Categories
Attribution Digital Marketing eCommerce Google Ads Shopify

Optimizing Shopify’s Google Ads Conversion Tracking

Here are some essential changes to make to your Google Ads conversion tracking after you connect Shopify’s Google Shopping Channel.

STEP 0
Install the Google Shopping Channel

This guide assumes that you have the Google Shopping Channel installed on your Shopify store. If this is not the case, then:

  1. Install the Google Shopping Channel
  2. Connect your Google Account (must be an account that has access to both Google Merchant Center and Google Ads)
  3. Connect your Google Ads Account in the “Smart Shopping campaign” section

STEP 1
Remove Old Conversion Tracking Code

By connecting Shopify to Google Ads via the Google Shopping Channel, Shopify will begin sending conversion data to your Google Ads account. If you were already tracking conversions in Google Ads, then you need to make sure you are not duplicating your conversion data:

  • If you previously had a Google Ads conversion tracking script installed in your checkout, then remove that code.
  • If you were importing conversions from Google Analytics, stop importing those conversions.

STEP 2
Fix Conversion Categories

Log into Google Ads and then Go to
Tools & Settings > Measurement > Conversions

You should see a bunch of new conversion actions created by Shopify. You will also see a warning that your conversion categories are out of date, and that you should update 4 of your conversions actions.

Click Update Now and update the settings to the following:

STEP 3
Conversion Windows and Attribution Models

Although Shopify created multiple conversion actions, you only need to worry about the Google Shopping App Purchase conversion event.

Click on the Google Shopping App Purchase conversion action and update the following settings:

Old ValueNew Value
CountEvery ConversionOne
View-through Conversion Window30 days1 day
Attribution ModelLast clickLinear

One Conversion per click

If you count “Every Conversion” you increases the risk of double attribution across your various channels.

For example: A user clicks on your Google ad and makes a purchase. It makes sense to count and attribute this conversion to Google Ads. If this same user later receives your newsletter, and purchases again, then you probably want to attribute that sale to the Newsletter and NOT to Google. Setting conversion count to “One” instead of “Every” ensures that only the first sale gets attributed to google, and not the second.

Counting “Every” conversion increases the risk of double attribution

Click-Through Conversions

Arguably, you should set your Click-Through Conversion window to 30 days. 90 days seems extremely long, and could increases your chances of double attribution across multiple sales channels.

However, if you are using Smart Campaigns or Smart Bidding, the bidding algorithm can only take into account conversions that have occurred within the specified conversion window. So theoretically, the longer your conversion window, the more data for Smart Bidding to optimize with. So the 90 day click-conversion window can probably stay.

View-Through Conversions

Set the View-Through Conversion window to only 1 day. A longer View-Through conversion window is dangerous, and will lead to over attributing sales to Display Remarketing, YouTube, and Smart Shopping. This will invariably cause you to overspend on those campaigns.

A View-Through conversion window greater than 1 day is dangerous, and will lead to over attributing sales to undeserving channels.

Which Attribution Model to use?

Linear, Time Decay, Position Based, or Data Driven are all better than First or Last click, as they allow you to attribute sales across a wider range of ad interactions, which allows you to spend more evenly across your entire funnel.

I personally usually choose Linear or Position Based, as I like pushing more attribution (and therefore spend) into the top part of the funnel.

Further Reading

Categories
eCommerce Google Ads Shopify Shopping

DIY Shopify xml Product Feed for Google Shopping

WARNING: This post is OUTDATED and the code is no longer maintained. Although the code should still work, please use at your own risk. I personally now use the Google Sales Channel App in combination with Merchant Center feed rules to manage my Shopping Campaigns.

The custom XML Product Feed Code is still available here: Shopify XML Product Feed Template


Here is how to build your own Shopify XML product feed to submit to Google Shopping or other platforms.

  1. Install and upload your feed using the Shopify Google Shopping App (This will setup some meta fields that are used in the script)
  2. Create a custom collection template that outputs xml
  3. Assign the products you want to publish to your new xml collection template.
  4. Submit your new xml collection url to Google Merchant Center.

Step 1: Install Shopify’s Google Shopping App

Shopify’s app is an excellent tool for managing your Google Shopping product attributes, including custom labels, product categories, etc… The custom feed we are about to build will enhance Shopify’s base feed with extra variant information and customized titles. But the base app is still needed to make use of the app’s metafields.

