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5 Simple Google Analytics Hacks to Optimise Your Online Store

5 Simple Google Analytics Hacks to Optimise Your Online Store

A Guest Post by Jared Carrizales, Founder at Heroic Search

The reason you learn everything you possibly can about your customers is to serve them well. The stronger brand experience you provide, the more excited people are to shop on your website. In order to create a personalised experience for each customer, you have to master your behaviour tracking strategy. In one way or another, Google Analytics (GA) is likely going to be connected. Here are five easy-to-implement Google Analytics and website optimisation hacks that will help you create the ultimate eCommerce brand experience.

1. Bring GA access to your website dashboard

To simplify your duties, your analytics strategy should require as few steps as possible. Multiple windows open at one time decreases your productivity. To save time and improve your efficiency behind the scenes of your store, bring access to GA to your website dashboard.

A great deal of modern eCommerce companies (350,000 of them, anyway) use one of Shopify’s themes to build their business, which gives them access to a ton of tools. Among these tools is a nifty little add-on called Actionable Google Analytics; this add-on moves the majority of necessary GA functions directly into the website dashboard while enhancing powerful eCommerce functions.

Google Analytics dashboard image

And they’re not the only one, other CMS providers and developers have created several tools that can help out in similar ways:

2. Monitor your internal site search behaviours

Enhanced search features inside your store help customers find exactly what they’re looking for. Shoppers who leverage internal search features are more likely to purchase from you; this is because they’re shopping with intent. Find out what they’re searching for by monitoring the search bar on your website.

Behaviour is one of the most valuable sections of GA reporting. Here, you will find the ‘site search report’ feature. You need to enable the site search report feature to generate critical data output and discover what your visitors really want. Once the feature is enabled, you will be able to answer critical questions that help you improve your system for content delivery.

Google Analytics Site Search Settings image

Here’s what enabling site search reporting will help you accomplish:

  • Find out where customers begin their searches and what they discover
  • Uncover the level of user satisfaction
  • Learn how various groups of users search your site
  • See which business outcomes result from site searches

But the biggest advantages of enabling site search is understanding the “why”, says Tom Bowen of WebsiteOptimizers.com.

“For the most part analytics tools like Google Analytics simply tell you what happened on your site, but not why they happened. But the Site Search information you can get from them can give you some of that insight. By looking at what people search for, you can start to collect information on what their objectives were when they came to your site. You can get some clues as to what people have difficulties finding on your site.  It can help you identify opportunities for improving your website, and your users’ experiences on it.”

3. Set up a mobile eCommerce dashboard

I recently gave a presentation largely focused on GA dashboards at a blogging conference, and I was actually surprised by how many of the audience hadn’t implemented various dashboards. Ecommerce or not, GA dashboards are a must-have for anyone serious about analysing their data.

Mobile shopping is obviously on the rise. While more sales are still made from PCs, more time is spent shopping from smartphones and tablets. The “omnichannel” (optimised for both mobile or PC) shopping experience is an intelligent choice for online retailers. Setting yourself up for sales via both mobile and PC is a key facet of your GA reporting strategy. Set up a mobile dashboard inside GA so that you can dive deeper into the mobile experience of your brand, optimising the journey as consumers continue to shop more and more from the convenience of their smartphones.

Mobile device revenue image

Here’s what to include in your customised mobile dashboard:

  • Revenue earned from mobile devices
  • Channel and campaign segmentation
  • Device information
  • Most popular content

Compare the final data against your overall traffic and PC-only statistics for more intensive insights.

4. Track your promotions and coupon codes

In order to get the most from your promotions and coupon codes, you need to include analytics. Otherwise, how will you know which products to include in your banners? Which Calls-to-Action are working and which ones are failing? How many transactions are taking place based on your promotion? Analyse your success by tracking promotions and coupon codes.

To track your promotions, you’ll need to implement codes for the following:

  1. Product impressions
  2. Promotional clicks
    • To identify that the promotion was clicked
    • To send the promotional click action with an event

Track your promotions

If you use the codes from the link above, your data will be revealed in the Actionable Google Analytics dashboard under Ecommerce> Marketing> Promotional Report.

5. Stop tracking yourself, right now

One of the most common pitfalls with GA tracking reports is that website owners, especially during startup, end up with skewed information based on the fact that they’re tracking their own behaviour and that of internal team members. Sometimes, team members spend more time on a website than customers. If your GA data isn’t coming from leads and customers, it’s useless to you. So, you need to stop tracking your own behaviour, now.

The good news is that there is an easy solution - you simply set a custom filter to exclude your own IP address from tracking:

  1. Login to your GA admin dashboard
  2. Choose Admin > All Filters > Add Filter
  3. From here, you just identify your IP address
  4. Set the filter, and you’re done
  5. Repeat these steps for everyone on your team

Follow these steps to remove yourself from all GA reports and produce a straightforward representation of your customers’ true behaviour.


Google Analytics is an essential tool for powering your online store. Use these easy hacks to harness the potential of priceless data about customer behaviour on your eCommerce website. Use Actionable Google Analytics to showcase the next best steps in your website dashboard. Set up your account to read and interpret valuable internal search behaviour data. Set up a customised Dashboard for mobile behaviour. Track promotions and coupon codes. Finally, stop tracking your own behaviour to keep your data relevant.

These Google Analytics hacks will optimise your online store to help you create a personalised brand experience that increases customer satisfaction. Learn more about eCommerce trends by signing up for Ve’s newsletter and looking through their resources.

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Posted by Ellie Hubble

Ellie is a Content Manager and spends her time reading, writing and getting excited about all things UX, digital and technology.