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Shopify Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Guidebook
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Chapter 2: Setting up and Optimizing GA4

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8 Important GA4 Settings for Shopify Merchants

Here is a set of GA4 settings that can help you collect data more accurately and benefit from its advanced features more effectively.

1. Set Referral Exclusions (Shop.app, PayPal, Stripe)

You can use referral exclusions to filter out unwanted traffic from your website.
For example, if you have a payment gateway like PayPal or Stripe on your website, you wouldn’t want to see PayPal as a referral source in your GA4 reports because it is not a source of new visitors or conversions.

Shopify Google Analytics Referral Exclusion List

We recommend excluding the following URLs as they are the most popular payment providers in Shopify environment. Feel free to add your own payment providers if you have different ones.
“shop.app”, “paypal.com”, “klarna”, “clearpay”, “stripe.com”, “shopify.com”, “pay.google.com”, “afterpay”, “apay-us.amazon.com”, “payments-eu.amazon.com”, “checkout.sezzle.com”, “checkout.shopifycs.com”, “quickpay.net”, “payments.amazon.de”, “mobilepay.dk”, “payments.amazon.co.uk”, “sfy-payments.molops.net”.


By setting referral exclusions, you can keep your analytics data accurate & relevant. Follow these steps to set them up on Google Analytics 4:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin and find "Data Streams"

Referral-exclusions-GA4.jpg


Click “Admin” at the bottom-left corner, then click on “Data Streams” on the second column.

Step 2

Choose data stream


Click on the data stream you wish to choose.

Referral-exclusions-GA4-2.jpg
Step 3

Find "List unwanted referrals"

Referral-exclusions-GA4-3.jpg


Choose “Configure Tagging Settings” under the “Google tag” section. Then, click on “List unwanted referrals”.

Step 4

Set referrals

Select 'Referral domain contains' as the match type, type in the URLs you want to exclude, and click 'Add condition'.
Repeat this for all the referral domains you want to exclude. After you are done, click “Save”.

Referral-exclusions-GA4-4.jpg

2. Enable Google Signals


Google Signals is a new type of cross-device report for Google Analytics.
Once you enable Google Signals, you can gather data across different devices from users who are logged in to their Google accounts and have enabled Ads Personalization.
This allows you to have more accurate reporting on cross-devices and more data about your visitors.
Here is a quick look at how you can activate Google Signals on GA4:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin

Google-Signals-GA4.jpg



Navigate to Google Analytics 4 Admin.


Step 2

Find "Data Collection"


Go to Data Settings (under the “Property” column) > Data Collection.
Google-Signals-GA4-2.jpg
Step 3

Enable "Google signals data collection"

Google-Signals-GA4-3.jpg


Switch the toggle on next to “Google signals data collection”.


3. Integrate with Google Search Console & Ads

Linking GA4 with Google Ads & Search Console can help you analyze and optimize your online marketing performance.
Once you link integrate GA4 with Google Search Console and Google Ads, you can learn more about how users behave on your website after they click on an ad, and how your website ranks in search results.
Follow these steps to link Google Search Console and Google Ads to GA4:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin

Google-Signals-GA4.jpg



Navigate to Google Analytics 4 Admin.

Step 2

Find "Product Links"


Click on “Search Console links” under “Product Links”, placed in the “Property” column. Then, do the same for “Google Ads links”.
Google-Search-Console-Google-Ads-Integration-2.jpg
Here is a more detailed guide to .

