Written by Robert Rand, RandMarketing
In a brick and mortar store, when customers ask for products that you don’t carry, you can easily interpret that data and make decisions about making changes to your merchandising. However, as the majority of consumers continue to shift online to meet their shopping needs, how does this translate on your Magento eCommerce website?
Whether you know it or not, site search data is being memorized by your eCommerce website. Data pertaining to what words or phrases have been searched for, how many times, how many results were displayed, etc. All useful data points that are can help to make merchandising decisions.
In the Magento Admin, there are two places where you can interact with this data:
Catalog → Search Terms
From this page, you can review search terms that have been typed in by shoppers, including both the number of searches for a particular term, and the number of results shown. You can also take actions based upon the data, and create setting for specific searches, such as to re-direct shoppers to a particular page (such as a Category or Landing Page), rather than show typical search results, or, to treat a particular keyword or phrase as a synonym for something else. You can even add new search terms that shoppers haven’t searched for yet, proactively determining what will happen if someone searches for these new words.
Reports → Search Terms
This area gives similar information to what you’ll find in the Catalog → Search Terms area, but also gives you the option to export the data, so that you can review and manipulate the data in CSV or XML formats.
How to Integrate Magento Site Search Data with Google Analytics
Want to be able to glean more from this data in the future, for FREE? It’s easy to connect Magento’s site search data to Google Analytics, so that as new data accumulates in Magento, it’s synced over to your Analytics account. Listed below are three ways to sync Google Analytics to your Magento Account.
Note: You’ll need to have a [free] Google Analytics account created before completing this setup.
1. Use Magento’s Built In Functionality
Magento has gone the extra step of providing a quick an easy way of connecting your site with Google Analytics. This is a great way to get setup quickly and easily.
This is done in the admin by going to System → Configuration → Sales → Google API, expanding the Google Analytics section, and filling in the details.
For help with this setup, you can also call upon a Website Development and Internet Marketing firm that specializes in Magento, like Rand Marketing for assistance.
2. Use a Magento Extension
Magento Extension Developers have created Google Analytics extensions that provide various additional benefits, above and beyond what Magento’s out-of-the-box solution can provide. The down side is that, like with all Magento Extensions, the more of them that you add, the more likely you’re going to have conflicts between extensions and other customizations.
3. Use Google Tag Manager
This is a free tool created by Google that provides additional levels of control for your Google Analytics codes in Magento, without needing to adjust coding in the long run. It gives you more long-term control, but might require a Magento expert like Rand Marketing to integrate.
*If you’re just getting setup with Analytics for the first time, option 1 (Magento’s out of the box solution) will probably be the best fit to get you up and running quickly and easily.
Using Google Analytics to Help Learn from your Magento Site Search Data
Regardless of how you’ve connected your Magento Data to Google Analytics, the next step is to adjust Google Analytics so that it gets copies of your Site Search data from Magento.
In Google Analytics, head to Admin. Under the “View” for the website in question, go to View Settings. In this area, you’ll need to turn Site Search Settings “On”. This is not active by default. You’ll also need to enter a Query Parameter. In this field, you’ll simply enter the letter q. Nothing fancy, just the letter “q”. Finally, save the settings in Google Analytics.
With this in place, Site Search Data will start to flow in from Magento over time. If you come back to Google Analytics a few days later, and proceed to Reporting → Behavior → Site Search, you should be able to access a wealth of additional data. Not only will you be able to see data similar to what Magento can report on, but you’ll also get data tied into other Google Analytics statistics. For instance, Analytics can tell you the percentage of searches (and which specifics keyword searches) lead to a person exiting from your website (most likely because they were not satisfied with what they found), the number of visitors that use (or don’t use) your site search, and the number of pages of results that searchers are looking through. It’s a wealth of additional information that’s easy to review and manipulate.
Need help interpreting this data? You can contact an Internet Marketing firm like Rand Marketing for consultation and assistance.
About the Author
Robert Rand of RandMarketing.com was educated at NYU Poly and has managed the development and marketing of hundreds of websites. Along with Rand’s award winning team, he helps clients take their businesses to the next level by employing best practices, while staying at the forefront of the eCommerce and internet marketing industries. From technical issues to traditional marketing efforts, Robert takes pride in providing our clients with services that will make a difference in their bottom lines.