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How to Set Up WooCommerce and PayPal for Google Analytics Goals

Setting up Google Analytics Goals isn’t hard, but when using WooCommerce with PayPal, a bit of tweaking is required in order to get accurate data.

Maybe some of you have noticed that you’re getting some strange and inaccurate information in your Goals. That’s because the transactions (conversions) are credited to PayPal, rather than the original traffic source (your site). We’ll get to that issue soon enough, but first let’s get through a couple of things.

Why should you use Google Analytics Goals?

Because Goals are a great way to measure how well your site fulfills your desired objectives. You can see how many people landed on a specific page and what did they do after that. Did they leave? Did they browse other pages? And more important – did they convert?

For example, if 100 people entered your product’s page, but only 5 of them bought the product, it could mean there’s something wrong with that page. It could be a technical issue, which prevents people to successfully purchase your product, or the page isn’t properly optimized for conversions. Either way, measures have to be taken and testing has to be done.

How to set up Google Analytics

Step 1: Sign up, of course.

Go to Google Analytics and click on Access Google Analytics (top-right).

Note: You don’t need to create an account for every website you got. You can add multiple websites (properties) into the same account.

Step 2: Set up your account properties.

This is basically some simple information about your website. Its name, URL, industry (niche), time zone, etc. Nothing complicated.

Step 3: Insert the tracking code on your website.

Go into your Analytics account, click Admin in the top menu bar, make sure your Account and Property are selected correctly, then click on Tracking Info. A list will drop down; click on Tracking Code.

You’ll end up on the tracking code page, which looks something like this:

You need to copy that code as is and add it on every page that you wish to track. Usually, this code is placed inside your theme’s header.php, right before the </head> tag. By doing so, the code will be applied to all pages, which I recommend. Some might say that adding the code right before the </head> tag is not that good because that’s not the best place to add Java, and I won’t argue. I add it there because Google recommends it.

It can take some time (even a couple of days) until you’ll get Status: Receiving Data in the Tracking Code section, so don’t panic.

Now that you have an Analytics account, let’s get to the point.

Setting up WooCoomerce for Google Analytics

First of all, make sure you have PayPal set as your Payment Gateway. Got to WooCommerce -> Settings -> Checkout, and scroll down to Payment Gateways:

Now scroll back up and click the PayPal sub-menu button:

Insert your PayPal email and make sure that Enable PayPal standard is ticked. After that, scroll down under Advanced options and add the Receiver Email (it should usually be the same as your PayPal email).

Now, you need the WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration plugin. In the past this was part of WooCommerce, but since the 2.1 version, it needs to be installed separately. Install the plugin, then go to WooCommerce’s settings and click on the Integration tab. Make your settings look like this:

Enter your Google Analytics ID, which you can find on the Tracking Code page, and then tick the last three options. I haven’t added anything in the Set Domain Name because that’s for tracking across multiple domains and sub-domains. You can read more about that by following the provided link.

Setting up PayPal

Basically, what we need to do is to redirect the users to WooCommerce’s “thank you” page after they’ve made a purchase.

Log into your PayPal account, go to Profile -> My Selling Tools -> Website Preferences (press update):

Under Website Payment Preferences, turn on Auto Return. Then you need to add http://yourdomain.com/checkout/order-received/?utm_nooverride=1 in the Return URL box. The whole thing should look like this:

Note: Instead of yourdomain.com, you should add your real domain name, of course. I just added that for the sake of the example.

Now, we’ve turned Auto Return on so we can make sure that the user is redirected back to the WooCommerce “thank you” page after the payment. This is really important because that page is the Goal page. Once that page is hit, Google Analytics will count it as a successful conversion.

We also added this ?utm_nooverride=1 at the end of the URL to ensure that the transactions are credited to the original traffic source (your site), rather than PayPal.

That’s it for WooCommerce and Paypal. Let’s move on to the Goals.

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics

Log into your Analytics account, go to Admin at the top menu bar, make sure your Account and Property are correctly selected, then at the last column (View) click on Goals:

Then click on New Goal.

1. Goal Setup: Check Custom and press Next Step.

2. Goal Description: Enter your Goal’s name and select Destination. Press Next Step.

3. Goal Details:

There could still be a problem, though. If the user closes the tab before the redirection to the destination page (thank you page) is complete, the transaction won’t be considered as finalized by Google Analytics. But usually most customers wait until they are redirected to the “thank you” page.

I also suggest enabling your Ecommerce Settings in your Google Analytics. Go to Admin in the top menu bar, and in the 3rd column (View) click on Ecommerce Settings:

Once there, turn on Enable E-commerce, click Next Step, and then turn on Enhanced Ecommerce Settings as well. Press Submit.

And we’re done! Not as hard as you expected, huh?

Hope this post will finally help you get some accurate conversion data in Google Analytics Goals!