Google Merchant Center (formerly known as Google Base) is a fantastic way to get targeted traffic to your website, it’s especially handy if you haven’t yet achieved the rankings you want in the search engines. The traffic is usually pre-qualified (they know what they’re looking for) and tends to convert much better than more generic traffic for similar keywords.
It’s something every ecommerce website should set up and the process is relatively simple for a developer however Google Analytics by default will not differentiate Merchant Center traffic from organic traffic so in order to find out how well it’s working, you have to implement a few easy changes…
1. Add An Identifier To The Product URLs
The easiest way to spot traffic coming from Merchant Center is to add a identifier to the end of every product URL. In your feed, append ?ref=gmc. For example, a product URL would now look like:
The product will still load but it will have the tag at the end of the URL which is what we can use to identify it as being from Merchant Center.
Once your feed has been updated then you need to re-submit it in your Merchant Center console. Google will take a day or so to update all your products. But in the meantime, head over to Google Analytics…
2. Create An Advanced Segment In Google Analytics
Once you’re in Analytics, head to your websites profile and click the Advanced Segments
Open the advanced segment tab at the top of the page and click “New Custom Segment” in the corner of the page.
Enter a name of “Merchant Center”, then click the green box and change the value to “Page” and enter “ref=gmc” into the field. Click “Save Segment”.
And that’s it, now you’ll be able to apply your advanced segment and see exactly what your Merchant Center traffic is doing. No longer is the data lost into the haystack. You’ll be able to see the worth of your traffic and tailor your site to make the most out of it.
Need A Helping Hand?
If you do need any advice with your current ecommerce website or integrating Google Merchant Center then feel free to get in touch with us!