How to Set Up Google Authorship for Your Ecommerce Store

Why would you want to implement Google Authorship on your ecommerce site?

Maybe because …

  • You heard it’s good for SEO.
  • You heard that you needed to do it.
  • You just really want to see your picture in the search results pages.

Whatever the reason, it is important to understand what authorship is and isn’t, when and where to use it, and how to implement it.

Google Authorship for Ecommerce Banner

What is Authorship?

Google Authorship, at its core, is the pairing of online content with a real author. This verified identity becomes a key piece of data that is associated with the content. Google may choose to display a snippet with the author’s name, photo, and perhaps more in the search results when things are properly set up.

It is important to note that it is Google’s choice whether this snippet displays or not. Authorship can be properly set up without the snippet displaying. In fact, Google notably reduced the number of author snippets in results back in December.

While the author snippet in the search results is often identified as the sign of authorship, the usefulness of authorship goes much deeper and the benefits are much greater.

The Purpose of Authorship

It is important to understand what the purpose of authorship is. Ultimately, it is a way for Google to continue to improve its search results and keep you coming back to them as the trusted source for search. Authorship helps them in their longstanding battle against spam in their results.

Authorship is also a key piece in the transition to semantic search as it establishes identity, builds trust and authority in users, and makes connections between entities. Authoritative authors will actually do a lot of work for Google by writing valuable content themselves and validating that of others. Those articles that have received votes of confidence will rank higher in the results as they will provide a good experience for the associated search intents.

As search moves more and more from a network of websites to a network of people with interconnected relationships, authorship, trust, and authority will be increasingly important.

Benefits of Authorship

Setting up authorship certainly comes with some advantages. Here are a few:

  • Increases click through rate when the author snippet is displayed
  • Claims your original content
  • Builds up your trust and authority as an author

Google Authorship Example with Article by Scott Williams

A Note about Author Rank

It is important to note that I did not mention that authorship directly impacts your rankings. The theoretical concept of Author Rank — that it would be a piece of the Google algorithm that would actually influence an author’s article performance in search results — is not fully (or even at all?) in play at the moment. Arguments abound about its current role, but it seems impact is still limited. That said, most agree that this is where search is headed (which is supported by Google patents) and it is really just a matter of time. This is a very complex endeavor and it appears that Google wants to be sure to get it right.

To be clear: Author rank and Google Authorship — although related — are distinct concepts and should not be considered the same thing.

While there may not be a direct benefit currently, it will likely bring the indirect benefits of increased click through rates, greater engagement, and more social shares, which should ultimately impact your visibility.

When and Where to Use Authorship

Authorship should be tied to something that has been authored. Obvious, I know. But the key is that the content should be something valuable (whether opinion, instructions, research, analysis, or otherwise) and contain some unique insights that they have contributed.

Keeping that in mind, a blog page is a prime example of content that should be tied to an author. On the other hand, a product page does not. It is much more data driven and does not really demonstrate an author’s work or perspective. As such, Google has clearly discouraged you from using authorship on a product page. I recommend listening.

Ecommerce Store Authorship Recommendations

As there is very little information available for how and where to implement Google Authorship on hosted ecommerce platforms such as Volusion or Bigcommerce, I have synthesized things for your ecommerce site.

Here are my general recommendations for where to implement authorship on your store.

Use it here:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles offering analysis (i.e., analysis of a problem that your product solves)
  • Product comparisons that include commentary by an author
  • How-to articles written with commentary by an individual

Don’t use it here:

  • Product pages
  • Category pages
  • User manuals
  • Home or search pages
  • Blog roll-up pages

Key Mistake to Avoid

Given the information I have shared above, it is very important not to add a default author to all of your pages. For ecommerce platforms, such as Volusion (which has a universal template file), it would be tempting to add the author straight into the template.  Do not add authorship straight into your template where it will appear on every page.

A Few More Tips

  • Use articles written by one author. Multiple authors are not supported at this time.
  • Include the author’s full name on each authored page.
  • Use a real person as the author.