4. UTM Settings (External)

Make sure to have UTM parameters on your external ads.
UTM parameters, codes added at the end of a URL to define where a specific traffic comes from, help you see where a specific traffic comes from.
With the right UTM settings, you can easily track the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns across traffic sources.
For example, Facebook allows you to add dynamic fields to the UTMs. That means you don’t have to type the campaign and/or ad set names for each. So the ideal format here includes the dynamic parameters:
utm_source={{placement}}&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign={{campaign.name}}&utm_id {{campaign.id}}&utm_term={{ad.id}}&utm_content={{adset.name}}Copy
You can discover more about the topic with

5. Disable GA4’s Built-in Form Interaction

Google Analytics 4 has a nice built-in function to track form interactions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well on Shopify stores. It tracks other interactions such as add-to-cart as form interactions. This doesn’t directly harm your data but is an unnecessary load for your tracking setup. It increases your total event count – which might cause inaccuracy & malfunction.
This is activated by default so we recommend turning it off. You can follow the steps below to turn off form interactions:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin

Google-Analytics-create-new-property.jpg


Navigate to and click “ADMIN” from the bottom left corner.

Step 2

Choose data stream


Find “Data Streams” and then click on the data stream you wish to choose.

Referral-exclusions-GA4-2.jpg
Step 3

Disable "Form interactions"

GA4-form-interactions-3.jpg


Click the settings icon in the “Enhanced measurement” section, and then switch the toggle off next to “Form interactions”.


6. Re-adjust Session Timeout

A session ends after 30 minutes of no activity.
Yet, users can come back to your website several times in a few hours on the same day. So, all these user actions should belong to the same session, which means GA4 should record only one session.
To ensure that, you can set the session timeout to 7 hours and 55 minutes by following these steps:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin

Google-Analytics-create-new-property.jpg


Navigate to and click “ADMIN” from the bottom left corner.

Step 2

Choose data stream


Find “Data Streams” and then click on the data stream you wish to choose.

Referral-exclusions-GA4-2.jpg
Step 3

Configure tag settings

GA4-session-timeout-3.jpg


Click “Configure tag settings”, and then “Show all”.


Step 4

Set session timeout


Select “Adjust session timeout”, and set it to 7 hours and 55 minutes. Then, save your changes.

GA4-session-timeout-4.jpg

7. Re-adjust Timer for Engaged Sessions

An engaged session is a type of session that shows a high level of user interaction with your website.
Therefore, a more reasonable criterion for measuring engaged sessions is to require a minimum duration of one minute on your website instead of only 10 seconds.
To change this setting:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin

Google-Analytics-create-new-property.jpg


Navigate to and click “ADMIN” from the bottom left corner.

Step 2

Choose data stream


Find “Data Streams” and then click on the data stream you wish to choose.

Referral-exclusions-GA4-2.jpg
Step 3

Configure tag settings

GA4-session-timeout-3.jpg


Click “Configure tag settings”, and then “Show all”.

Step 4

Set timer for engaged sessions


Select “Adjust session time out”, and set timer for engaged sessions to 60 seconds. Then, save your change.

GA4-timer-for-engaged-sessions-4.jpg

8. Filter Out Internal Traffic

Not all the traffic to your website or app is from your external customers or users.
Some might be from your internal staff, such as developers, testers, marketers, or managers. This is called internal traffic. Internal traffic can affect your data quality and accuracy because it might not reflect how your real customers or users behave.
To exclude internal traffic:

Step 1

Go to GA4 Admin

Google-Analytics-create-new-property.jpg


Navigate to and click “ADMIN” from the bottom left corner.

Step 2

Choose data stream


Find “Data Streams” and then click on the data stream you wish to choose.

Referral-exclusions-GA4-2.jpg
Step 3

Configure tag settings

GA4-session-timeout-3.jpg


Click “Configure tag settings”, and then “Show all”.

Step 4

Define internal traffic


Select “Define internal traffic” and then “Create.”

Filter-out-internal-traffic-GA4-4.jpg
Step 5

Change the IP address match type

Filter-out-internal-traffic-GA4-5.jpg


Create a “Rule name”, change the IP address match type to “IP address equals”.

Step 6

Add IP Address


Find out your IP address by clicking “What’s my IP address?”, and add it to the ”Value”. You can add more IP addresses by clicking “Add condition”.

Filter-out-internal-traffic-GA4-6.jpg


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