Google Analytics Essentials

Google analytics is a must have tool for any online shop owner. However, it’s on first glance very complicated. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. The main advantages of using Google Analytics with your PushCommerce store are:

  • Email marketing tracking: you can use GA to see how visitors hit your site from your email outreach and marketing campaigns or newsletters.
  • Bounce rate: how many people are viewing your site and then ‘bouncing’ off or back to google search? The longer a customer stays on your site the more engaged they are.
  • Socials and Searches: if you’re advertising on social media or on google then you need to know how many people are coming to your site from these routes. Whether that’s paid or organically.
  • Visitor to paid customer: using conversion tracking and goals you can see how many people are visiting your site and ultimately purchasing something from your shop.
  • Funnels: your customers go through stages of awareness, consideration and decision when buying a product. The funnel view on GA allows you to visualise this process on your shop.

Setting up Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics on your PushCommerce shop is a simple process. We’ve covered this process on our help document here but we’ll put it below for good measure. Firstly, you’re going to need to sign up for Google Analytics, which you can do here. You will need a Google Account for this, if you don’t have one already setup.

Add your site to Google Analytics. This step enables GA to work on your site.

Get your Tracking ID. This is a unique tracking code that we use to work with GA, it looks like this: UA-000000-1 or similar and is normally in the top left hand corner of your Analytics Dashboard. Note: you may need to click the “All Website Data” button to find this.

Now open your Store's admin area and navigate to Settings > SEO/Tracking. Enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID in to the relevant box under the "Tracking/Conversion Services" section.

Enable eCommerce tracking inside of Google Analytics.

All done! In 24 hours or less, Google Analytics will start tracking data about visitors to your online shop. You can then generate reports to help you make the most of your site and bring focus those all important conversions.


Customisation:

One really powerful resource that GA provides is the ability to import custom reports to your dashboard. There are a huge range of reports that people have built that can provide great data for you on on your visitors and customers.

In order to add these head over to your GA dashboard, click “Customisation” and then "Custom Reports". Then select "Import from Gallery". The box that comes up will give you a load of reports which you can narrow down by the reports category e.g. Campaign, Branding, Social Media, etc. You can use one of these pre-made templates for your own shop by hitting the Import button below the template description or get more information by clicking the title.


Handy dashboard widgets:

Time of Day

You’ll see on your Dashboard that there are a few widgets showing various information. These all give good data which, with care and consideration and testing can be used to improve your shop, it’s structure and your content. One that will help you improve your service is the ‘Users by time of day’"

This quick reference visual shows when your users are most active on your site. Very useful information when thinking about adding a Live Chat function or adjusting your chat/telephone operating hours.

User retention:

This widget shows the retention of visitors to your site from their initial visit. In essence, the darker the 'Week 1' through 5 bars are the higher the retention (repeat) visitors to your shop. In the above example the best week was May 20 - May 26, with higher return visits on weeks 1 through 3 of the 6-week period, this may be due to content that was produced at the time or a new landing page or product that went live.

There are numerous resources available on the internet to improve your knowledge, use and understanding of all things Google. One of the best that we’ve found is from Google itself - Google Analytics Academy. Definitely worth a look if you have the time. 

The most important point to make about Google Analytics is that it's data in isolation. That is, it can be interpreted many different ways and may be effected by any number of things. Have you recently launched a new marketing campaign, or had a product reviewed by an influencer or a retweet from another brand? Has a video you're mentioned in gone viral? Or has a fad been forgotten and people moved on? GA is one part of the 360 degree data collection around your business, it's useful but doesn't tell you the full story.