Ecommerce Authorship Implementation

Ready to implement authorship?  There are two key steps: (1) Author link on your site and (2) Google+ Contributor link. Together these serve to validate that you are indeed the author of the content.

Step 1: Setting up the author link to a Google+ profile on your store

We recommend adding either a byline or brief bio into your authorship content in order to point to the author’s profile. Either method will work Regardless of how or where you add it, the key is the rel=”author” attribute in the link.

Byline Method

At the top of your article, add the following code, using your unique URL and name, of course:

<p>written by <a href="" rel="author">Scott Williams</a></p>

Author Bio Method

At the bottom of your article, add something like the following code, using your unique URL and name:

<p>Scott Williams is the Technical Marketing Manager at Convergent7. You can find him on <a href="" rel="author">Google+</a> and on <a href="">Twitter</a>.</p>

Step 2: Setting up the Contributor link from your Google+ profile

You can add the reciprocal link back to your site from your Google+ profile page. Here’s how:

  1. Login to your Google+ account and go to your profile page
  2. In the About section, click on the “Edit” link for the Links section
  3. Under “Contributor to” click on “Add custom link”
  4. Enter your the URL of your store where the content is published
  5. Click save


That’s it! Now you can focus on publishing great content.

(Optional) Step 3: Want to Verify your Setup?

As the setup does not automatically trigger the snippet in the search results, you may understandably be concerned about proper implementation. Fortunately, you can verify that you markup is correct. Follow these instructions to validate what we have just done.

  1. Go to Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool
  2. Add the URL you want to test (make sure it is a content page with authorship) and click “Preview”
  3. Review the results. They should look something like the screenshot below.

Rich Snippets Testing Tool Result

Other Considerations & Questions

How Does Rel=Publisher Come into Play?

As much of the content on your online store does not fit the bill for authorship, you can look at using rel=publisher as well. While the concepts of authorship and publisher are similar, they are also quite different.

Rel=publisher is similar in that it is a way for a site to connect its content with its Google+ profile page. In a way, it’s authorship for businesses. That said, Google has not done much with this yet. There are no snippets for standard searches.

However, brand searches can produce a nice snippet when connected. Also, given that we are still in the early stages, I would expect that it will play somewhat of a greater role in the future. At the very least, it further establishes the relationship between your site and your G+ profile page.

Recommendation: it is worth the time to implement rel=publisher into your ecommerce template.

Common Questions

What if I would prefer to use our business profile?

You cannot have a business as the author of a post. It needs to be an individual.

I would typically recommend setting up an author to be the face of the company or the spokesperson who would do most of the writing. Of course, you could have multiple authors that all write for the company as well.

If you don’t want to mix your personal and corporate G+ accounts you can either leverage the power of Google Plus Circles to ensure that you share your personal items with just the right people. The other way to accomplish that would be to have 2 separate accounts (work and personal) with the business profile linked for authorship.

Can I have multiple authors for a single post?

No. You cannot currently have multiple authors for a single post. While this may be available in the future, for now make sure you only have one author byline per page.

How to Upgrade to Universal Analytics on Your Volusion Store

A few years ago we posted instructions for how to install Google Analytics for your Volusion store. Recently Google launched a major upgrade to the GA code called Universal Analytics. This upgrade will provide you with a lot more power and flexibility in analyzing your store data.

In addition to keeping the features you have come to rely on for your store, Universal Analytics brings quite a few more benefits to it:

  • Track offline conversions (such as foot traffic)
  • Track custom metrics to open up all new insights into visitor behavior
  • Track at the visitor level instead of a visit level
  • Improved reporting
Google Universal Analytics Ecommerce Screenshot

This post will walk you through both the upgrade process as well as installing the new code into your Volusion template. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a new version of the ecommerce tracking code for Volusion as well.

Note: if you have not yet created a Google Analytics account, you will want to create a new Universal Analytics account and then skip Step 1 below.

Step 1: Transfer to Universal Analytics

The first phase in the upgrade process is to “transfer” your analytics property to Universal Analytics. Your account really remains the same as transferring is really upgrading.

