In today’s hyper competitive e-commerce environment, starting and running a successful store is near impossible without accurate tracking on which of your marketing campaigns are working, and specific knowledge of what your visitors are doing when they are on your site.
As a website owner, you likely know that Google Analytics is a free and very easy to use tool that gives you tremendous insights into your web traffic, well beyond the basic (and often inaccurate) reporting provided by your web host. This blog post will show you how to properly set up Google Analytics to track your ecommerce conversions, associating a revenue amount with keywords, AdWords campaigns, and even Social Media campaigns.
We’re assuming here you are creating your analytics account for the first time. If you’re not, you can always go back and edit Profile Settings to accomplish this.
Google Analytics can be set up in multiple ways. For most basic stores, the first option in the image below (A Single Domain) is appropriate. If for whatever reason your store has ecommerce functionality on multiple domains or sub domains, you can use one of the other two options.
Secondly, please check the box for “I Want To Track AdWords Campaigns”. This is a critical step in understanding your AdWords return on investment down the road. (By the way, I set up a dummy account for the purposes of this blog post, so that UA # will be invalid by the time I hit Publish.)
Just below the above screen shot is the save button. Press it, and you’re on your way.
Next step is to edit these settings. On the screen that appears after you save your profile, hit the Edit button as highlighted below:
Initially, the Google Analytics Profile Settings will look like this:
The Light Blue highlights show you that 2 settings need to be changed immediately. First is making sure that we are accurately depicted as an e-commerce site, and second is to show that Site Search is being tracked. On Site Search is a GOLD MINE. It deserves a blog post of its own later on.
The Edit button is highlighted in yellow. Click it, and we’ll make the necessary changes.
On the Edit Profile Information screen, there’s 2 things we need to change, and one thing we need to add. The two blue highlights need to be checked to YES and DO. This will start to pass sales information back to Google Analytics, as well as track what people are typing in your search box when they are shopping on your site.
The Green Highlight needs to be made the characters your website uses to indicate a search on your site. For example, if you search Google Analytics on my site, you’ll find the URL that the searcher is taken to contains: &s=Google+Analytics
The &s= is what I would want to put in my Green Highlighted box above. That’s the Query parameter. Do a search on your site to find out what you should use.
Hit Save, and Google Analytics is almost ready to rock.
Adding Ecommerce Goals in Google Analytics
The last thing you need to do is add a Goal that indicates a purchase has been made. You’ll see on the Profile Settings page the ability to do this. Click on Add Goal next to Set 1.
I opted to type in Purchase as my Goal Name (first green highlight) but you can call it whatever you would like. The second green highlight is the important one.
Here, we need to put in the ORDER CONFIRMATION URL from your e-commerce site. This is the page the customer sees after they complete their purchase. It usually will look very much like a receipt. The correct format is to DROP your site URL, and just add what’s after the .com. For example, if your confirmation page reads:
then you would enter /orderconfirmation.html in the Goal URL box.
Leave the Goal Value at 0.0, as it will be populated by your Checkout amount at the time of purchase.
Once all these setting have been updated, you will be collecting valuable data you can use to improve and grow your business.
If you have questions, or need help, PLEASE contact me and I can assist. If you’d like me to set these things up for you, I can usually do it for around $100 unless it’s complicated for some reason.
You may also want to search the documentation for your Shopping cart (be it Volusion, Yahoo Stores, etc). They often provide rudimentary info on setting this up, and they may even have mechanics in your website administration area to make it easier.