Google Analytics is one of the single best ways to learn more about the visitors to your website.
The completely free service makes it easy to keep tabs on a number of different metrics, including:
- See how many people visit your website
- What links they click on
- What pages they visit the most and how long they stay there
- What pages get the least amount of traffic
- The referral traffic coming to your site
- Receive warnings when your website is loading too slowly
Considering that Google Analytics has more than 30 million users, it’s likely that you already have it installed. And if you sell products, you are probably using WooCommerce, too. But did you know that you can use the two together?
By connecting Google Analytics to WooCommerce, you can keep track of even more information about your website visitors. You can see if customers purchase more on mobile or desktop, how long they read product descriptions, and see what pages cause them to abandon purchases.
Most importantly, connecting the two allows you to gain extra insight about the direct connection between your web traffic and product sales, which is invaluable for marketers.
In this post, we’ll look at the two best options available for connecting your Google Analytics account to WooCommerce: the official WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin and MonsterInsights. Both options are solid choices and have different strengths and weaknesses. We’ll also further explore why you should use one of these plugins, how to install them, and how to track your results.
Let’s get started!
If you’re new to WordPress or web development, you may be unfamiliar with both of these technologies. Before we get started, let’s briefly explain what each one is.
- WooCommerce is the most popular and feature rich eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is owned and operated by Automattic, the organization that runs WordPress.com. Learn more about WooCommerce in our guide.
- Google Analytics is a software platform developed by Google that allows you to track information about visitors to your website. You can track total visitors, page views, links clicked on, and a whole lot more.
There are many reasons! Let’s cover just a few.
- You probably already use an analytics program
Chances are, you’re already using an analytics plugin to track your website visitors. The Google Analytics plugin simply makes these analytics even better.
- When it comes to data, more = better
With more data about your customers and their behavior, you can fine-tune your products and content to maximize profits, reduce churn, and make your online store more successful.
- Enable Google Analytics for Ecommerce
GA has a very powerful integration with ecommerce stores. By enabling ecommerce features in Google Analytics, you can generate reports that let you know how much revenue each of your products is making. Helping you pin-point which products are generating the most revenue.
- It helps pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses
Adding Google Analytics will allow you to track more details about your website, such as which links convert the best or which website pages are not exciting enough to keep readers’ attention. This helps you make modifications to your website and close loopholes that can cost you sales.
When you connect WooCommerce to Google Analytics, you can use this data to optimize your sales pages for particular regions, device types and other variables.
For example, if the data shows that your users are visiting mostly from mobile, you can adjust your site’s design to be more mobile-friendly. If most of your customers come from Europe, you can set the default currency to be the Euro.
Before doing anything else, you’ll need to download and install WooCommerce. If you already have the plugin installed and set up, you can skip this step.
First, you’ll need to get the plugin. Download it here from the WordPress repository. Then, install it on your site via the Plugins > Add New page. Finally, activate it.
Voilà! You have now set up WooCommerce!
You’ll also need to create a Google Analytics account. If you already have one, go ahead and skip this step.
In November 2020, Google launched a new version of Google Analytics, called Google Analytics 4. If you create a new Google Analytics account today, it will be GA4 by default. Learn more about the new version here.
If you need to create an account, follow the steps on this page. We won’t go through them all, as there are many substeps and settings that don’t relate to this tutorial. When you create an account, you have three options:
- Set up a new site with Google Analytics 4 (new version)
- Set up a new site on both Universal Analytics (old version) and Google Analytics 4 (new version)
- Add a Google Analytics 4 property to a site that already has Analytics
Once you have both WooCommerce and Google Analytics installed, you’re ready to move on to the next step!
Depending on your specific needs and budget, there are a few different options for connecting WooCommerce to Google Analytics. We will cover the two most popular options:
- WooCommerce Google Analytics
There are two versions of the WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin, one free and the other paid. Let’s review the options of each.
The basic free version of Google has a bevy of features:
- Track visits, users, and events with Google’s Universal Analytics program.
- Use enhanced eCommerce analytics to see when users add or remove items from their cart or look at a particular product.
- Exclude site admins from being recorded by the trackers. For example, if you repeatedly view a certain page on your site, you can unintentionally mess up your statistical data. This option allows you to avoid that.
- Support for display ads
The paid version of WooCommerce Google Analytics includes a number of extra features. Let’s cover some of the most relevant ones:
- Support for Google Analytics Checkout Behavior Analysis. Read more about this on Google’s website.
- The ability to exclude shop managers, not only administrators, from the tracking metrics.
- Enhanced Link attribution options to track which buttons and links perform well.
- Ability to enable Google Optimize, a split-testing tool that lets you perform A/B tests, multivariate tests, and redirection tests.
MonsterInsights is another popular plugin for using Google Analytics with WooCommerce. As with the official plugin, there are both free and paid options available. Over 2 million people have downloaded the plugin, making it extremely popular among WordPress users.
MonsterInsights has a ton of options for integrating WooCommerce with Google Analytics. Let’s cover some of the more important ones.
