Truth be told, if you don’t have a proper Google Ads - Shopify integration and follow the best practices, it means something quite costly for you: losing a lot of money.
You may complain about your Google Ads integration and the problems & errors & inaccuracies related to that. Also, your product feed, conversion tracking, and remarketing setup might disappoint you at some point.
The thing is, without a solid & steady setup, you cannot expect great results from Google Ads because it’s impossible for you to optimize your ad campaigns or spending.
We have prepared this ultimate guide to let you have an accurate Google Ads Integration with your Shopify store.
The topic is quite complex and includes many elements so unfortunately there is no quick guide or hack about this.
Take your time and read this guide till the end. There is no fluff here and it is solely created for Shopify merchants that wants the best out of Google Ads.
This guide will help you have the most accurate setup possible - and you will be able to detect any integration problems you have. You can also apply the best and up-to-date practices to your account.
- How to set up Google Ads Conversions on Shopify (including Enhanced Conversions)
- Best practices & toolset on Google Ads & Shopify connection
- Remarketing setup through Global Site Tag and Google Tag Manager 🔖
- Ideal Product feed setup
- Common problems and solutions
- Shopify Apps for Google Ads integration
Last but not least: We have included a wiki at the end of the page. You will find detailed explanations, definitions of the terms we are talking about throughout the guide
When you see this icon (🔖) next to a word, you can simply click on that and it will lead you to a detailed definition. You can return to the related section, later on, to keep reading.
Google Ads Conversion Tracking on Shopify
It's no surprise that conversion tracking is highly important - but most merchants get it wrong. Let's get this done right first. We'll go over all the valid ways to set up Google Ads Conversions on Shopify, as well as our recommended best practices.
We are going to touch base on important new concepts like Google Ads Enhanced Conversions and Primary & Secondary Conversions. We have created tutorials for each of them.
We'll also check your current conversion tracking setup to make sure it's working properly and try to find any issues if there are any - which there almost always are.
Primary & Secondary Conversions
Let’s start with this because it is a new concept and we keep seeing wrong practices on this.
Conversion tracking has been given a new twist by Google, which has introduced the concept of Primary & Secondary Conversion Actions. Basically, it helps you to distinguish between conversions that should be used in Ads Optimizations and those that are only there for reporting purposes.
Previously, we used to use the "Include in Conversions" feature on Google Ads', which allowed us to select whether a specific conversion should be included in the report as the Conversion.
As an example, you might want to include the “Purchase” conversion in your main reports but exclude “Add To Cart” because you don’t want that micro-conversion to interpret your Google Ads performance reports.
Another use-case could be for backup conversions. You could have several conversions for the same purchase event and you would only choose one of them as “Include in Conversions” so that you avoid double-tracking.
Here are the best practices:
- You should have only one conversion as a primary from the same group such as Purchase.
- You should use other conversions as a secondary so that they don’t take part in the optimizations.
How to Set up Google Ads Conversions on Shopify
There are several valid methods - free and paid. In this section, we will be talking about the regular Google Ads conversion tracking - not the enhanced one.
As Enhanced Conversions is a new feature, we do not recommend using it as the main method. We will further discuss that in the next section.
1Manual Setup - Code Injection (free option)
This is the oldest and most common method. Shopify has a detailed guide on this topic, as well. It requires playing with codes and injecting them into your checkout scripts.
Don't worry, if you want to opt for this method you can benefit from the step-by-step guide we've prepared for you. You can also visit our interactive setup guide for more detailed instructions:
Detailed Tutorial: Setup Google Ads Conversion on Shopify
2Analyzify App - Through Google Tag Manager (paid option)
This is undoubtedly the best possible way to use modern data layers and Google Tag Manager. If you go for this, there will be various checkpoints along the road to ensure that the data is completely accurate. Within minutes of launching, the Analyzify app takes care of this for you.
