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Shopify Google Ads Conversion Tracking (2023 Setup Guide)

Shopify Google Ads Conversion Tracking Thumbnail

When it comes to Google Ads, conversion tracking plays a crucial role in deciding the effectiveness of any ad campaign. Yet, many marketers find themselves grappling with the challenge of setting up a seamless conversion tracking system, particularly when it comes to integrating it with Shopify. So, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over what Google Ads conversion tracking is, why we should add Google conversion tracking to Shopify, and provide you with a step-by-step guide to make it happen. We won’t keep you waiting any longer, let’s get started! 

What is Google Ads conversion tracking & why should we integrate it with Shopify?

So, before we dive further into anything else, let’s get these questions out of the way: What exactly is Google Ads conversion tracking? and why should we integrate it with our Shopify stores?

Basically, Google Ads conversion tracking is a tool that shows you the actions customers take after interacting with your ads. Here’s how it works:

You define a conversion event in Google Ads, such as making a purchase or clicking on an ad. Google provides a tracking code that records when users complete this action on your website. Then, this data is sent back to Google and becomes accessible in your Google Ads account, helping you identify the most effective ads.

Since Shopify is one of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms, there is a pressing need to intergrate Google Ads conversion tracking into Shopify stores. This will allow businesses to track their users interactions with their Shopify stores, particularly those resulting from Google Ads campaigns.

How to set up Google Ads conversion tracking on Shopify

As to how to set up Google Ads conversion tracking on Shopify, there are two main ways to go about this: Use the Google & YouTube app or Input the code (Google Tag) on your Shopify site manually. In the next section of this blog post, we’ll go over the details of both methods. 

Method 1: Use the Google & Youtube app

The Google & Youtube app is an application available on the Shopify app store. It’s mainly for Shopify merchants to sync their products to Google Merchant Center. In addition, it can also be used to list products on Search, Youtube and more.  What’s interesting is that if you are using Shopify’s Google & Youtube app, the channel will automatically add conversion tracking to your Google Ads account

So, besides having to have a Shopify store (duh!), businesses will also need to have a Google Merchant Center account. We recommend creating one if you haven’t already, as it is completely free of charge and only takes a few seconds to make.

Moving on to the next order of business, check if you can satisfy all the Shopify requirements to use the Google & Youtube channel. Make sure that your store checks all the boxes before setting up your account. You’ll also be required to have a Google Merchant Account. The process is really simple and will only take a few seconds to set up. 

Once you have gotten those formalities out of the way, it’s time to start setting up conversion tracking in Shopify. Here’s a detailed guide on how you can do this: 

Step 1: Go to Shopify Appstore and install the Google & YouTube app

Install the Google & Youtube app on Shopify appstore

Step 2: You’ll be redirected to your Shopify admin. Here, click on Add sales channel

Add sales channel, connect Shopify store to the Google & Youtube app

Step 3: On the next screen, click on Connect Google Account and choose one from your account list. 

Connect Google Account

Step 4: In case you have not finished all the requirements stated in the beginning, you’ll see a checkbox listing them before you can set up the sync. 

requirements checkbox listing

Step 5: Connect your Shopify store to your Google Merchant Account by clicking the Connect button. 

Connect Google Merchant Center account

Step 6: Add your product feed settings by selecting your target country, language and shipping settings

Add product feed settings

Step 7: Accept the terms & conditions to complete setup. 

And that’s all. Please note that you might have to wait a few hours before you see any actions. Other than that, you’re done! 

Method 2: Set up Google Ads conversion tracking manually by using Google Tag

This option is undoubtedly more complicated, as you’ll have to set up the conversion tracking yourself. The many steps include creating a conversion action, installing the Google tag then adding the event snippet to the web pages you want to track. The process can be quite painstaking, so we suggest you get some help from an expert or developer while setting it up. Now, let’s get right to it!

Step 1: Create a conversion action in Google Ads

  • Access your Google Ads account. There, head to the Measurement tab go to Conversions.
Head to Measurement & Conversions
  • Once there, click on the + New conversion action at the top of the page.  
Click + New Conversion Action
  • Here, you can choose the kind of conversion you want to track. Click on Website
Choose website as conversion type
  • Then, input your website URL into the box for scanning purposes. 
enter website URL to measure conversion
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Create conversion actions manually using code box. Click on the + Add a conversion action manually to start setting it up. 
create conversions actions manually using code
  • A Conversion action details will pop up. Choose the options for the event details. Here, for Goal and action optimisation, we’ll go with Purchase. Fill in other details as per your preference. However, make sure to choose the Use different values for each conversion option for Value to include all the products you’re selling. Hit Done to save your conversion action. 
Add conversion action details
  • Once you finished all the steps above, an event snippet for the conversion action you just set up should be available. o make sure the conversion tracking will work, double-check if you had added Google Tag to your website beforehand. 