Note: there is no going back once you upgrade. However, since all Google Analytics accounts will be transferred over sometime soon anyways, it probably doesn’t make a difference.

Here are the steps:

  1. Login to your Google Analytics property
  2. Click on “Admin” in the upper right
  3. Click on the “Universal Analytics Upgrade” option. This will show if your account has not yet been upgraded and the upgrade is available to you.
  4. Universal Analytics Admin Upgrade
  5. Click the “Transfer” button
  6. Transfer to Universal Analytics
  7. In the pop up, carefully review the features that are not currently available, then click “Transfer”

The transfer could take a little while – officially 24-48 hours. I have seen it both go really fast and also take up to 24 hours. Be patient and don’t forget to check back.

Know that Google Analytics should be properly tracking visits and transactions in the meantime. Even if Google completes the transfer but you have not updated your code yet, you should be fine with the old code for the time being.

Once completed, proceed to Step 2.

Google Analytics Upgrade to Universal Analytics - Transfer Complete

Step 2: Update your Analytics Code

The second phase is to replace the previous Google Analytics code with the updated Universal Analytics code. In order to do so, we will remove the old code from the template and add the new one in.

Note: you can get to your template files either through the Volusion dashboard or via FTP – but you already knew that. These instructions will focus on the dashboard method as that is more accessible for those of you who aren’t coder types.

  1. Login to Volusion
  2. Go to Design > File Editor
  3. Edit Your Volusion Template
  4. Under Shortcuts, click on your Template File
  5. Select your Volusion Template File
  6. Before making any changes, backup all the code from this file
  7. Find and remove your old Google Analytics code (should look something like the screenshot)
  8. Remove your old Google Analytics Code
  9. Get your new Universal Analytics code
  10. Get your Universal Analytics Tracking Code
  11. Place the new code just above the closing head tag
  12. Add the Universal Analytics Code to your Volusion Store Template
  13. Click “Save”

Analytics should now be properly tracking visitor data. You can verify this by logging in to Analytics and looking at the real time data to see yourself navigating the site.

Step 3: Volusion Ecommerce Transaction Code

You’re almost there! While Universal Analytics is now properly tracking visitor data, we want to make sure that you can track your Volusion store’s ecommerce data as well. This transaction data can provide incredible insight into how your online store is performing and help you gauge your ROI. Ultimately, this tracking code can help you identify key areas of opportunity and can provide the insight you need to increase your conversions.

  1. Copy the Volusion ecommerce transaction code below
  2. Login to your Volusion store
  3. Go to Design > Site Content
  4. Volusion Site Content
  5. Open Article 130 – ROI_Javascripts
  6. ROI Javascripts Article for Ecommerce Code
  7. Click on the HTML Editor button for the Article Body
  8. Add Volusion Ecommerce Tracking Code for Universal Analytics
  9. Paste the following code in (replacing Convergent7 with your store’s name of course)
  10. <script type="text/javascript">
    // Summary
    	ga('require', 'ecommerce', 'ecommerce.js');
    	ga('ecommerce:addTransaction', {
    		id: Order[0], // Order ID
    		affiliation: 'Convergent7', // Store name - Add yours
    		revenue: Order[2], // Grand Total
    		shipping: Order[5] , // Shipping Cost
    		tax: Order[4]  // Sales Tax
    // Details
    	for(var i=0;i<OrderDetails.length;i++) {
    		ga('ecommerce:addItem', {
    			id: OrderDetails[i][0], // Order Detail ID
    			sku: OrderDetails[i][2], // Product Code
    			name: OrderDetails[i][3], // Product Name
    			category: OrderDetails[i][4], // Category ID
    			price: OrderDetails[i][5], // Product Price
    			quantity: OrderDetails[i][6] // Quantity
    // Send
  11. Click Save

That’s it!

We recommend verifying that the code is working properly. The incoming ecommerce data can lag some, so don’t freak out until you don’t see any data on day 2. But if you follow these instructions, you should be good.