As a globally trusted analytics partner of Shopify merchants, we've completed over 700 data analytics setups in the last ten months. Here's our recommendation for you on how you should set up Shopify for Google Ads to get the most out of it: Analyzify’s Google Tag Manager Setup (for conversion tracking)
Google Tag Manager executes conversion tracking considerably better than the other methods. You can use Analyzify’s Conversion Tracking (through GTM) as your primary conversion source as it will deliver impressive results for you.
With Analyzify, you can set up conversion tracking (+enhanced) and dynamic remarketing pixels through Google Tag Manager. Our expert support team is more than happy to help you with your setup and validation.
Learn how Analyzify can help with your Google Ads conversion tracking
3Manual Setup - Through Google Tag Manager (free option)
You can use this option with ease if you are familiar with Google Tag Manager. We have prepared a very detailed & free course on YouTube for Shopify - Google Tag Manager.
Ideally, you should watch our full course to make sure everything works properly. However, you can find out how to set up Google Ads Conversion Tracking through GTM through the lessons below.Lesson 2
4 Other Apps
While our top recommendation is Analyzify, you can also find some other reliable Google Ads Integration apps in the market. Make sure you take a look at them before you make your decision.
We have included all top-selected Shopify App for Google Ads on our related page. Check it out: Recommended Shopify Google Ads apps
Setup Enhanced Conversions on Shopify
Google Ads Enhanced Conversions is quite a new feature and it is still not available for all accounts, yet.
We've seen a lot of mistakes from our clients who rely on Enhanced Conversions to track their conversions. Therefore, we do not recommend using it as a primary/main conversion.
As of February 2022, it is still a better idea for you to prefer classic conversion tracking as the main conversion event and the enhanced one as a secondary conversion.
We actually perform the same thing for Analyzify clients.
- Creating two conversions (one regular, one enhanced)
- Using the primary conversion tracking through Analyzify’s GTM integration
- Using a secondary conversion tracking with enhanced method - manual integration as we will explain below
Conversion Validation & Troubleshooting
Data specialists love double-checking. We are never sure unless we double-check and verify everything.
Now we are going to share the exact procedure that we use for Analyzify clients once they report an issue with conversion tracking. Here are the step-by-step tutorials to validate and troubleshoot the Google Ads conversion tracking.
Here are simple steps:
Login to Google Ads and Find Conversions (Top Menu > Tools & Settings & Measurement & Conversions)
Click the conversion you want to check. It’ll be the purchase event in our example.
Mouse over the “Recording Conversions” part and check the “Last Seen” time. This should show the last time this conversion is triggered no matter if the sale was from Google Ads or not.
Click the Conversion and then the WebPages tab. There you will see all the URLs that triggered the conversions. Here you can see each purchase event one by one and compare it with Shopify data.
If things don’t look fine & correct here, you might want to re-check your conversion setup. Ideally, you should follow our Google Ads Conversion setup guide that you can see above, or use Analyzify for problem-free conversion tracking.
Ideal Attribution Model for Shopify Merchants
Google provides you with a total of five attribution models. Although each and every one of them can respectively play a significant role in many aspects, deciding on a model that will produce the finest results can be difficult at times.For more information, check out our detailed guide on Attribution Models.
Dynamic Remarketing Setup on Shopify
If you want to run profitable and accurate remarketing ads, you need to have a proper integration between Google Ads - Shopify.
The power of remarketing ads lies in your ability to target visitors based on their actions and behaviors on your website. For example, if they visit "Product A" but don’t make a purchase, you’d want to keep showing them similar adverts to "Product A" rather than "Product B".
That’s where the dynamic remarketing setup comes into play. It sends the visitor-level and product-level data to Google Ads based on your users’ actions.
As usual, there are several methods to complete the setup:
Method 1: Global Site Tag - Official Google App
Even though there are many methods to inject Global Site Tag tags/codes on your website, the official Google app is by far the most reliable and stable one.
You should just install the official Google sales channel app on Shopify follow along with the setup. Here are a few important tricks:
- If you have errors on your Google Ads account, it might take some time for errors to disappear.
