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.
If you’ve hung around here for a while, you’ll have heard a little about UTM Campaign Tags. They are the magic ingredient for making sure that visits from Instagram, Pinterest and anywhere else show up in your Google Analytics reports correctly.
Why doesn’t this happen right in the first place??
To know where a visitor came from, Google Analytics has to listen in to the conversation happening between the visitor’s browser and your website. Often this conversation includes information about the last page the visitor looked at (their traffic source).
This is called “referral” information.
But sometimes, for a whole bunch of technical reasons, it doesn’t have this information or it’s wrong. In many of these cases, the visit will be attributed as “direct” traffic (the catch-all black hole bucket of mystery visits!)and you’ll never know if your marketing actually worked.
Campaign tags let us control all the information about the source of the visit and leave nothing to chance.
Keep reading to find out how and where to use campaign tags for marketing your handmade shop!
This article has been updated for Google Analytics 4. (You don’t need to change your tagged links!)
The smell of your morning coffee still lingers in the air as your daily task list looms.
Gotta answer those customer questions… Better update those old product descriptions… What about that new Instagram photo challenge?
Oh and making some beautiful things. You know – the whole reason your shop exists.
Thank goodness for that coffee!
It’s hard work running a small business, especially when your online shop needs so much marketing and promotion to keep making sales. Sometimes it feels like you do more “business” than “making”.
So what I’m about to suggest might sound a little scary. We’re going to go even deeper into “business”.
The level of strategy and KPIs.
Key performance indicators? Really??!
Don’t worry, these aren’t the “awkward closed-door meetings with your boss” kind of KPI. These are the kind that focus how you measure your shop’s performance and tell you when to have a celebratory drink.
If you don’t know what success should look like, how will you know when you get there? How will you know when to crack that champagne?!
You need to figure out what your “success metrics” are, first.
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.
⚠️ 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 also has a User Explorer and the method below is broadly the same to narrow it down to a single buyer, using segments. However, the GA4 version does not clearly show a flow of pages viewed so the info you find on the buyer is ultimately not that useful.
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.
If you have a boutique ecommerce shop, you probably use Instagram.
But if you look in Google Analytics, you’ll see close to no traffic from this supposedly wonderful handmade-marketing-engine. What’s going on?
Is it a failure? Or are your Instagram visitors just hidden?
When somebody taps the link in your profile and it opens your shop, Instagram doesn’t pass on any “referral” information to your shop. It doesn’t tell it that Instagram opened that link. As far as your shop is concerned, and therefore your Google Analytics tracking code and even Etsy Shop Stats (for Etsy sellers), that person may as well have opened up their mobile web browser and manually typed your shop address in.
In other words, Google Analytics and Shop Stats track that as a Direct visit.
And you have no idea which of all your Direct visits came from Instagram. You can guess by looking at which ones came from mobiles or tablets, but it’s not reliable.