Now comes the fun of figuring out how to take advantage of all the new power and flexibility afforded to you by Universal Analytics. Enjoy.


Finally, Google has indicated that they will be auto transferring sites that do not upgrade on their own in the coming months so we highly recommend that you upgrade your store today.

If you are terrified of ruining your store by touching the code, Convergent7 will upgrade your store for you (starting at just $95)


How to Install Google +1 on Volusion Ecommerce Stores

Today, Google has officially released the Google +1 for websites.  Previously it was only available for Google’s SERPs (search engine result pages).  In today’s article we’ll show you how to install it on your Volusion store.

Google +1 – What Is It?

Google +1 Social Media Button

Google’s “+1” is their answer to Facebook’s Like button and is their push into social media relevance.  Announced back in March, the program is designed to help people recommend sites they like and think are “cool”. 

Advantages Over Facebook’s Like Button

The distinct advantage the +1 program will have over its rival Facebook is the recommendations will show up directly within Google’s search results…provided you’re logged into your Google account.  Naturally you have a Google account already right?

You can bet that this is will become a factor in your organic rankings thereby making installation of “+1” essential for any Volusion store or other ecommerce store.  Google has also announced they will show within the Google Merchant product store as well.

The “+1” program has a lot of catching up to do with Facebook which has already surpassed over 2 Million likes but if anyone catch them its Google and for two very important reasons:

  • It will directly affect your Google organic, pay-per-click and product listings; and
  • It will be integrated with your Webmaster Tools allowing you to view metrics and see trends.

Tracking Performance in Google Webmaster Tools

From a SEO perspective, one of the value added features of Google’s new social tool is the ability to track and monitor how well the “+1” system is working for you.  It will naturally integrate with your Google Webmaster Tools account and provide some valuable metrics including:

  • How many “+1” annotated impressions you are getting on Google’s SERPs;
  • What your CTR (click through rate) is with those impressions; and
  • Your “search impact” with “+1”…that is, how many more clicks are you receiving by having the “+1” on your site;

Tracking Google +1 Metrics in Webmaster Tools

After you’ve added the Google “+1” to your site you will be able to begin to see those metrics in a few days after installation.

You can now control your “+1” preferences within your Google Account Settings and either allow or disallow whether to share your “+1” activity:

Personalization of Google Plus One Settings

Installing on Volusion

Installing the Google +1 in your Volusion store is very straightforward:

  1. Navigate to Google’s site code generator page;
  2. Choose your desired settings;
  3. Copy and paste into a displayable product field in Volusion;

Advanced “+1” Options

As you’ll notice there are several fields that allow you to further customize how your new button works:

How to Configure the Google +1 Button

  1. Include Count: determines whether or not to display the number of people who have given your site a “+1”;
  2. Parse: an advanced function that will explored in another post;
  3. JS Callback Function: again, another advanced function you will probably never need;
  4. URL to +1: here is where you can enter the URL you want to receive the “+1”;

All the above options are optional so if you want to make it as simple as possible, simply copy this code into Volusion:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

“+1” Button Sizes

You can change the look and feel of the Google buttons as well:

Google +1 Button Sizes

How Google Determines the URL

Google uses the following rules, in order, to determine the target URL of the “+1”:

  • The value of the href tag as defined in the script…or, if you are using the script generator then it’s the value you put in for “URL to +1”;
  • If there is no href reference then Google will check for the existence of the canonical tag;
  • Finally, if neither of those are specified then it will use the URL found in the JavaScript DOM: document.location.href.

[response_msg style="notice" title="Volusion Notice"]Due to this method, we strongly urge all Volusion stores to ensure they have properly implemented the canonical tag![/response_msg]

Where to Put the “+1” Button?

From a Volusion perspective I see 3 viable options for placement of the button:

  1. Product field Photo Sub Text;
  2. One of the five custom fields available for each product;
  3. Use a custom jQuery script to automatically locate it near your add to cart button;

The first two are easy and can be uploaded via a CSV file while the last option would require custom coding.  If you are interested in the last option (which is, in my opinion, the best option) please contact us.

