Migration Guide Part 5 - Tracking and Measurement
Your site migration deadline is approaching! But there are still some boxes left to tick. Making sure your tracking is correctly transferred to your new Shopify site is key - this will give you the tools you need to ensure the migration goes smoothly - and to identify and fix any problems that occur. Find out what you need to do.
It's important, ahead of the migration taking place, that you transfer the tracking from your old site to the new, and correctly integrate your analytics with Shopify.
The main things you'll need to address are Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Tag Manager and the tracking of your keyword rankings.
Setting Up Google Analytics
We would expect that you already have a GA account for your pre-Shopify website, which you can continue to use when you migrate.
- There’s no need to create a new GA account - simply re-use the UA ID from your existing GA account (the UA ID is the User Account, also known as an 'Urchin Account', from Google. It will look something like “UA-000000-2”).
- Use Shopify’s integrated Google Analytics.
- Make sure Enhanced Ecommerce is activated. This will give you insight into shopping activity: product page views, adding and removing products from shopping carts, initiated, abandoned, and completed transactions.
- Update any Goals that you had previously set up in GA.
- Update Site Search tracking - this will enable you to understand the extent to which users took advantage of your site’s search function, which search terms they entered, and how effectively the search results created deeper engagement with your site.
Setting Up Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service that provides you with a great deal of information about your website and the people who visit it. You can use it to find out things like how many people are visiting your site and how they are finding it, whether people are visiting your site on a mobile device or desktop computer, and which pages are the most popular. It can also help you find and fix website errors, submit a sitemap, and create and check a robots.txt file.
- It’s very important to make sure this is working, because it provides good data on how Google reacts to the migration.
- You will need to make sure this remains verified after launch.
- We advise using domain verification. Verification is the process of proving that you own the property that you claim to own. Google need to confirm ownership because once you are verified for a property, you have access to its Google Search data, and can affect its presence on Google Search. Every Search Console property requires at least one verified owner. You can verify your site ownership by following these instructions.
Setting Up GTM (Google Tag Manager)
This system lets you quickly update measurement codes and related code fragments known as 'tags' on your site. Once the code has been added you can deploy analytics and measurement tag configurations. Here's what you need to do:
- Place the tracking snippet in the theme.liquid file (Note: To place GTM on Shopify checkout pages, you need to be on Shopify Plus).
- Any event tracking in place on the old site may need to be reconfigured for your new site. This is because your HTML and URLs will change. If the existing event tracking triggers are based on the old site structure, this will need to be updated via GTM.
- If you use Shopify’s integrated GA setup, make sure you don’t also deploy Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager - this will result in double-tracking and will affect your bounce rates.
Monitoring your keyword positions is, erm, key, for want of a better word. The two main things you'll want to do are:
- Track the positions of your most important keywords.
- Collect your baseline of ranking data, prior to migrating. This will let you see the true effect of the migration on your rankings.
We use a tool called SemRush to track keywords.
Your baseline data will allow you to understand your position in terms of ranking and keywords before the migration. If you understand this, then you'll understand the impact of the migration in the days, weeks and months that follow. You'll be able to see if there are any dips and if so, to take remedial action.