Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Analytics Basics for the Etsy Newb.

I've been wanting to make this update for a while, but I kept putting it to the back burner between having so much college work to catch up on, house sitting, and being ill. I finally have time to write it now, so here I go.

I think one of the most valuable tools out there for any new Etsian, besides all of the guides on Etsy and the advice of the friendly Etsy forum people are the various analytic websites out there. Besides Google Analytics, which is the standard statistical analytic website that you can set up to synch with your Etsy shop, there are many other websites that I've either found through others on Etsy or just stumbling through. I'm going to explain these websites in a basic way for anyone who is new to either Etsy in and of itself, advertising outside of Etsy, or analytics in general. I'll also explain how to use these in the best way - after all, Google Analytics for example gives you so much information it's hard to know exactly what it means and how to use that information to improve your shop. Here we go:

Google Analytics - 


Many people are familiar with this website. It's the biggest and most comprehensive analytics website out there, and also happens to be the only analytics website that you can directly sync with Etsy (to my knowledge). The pros of this website are obvious, but the major con is that there is so much information given that the average person doesn't quite understand at first what it all means without doing a good deal of research. For example, what the heck is a bounce rate? Is it good to have a high one? I'm going to break it down for you:

When you log into Google Analytics, the two more important sections for you will be Visitors and Traffic Sources. Let's go look at Visitors first. The nitty gritty of your visitor stats are broken down for you. You can disregard for the most part the Technical Profile, though it is interesting.

Example screenshot by Optimized Promotion

Visits is quite obvious, but what is the difference between Visits and Absolute Unique Visits? Absolute Unique Visits are the stats for every single different IP address that has visited your Etsy. For examples, you visiting your Etsy quite often in the day to check up on your views, hearts, sales, etc will inflate your Visits stats quite a bit, so Absolute Unique Visits is the number you really want to look at.

Time on Site and Bounce Rate both pertain to what people do once they reach your Etsy. You want your Time on Site to be as high as possible, as it means that people are (potentially) browsing your Etsy quite a lot, very interested and possibly picking out items to purchase. That one is quite obvious, but what about that Bounce Rate?

Sorry to say, but Bounce Rate is one number you want to get as LOW as possible! The bounce rate pertains to how many people visit your Etsy and leave immediately without further browsing your items and other pages. Don't be too concerned about this number. There are various techniques to get it as low as possible over time. You can check these techniques out at the Storque page here. I've tried a few of them and it's gotten my bounce rate to below 50%, so I can say that they do help!

Bounce Rate is important though, as it helps indicate your market's interests. This is where Traffic Sources comes in, so let's move onto that tab now.

Example screenshot by Optimized Promotion


Wow, lots of information! Top Traffic Sources is the most important area of this page. Sources simply indicates where your people are finding your page. This is really useful for seeing which places your advertising is most effective, and which are least. From this information, you can see which places you may want to stop advertising on, and which places you might want to devote more work to. Are you getting a lot of Twitter views? Cool, now you can work on getting those Facebook Page views up! Chop chop!

Keywords is possibly one of the most useful parts of analytics. Click full report and bathe in an unadulterated mass of numbers! OK, don't feel too overwhelmed, keywords is actually fairly interesting. In this chart, you see what keywords, either typed into Google or Etsy, lead people to your website.

Example chart by web analytics blog, Kaushik.net

More importantly, you can see the bounce rate of these keywords. This is REALLY important because it shows you what people are looking for. For examples, my highest current keyword is "kawaii umbrella." The bounce rate, or people who leave immediately without looking at my items, is only 14%, which is really low. That means that people who like kawaii-style and umbrella items are interested in my Etsy. This means that I should increase my stock in kawaii style and start supplying umbrella patterned items. I've actually just received a really cute umbrella fabric that I purchased recently because of this very reason!

Photo and fabric by the fabulous store of ikoplus.

And with this knowledge, you're on your way to be an analytics expert! Awesome! Now you can check in on this information periodically and see how your changes are influencing your stats. You can also check some really neat things, like where in the world your shop is most popular. For example, my page views are high and my bounce rates are very low among Etsy browsers in Taiwan. They must really like me there! ;)

Here are a few other great analytic sites:

Clicky 
Did you know you could and should have analytics for your own craft/personal blog? I find Clicky to be really awesome for this. Clicky is similar to Google Analytics, but much simpler and less information overload, which can be good and bad, depending on what you're looking for. I find Clicky to be good for blogs because you need less information than you'd need for Etsy - the most important information is your views, general bounce rate and the unique links, which are basically just the individual links that people have clicked to find your website all over the internet. I like Clicky a great deal because it compares your recent views on a graph to past views, so you see if you're getting more views or less! Neat!

Craftopolis

Very similar to the famous heart-o-matic, but I really like how Craftopolis breaks it all down over a calender spread. You can see all hearts you've received over the month, all of your profits on each day, as well as page views and unique visitors. Great, huh? It gets better - you can also see the keywords (Search Terms) that people used and have found your items through, as well as which page your item fell on, which is fairly interesting. I also really like the Treasure Tracks feature, which shows all of your items which have been featured in a treasury, and a link to them. It's a little easier than Etsy's treasury search feature, only because it only shows the items you've had featured in OTHER treasuries, rather than just every treasury you've ever made plus your features, which is good for anyone who makes lots of treasuries, like me. :) 

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I hope this helped any newbies out there starting out in wonderful world of Etsy! Good luck. You can do it! 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I have tried Google Analytics but I don't think mine is working correctly. I just went back in today and it says I only had 12 views and 6 unique views since I started in July. I know for sure I viewed my page more than 12 times, lol. I'll play around with it some more. I like the craftopolis site:)

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  2. I think it is fantastic, it is amazing to see who has visited your site, where they come from and how they came across your page.

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  3. I'm glad you guys like this! :)

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  4. Jessica, this is the most useful blog post I have ever read! Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge! :D

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