Set up Google Analytics 4 for your Etsy shop

This article has been updated for Google Analytics 4.

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.

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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These instructions are for GA Universal Analytics and are no longer applicable.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The out-of-date article below is available to read if interested.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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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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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.

(And we know promotion needs A LOT of effort!!)

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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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…

⚠️ 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.

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Find individual Etsy buyers 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.

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.

So let’s explore!

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Four Google Analytics dashboards just for Etsy shop owners

OUT OF DATE: These instructions were originally provided for Universal Analytics.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

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.

The built-in dashboard tool in the old Universal Analytics was never very full-featured, but it was an easy introduction to “dashboarding”.

In GA4, you can customise the “native” reports a bit more, to highlight the metrics that are important to your shop. The reporting capabilities are also much more powerful.

But to really create a visual dashboard like we’re used to, you need to learn a new tool.

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