Step 2: Create the XML Collection Template

This step involves getting your hands dirty with code. If you are not a developer and have a low appetite for risk, consider asking a coder to do this step for you.

What we are doing here is creating a template, that when assigned to a collection, will cause that collection to be displayed as XML instead of HTML.

In your Shopify admin, go to:

  • Online Store > Themes > Edit HTML / CSS
  • Under Templates, choose Add a new Template
  • Choose collection from the drop down and name your template xml-product-feed

Paste the following code into your new template and click Save. (It is probably safer to copy and paste this code from github, as that will always be the most up to date version: Shopify xml Variant Shopping Feed)

IMPORTANT: Do not add any extra spaces before or after this code. Your very first line should be start with {% layout none %} and your very last line should be {% endpaginate %}

{% layout none %}<?xml version="1.0"?> <rss xmlns:g="http://base.google.com/ns/1.0" version="2.0"> {% paginate collection.products by 1000 %} {%- assign useSEOtitle = false -%} {%- assign useSEOdescription = false -%} {%- assign CountryCode = 'US' -%} {%- if shop.currency == 'CAD' -%}{%- assign CountryCode = 'CA' -%}{%- endif -%} {%- assign Color = "" -%} {%- assign Size = "" -%} <channel> <title>{{ shop.name }} {{ collection.title | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</title> <link>{{ shop.url }}</link> <description>{{ collection.description | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</description> {% for product in collection.products %}  {%- assign GoogleProductCategory = product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.google_product_category -%} {%- assign Gender = product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.gender -%} {%- assign AgeGroup = product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.age_group -%}          {% for variant in product.variants %}     {%- assign Color = "" -%}     {%- assign Size = "" -%}     {%- for option in product.options -%}    {%- if option == 'Color' -%}{%- capture Color -%}{{ variant.options[forloop.index0] }}{%- endcapture -%}    {%- elsif option == 'Size' -%}{%- capture Size -%}{{ variant.options[forloop.index0]  }}{%- endcapture -%}    {%- endif -%}    {%- endfor -%}          {%- capture productTitle -%}{{ product.vendor }} {{ product.title }}{%- endcapture -%}     {%- unless productTitle contains Color -%}{%- capture productTitle -%}{{ productTitle }} {{ Color }}{%- endcapture -%}{%- endunless -%}     {%- if useSEOtitle and product.metafields.global.title_tag.size > 0 -%}{%- assign productTitle = product.metafields.global.title_tag -%}{%- endif -%}     {%- assign productDescription = product.description -%}     {%- if useSEOdescription and product.metafields.global.description_tag.size > 0 -%}{%- assign productDescription = product.metafields.global.description_tag -%}{%- endif -%}     {%- assign OnSale = false -%}     {%- assign Price = variant.price -%}     {%- if variant.compare_at_price > variant.price -%}       {%- assign OnSale = true -%}       {%- assign Price = variant.compare_at_price -%}       {%- assign SalePrice = variant.price -%}     {%- endif -%} <item> <title>{{ productTitle | strip_html | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</title> <link>{{ shop.url }}{{ variant.url }}</link> <description>{{ productDescription | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</description> <g:google_product_category>{{ GoogleProductCategory | replace: '&', '&amp;'  }}</g:google_product_category> <g:item_group_id>shopify_{{ CountryCode }}_{{ product.id }}</g:item_group_id> <g:id>shopify_{{ CountryCode }}_{{ product.id }}_{{ variant.id }}</g:id> <g:condition>new</g:condition> <g:price>{{ Price | money_without_currency }} {{ shop.currency }}</g:price> {%- if OnSale -%} <g:sale_price>{{ SalePrice | money_without_currency }} {{ shop.currency }}</g:sale_price> {%- endif -%} <g:availability>{% if variant.available %}in stock{% else %}out of stock{% endif %}</g:availability> <g:image_link>http:{% if variant.image.src %}{{ variant.image.src | product_img_url: 'grande' }}{% else %}{{ product.featured_image.src | product_img_url: 'grande' }}{% endif %}</g:image_link> <g:gtin>{{ variant.barcode }}</g:gtin> <g:brand>{{ product.vendor }}</g:brand> <g:mpn>{{ variant.sku }}</g:mpn> <g:product_type>{{ product.type }}</g:product_type> <g:age_group>{{ AgeGroup }}</g:age_group> {% unless Color == "" %}<g:color>{{ Color | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</g:color>{% endunless %} {%- unless Size == "" -%} <g:size>{{ Size | strip_html | strip_newlines | replace: '&', '&amp;' }}</g:size> <g:size_system>US</g:size_system> {%- endunless -%} <g:gender>{{ Gender }}</g:gender> <g:custom_label_0>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_0 }}</g:custom_label_0> <g:custom_label_1>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_1 }}</g:custom_label_1> <g:custom_label_2>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_2 }}</g:custom_label_2> <g:custom_label_3>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_3 }}</g:custom_label_3> <g:custom_label_4>{{ product.metafields.mm-google-shopping.custom_label_4 }}</g:custom_label_4> <g:shipping_weight>{{ variant.weight | weight_with_unit }}</g:shipping_weight> </item> {% endfor %} {% endfor %} </channel> </rss> {% endpaginate %}

