GA4 for Shopify - How to Use GA4 for SEO

Struggling to improve your Shopify SEO strategy? Here’s how to set up GA4 for Shopify to uncover more insights about your audience.

January 10, 2024 | 12 MINUTES

With the sunset of Universal Analytics, there has been a significant buzz surrounding the effectiveness of GA4 and its potential benefits.

In this post, we will delve into the world of GA4 for SEO and explore its capabilities specifically from an SEO perspective.

Recap: GA4 vs. Universal Analytics - Understanding the Differences

When it comes to analyzing website data and optimizing SEO strategies, Google Analytics has been a go-to tool for many Shopify merchants. However, with the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it's important to understand the differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics to leverage the full power of GA4 for SEO optimization.

GA4 represents a significant shift from its predecessor, Universal Analytics.

While Universal Analytics focuses on session-based data collection, GA4 focuses on event-based data collection. This change allows GA4 to provide a more comprehensive and granular view of user interactions on your Shopify store.

One of the key differences between the two is the way data is organized. Universal Analytics uses a hierarchical data structure with Views, Properties, and Accounts, while GA4 introduces a more flexible and scalable structure based on Streams and Properties.

This enhanced structure makes it easier to organize and track data for multiple websites or apps within a single GA4 Property.

Another notable difference is the emphasis on cross-platform and cross-device tracking in GA4.

With Universal Analytics, tracking user interactions across different devices and platforms required additional configuration.

However, GA4 provides built-in support for cross-platform and cross-device tracking, enabling more accurate measurement of user behavior and engagement. If you haven't started using GA4 yet, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the platform to fully leverage its potential for SEO optimization. A helpful resource to get started is the video -

How to Set Up GA4 for SEO on Shopify

You can set up Ga4 for SEO on your Shopify storefront easily by following these steps -

Step 1: Create a Google Account and Google Analytics Account

To use Google Analytics, you'll need a Google account. If you already use Gmail or Ads, you can use the same account for Google Analytics.

If you don't have a Google account, you can easily create one. Once you have a Google account, create a Google Analytics account.

Step 2: Create or Move a Google Analytics 4 Property

To activate GA4, either create a new GA4 property for your Shopify store or move an existing property.

Step 3: Add Google Analytics 4 Tags

  • In your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Preferences.
  • In the Google Analytics section, click on "Manage pixel here."
  • Click on "Connect your Google account."
  • Select the Tag ID for the GA4 property you want to connect to your Shopify store.
  • Click on "Connect your Google Analytics 4 property."

After setting up Google Analytics 4 tags, certain e-commerce events will be automatically tracked.

Note: Please remove password protection from your online store for Google Analytics to track events.

Step 4: Link your Google Analytics Account to your Google Ads Account

Linking your Google Analytics property to your Google Ads account allows you to analyze customer activity, measure conversion actions, and create audiences.

To link your Google Analytics account to Google Ads, follow the instructions in the "Link Google Ads and Analytics" guide.

How to Migrate GA4 from Universal Analytics

In case you’ve already setup Universal Analytics tag and want to migrate to the new Google Analytics 4 tag, here’s what you can do -

Step 1: Create a GA4 Property

To create a GA4 property, you need to have the editor role for the Google Analytics account. Follow these steps:

  • Create a GA4 property for your Shopify store.
  • After creating the GA4 property, create a web data stream and make a note of the Tag ID.

Step 2: Add GA4 Tags to Your Shopify Store

If you don't have the Google & YouTube channels installed, you'll be prompted to install it during the setup process for GA4 tags. Connecting to the Google Merchant Center is not required for completing the GA4 tags setup.

Follow these steps:

  • In your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Preferences.
  • In the Google Analytics section, click on "Manage pixel here."
  • Click on "Connect your Google account."
  • Select the Tag ID for the GA4 property you want to connect to your Shopify store.
  • Click on "Connect your Google Analytics 4 property."

After adding GA4 tags to your store, take the following actions based on how you use Universal Analytics:

  • If you use Universal Analytics audiences, migrate them to GA4.
  • If you use Universal Analytics to track Google Ad conversions on your Shopify store, migrate the conversion tracking to GA4.
  • If you don't use Universal Analytics audiences or track Google Ad conversions, your migration is complete.

Migrate Audiences to GA4

If you use Universal Analytics audiences, migrate them to your GA4 property. By migrating audiences, you can identify the same user groups based on GA4 data and export those audiences to your linked Google Ads accounts.

Migrate Conversion Tracking to GA4

If you use Universal Analytics to track Google Ad conversions on your Shopify store, migrate the conversion tracking to GA4. GA4 uses events instead of goals and the ecommerce report used by Universal Analytics.

To migrate conversion tracking to GA4, follow these steps:

  • Set up events and mark them as conversions in Google Analytics.
  • Link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account.
  • Import conversions into Google Ads.

How to Measure SEO on GA4

To effectively measure the success of your SEO efforts on the GA4 platform, there are several key strategies you can implement:

1. Sync Google Search Console

Integrating GA4 with Google Search Console allows you to gather valuable insights into the performance of your SEO tactics. You can see which search queries generate traffic and how well your site ranks for different search terms.

This integration enables you to assess the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts by understanding the number of people searching for specific results in a particular geographic area.