Final Thoughts

From a search engine perspective, implementing Google’s new “+1” button is essential because of the added value of eventually affecting your organic rankings.  Because there are way more people who have a Facebook account than a Google account, Google’s new social media feature is not nearly as easy to use as the Like button. 

You have to have both.

Think of Google’s button will affect your rankings while Facebook’s button can affect your conversion rate.

About Erik Ellsworth
Erik is the President for Convergent7 SEO Services. He’s always trying to improve your rankings and conversions. And, he’s a big NHL hockey fan.

Volusion Adds YouTube Integration

If you’re on version 11 of Volusion you may have noticed a new feature on your product admin pages: support for YouTube videos.  Although adding a YouTube video was never really difficult this new feature makes it very easy for the beginner to add it to their product pages.

YouTube Video Support in Volusion Product Pages

Uploading a YouTube Video to Volusion

To add a video simply follow these steps:

  1. Edit the product you wish to associate the video with in Volusion and open the YouTube section.
  2. Click “Add Video” and paste in the YouTube URL.
    How to Upload a YouTube Video in Volusion
  3. If you’d like to rearrange the videos and what order they show in your product description, simply drag and drop them.
    Drag-n-Drop Videos in Volusion to Arrange Order

When completed, your product page will display your content right after the product description:

Completed YouTube Upload on Volusion

Formatting Your Video

You’ll probably want to format your video placement and spacing and luckily Volusion includes a CSS class called “video_container” so you can control it.  If you want to center it, put this into your template’s CSS file:

.video_container {
	text-align: center;
[content_box style="gray-box" title="About Erik Ellsworth"] Erik is the President for Convergent7 SEO Services.  He’s always trying to improve your rankings and conversions.   And, he’s a big NHL hockey fan. [/content_box]

Track Page Speed in Volusion Ecommerce with Google Analytics

As a Volusion consulting firm we continually get asked about their performance and quality of hosting.  If you’ve been around Volusion enough (or any ecommerce platform such as 3dCart, Big Commerce, etc.) the topic of site speed eventually comes up.  When Google announced that page speed is a factor in organic rankings, the queries really ramped up.  If you’re a pay-per click advertiser, site speed is also a factor in your Adwords Quality Score.

With today’s short-attention-span user, if you cannot provide the best and fastest experience possible then your potential customer will find a website that will.  With a potential of hundreds to thousands of pages in a typical ecommerce store, you need to find the bottlenecks that hurt and lower conversion rates.  It is with this intent that Google has released the new Site Speed Report.  This new report is only available with the new Google Analytics interface.

Why Page Speed Tracking is Important

With this new report you can answer questions such as:

  • Which pages in my online store the slowest?
  • What is the correlation between my conversion rate and page speed?
  • How does page speed impact my bounce rate?
  • Is one version of a browser slower than others?

Once you diagnose and identify the slowest pages you can begin to correct the issues.  With our internal optimization service some of the typical culprits of slow pages we find are:

  • Large, poorly optimized images;
  • Inefficient and non-standard HTML;
  • Category pages with too many displayed products per page;

The One Caveat

There is one negative aspect of tracking your site speed…the new tracking code will slightly slow down your site even more.  The reason is that Google uses a tracking GIF file which adds to the overall size of your page and download to the website visitor.  Due to this issue, the site speed code does not track the site speed of everyone who visits your site but only a sampling.  Some SEOs have reported an approximate sampling rate of 2%.  Therefore if your site does not have a good volume of traffic you may not be getting very reliable data for the report.  I expect the sampling rate may eventually rise or even be a variable you can set.

How to Install the Site Speed Tracking Code

Depending on which Google Analytic tracking code version you’re using, all you have to do is add one method to your GA script:


If you’re using the recommended asynchronous version, your script should look like:

<script type="text/javascript">
 var _gaq = _gaq || [];
 _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-X']);

 (function() {
   var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
   ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '';
   var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

If you’re using the old, traditional version, then it will look similar to:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

<script type="text/javascript">
 var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxxxx-x");
} catch(err) {}

Once you’ve installed this code in your ecommerce template (which will allow every page in your store to be tracked), you should begin to see data after a few hours.

