazing results.
Things like cart sessions, checkout abandonment, conversion rate, traffic rates, PDP views, etc.
You have to observe these statistics and then come to the right conclusions, which not all the time will be an easy task.
Even that is not enough. You have to actually make decisions based on those conclusions and fix things up.
For example, if you see that the checkout abandonment is high, you can conclude that people are not taking it well.
Why? Is the whole checkout process too difficult and confusing? Is it in too many steps and people give up? Do you have hidden costs?
Try to think from the other perspective, and even make a survey for your consumers that can reveal the real reason behind the high checkout abandonment.
All in all, following analytics, can really make a big difference in your online selling, and especially in today’s day and age when you have many tools at your disposal, you should take advantage of them.
If you like this post and you found it helpful, read some of my other posts on eCommerce:
- The Best E-Commerce Platforms in 2020
- Wix Vs. Squarespace: Which one should you choose?
- How Shopify makes money
Leave a comment below letting me know what else you’d be interested to read about next.