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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Getting started: Set up Google Analytics for your Etsy shop

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

Here are my instructions for connecting Google Analytics the right way, with up-to-date steps and screenshots.

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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 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.
(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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Stop! Protect that data! – Preparing Google Analytics with backup & test Views

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”).

IMPORTANT: These instructions are for Universal AnalyticsGoogle 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!)

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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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How to Copy Google Analytics Settings in Minutes

If you ever find yourself on a dark, empty road and see a lone car far ahead indicate to change lanes, you might think, “Why are they bothering? I bet they even checked their blind spot…”

Well that person might be me. And I did check my blind spot.

I’m just the kind of person who does things the same way, every time.

So if you’re anything like me, I can only assume that you’ve been super diligent in using your Test View to trial changes in Google Analytics.

But what about when you’re confident everything’s working? Everything took so long to set up the first time… surely you don’t need to go through it all again?!

Nope, you don’t!

(Ok, there are a couple of tiny things you’ll need to do again, but bear with me because there’s still an easy way to do it.)

IMPORTANT: These instructions are for Universal AnalyticsGoogle Analytics 4 comes with a new way for testing filters so you no longer need to move them between Views.

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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 individual 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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