Google has enabled auto-tagging for free product listing and free local product listing through Google Merchant Center, the company announced. This should enable better tracking of your shopping campaigns through Google Search by adding a result ID to your URLs.
What is auto-tagging. Auto-tagging is a feature within Google Merchant Center that can help you track conversions from your free product listings and free local product listings on your website on all browsers separately from other conversion types. It also helps you split out performance in a third-party web analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, between your free listings and free local listings from overall Google organic traffic.
How it works. When a searcher clicks on your free product listing and free local product listing in Google Search then auto-tagging adds a parameter called “result id” to the URL. For example, if someone clicks on your free listing for www.example.com, the final URL will look like www.example.com/?srsltid=123xyz.
The result id is created at the time of an impression. If a user clicks the same free listing or free local listing again, the same result id will be used. That is then tracked through to your analytics tools for deeper analytical purposes, including tracking conversions and purchases.
How to turn it on. Auto-tagging can be enabled at the Merchant Center account level by an admin. Google saids this feature is not enabled by default. To turn it on, follow the steps below.
- Sign in to your Merchant Center account.
- In your Merchant Center account, click the tools icon gear icon and then click on “Conversion settings” under “Settings”.
- Toggle the Auto-tagging button to be “ON”.
Why we care. Better tracking and attribution is what all search marketers want and auto-tagging in Merchant Center can help you now also track your free product listing and free local product listing within Google Merchant Center.
You can then use this data to determine if you want to change product inventory decisions, marketing budgets and strategy.
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Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.