or Download from Github: Shopify xml Product Feed

Step 3: Assign products to your xml Collection.

You should now have a new XML Template created. This is just the template that defines how your collection will be displayed on your site. We now need to assign products to this template so we can submit the feed to google.

This involves creating a new product collection, and choosing the xml-product-feed as the template to use:

  • Go to Products > Collections
  • Click the Add Collection button
  • Enter a name for your new collection. I recommend XML Google Shopping Feed – All if you want a single feed for all your products or XML Google Shopping Feed – Shoes if you want this feed to contain your shoe products (or other product type).
  • Add products you want published as part of this collection feed. (either manually or via dynamic rules)
  • Click Save.

Preview the collection to make sure it works. You should just see a bunch of unformatted text on the screen. If you do a “view source” in your browser, you should now see the formatted XML.

Make sure you copy the url of this collection, as you will need to submit this url to Google Merchant center.

Step 4: Submit your feed to Google Merchant

Make sure you have your xml collection url open from step 3 above.

  • Log into Google Merchant Center or create an account if you do not have one.
  • Go to Feeds and click the +Feed button to create a new feed.
  • Mode: Choose Standard or Test (recommended that you choose Test until you are sure the feed is correct)
  • Feed type: Products
  • Select your target country & language. If you have multiple target countries, you need to submit a separate feed for each.
  • Enter a descriptive name for your feed. eg: Shopify XML Feed – Shoes
  • Choose Scheduled Fetches as your input method (recommend daily)
  • Enter your collection url in the File URL field, and the collection’s filename in the name field (eg: name=google-shopping-feed-shoes and url=http://mystore.myshopify.com/collections/google-shopping-feed-shoes)
  • Save and click the Fetch Now button to download the feed. Wait a few minutes for the feed to complete.
  • Fix errors: If there are errors, Google Merchant Center will tell you in a few minutes. Go back and fix any errors, re-fetch, and keep doing so until the file is error free.

If you have more than 1000 variants, you will need to submit multiple feeds with the ?page=x querystring appended as so:

Troubleshooting

If you receive any errors, the best way to troubleshoot them is to open the the collection / feed url in your browser and do a view source. Then navigate to the line & character of the error to investigate further

Common Errors

  • Improperly formatted XML Error on Line 1: This is usually because your template has a blank line as it’s first line. Delete the blank line and make sure your template begins with {% layout none %} … exactly as in the code.
  • Improperly formatted XML Error on Line 1: The other cause of this error is that you forgot to choose the XML template for your Shopping Feed Url, and you are actually outputting HTML. Go to your collection in the Shopify Admin console and set the template correctly (at the bottom of the right hand column) 
  • Errors at Lines XXX: The xml file does not support & and > characters. These must be replaced by encoded versions &amp ; &gt ; or the feed will report errors.

(optional) Step 5: Exclude your feed collection from showing up on your store pages

If your store is setup to programatically display all your collections, then you will want to make sure your xml feed doesn’t show up. The exact way to do this will change depending on your theme, but generally you will want to have an “unless” statement within the loop that displays your collections:

{% unless collection.title contains "xml" %}
... your collection code ...
{% endunless %}

Customizing

If you have complex rules or customization that you want to apply to your feed, you have several options:

  • Use the Google Merchant Center “Feed Rules” tab to transform various values based on various conditions. This is very powerful!
  • Modify your collection template and add conditional statements based on product titles, tags, metafields, etc…
  • Create multiple collection templates with hard coded values
  • Create custom Feed Rules in Google Merchant Center
  • A combination of the above.

If you have more than 1000 variants, you will need to submit multiple feeds with the ?page=x querystring appended as so:


Related Posts & Resources