Universal Analytics has passed the torch to Google Analytics 4, taking digital analytics to new heights. But did you truly harness the power of Google Analytics 4 by fine-tuning all its settings?

While Google Analytics 4 might seem like a labyrinth to some, we have compiled the most essential settings for Google Analytics 4 in this article.

In this blog post, we will uncover eight important GA4 settings that have the potential to revolutionize the quality of your data and enrich the significance of your reports.

By implementing these settings, you’ll gain valuable insights and make more informed decisions, driving the success of your business.

You can also minimize the impact of data freshness in GA4.

Here’s a sneak peek of what awaits:

  1. Referral Exclusion: By excluding specific referral sources, you ensure accurate attribution and meaningful reports. This helps you understand the true impact of different marketing channels on your website traffic.
  2. Configure Domains: It’s crucial to ensure that Google Analytics accurately recognizes and attributes traffic from your specific domains. Proper configuration enables you to have a comprehensive view of the sources driving visitors to your website.
  3. Google Signals: Enabling Google Signals offers a range of benefits, enhancing your understanding of user behaviour. It provides valuable insights into cross-device interactions, helping you refine your marketing strategies accordingly.
  4. Search Console and Google Ads Integration: Explore the integration between GA4 and Search Console, as well as the process of integrating Google Ads with GA4. This integration allows you to leverage the valuable data provided by these platforms, gaining deeper insights into your marketing performance.
  5. UTM Settings: While not directly part of GA4, UTMs play a crucial role in accurate data collection. We will address common mistakes made by Shopify Merchants regarding UTMs and provide guidance on rectifying them to ensure reliable data collection.
  6. Disabling Default Form Interactions: Disabling default form interactions is essential to maintain data accuracy. This ensures that user interactions with forms on your website are not counted twice, providing reliable insights into user behaviour.
  7. Adjusting Session Timeout and Time for Engagement Sessions: Optimize GA4’s default settings for sessions by adjusting session timeout and engagement time. This allows you to capture meaningful user interactions and track user engagement more effectively.
  8. Filtering Out Internal Traffic: Filter out internal traffic to prevent visits from you and your team members from being counted as regular visits. By excluding internal traffic, your reports will reflect genuine user behaviour and provide a more accurate representation of your website’s performance.

In this article, we will be relying on our carefully crafted Shopify GA4 Guidebook as our main point of reference.

We have paid meticulous attention to detail while creating it. If you prefer to directly follow the topic through the guidebook, take a look at our guide now!

So, let’s dive in!

1) Configuring Referral Exclusions in GA4

Begin by clicking on the “Admin” buttonlocated at the bottom left corner of the page.

Click on

From there, navigate to “Data Streams” and select the specific data stream you previously created.

Navigate to

Once you’re in the data stream settings, click on “Configure Tag Settings.”

Click on

In the subsequent window, click on “Show All” to reveal the list of unwanted referrals.

Click on

Locate and select the option to “List unwanted referrals.”

List unwanted referrals

We have compiled a referral exclusion list for Shopify Google Analytics. To add the referrals, simply enter them one by one:

“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,” and “sfy-payments.molops.net.”

Ensure that the settings are appropriately adjusted. For the “Match Type” field, select “Referral Domain Contains” if the referral contains a specific domain.
For instance, “shop.app” is a commonly seen referral that might already be appearing in your traffic reports, causing the “referralexclusions” error. Include relevant payment providers like Shop, PayPal, and Stripe.

Remember that it’s not necessary to input the full domain; a partial match is sufficient.

Be careful when specifying generic terms like “google.com,” as it may lead to unintended consequences. Instead, focus on specific payment URLs like “pay.google.com” for Google’s payments.

Focus on specific payment URLs

Save the changes to apply the updated referral exclusions. Google Analytics will no longer consider these referrals as sources in its reporting.

2) Configure Your Domains

Additionally, it is advisable to configure your domains promptly. This step is essential to ensure that Google Analytics 4 accurately recognizes and attributes traffic from your specific domains.
This step plays a crucial role in maintaining data integrity and providing a comprehensive view of your website’s performance. Follow these instructions to configure your domains:

Within the Google Analytics interface, locate and click on the “Configure your domains” option.

Click on the

Enter your primary domain and include the “myshopify.com” domain to establish the association between your store and this domain.
This allows Google Analytics to correctly identify traffic originating from your store’s domain.

Enter the domains
  • If you have additional domains connected to your store, you can include them by entering their respective URLs.
  • 3) Enabling Google Signals

    Let’s now shift our attention to enabling Google Signals. Enabling Google Signals allows you to use logged-in user data and improves demographic information in your analytics reports. It also enables tracking of users across multiple devices.

    For example, if a user logs into your website from their mobile device and later completes a purchase from their desktop, Google Signals provides insights into this behaviour.To enable Google Signals, follow these simple steps:

    From the navigation menu, click on “Data Settings” and select “Data Collection.”

    Click on

    Within the Data Collection settings, find the option for “Google Signals Data Collection” and click on “Get Started.”

    Click on

    4) Integrating GA4 with Google Search Console & Ads

    Integrating GA4 with Search Console and Google Ads can greatly enhance your ability to analyze and optimize your online marketing performance.
    It provides valuable insights into user behavior on your website following ad clicks and offers visibility into your website’s search result rankings.

    Log in to your Google Analytics account and head to “Admin”.

    Log in to Google Analytics 4

    Find “Google Ads Linking” under “Product Linking” and click on it.

    Find Your Google Ads

    Click on “Link”.

    Link Your Accounts

    Click on “Choose Google Ads accounts”.

