Best Practices

Data, Analytics & Insights

Google Analytics eCommerce Settings

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Many small business owners have their Google Analytics connected to their eCommerce store. Although this is a great start to gathering data, there are a number of settings in Google Analytics that need to be set so that your data is being gathered in a more meaningful method that has eCommerce as the core focus.

We are going to share with you some of the key eCommerce settings to look into in your Google Analytics account set-up as well as explain what they are:

1. Multiple views

‘Multiple views’ are different ways that you can look at your data that Google Analytics captures. A couple of ways you can look at your data sets in Google Analytics are in a raw state or applying certain filters to align more closely with your business. There are three views that must be set-up in your Google Analytics account for best practice, they are:

  • Main View
  • Raw View
  • Test View

2. Industry settings

Every business is classified into different industries based on the products or services they offer and the markets they cater for. These industries in Google Analytics are classified on different specialties which are based on the goods or services you provide.

3. Advertising features

By enabling Advertising Features, you enable Google Analytics to collect data about your traffic in addition to data collected through a standard Google Analytics account set-up. Google Analytics Advertising Features uses Google advertising cookies so you can:

  • Create remarketing audiences based on specific behavior, demographic, and interest data, and share those lists with Google Ads
  • Use demographic and interest data in your analytics reports
  • Create segments based on demographic and interest data.

4. User analysis

The Users and Active Users metrics show how many users engaged with your website. Users are more closely related to a person’s behavior than visits and visitors.

The user analysis feature is crucial to understand your user’s behavior. The more you know about your users, the better equipped you’ll be to make smart choices about your business strategy. You can gain an even richer understanding of how people interact with individual pages and products.

5. Retention of users and event data

The Google Analytics data retention controls give you the ability to set the amount of time before user-level and event-level data stored by Google Analytics is automatically deleted from Analytics’ servers.

Allowing a user to be forgotten is an important principal of compliance. It is not appropriate to hold a user’s tracking information forever, so a retention period needs to be set. A value of 26 months is a reasonable time limit for organisations to understand year-on-year trends assuming all tracking is anonymous and first party.

6. User ID view

A User-ID view is a special reporting view that only displays data from sessions in which you send unique ID and related data to Analytics. To analyze all of your data, you should use a different view.

Using the User ID view you are able to unify the sessions that a single user is making using different devices, into one user in Google Analytics. This allows you to tie sessions together when the User ID is the same, even if the sessions are on different devices.

For example, if someone visits the website using their mobile device, then using their desktop and then on their tablet you can tie these three separate sessions together and you’ll have a single user reported inside Google Analytics.

7. Organic search sources

Google Analytics separates traffic that arrives at your site through a search engine. In your Google Analytics reports, this traffic segment is called ‘organic search traffic’ – which means people are using a search engine, such as Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo to search for your brand.

Google Analytics automatically recognizes the most popular search engines, and attributes traffic to these sources. Traffic that finds your site through any of the default search engines appears as organic search traffic in your reports. Traffic that finds your site through any search engine not included in this list is considered referral traffic, (not as organic search traffic), in your reports.

8. Referral exclusion

Referral traffic is the segment of traffic that arrives on your website through another source, that is, from another website or domain. Analytics automatically recognizes where traffic was immediately before arriving on your site, and displays the domain names of these sites as the referral traffic sources in your reports.

Excluding certain referral sources in your ‘Referrals Exclusions List’ will avoid your reporting doubling up the sessions count in your Analytics report. When referral exclusions are not listed, the session count is over-inflated making your total sessions count higher than the real sessions taken in reality. 

9. Search term exclusion

Analytics identifies the search terms people have used to find your website through search engines and displays these keywords and phrases in your Analytics reports.

You can exclude specific search terms from being identified in your Analytics account. When users find your site using an excluded term, that traffic isn’t included as search traffic in your reports. Instead, it’s counted as direct traffic. This will allow you to keep your data clean and reliable.

We recommend excluding your company name and your website from the search terms. Make sure you add all spelling variations. 

10. Internal traffic exclusion

Excluding internal traffic means that you are excluding yourself and staff or suppliers that visit your website for work purposes, not to purchase something. ie. they aren’t real customer traffic.

Excluding internal traffic in your ‘Main View’ means that you can filter out all the times your staff, or yourself or your developer are visiting your site to check things out. This allows you to have a cleaner view of your traffic numbers and onsite customer journeys.

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