The (almost) Definitive Guide to Real Etsy Traffic Sources in Google Analytics

LAST UPDATED: 29 July 2020, with important fixes to two Filters: Source: etsy.com and Medium: Etsy referrals

POP QUIZ: Can Google Analytics answer this question?

“How do people find my Etsy store?”

At first, Google Analytics looks like it has all the answers! There in your reports, you see: direct traffic, referrals, a few from Facebook and other social media… Isn’t that how they got there?

ANSWER: Nope! Not unless you follow the instructions in this guide.

Google “etsy traffic sources” and you’ll find this little Help article from Etsy. In that article it says this:

“Google Analytics shows how people found Etsy.”

So, what’s the difference? Well, that means that any of those traffic sources in Google Analytics could show how that person found the Etsy home page or an entirely different shop before they navigated to yours within Etsy. Half your so-called social media traffic could be from other people’s marketing!

Even worse, Google Analytics doesn’t show you how people found your shop within Etsy, which makes up the bulk of your traffic. Etsy search, clicks from favorites or recently viewed, promoted listings: all hidden.

That kinda sucks.

Where’s all the Etsy traffic? Probably stuck in “direct”…

You could just analyse your traffic sources in Shop Stats, but let’s fix it instead.

This guide explains how to use channel definitions and filters to make traffic sources a whole lot more accurate!

This looks much better! Yep, these are the exact same visitors.
(If you’re a beginner, don’t be scared! You only need to copy-and-paste.)
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The Etsy Seller’s Guide to Hiding Your Own Visits in Google Analytics

A long time ago, when I worked in retail, I envied the prim, organised merchandisers whose sole responsibility was (as far as I could tell from behind the counter) to fluff around with enticing displays of gifts and stationery.

I know I’m not the only one!

Now as Etsy sellers, we get to “merchandise” our own online shops every day.

Check how our listing thumbnails look all together in the catalogue.

Pour over a new product page to make sure every detail is perfect.

Go through our shop policies with a fine tooth comb to make sure we aren’t accidentally committing to replacing unwanted items with a lifetime supply of Starbucks…

And I know—because I’ve spent my fair share of time there—that we do a lot of this “fluffing around” in our public shop front. You know – the exact same view that our buyers see.

The pages of our shop where our Google Analytics code runs. Those pages.

Oh… I think we have a little problem to fix.

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Google Analytics vs Etsy Stats: Which is Better?

Reading and understanding the numbers around your shop’s traffic is super important. If you can do this, you can better understand where you should focus your marketing, what parts of your shop could be improved, and make sure you’re seeing real benefits from all your promoting efforts.

There are two sources for this information: Etsy’s built-in Stats and Google Analytics (“Analytics” or just “GA”). They both have their pros and cons, so you’ll most likely continue to use both hand-in-hand to gauge your performance. But when should you use each one?

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Are You Still Confused About 2017’s New Etsy Shop Stats?

A few weeks ago, I visited the Etsy forums.

Did the hair stand up on the back of your neck?

Ok, so it’s not quite that scary in there. It’s just a lot of very passionate sellers who are trying to run a successful shop and are worried about changes to their platform that might make that harder.

And rightly so! It’s never nice to have the rug pulled out from under your feet.

So it didn’t surprise me one little bit to see the plethora of threads, discussions and yes – complaints – about the new Etsy Shop Stats that were released earlier this year. Sellers were talking about why the changes were made, the things they couldn’t find anymore, and the new numbers that didn’t make sense.

So what do I think? Should you be throwing in the Etsy-Shop-Stats towel or running back to it with open arms?

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Create useful & understandable Etsy Listings reports by importing your own data (it’s easy!)

Have you ever asked the question, “What type of listings do my visitors spend longer on?

It’s a great question! If I sold children’s toys and toy patterns, I’d want to know what general type of products are more popular with visitors, regardless of what actually sells more.

But if you’ve spent much time in the Behavior reports in Google Analytics (which is where you’ll find all your listings), you’ll know that you can’t just group them by their Section. That info just isn’t in there at all!

You know what I’m going to say… we can totally fix that!

listing-performance-reporting_bad-vs-good

You can take your Listings reports to the next level by putting in whatever information you want about every listing. So keep reading to find out how…

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Find your Etsy buyers in Google Analytics

Are you despairing that you got all excited about Google Analytics but now you’ve realised that you can’t even see your sales in it?!

It’s crazy and crazy annoying! Luckily, all is not lost.

There’s one important step that you can do right now to start analysing your sales. This technique lets you pinpoint individual buyers to discover the path they took through your shop, even across multiple visits, and how they got to you.

So let’s explore!

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Four Google Analytics dashboards just for Etsy shop owners

Dashboards are like snapshots of your shop’s performance. They let you get a quick, birds eye view of how things are going and what might need a deeper look.

Google Analytics lets you create dashboards that show you all sorts of things, but it’s tricky to know how to put them together if you haven’t learnt all the important metrics and dimensions yet. It’s also really important to think about what you want to see on a day-to-day basis before you start building one, to make sure your dashboard is genuinely useful.

So I’ve put together four Google Analytics dashboards that are tailored JUST for Etsy shops. Keep reading to find out what they show and how to install them in just a few clicks!

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Compare your Etsy listings easily with Content Groupings

It’s a fact of shop-ownership-life that some listings do better than others. Sometimes your best pieces fly off the shelves; other times people seem to love that one listing with a terrible photo (so you think). And of course there are items you’re super proud of that get no traction.

So you want to find out why. You want to see how long people stay on particular listings, where they go to next, whether certain traffic sources send more interested visitors than others.

Those are questions for Google Analytics to answer, but if you head over to your All Pages report, you’ll find something frustrating. You can’t just compare a list of all your products.

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How to banish “referral spam” in Google Analytics (for Etsy)

If you’re here, you’ve probably noticed something weird going on in your Google Analytics reports. And if you haven’t noticed anything weird, follow along and you might get a surprise.

Analytics can usually tell you, very precisely, where your visitors came from, both geographically and on the web. As you’ll find out in future posts, that’s tricky to get right when you run an Etsy shop, but there’s one problem that almost every site has these days: referral spam.

“Referral spam” is when useless, fake or malicious websites show up as having sent traffic to your site. They haven’t. At least not real people visitors.

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