Explore your Etsy Google Analytics backup data (Looker Studio Dashboard)

This article is about how to view and explore the Google Analytics backup for your Etsy shop’s historical Universal Analytics data (2023 and earlier). If you have not yet backed up your data, start here:

Make sure you complete your backup before 1 July 2024 or Google will delete your data!

Learn about backup options for other types of shops and websites.

No matter which method you use to backup your Etsy shop’s Universal Analytics data, you’re going to end up with a bunch of spreadsheets.

Which are… not super user-friendly for actually viewing, exploring and using all this data!

At a basic level, you can use the in-built chart tools in your spreadsheet program of choice. But I recommend using Google’s free dashboarding program, Looker Studio (previously called Data Studio).

If you export your data using my tailor-made UA backup tool for Etsy, I have built a Looker Studio dashboard to go with it. Here’s how to get it…

(Free mini-dashboard below)

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Backup your Google Analytics data before it’s deleted

On Some time after 1 July 2023, Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA) stopped recording data.

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 backup our analytics data? Can we transfer UA data to GA4? Can we continue to analyse 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 only have until July 2024 to figure this out, when Google will actually delete all our Universal Analytics properties and reports.

Let’s take a look at the options…

Etsy shop owners: start here with my free backup tool!

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Backup your Etsy shop’s old Google Analytics data for free

Left it to the last minute to save your Etsy shop’s old Google Analytics data?

If you’re here, then yes: you have. The countdown is on to 1 July 2024 when all our Universal Analytics data will be deleted!

Don’t worry, I’ve left it this late too… Let’s do this together 🙂

In true Artisan Analytics fashion, I have created a custom Google Sheet that will automatically backup the most relevant and important Google Universal Analytics data for an Etsy shop and I am releasing it here for free.

Quickstart Guide

  1. Install the official Google Analytics for Google Sheets add-on
  2. Make a copy of the Google Sheets backup tool
  3. Complete the “Settings” tab with information about the Universal Analytics View you need to backup
  4. Go to Extensions → Google Analytics → Run reports
  5. If all reports run successfully (there’s a confirmation pop up), you are done 🎉

The backed-up data now lives inside this Google Sheet, in your Google Drive account, for as long as you keep it there. You can do whatever you want with it, like view it in a Google Looker dashboard.

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Connect Google Analytics 4 to your Etsy shop

If you’re ready to harness the power of numbers to optimize your Etsy shop but haven’t installed (or upgraded) Google Analytics yet, don’t wait any longer!

Here are my instructions for connecting Google Analytics 4 with an Etsy shop.

⚠️ If you’re reading these instructions to upgrade your Etsy Google Analytics tracking, did you know that Google is going to delete your old GA data on 1 July 2024? Learn how to backup that data so you can refer to it later.

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Advanced: Find Etsy buyers in Google Analytics

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.

⚠️ IMPORTANT!
These instructions are for GA Universal Analytics and are no longer applicable. Etsy now supports GA4.

The out-of-date article below is available to read if interested. If the topic is still relevant in GA4, it might be updated in the future.

Google Analytics 4 has similar segment capabilities as those used in this technique. You should be able to use this technique in GA4 once you have a few months’ of data.

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Change to Google Analytics on Etsy shops (2021)

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.

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


⚠️ IMPORTANT!
These instructions are for GA Universal Analytics and are no longer applicable. Etsy now supports GA4.

The out-of-date article below is available to read if interested. If the topic is still relevant in GA4, it might be updated in the future.

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 the traffic sources you see 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! (And not in a good way…)

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 in “(direct) / (none)”…

You could just analyse your traffic sources in Shop Stats, but let’s fix it in Google Analytics 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.
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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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What is Direct Traffic in Google Analytics… really?

Direct traffic in Google Analytics is one of the first big mysteries you discover. What is direct traffic? 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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Stop! Protect that data! – Preparing Google Analytics with backup & test Views

OUT OF DATE: These instructions were originally provided for Universal Analytics. This version of Google Analytics is no longer available.

Google Analytics 4 comes with a built-in method for testing filters without needing to maintain separate Views. (In fact, the concept of “Views” no longer exists!)

Before you start creating or testing things with Filters in Google Analytics, it’s important to take some steps to keep your data safe.

What’s the danger?

Whenever you make changes to your GA settings for things like Goals, Filters, Content Groupings etc. — all the things I describe in my articles — the changes to your data are permanent. You need a backup without any of these changes, just in case you get something wrong…

Like accidentally creating a filter that removes ALL your traffic and you don’t notice for a week… right during a big ad campaign!

Oops…

A Testing area takes it one step further to let you test out these settings first, then apply them to your main set of data only when you’re sure they’re working correctly. It’s up to you to decide how risky you think a change is and whether you should test it out first.

How do we do this in Google Analytics?

In Analytics, you can have multiple ways of viewing the same data. These are called, appropriately, Views.

In this guide, we’ll create a backup “Raw Data” view to preserve everything with the default settings, and a “Test” view for trialing more complicated Filters before applying them to your main View (normally called “All Web Site Data”).

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