Two Shopify Theme Edits to Improve Your Tracking

So, you’ve gone and gotten yourself a Shopify store. Congratulations! They’re an excellent platform that helps people build successful online stores. (And I’m not just saying that because I wrote for them before!)

But there’s two things it doesn’t do out of the box:

  1. Give you a unique URL to track new account creations.
  2. Give you a way to track outbound clicks.

This is amazingly easy to fix.

Track New Account Creations

Go to Themes > Edit HTML/CSS > customers/register.liquid. Edit HTML/CSS is under the … menu at the top.

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You need to add one line to your customer form.

      <input type="hidden" name="return_to" value="account/?acct=new" />

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You can change that ?acct=new to whatever you want. But by adding a parameter to the end of the URL people are directed to after signup, you can then create a Goal specifically for visitors to /account/?acct=new like this:

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Regular logins won’t go to that URL, just people filling out the account creation form.

Hat tip to Shopify customer forums user Caroline Schnapp for this solution, originally found in this thread.

Tracking Outbound Links

Tracking outbound links can be a great way to see who’s getting to your social media from your storefront, or any other outside links you might have.

Sivakumar at EcommPPC has a script snippet that solves this. (Note: This is for Universal Analytics. If you’re still using the old version for some reason…. UPGRADE.)

<script>
$(document).ready(function(){
 var localserver = "mysite.com";
 $("a").not("a[href^='http://"+localserver+"']").not("a[href^='https://"+localserver+"']").click(function(){
 $(this).attr("target", "blank");
 ga('send', 'event', 'links', 'click', $(this).attr('href'));
 });
});
</script>

I’m reposting the script here to provide a version that doesn’t have curly/fancy quotes.

Change “mysite.com” in the above script to the primary domain of your store. (Not the full URL with http, just the domain name.)

Add the script just after the opening <body> tag. Now links to other websites posted anywhere on your Shopify store will be tracked as Events in Google Analytics. This script will tag them all as Category “links” and Action “click”. The label will be the full URL the visitor clicked.  I might recommend changing “links” to “Outbound Links” or just Outbound, to make sure your event category is as clear as possible.

I used this recently to track clicks to a booking page on Calendly.

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So that’s it! Two ways to quickly and vastly improve your tracking when using Shopify!

Quality Score Update

Changes are coming to Quality Score! On September 12th, 2016, new keywords in your account will show — in the Quality Score column in reports, rather than getting a default score of 6/10 that then changes as it collect data. If you have filters or automated rules that use Quality Score and you want to include these unscored items, you’ll need to go in and manually update those.

Social Media Tools, or: Queuing Posts Is Your Friend

When running a project that involves getting other people to do things on a regular basis, it’s important to communicate clearly, and often.

There is a lot that goes into that, but let’s get started with the basic tool kit being used to run Earth Is Huge.

In order to keep up with posting duties, I’m employing a few tools:

  • Facebook Pages
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Xkit for Tumblr
  • IFTTT
  • Pinterest
  • Buffer
  • Google+

Other tools for getting the word out:

  • Having an IRC channel
  • Mailing list (best handled through a service like MailChimp)
  • Using a multi platform tool such as Hootsuite

There is a LOT that can be said about every single one of these tools and how they’re used, but let’s touch briefly on some of the more chief ones in my arsenal:

Facebook Pages, Tumblr(+xkit), Buffer, and IFTTT are all critical, because they allow for two very important things: queuing posts and reposting to other platforms.

Tumblr and Facebook Pages allow you to queue posts well into the future, which means you could carve out an hour or two and plan out a whole month of basic but important posts; in the case of EIH, things like submission reminders, links to contributor efforts, and links to past issues are all handled via queue.

IFTTT and Buffer automate copying posts between platforms (or at least sharing links to the content on the different platforms).

Facebook Pages –

First of all, I want to stress that it’s important to have a PAGE not a PROFILE. Pages have special tools and reports that regular people profiles don’t have, and perhaps more importantly, liked Pages do not get to see all personal profile information the way a friended Profile does.

Using Facebook Pages to keep up with posting on a regular basis is great for two reasons: Writing and queuing posts is dirt simple, and if you connect your Twitter account you’re automatically adding posts to Twitter too.