- Analytics Dashboard: View all of your analytics in one place
- Universal Tracking across multiple devices: You can track users across devices and campaigns in only a few clicks
- Insights on specific pages:
- See which pages on your website are performing well and which aren’t
- Get a report of your site’s speed
- See how quickly pages load
- Export PDFs of your data: Review your analytics data or share it via PDF
- Track scrolling and other on-screen movement: See where readers lose interest in your content by tracking their scrolling position
- Be compliant with global regulations: Easily be compliant with GDPR (EU), CCPA (US), PECR (UK), PIPEDA (Canada) automatically.
- Link attribution: See which buttons and links get the most clicks
- Extra tracking for links: Automatically track every outbound link click to see exactly what sites you’re sending users to. This helps you unlock new partnership opportunities.
- Track affiliate links: Track your affiliate links with Google Analytics
Read a full list of features on the MonsterInsights website.
MonsterInsights offers a free basic version of their plugin. Download the free version of MonsterInsights on the WordPress repository.
MonsterInsights also offers a variety of paid plans. These start at $99.50 per year for a single site. Extra features in the paid version include extra tracking for links, files, and other elements; easy EU compliance, specific page insights, and more.
Purchase the paid version of MonsterInsights on their website
Now, let’s walk through the installation process for both WooCommerce Analytics plugin and MonsterInsights. Note that for both methods, you’ll also need to do two things first:
- Install and activate the standard WooCommerce plugin. Don’t have WooCommerce set up? Check out our guide above.
- Create a Google Analytics account. If you don’t already have one, read our instructions above.
Have you activated your WooCommerce plugin and created a Google Analytics account? If so, you’re ready to get started!
First, download the plugin from WooCommerce’s website. You can either use the free version or pay $79 annually for the premium one.
After activating the plugin, go to WooCommerce > Settings on your WordPress sidebar, then click the Integration tab. Below, you’ll see a long list of settings.
- Google Analytics Tracking ID: Add your Google Analytics Tracking ID here. This code is what will link your Google Analytics account to the WooCommerce website. Can’t find your ID? Read this guide on Google’s site.
- Use Global Site Tracking: This setting streamlines your Google Analytics data across Google’s different tracking products. In order to use Google Analytics 4 Measurement, the newer version of Google Analytics, you should keep this enabled. Learn more.
- Enable Universal Analytics: This enables the Universal Analytics version of Google Analytics, which is the older version of the program. If you have previously enabled Use Global Site Tracking, this option won’t be visible.
- Enable Standard Tracking: If the Google Analytics WooCommerce plugin is the only analytics plugin on your site, you’ll need to enable this option. If you’re also using a different Google Analytics plugin, leave it unchecked.
- “Display Advertising” Support: If you plan on running ads on the Google Display Network, check this box. You’ll then be able to track them in your analytics account.
- Anonymize IP Addresses: This option will provide more security and privacy to your customers. Depending on where you are located, this may be legally required.
- Track 404 (Not Found) Errors: This helps you find dead links. If you have it enabled, you can view dead and broken links in your Google Analytics account, under Behavior > Events > Overview > Error.
- Purchase Transactions: This allows you to track transactions and data like revenue, tax, shipping costs, refunds, and more. You’ll need to integrate a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal. Learn more about payment gateways.
- Add to Cart Events: Want to track when customers add a product to their cart? Enable this option.
- Enable Enhanced eCommerce: This option will only be available if Use Global Site Tracking and Enable Universal Analytics are both enabled.
Now that we’ve set up the plugin, let’s quickly make sure it will work! Note that it can take up to 24 hours for the connection to be made successfully, so if you are having issues, try waiting a day or two.
An alternative option to the official WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin is MonsterInsights.
Just as before, make sure you have installed WooCommerce on your site and created a Google Analytics account before starting.
To begin, download the MonsterInsights plugin. There are both free and paid versions:
Once you’ve downloaded the plugin, install it on your site by going to Plugins > Add New on your WordPress sidebar.
- Events Tracking: This option is required to track clicks on your site and is enabled by default.
- Enhanced Link Attribution: This improves the accuracy of the unique links on your site. It is enabled by default.
- File Download Tracking: This will track which files are downloaded from your site. For example, if you want to see how many people download a PDF, you can do so. By default, it includes doc, pdf, ppt, zip, xls, docx, pptx, xlsx.
- Affiliate Link Tracking: This helps you keep track of affiliate links in order to better manage your earnings.
- Who Can See Reports: Choose which roles will be able to access the reports area of the MonsterInsights admin.
In the next two steps, you’ll be recommended to install and use some other plugins, that are optional.
Note: If you are using a caching plugin, it is advised to purge the cache so that the Google Analytics script starts tracking the visitors on your website.
Nice job! The combination of Google Analytics and WooCommerce is a powerful one and thankfully, connecting them is a very easy process.
Whether you set up WooCommerce Google Analytics or MonsterInsights, you’re now in a much better position to keep track of your website, your visitors, and your products. With the data you’ll gather, you can make adjustments to your site to increase your audience and revenue. And that’s a great outcome indeed!
Which analytics program are you using on your WordPress site? WooCommerce Google Analytics, MonsterInsights, or another plugin? And what insights have you learned and applied to your website strategy as a whole? Let us know in the comments!