    Choose Your Google Ads Account

    Select the Google Ads account you want to link (1) and click “Confirm” (2).

    Select Account

    Click “Next”, “Next” again and “Submit”.


    Go back to the “Admin” console and select “Search Console Linking” (1) under the “Product Linking” menu. Then click “Link” (2).

    Link Your Search Console

    Click on “Choose Accounts”. Select your search console account and submit the changes.

    Choose Accounts

    5) Incorporating UTM parameters

    To help you better understand UTM parameters and how to use them, we have a detailed tutorial available on our website. This tutorial covers everything you need to know about UTMs, including tips and best practices.

    We also have a YouTube video dedicated to this topic, providing additional insights and guidance.

    In simple terms, UTM parameters allow you to add specific information to your external links. For example, when you run ads on Facebook, including UTM parameters ensures that Google Analytics accurately tracks and categorizes the traffic from Facebook.

    By correctly setting up UTM parameters like the ad name, campaign name, and ad ID, Google Analytics can generate detailed campaign reports. These reports give you valuable insights into the performance of your Facebook and Instagram ads.

    For Facebook ads, there is a dynamic UTM parameter that you can easily copy and use across all your ads. This dynamic parameter ensures that Google Analytics accurately tracks your campaigns, even for different variations within Facebook ads. Here’s an example of the recommended format for 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}}

    It’s worth noting that while this dynamic parameter is available for Facebook and Instagram ads, other external traffic sources such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other websites require manual inclusion of UTM parameters.

    By incorporating UTM parameters in your external links, you can achieve the following benefits:

    • Track and monitor the performance of your marketing campaigns.
    • Accurately identify and attribute traffic to specific sources.
    • Obtain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your advertising efforts across different platforms.

    6) Disabling GA4’s Built-in Form Interaction

    Let’s address an important concern related to GA4’s built-in form interaction tracking, specifically for Shopify Merchants. The automatic form tracking feature in GA4, although promising, can pose challenges, particularly with search boxes and text input fields.

    One of the common issues is GA4’s tendency to misinterpret user actions, resulting in unnecessary form submit events and inaccurate data. To resolve this problem, we highly recommend disabling the built-in form interaction tracking.

    By disabling form interactions, you can eliminate the incorrect tracking of form-related events. This process ensures that your event reports maintain accuracy and reliability, providing you with trustworthy insights to inform your decision-making.

    Follow these steps:

    Access your Google Analytics data stream settings.

    Go to Data Stream

    Locate the “Enhanced Measurement” section and access the settings.

    Access the Settings

    Disable the form interaction tracking feature within this section.

    Disable Form Interactions

    Save the changes to ensure accurate and reliable event reports.

    7) Session Timeout and Timer for Engage Sessions

    Let’s now focus on optimizing session settings in GA4. By default, sessions are set to a duration of 30 minutes. However, in e-commerce, customers often require more time for their purchase decisions.

    To obtain a more comprehensive analysis, it is recommended to extend the session time frame. We suggest setting the session timeout to 7 hours and 55 minutes.

    This adjustment allows for a more accurate understanding of user behaviour and engagement, especially considering situations where users click on ads, leave the site, and return within four hours to make a purchase.

    To adjust the session timeout and engage session timer, follow these steps:

    Access your data stream settings in Google Analytics 4.

    Go to Your Data Stream

    Locate the “Configure Tag Settings” option.


    Within the “Configure Tag Settings” section, click on “Show All” to access additional settings.

    Click on “Show All”

    Find the option to adjust the session timeout.

    Find the Option

    Set the session timeout to 7 hours and 55 minutes (maximum value). Additionally, locate the engage session timer and set it to 60 seconds.

    Set the Session Timeout

    Save the changes to apply the optimized session settings.

    8) Filtering Out Internal Traffic

    The final step involves emphasizing the significance of excluding internal traffic from your Google Analytics reports. Internal traffic, which includes visits from you and your team members, can distort the data and compromise the accuracy of your reports.

    To ensure that the activities of internal users are not included in the analysis, it is crucial to provide Google Analytics with the IP addresses associated with them.

    By implementing this rule to filter out internal traffic, you ensure that visits from your team members are not counted in your Google Analytics reports. This filtering process eliminates any potential interference in your data, resulting in more accurate insights for analysis.

    Follow these steps to filter out internal traffic:

    Navigate to your data stream settings in Google Analytics 4.

    Go to Your Data Stream Settings

    Click on the “Configure Tag Settings”.

    Access the

    Within the “Configure Tag Settings” section, click on “Show All” to access additional settings.

    Click on “Show All”

    Locate the section labelled “Define Internal Traffic.”

    Click on “Define Internal Traffic.”

    Create a new rule within this section to specify internal traffic.

    Create a New Rule

    Assign a descriptive name to the rule, such as “Internal Traffic – [Your Company’s Name].”

    Assign a Descriptive Name

    Define the IP address or range of IP addresses associated with your internal users.

  • If your team operates within an office with a specific IP range, enter that range accordingly.
  • If your team works remotely and uses different IP addresses, enter each IP address separately.
  • Final Thoughts

    In conclusion, optimizing your Google Analytics settings is essential for accurate data collection and insightful reporting. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your attribution and analytics reflect genuine user behavior.

    By taking the time to implement these settings correctly, you will gain a deeper understanding of your website’s performance, improve your marketing campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to drive your business forward.

    Furthermore, if you would like to follow the most important GA4 settings we mentioned above on YouTube, we recommend taking a look at our completely free Shopify GA4 Crash Course!