Facebook Queue From Main

Tumblr –

Tumblr allows you to reblog and set up a queue of posts. This can either be done through automatic posting at set time frames at a set rate, or you can go into your queue and manually schedule posts.

tumblr queue

 

tumblr scheduling

XKit –

XKit makes reblogging BETTER by allowing you to go through your own timeline of posts (or posts of people you follow whose work you want to reblog) by allowing you to do quickly add posts to your drafts or queue via the feature called One-Click Postage. Auto Tagger is also of critical help, because it means you can pass the tags from the original post to the reblog. This is especially helpful when reblogging things with content warnings or with tags that you use often.

tumblr reblog example

 

xkit settings

 

IFTTT –

IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” and it is a lifesaver for automating the cross posting of content from one social media site to another. They have 164 “channels” that you can connect to, and once you’ve connected at least two channels – such as your Facebook Page and your Tumblr – you can automate the process of posting your Tumblr content to your Facebook Page, or vice versa. IFTTT deserves its own post and that will definitely be coming, but it is totally a lifesaver.

Buffer is another tool you can use to schedule and automate posting on social media. It’s a bit more focused than IFTTT. Right now I’m honestly only using it as an intermediary in order to queue up posts to the Google+ page.

2k14 Wrap Up!

Sure we’ve still got a little over a day left in New Hampshire for 2014, but I’m about ready to stick a fork in this year.

This year I:

  • Began freelancing full time
  • Wrote some articles for ConversionXL that I was really proud of
  • Published 6 issues of an online zine
  • Helped a friend jumpstart selling prints of their art
  • Began planning a new venture to launch next year

Freelancing has been a sort of mixed bag. After 10 years with the same organization, I really enjoyed the free format of doing pickup work. I was able to take more time for myself, stretch out, and try new things. But it turns out I’m not really all that aces at time management, and I found it hard enough to juggle multiple disparate expectations that I wound up leaving a few people hanging. Not cool.

I was really happy to provide some cool 101 level guides on things I know well, like Google Analytics, and PPC for ConversionXL. (Check out the list here.) I got some great feedback, met some new people, and had a few interesting opportunities. It was the first time I got to flex my know-how on these subjects publicly and it felt great. Super grateful to then-editor Tommy Walker for taking a chance on my writing, and for ConversionXL head, Peep Laja, for publishing me!

On almost a whim, around April I thought “hey it’d be nice to set up a digital zine and publish it on Issuu”… so I put the word out to  my personal network and Earth Is Huge And We Are All On It got started. It’s 6 issues in and issue 7 is slated for early next year. It’s been highly rewarding and I hope to keep developing it as a platform for all types of art and writing. (And with luck find a way to finance paying contributors so it’s not just a for-fun project, but one that rewards creators too.) Read the existing issues here.

Using a Society6 account I’d originally set up to try to sell prints of my own collage work, I set up a print sales home for my friend, and amazing artist, Jillelaine Condon. She got her first sale on an iPhone case and I hope to help her develop a plan to get more art up and get more eyes on her beautiful work.

Last and definitely not least, I have started preliminary work on a community coworking space for Dover, NH! My dream is to create a space not just for people to work, but also a place for people to create art, and to learn new skills that will help them live and work better, together. The last few weeks have been all about logistics planning, research on successful coworking spaces, and a lot of fevered pinning of possible setups, supplies, and projects. Beginning early next year I’ll start the most critical phase: taking the idea to the community. I think that there’s a ton of potential in an open, outreach-driven, creative-focused community work space and I’m excited to get started on that.

I’m ready for 2k15! I want to help make it a really great year for as many people as possible.

What’s G Been Up To? 03-05-2014

Doing:

Got a piece published over at ConversionXL on setting yourself up for PPC success. A followup on that is coming out soon, and I’m already at work on a third which may be published here!

Did some housekeeping here on the site. (The cobbler’s children may get shoes yet!) [related article]

Reading:

Researching:

Trying to find Search Engine use by US state, but the closest I’ve come is this interesting (but not specific) set of maps done by WebpageFX  and reporting at NetMarketShare that would probably do the trick if I had the $300 to spare establishing a single point.

Building:

Getting a little more active on Twitter.

Trying to get into the whole Google+ thing. Recommend any hangouts?


I’m also starting to get into keeping tabs on the latest through Inbound.org and GrowthHackers.com.

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