- Google Sales Channel, unfortunately, doesn’t work well for all users and we have been reported that they didn’t get enough help from the official support center. In that case, move to method 2 and use Analyzify’s Dynamic Remarketing setup.
Method 2: Google Tag Manager - Analyzify Integration
Analyzify uses advanced data layers and a comprehensive Google Tag Manager container to make the dynamic remarketing work.
While our setup & onboarding wizard is user-friendly and easy-to-follow; our support team is always there for you to help you with your setup and accuracy.
We also provide you with a detailed troubleshooting guide in case you have some problems with your setup.
Learn more about it here:
Method 3: Other Google Ads Apps
Analyzify would be the perfect solution for you but don’t forget to check out some other apps in the market before making a decision.
We have included all top-selected Shopify App for Google Ads on our related page. Check it out: Hand-picked Shopify Google Ads apps
Google Ads Product Feed on Shopify
If you want to run your shopping campaigns through Google Ads, a solid & effective product feed is essential for you.
Although it might look like a relatively easy setup for you, some important tips & tricks, and common issues still matter to you.
We've put together an ultimate guide to lead you through the Product Feed for Google Ads and provide best practices.Check out our complete guide on Google Ads Product Feed
Common Errors & FAQ
Definitely yes! Analyzify's advanced data layers and Google Tag Manager setup increases the accuracy on your Google Ads tracking. We do send more data to Google Ads to increase the performance in general.
We strongly recommend using the official Facebook App for your product feed, Facebook Pixel, and Facebook Conversion API setup. The native integration works quite well when the setup is done properly.
For Shopify Plus stores, we additionally recommend Analyzify’s Facebook Conversion API connection, as we are able to send more data compared to the native integration.
For regular Shopify stores, the native connection is the best solution at the moment.
Don't worry, we have prepared an in-depth, step-by-step tutorial to help you validate your Google Ads conversion tracking so that you can easily detect where the problem is.
Feel free to use our guide on Google Ads Conversion Tracking Validation - even if you are not an Analyzify client!
Global Site Tag (aka. GTag) is responsible for sending data from your website to Google Ads for remarketing and performance enhancement purposes. This error happens when you don't have a proper remarketing setup on your website. Follow our Google Ads - Shopify playbook to make sure your settings are correct. You can also contact Analyzify's support team if you are an existing client.
Definitions & Terms
- Google Tag Manager (GTM):
- Google Tag Manager allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags on your website with ease. You can learn more about it on our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5i_I7aoBGs
- Shopping Ads:
- Shopify Ads is a campaign option on Google Ads that is focused to products - specifically for e-commerce websites. Learn more here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/2454022?hl=en
- Merchant Center:
- Google Merchant Center is how you connect your store with Google Ads using product feed. Learn more here: https://www.google.com/retail/solutions/merchant-center/
- Global Site Tag:
- It is a single tag to connect your website with many Google Products (Google Ads, Analytics, Optimize). Learn more here: https://developers.google.com/tag-platform/gtagjs
- Event Snippet:
- It works together with Global Site Tag and carries out the data of specific events from your website to Google Ads. Learn more here: https://support.google.com/searchads/answer/7566546?hl=en
- Enhanced Conversions:
- Google Ads’ new conversion tracking system involves more of the user’s data to enhance the attributions.
- Primary Conversion:
- The type of conversions that are taken into account while optimizing the ads.
- Secondary Conversion:
- The type of conversions that are only shown on specific reports and not taken into account in the main reports and ads optimizations.
- Account ID:
- Google Ads account ID that’s written on the right-top corner of the page.
- Conversion ID:
- Google Ads Conversion ID. It is account-wide data and the same for all conversions.
- Conversion Label:
- The differentiator for the conversions. It is conversion-level data and is being changed on each conversion.
- Attribution Model:
- Attribution models let you choose how much credit each ad interaction gets for your conversions. Learn more here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6259715?hl=en