2. Verify Conversions of Organic SEO Traffic

While increasing website traffic is important, it is equally crucial to ensure that this traffic leads to conversions.

GA4 provides detailed information on the number of conversions from specific pages and search terms. If your conversion rate is lower than expected, GA4 can help you identify whether your SEO marketing is directing the wrong audience to the wrong pages or failing to capture the desired audience.

This data allows you to make adjustments to improve conversion rates.

3. Pay Attention to Landing Page Views

Your landing pages play a vital role in converting leads and building a loyal following.

GA4 allows you to analyze how much organic traffic is directed to specific landing pages. By understanding which landing pages attract the most organic traffic, you can determine if any adjustments are necessary to increase conversions.

For example, if a product page receives significant organic traffic but has a low conversion rate, it might indicate that visitors are seeking more information before making a purchase. This insight can guide you in optimizing landing pages to better address visitor needs.

Best Reports on GA4 for SEO That You Should Set Up

GA4 provides a wealth of information on organic traffic, but it can be challenging to filter and use this data effectively.

To help you refine your SEO marketing strategy, here are 3 essential GA4 reports:

1. Conversion Report

GA4 allows you to customize conversions and track visitor behavior accordingly.

By going to Configure – Events, you can choose which events to mark as conversions and gain insight into how visitors interact with your website. These include events like page_view, click, or session_start.

A comprehensive conversion report provides critical information on visitor behavior and highlights areas that need improvement to drive more sales. This report demonstrates the value of your SEO marketing efforts by measuring the effectiveness of different actions.

2. Traffic Acquisition Report

The Traffic Acquisition report is an excellent tool for measuring the overall success of your SEO marketing strategies.

Simply go to Reports – Acquisition – Traffic Acquisition. Next, navigate to Session Source – Medium within the Traffic Acquisition report. In the search bar, simply type "organic" to filter the results. By filtering results for organic traffic, you can see how different search engines generate organic traffic to your site.

This report breaks down your website's traffic sources, including organic searches, referrals, direct traffic, and paid searches.

3. Referral Traffic Report

The Referral Traffic report allows you to see which sites lead visitors to your website.

By typing "referral" into the Traffic Acquisition search bar and choosing session source as another search dimension, you can gain insight into sites and pages that drive traffic to your website.

This information can be valuable in identifying audience interests and building relationships with these sites.

How to Get Shopify SEO Insights from GA4

Here’s how you can navigate your GA4 dashboard to solve some basic requirements -

1. Analyze organic traffic and volume

  • Go to the Traffic Acquisition report within the Acquisition section.
  • Select "Session default channel grouping" to compare the amount of traffic generated from SEO to other channels.
  • Utilize different time periods to compare and analyze the data, allowing you to track trends and changes over time.

2. Traffic from different search engines (Google, Bing, etc.)

  • In the Traffic Acquisition report, locate the 'Acquisition' section and select 'Sessions source/medium' as the Primary Dimension.
  • Within the report, locate the search bar and type 'organic' to filter out traffic from other mediums.
  • As a result, the table will display statistics on users, sessions, and conversions specifically coming from various search engines.

3. Look into traffic across channels

In GA4, there are default channel groups that categorize the different sources of website traffic. These channels are predefined by GA4 to classify the traffic your website receives.

The default channel group consists of 18 traffic sources that are relevant in user, session, and event dimensions.

Please note that reports with dates prior to June 15, 2022, may have some inconsistencies. For instance, an Organic Shopping channel (non-ad links on shopping sites) might be mistakenly identified as an Organic Search channel (non-ad links in organic search results).

To access the Channel Groups feature, navigate to the Admin section and select Channel Groups under Data Settings.

In this section, you will find the default group.

To analyze traffic based on channels, navigate to the Traffic Acquisition section within the Acquisition report tab.

Here, you can select either Default or Custom channel groups as the primary dimension. Additionally, the Custom channel group can be utilized as a secondary dimension in any report that supports channel groups.

4. Find the geographic locations of your website visitors

In Google Analytics 4, you can access geographical data in the Demographics section through the Demographics Details report. In this report, you will find statistics categorized by Country, Region, or City. These data points provide insights into the geographical distribution of your website's audience.

5. Analyze most and least converting pages

To access conversion data in Google Analytics 4, navigate to the Pages and Screens report within the Engagement section. Here, you can view the data related to the conversions you track.

To analyze the data for each conversion event individually, you can apply relevant filters in the Conversions column. By doing so, you can identify pages that receive high traffic but exhibit low conversion rates.

Based on this information, you can make informed decisions regarding the pages with low conversion rates. It's important to consider whether the content that attracts significant traffic but generates low conversions is worth further investment.

In some cases, low conversions may be attributed to technical issues that can be fixed, thereby improving the page's overall performance. Identifying and resolving such issues can lead to a quick improvement in the conversion rate.

But this isn’t enough!

The reports mentioned above are just the basic ones. To improve your SEO, you need to look into much more granular data and create reports to visualize user journeys, segment data, analyze technical issues like page speed, look into visits vs. conversions, and much more!

We understand setting up so much on GA4 for SEO can be overwhelming and complex.

That’s where we can help!

With 18+ years of experience, our full-time team of curated Shopify store SEO masterminds can help you scale your business seamlessly. Leverage GA4 for Shopify without any hassle and boost your conversions like never before.

Schedule a call with our Shopify SEO experts today.