Analytics Health Check Part 2: Double Pixels & Internal Traffic

Sep 15, 2021 6 min read
Checking the double pixels and the Internal Traffic on Analytics
Internal Traffic and Double Pixels - Google Analytics

We will diagnose the double Pixel problem and show you how to fix it. We will also cover Internal traffic and its exclusion.

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of data accuracy in Google Analytics. Especially when it comes to measuring and planning marketing efforts. Unfortunately, we can not always rely on the numbers we see in reports. Sometimes, they may even have doubled just because the Pixel was installed twice, or because your webpage is checked frequently by you and your workmates.

This is the second part of our article series. Make sure to start from the first Google Analytics Health Check article if you haven't. In this tutorial, we will diagnose the double Pixel problem and show you step by step how to fix it. We will also cover Internal traffic and its exclusion.

Do I have a Double Counting Pixel Problem?

The easiest and quickest way to find it out is to check Google Tag Assistant. If you still don't have one, then go ahead and:
Download the "Google Tag Assistant" Chrome extension. We will use this extension in the next part of our tutorial series as well.
Visit your website and enable the extension.

Using Google Tag Assistant Extension
Google Analytics Debug with Google Tag Assistant Extension

You might need to reload your page to see the results. You should disable ADBLOCKERS to make the Google Tag Assistant work properly.

Using Google Tag Assistant for troubleshooting
Troubleshooting Google Analytics with Google Tag Assistant

In the example above, you see a Google Tag Manager (starts with GTM-) and Global Site Tag for Google Analytics 4 (starts with G-). This seems alright. If you see something like this, your setup seems fine and you can scroll down to fixing the Internal Traffic issue.

But if Tag Assistant shows something like:

Multiple Google Analytics tags can lead to a problem
Multiple installations of Google Analytics tags

then we should double-check if the problem is real (yes, not always we can trust Tag Assistant 100%). You should NOT have two of the same code:
UA-  (Universal Analytics)
GTM- (Google Tag Manager)
G- (Google Analytics 4)

It is totally fine if you have one of each. In the example above, you see two of the "UA-" pixels - and that needs to be fixed.

Another way to detect this problem is to check your Google Analytics Real Time reports.
It is easy to accomplish if you go to your website and open Google Analytics Realtime. Visit a page of your website in an incognito window; visit the real-time reports and ideally, you will see number 1 on the page you're currently visiting for test purposes.

Analytics Healthcheck via Realtime Report
Analytics Healthcheck - Realtime Report

But if you see 2 or any other even number then the problem is there. But keep calm and keep reading.

Google Analytics Setup on Shopify

Basically, there are 3 ways to set up Google Analytics on Shopify:

Method 1: Shopify Native UA Integration

It’s actually the most recommended setup. Just visit your Shopify Admin >  Online Store > Preferences and insert the GA tracking ID in the relevant field.

Using Shopify Native Integration for Analytics
Google Analytics Shopify Native Integration

Important notice: quite commonly we come across attempts to add different codes into the "Add custom JavaScript"  field (eg. GTM code, GA4 code, etc.), which is wrong.

Method 2: Google Tag Manager

Analyzify GTM integration provides a well-elaborated set of GA tags, both for Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, through Google Tag Manager.

Analyzify - Universal Analytics Tags
Analyzify - Universal Analytics Tags

Method 3: Hardcoding the Universal Analytics TAg

Simply adding the UA code snippet to the Shopify theme

Adding UA code snippet to the Shopify theme
Google Analytics Setup

Why is my Analytics Tag firing twice?

The reason is you most likely have the 2 or even 3 setups mentioned above enabled.
So, the checklist will be very straightforward:

Do I have the Google Analytics native integration?
Do I have the Google Analytics code snippet in the theme.liquid?
Do I have Google Analytics Tags in Google Tag Manager active?

In Analyzify, we always recommend merchants stick to native integration, especially if they are on Basic Shopify Plan. Because it works during the checkout steps, which is not possible for tracking via GTM (that will change soon due to Shopify announcement).
If along with native integration you happen to have the GA snippet in the theme, then please remove it. If you have GA Tags in GTM, then pause it. You can always activate GTM if native integration starts failing you.

After you sorted it out, check the results in Tag Assistant or GA Realtime again. If the issue is still there, then let us know, we are always happy to help.

How to Exclude & Filter Out Internal Traffic?

Internal traffic means traffic generated within your company - employees, contractors, agencies, or anyone who's related to the company's operations. You definitely don't want to include that traffic into your web analytics as it will not allow you to interpret the data correctly. Hence all we have to do is to exclude that internal traffic from our reports.

This tutorial is for Google Analytics 4(GA4). If you don't have the GA4 Setup on Shopify yet - you really should! Check out our related page for the details.

Just follow these easy steps:
1.Log in to your Google Analytics 4 account and click Admin.

Google Analytics healthcheck
Analytics Healthcheck - Google Analytics 4 Admin

2. Click on Data Streams and choose the property you want to configure

Finding Data Streams
Analytics Healthcheck - Data Streams

3. Click on More Tagging Settings under Tagging Instructions

Choosing More Tagging Settings
Analytics Healthcheck - More Tagging Settings

4. Click on Define Internal Traffic

Selecting 'Define internal traffic'
Analytics Healthcheck - Define Internal Traffic

5. Click on the "Create" button

Clicking 'Create' to define internal traffic
Analytics Healthcheck - Create Internal Rules

6. Create a Rule Name, change the IP address match type to "IP address equals", find out your IP address by clicking "What's my IP address?" and add it to IP address Value

Traffic Rule configuration on Analytics
Analytics Healthcheck - Traffic Rule configuration

7. You can add more IP addresses by clicking "Add condition" (for more information please check Google Documentation). Then click "Create" and voilà!

Internal Traffic Exclusion
Analytics Healthcheck - Internal Traffic Exclude

Final Words

It is almost impossible to fix these issues fully because there are things you can't control. However, applying the best practices will help you to get the best out of your reporting. Data Analytics tracking is a complex concept and there might be a lot of things you are doing wrong. Make sure to follow the rest of our article series because each fix will help the other.

Thanks for reading our tutorial. We have put so much effort and we wish it was helpful! Make sure to subscribe to Analyzify Hub where we share tutorials and best practices.
You can also leave your questions below and we will do our best to get back to you! Also feel free to share your comments, appreciations, frustrations, or any other feelings :)

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