Step 2: Add Google Tag to your Shopify store

  • Go to Google Tag Manager & go to Installation instructions. Switch to the Install Manually tab and copy the code to your clipboard. 
go to Google Tag Manager, switch to Install Manually and copy code
  • Go to your Shopify store. Navigate to the left-hand side menu and click on Online Store
  • There, click the button and hit Edit Code
Edit code Shopify store
  • Here, navigate to the left-hand side menu and open theme.liquid file under Layout. Add your Google Tag code after the <head> element. The code should look something like this, starting with <!– Google tag (gtag.js) –> and ending with </script>. Once you’ve got it, remember to click Save
Edit the theme.liquid file in Shopify

Step 3: Add the event snippet to Shopify

  • Go back to Google Ads Manager. Move on to the Get instructions and finish page. Click on See event snippet. 
See event snippet in Google Ads
  • Select the Page load option and copy your event snippet. 
Edit event snippet
  • Open a new tab, go to your Shopify admin page. Navigate to the end of the page and go to Settings. Once there, go to Checkout. Next, scroll down to Order status page, paste the event snippet into the Additional scripts box. 
add event snippet in Additional scripts in Shopify admin
  • Still in Additional scripts, paste the previous Google Tag code above the event snippet. 
paste the Google Tag code above the event snippet
  • Google Ads might record a conversion twice if a customer reloads the Checkout page. To avoid this, add the tag code before and after the event snippet in Additional scripts (so it only triggers once per customer)
  • Paste this line {% if first_time_accessed %} right above the event snippet code.
  • Paste this line {% endif %} right below the event snippet code. 
  • In the event snippet, the default currency is USD. If you sell in other other currencies, replace ‘USD’ with ‘{{ currency }}’.
  • To record different orders, find  ‘transaction_id‘. Right next to it, replace the black with ‘{{ order_number  }}’
  • In case your store sell items at different price points, navigate to ‘value’ and replace it with one of these snippets: ‘value’: {{ checkout.subtotal_price | divided_by: 100.0 }} (exclude tax & shipping) OR ‘value’: {{ checkout.total_price | divided_by: 100.0 }} (include tax & shipping)
  • Remember to hit Save to save your edit. 

By the end of this, your code should resembles this piece of code here. The ‘send_to’ value should be your Google code (NS-1234567 is just an example). 

Shopify google ads conversion tracking code example

So, above is an example of how to set up your purchase conversion. If you’re interested in tracking different conversion types, such as ‘Add to Cart,’ you’ll need to revisit the conversion action setup and go through the same process again. Keep in mind that the syncing process can take a few hours, so you might need to wait a while for the actions to show up.

After a few hours, you can also test the conversion actions to see if they’re working properly. The easiest way is to actually purchase one of your products by yourself and see if Google Ads records the conversion action. 

Some common errors with Google Ads Conversion Tracking 

Kudos on getting your Google Ads conversion tracking up and running! You should start to see some data coming in. But, if you haven’t seen anything yet, don’t fret just now. We’ve got you covered. Take a look below, where we’ve outlined some of the typical errors that could lead to your Shopify Google Ads conversion tracking not working. 

No conversion data

If there’s no conversion data recorded, then it’s likely that something has gone wrong in the conversion tracking set up. In this case, simply use Google’s Tag Assistant tool to double check your implementation. 

Connect tag assistant to your site

All you have to do is type in your domain and hit Connect. Then, take the action you want to test (eg: make a purchase). Then, you’ll know if the conversions are still functioning or not. 

Incorrect or lost conversion value 

If you set up Google Ads conversion tracking in Shopify manually, then chances are it might be prone to errors. So, in case you notice and lost or incorrect value, revisit your tracking code and double-check the values like currency or transaction_id. For the currency value, you can change it manually to whichever currency you prefer (eg: ‘EUR’ or ‘JPY’) or use the currency set in your Shopify account by using ‘{{ currency }}’. Meanwhile for transaction_id, remember to set the value to ‘{{ order_id  }}’ to record the purchases made on your site. 

Explore a Google Ads conversion tracking alternative 

Google Ads conversion tracking is undeniably valuable for monitoring user behavior and assessing your Shopify store’s performance. However, the setup can be quite burdensome and time-consuming, especially if you’re not well-versed in coding or Google Tag Manager.

However, there’s a more efficient and user-friendly alternative – harnessing marketing attribution software like NestAds. With NestAds, you can wave goodbye to the complexities of a lengthy setup process, as it seamlessly integrates with Shopify. What’s more, NestAds operates on a multi-touch data-driven attribution model, offering a flexible look-back window of up to 90 days. This extended window empowers businesses to delve deeper into past performance trends, facilitating more informed decision-making. The excitement doesn’t stop there. NestAds is also able to centralize data from various platforms into a unified dashboard, simplifying the monitoring of cross-channel performance for businesses.

Given all these benefits, it seems like a no-brainer to position NestAds as one of the most compelling alternatives to Google Ads conversion tracking. So, why wait any longer? Level up your Shopify conversion tracking with NestAds today!


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