What do we do with all the data in our Universal Analytics Properties? Can we keep it? Can we move it? Can we continue to use it at all?? Is it only an option for big business (i.e. comes with a hefty price tag) or is it something boutique ecommerce shop owners can DIY?
We have until July 2024 to figure this out, when Google will actually delete all our properties and reports.
Years ago, almost all of my clients also partnered with a Search Engine Optimization agency.
Google was king and SEO was strategy #1.
Then social media marketing took over as businesses discovered the value of free exposure on Facebook and Twitter. The results were faster and it was no harder than SEO.
Now it’s 20182023. Organic reach on social media is still a shadow of its former self. Advertising costs on the major networks (AdWords and Facebook) are doubling every year. And AI chatbots are loudly heralding the return of the king: search is back – and this time, it’s smarter!
If your marketing strategy is getting more complicated and expensive every month, it’s time to re-discover the value of organic search traffic.
Google Analytics 4 is a brand new version of this powerful tool. When I say “brand new”, I mean it is completely different! There are some exciting, really powerful features. And some missing features. There’s also the important question of whether it works with Etsy!
So let’s get a quick overview of what GA4 means for boutique ecommerce sellers.
👋👋 Universal Analytics is going away in late 2023
DEFINITION: “Universal Analytics” is the name of the old version of Google Analytics that we used for many years. From here, I’ll refer to it as “UA“.
On March 16, 2022, Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will stop processing new data on 1 July, 2023 and reports on historical data will only be accessible until 1 July 2024.
One of the more frustrating parts of using Google Analytics with Etsy is that we cannot see ecommerce metrics.
That’s right: Etsy does not tell GA when a sale occurs, so we get big fat zeros for everything from Transactions to Average Order Value to Ecommerce Conversion Rate, no matter how many actual sales you’re making in Etsy. It’s not just a matter of enabling Ecommerce Tracking in your GA settings; Etsy simply doesn’t send the data to be tracked.
Luckily, all is not lost!
If you make regular sales on Etsy and have had GA connected for at least a few months, you can use an Advanced Segment to identify a slice of your buyers in your GA reports. The most useful thing this lets you see is general trends around the traffic sources that send you buyers.
You pay good money for your ads on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! So don’t let all that valuable traffic get lumped in with your other visitors from social media, in the general “Social” Channel.
It’s important to clearly separate social media traffic you’ve paid for (advertising) and organic traffic (from your own and others’ posts). In this guide, we’ll create a new Channel called “Paid Social” that will automagically capture all our social ad visitors, where they can be analyzed separately.
IMPORTANT: These instructions are for Universal Analytics. Google Analytics 4 comes with a Paid Social Channel built in, so you can start using that right away by simply tagging your links with the correct Medium value: paid-social
In June 2021, Etsy stopped running our Google Analytics tracking code on our shop home pages. (Our listings are still tracked normally.)
This might sound like a big deal but let’s look at the effects in some detail before worrying too much.
First of all, it’s been well over 6 months at the time you are reading this. So if you haven’t noticed anything unusual in your reports yet, that’s a pretty good sign that you aren’t being impacted.
This does not mean that your numbers haven’t changed at all! Your visitors were (and still are) viewing your shop home. And now those views are not tracked in Google Analytics. That’s a fact.
The question is whether the impact of these views disappearing is visible in your reports or if it’s been buried by other effects & changes over the past months or year? Are the trends you saw this year actually a result of this tracking change or other things going on with your marketing and buyer behaviour?
Luckily for you, I have crunched the numbers – looking at Google Analytics reports for five different Etsy shops – and the answer is:
There is (probably, most likely) no or minimal noticeable impact on your reports!
Wonderful! Relax and carry on as you were!
If you want to learn more, keep reading to understand more about what impact this change could have and how I came to my no-stress conclusion. Along the way, you’ll get an insight into the thinking behind a real-life analysis.
A few years ago, Etsy started showing products from other shops on our own listings. It went over about as well as you can imagine, but they’ve stuck with it and Etsy shop owners have learned to live with it.
Here’s how they look today:
(That is a very eye-catching background behind those other listings, Etsy!!)
NOTE: I’ve blurred visible listing photos throughout this article, that are copyright to other Etsy shop owners.
There is a solution!
By making a small change to the links you share, you can send visitors to product listings that focus on YOUR product, not other Etsy shops.