Track your ads with a Paid Social Channel in Google Analytics 4

You pay good money for your ads on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! So don’t let all that valuable traffic get lumped into your Google Analytics reports 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). Learn how to use the Channel called “Paid Social” that will automagically capture all our social ad visitors, where they can be analyzed separately.

Quick Answer: Google Analytics 4 now comes with a Paid Social Channel built in. You can start using it right away by simply tagging your ad destination links with the Medium value of paid-social and a Source of the social platform’s domain (eg. instagram.com).

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Backup your Google Analytics data before it disappears

On Some time after 1 July 2023, Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA) stops recording data. (Or already stopped, depending on when you’re reading this.)

The future is Google Analytics 4. Well, maybe it’s GDPR-friendly analytics instead. But it’s certainly not the same tool we’ve used for all these years (decades?) and it’s not the same set of data.

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.

Let’s take a look at the options…

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Connect Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to your ecommerce platform

1 July 2023 is fast approaching came and went, just as fast as we expected.

As at mid-August 2023, I’m still seeing data being tracked in most of the UA properties I have access too but that doesn’t mean it’s not going away. You still need to act.

If your ecommerce platform supports Google Analytics 4, you should connect it as soon as possible.

Do not remove Universal Analytics from your shop. Track with both tools until UA is fully deactivated. You’ll see this referred to as “dual-tagging”.

Keep reading to find instructions for your ecommerce platform (or leave a comment if yours isn’t yet covered).

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Google Analytics 4: the what, when & why

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.

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What does your Bounce Rate really mean?

We all know it:

A high bounce rate is bad! Right??

Well, that depends. On a lot, actually.

And even if you decide you need to “get your bounce rate down”, you first need to have a deeper understanding of what causes bounces than just “bounce = bad”.

Let’s have a look at what a bounce rate really is and what a “bounce” means for different parts of your online shop.

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Introduction to Direct Traffic in Google Analytics

Direct traffic in Google Analytics is one of the first big mysteries you discover. What does it mean? Why does it perform so well? Who are these people?

What is this?

Every other traffic source seems so self-explanatory: Google, Pinterest, organic (search), email… But (direct) / (none). Direct from where? None of what?

No seriously. What IS this? What does it mean and why is there so much of it?

In this guide, you’ll get a thorough but easy to understand introduction to the mystery of Direct Traffic. You’ll learn:

  1. Why “Direct” is fundamentally different from all your other traffic sources
  2. What kinds of visits it actually includes
  3. How to keep it “clean”
  4. How to analyze it

This article has been updated for Google Analytics 4.

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How to measure visitors from Pinterest to your handmade products

Pinterest is a wonderful and fun tool for collecting inspiration and aspiration… so it only makes sense that it’s also a fantastic marketing channel for your handmade stores! But how much traffic does it generate?

Find out how to measure your Pinterest visitors more reliably and control how they appear in your Google Analytics reports.

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