Using the Site Speed Report

The site speed report contains the following default metrics:

  • Average Page Load Time – the average time, in seconds, it took that page to load;
  • Pageviews – the number of page views within the specified date range;
  • Page Load Sample – the number of pages used to determine the average page load time.  In other words the sampling rate;
  • Bounce Rate – the bounce rate for this page;
  • % Exit – the percentage of visits that left your site from this page;

And your report may look something like:

Track Site Speed in Volusion with Google Analytics

It’s another great addition to the New Google Analytics!

About Erik Ellsworth
Erik is the President for Convergent7 SEO Services. He’s always trying to improve your rankings and conversions. And, he’s a big NHL hockey fan.

How to Setup Google Analytic Goals in Volusion

What You Must Do to Properly Tracking Your Volusion Conversions

Essential to any Volusion ecommerce store is properly setting up your Google Analytics Goals and Funnel.  Without proper set-up you will be unable to fully analyze your traffic and determine what’s profitable and what keywords are driving great revenue. Before setting up your Google Analytic goals you’ll need to make sure the following two steps have been completed:
  1. You’ve enabled your Google Analytic profile to track e-commerce transactions; and
  2. You’ve installed the correct Volusion tracking code to ensure the orders; products and their revenue are correctly captured into your GA account.
For those of you who haven’t enabled e-commerce tracking here are the quick steps:
  1. Log into your Google Analytics account
  2. Edit the website profile you want to enable
  3. Once in the proper profile, click “Edit” to open the profile page
  4. Select “Yes” and press “Save Changes”
Enabling E-Commerce in Google Analytics

Enabling E-Commerce in Google Analytics

Create a Volusion Conversion Goal and Funnel

From your Google Analytics profile page, click “Edit” for the goal you want to create:
Creating a Volusion Conversion Goal

Creating a Volusion Conversion Goal

At the top portion of the Goal Setting page you’ll need enter and confirm the following settings:
  • Match Type: Head Match
  • Goal URL: /OrderFinished.asp
  • Goal Name: (You can enter whatever you want here)
  • Case Sensitive: Unchecked
  • Goal Value: 0.0
Setting the Volusion Goal URL

Setting the Volusion Goal URL

Define the Volusion Funnel Pages

A conversion funnel is a breakdown of the sales process and in Volusion’s case it is the 3 pages that make up a sale on your web store.  Although Google says this is an optional step your funnel analytics will be worthless without defining the following 3 pages as your funnel:
  • ShoppingCart.asp
  • One-Page-Checkout.asp
  • OrderFinished.asp
When entered correctly your funnel definition should look like this:
Define the Volusion Funnel Pages

Define the Volusion Funnel Pages

The reason you should leave “Required Step” unchecked is people may get to the checkout page yet bypass the shopping cart.  If you make the shopping cart mandatory then those metrics would not be tabulated with the others. Press “Save Changes” and you are done!

Viewing the Volusion Funnel Visualization

After a week or so, you can begin to peruse the valuable information that is now at your fingertips.
A Completed Volusion Funnel Visualization

A Completed Volusion Funnel Visualization

And, now the real fun begins, right?!

Metrics that Matter – Conversion Rate

Are your SEO metrics relevant and useful?

One of your duties as a SEO is provide meaningful KPIs (key performance indicators) for your clients.  And when I say meaningful I mean something that:
  • Reveals an underlying insight to their business; and
  • Provides information that can help affect positive change
Google Analytics are great for statistics but unless you take the next step and put actual value behind those numbers, you’re only hurting the client. For example, let’s examine conversion rate.  Without any effort on your part, you can easily log into Google Analytics and see the historical conversion rate of the site:
Google Analytics - Conversion Rate

