Google Analytics ecosystem – Pinpoint the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click and other marketing efforts.
Highly experienced online merchants understand the importance of data and analytics, and almost all use Google Analytics to some degree. While we look at some of the same overall numbers like traffic, bounce rates, landing pages, and conversion rates, the slicing and dicing of those numbers is a different matter for just about every merchant we talk to.
While each merchant’s business strategy will drive them to look at different slices of data, almost every merchant would love to have more data, or have it presented in a more-accessible, actionable way.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how to make sure you have a solid foundation upon which to build additional layers of insight using Google Analytics as a base. As you read through the article, you can learn how to do everything we talk about by visiting the resources we provide throughout this article.
What is the Gang of Four?
First off, when we talk about Google Analytics, you are best served when the various Google properties work as a team.
Tying these services together is rarely the purview of a developer, designer or merchandiser. This is one of those areas that merchants or online merchandisers should embrace as part of their craft. While your systems integrator, developer or IT specialist may need to help you with the technical aspects, the vision should come from those responsible for marketing, merchandising and driving sales.
The main properties are:
- Google Analytics - Understanding conversion
- Google Adwords - Tracking the effectiveness of your Ad campaigns
- Google Webmaster Tools - Where you push your sitemap to Google and Google reports back on the ‘health’ of your web site from a search engine’s perspective
- Google Merchant Center - Your online catalog as far as Google is concerned
Note: While we are talking about Google, which dominates the search market, Bing and other major search engines also offer webmaster tools and other service to help you tune your offerings.
Magento Enterprise Edition Makes It Easy
Fortunately for Magento Enterprise Edition merchants your software makes the part that involves adding code to your site extremely simple.
Finding the Adwords code is a little trickier, but, Magento Enterprise Edition also has a copy and paste solution for that. This article refers to Magento Go, but the steps are the same in Magento Enterprise Edition.
Outside of Magento, if you really want to add more granularity to your Adwords tracking, you should connect your Google Adwords and Google Analytics accounts. Google provides easy-to-follow instructions for this, as well.
You will connect your store to Google Webmaster Tools via your Google Analytics account. This is done by clicking verify when adding an account in Webmaster Tools. From a Magento perspective, you want to be sure to submit your site map so that Google will catalog your store’s pages correctly.
Finally, if you aren’t using Product Listing Ads (PLAs) from Google, you should consider it. This will help ensure that your products show up in Google Shopping search results. The research on the subject we have seen to date shows a strong return on investment for most merchants who use them and manage them wisely. For more information on PLAs, take a look at an article we recently wrote on the subject.
In order to have your products show up in PLAs, you need to open a Merchant Center account, tie it to your Adwords account, and feed the products from your store directly to it.
While there is no core function to feed your products from Magento Enterprise Edition to your Merchant Center account, you might consider a couple of potential solutions:
1. Via an extension: Wyomind sells an extension that helps you map your products to Google and creates the feed for you.
2. Use an external service like DataFeedWatch. Their service allows you to set up a feed quickly and gives you powerful mapping tools that allow you to make exceptions for products based on any attribute in your store and/or content within those attributes.
In short, working with Google Analytics and the Google ecosystem is an absolute necessity for most merchants, but, many have delegated its management to their ‘techies.’ We urge marketers, merchandisers and entrepreneurs to take a more active approach in managing and analyzing the data in order to maximize the analytical power of your Magento store.