Google Analytics - Conversion Rate

Is this revealing any insight to you?  No it doesn’t.  What action can you take based on a 0.16% conversion rate?  None, actually.  You need to put some context around it.  It’s simple and will quite revealing. Using the Advanced Segments dropdown, select Paid Traffic and Non-Paid Traffic to reveal the following graph and data:
Conversion Rate: Organic Traffic vs. Paid Traffic

Conversion Rate: Organic Traffic vs. Paid Traffic

Now within a few minutes you’ve discovered something about your online store.  Your organic traffic is producing conversions 150% better than your non-paid traffic!  From a SEO or business perspective you can now take any of the following actions:
  • Further research your organic traffic to help increase website traffic for those converting keywords and phrases; or
  • Investigate your PPC campaigns and ads to diagnose if you may have a landing page problem; or
  • Double your organic SEO efforts; or
  • etc.
Maybe your paid traffic visitors are purely window shoppers while your non-paid traffic visitors are buyers…but without a bit of investigation you’ll never know. Again, if we segment the traffic into search traffic vs. referral traffic we see:
Conversion Rate: Referral vs. Search Network

Conversion Rate: Referral vs. Search Network

Revealing and useful, right?  Perhaps we should investigate our referral network and increase our advertising footprint on those key websites. Remember to always take an extra step when analyzing website data…until you do, you’ll be missing a lot of what your visitors are trying to tell you.

How to Install Google Analytics for Volusion Sites

Installing GA Tracking Reveals Valuable Ecommerce Metrics

Although there are many ecommerce hosting solutions out there, from a SEO and small business perspective, Volusion is a tough act to beat.  I’m a firm believer that a small business should focus on its core competency and only take on what’s absolutely necessary.   I think hosting an ecommerce web store falls into that outsourcing category. volusion-logoSpending most of my career in small business, I’ve learned you have enough hats to wear without trying to master the technical aspects of hosting and ecommerce.  What you need is something simple yet effective and Volusion falls into that category.
Joomla Open Source Software

Joomla Open Source Software

I’ll save my detailed review of Volusion for another time but suffice it to say it’s one of the best turnkey systems out there.  Joomla is also a great system but you will need either a Joomla expert or someone with advanced technical skill to install it.

Installing GA in Your Volusion Template

As a template-driven solution, Volusion only needs to be updated in the main template to track all your transactions, from cradle to grave.  Once installed in the main template page, Volusion will dynamically build your store pages, inserting the necessary Google Analytics tracking code that will capture the data. To begin:
  1. Log in as an admin to your Volusion store.
  2. Navigate to LiveEdit File Editor under the Design menu tab.
    LiveEdit File Editor in Volusion v5.0

    LiveEdit File Editor in Volusion v5.0

  3. Once in LiveEdit, you will see a set of “shortcuts” on the right.  Click on the first link underneath “Design Files” which is your live template your store is using.  This name will vary from store to store.
    Finding Your Volusion Template

    Finding Your Volusion Template

  4. Scroll to the bottom and insert the following code just before the </body> tag

    Remember to the sample GA Tracking code below, UA-xxxxxxx-x with your Google Analytics ID as well as the to your own domain name!

Unfortunately this code is not retroactive so you will only see metrics moving forward and not in the past. However, now that you’ve installed this code you’ll have access to the following:
  • Conversion Rate
  • Number of Transactions
  • Average Order Value
  • Number of Products Purchased
  • Revenue by Keyword
  • Conversion Rate by Keyword
  • Revenue by Product
  • Revenue by Source / Medium
  • Visits to Purchase
  • Days to Purchase
And that’s just the beginning!

Analyzing Your Volusion Data

By installing this code you can begin to understand your customers and how to enhance your SEO efforts (or, if you’re a SEO like me, I use this to refine pages or optimization efforts for greater margin products!).  Maybe you realize that you have a high conversion rate for a product you don’t consider a core item.  Or, perhaps your average sale is derived from 2 or more visits from the prospect before buying…how does that change some of your internet marketing efforts? With 5 minutes of effort, you can begin to increase your knowledge about your customers and where you may find some low hanging fruit.
Volusion Metrics Using Google Analytics

Volusion Metrics Using Google Analytics