understanding google analytics for online shops

As an online shop owner there are few pieces of information I study each and every morning. One of the most important sources for me is Google Analytics. The people at Google have done a fantastic job creating a tool that easily tells me where my customers come from, what they like the most, what they buy most frequently, how my social media efforts are doing, and where my ad dollars should be spent.

Below I’ve created two screencasts to show how to look at your own shop’s Google Analytics based on statistics from jesslc.com this Monday. The first one is a general overview of the major stats (3:26 min) and the second goes into detail about Content, Traffic Sources, and E-Commerce (5:00 min).

PS – for google reader – click this post link to see the screencasts.

If these are helpful for you and you’d like me to go into more detail in a future screencast, please let me know in the comment section.

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  1. megan v

    This is SUUUUUUUPER helpful and puts things in really easy and understandable terms. I have been using google analytics for a while now on my etsy shop and blog and I feel like I understand certain parts of it but not everything and what it really MEANS. This has definitely given me a deeper understanding of what the numbers mean and if the numbers are “good” or “not so good”!! Thank you for Google Analytics 101 Class! I think I passed 😀 xoxoxo meg

  2. Thank you soooo much. I have recently published my own site as well as posting items on Etsy. I didn’t even know this info was available out there. I can’t wait to take a look and see what I can learn about my customers. Thanks again.


  3. this is INCREDIBLE, jess! thanks SO much for sharing it. while i’ve been using analytics for a long time, this provided some new insight that i didn’t have before. looking at the ecommerce information was particularly helpful and made me realize another reason why having a standalone ecommerce portal (as opposed to just an etsy shop like i have) can be super important.

    thanks so much! 🙂

  4. Jess

    @ Megan V: So happy to hear that this helped you understand your statistics more :). Just warning you, it can get addicting…

    @ Abi Z: Nice! I’m not sure if you have to install it to count your etsy traffic or not, but it’s worth trying. I know other etsy people use it as well.

    @ Krista: I’m happy to hear this helped you learn even more. There are lots of great things that come with a more sophisticated portal, but beware, costs come with it. So try to make sure it makes most sense financially first.

  5. vana

    Wonderful information Jess!
    My one question is: how come I don’t see the E-Commerce button/section on my Google Analytics? Is that something you install or that comes with it?

  6. vana

    uh ha! Just figured it out! I had it switched to NO instead of YES. Feel like I’ve been missing good information for all this time. Thanks again, Jess!

  7. vadjutka

    Thanks it was very useful!
    The only thing is, that I do not fid the e-commerce part on my GA page…where can it be?

  8. Melissa

    Hi Jess – I think in the first video you said something about how the # of visits could be counting some of your own visits. I was actually able to block my own IP address through the Google Analytics Filter Manager, so it doesn’t count my own activity. It’s great for those instances when I am making a lot of updates and don’t want to inflate/skew my numbers. Just a thought in case that’s something you would want to do…

  9. thanks jess…i dont have a shop but i think the info is helpful even for my blog…so thanks again.


  10. Jess

    @ Vana: Good! I’m happy to hear that it worked out once you turned it on. Such great info in the e-commerce section!

    @vadjutka: I wish I was a bit more familiar with programming GA. I know how read the stats, but I’m not familiar with how to get it connected to the cart. I personally use Shopify for my shopping cart which has a simple connection to GA on their website. But before Shopify I wasn’t able to see the ecommerce info myself. Only the pageviews, etc. I’d google around or ask someone you know who is good with computers.

    @ Melissa: What a great idea! I knew that it could be done, but had never done it myself (yet). I think I might just look into that this week. Thanks!

    @ Tamara Styles: Wonderful! It is such great info for all kinds of sites, especially blogs! 🙂

  11. Valerie

    These videos are great. I like how the information is put into simple terms. I will definitely be checking google analytics more often now since it is not so over whelming.

  12. Adrienne

    Fab tutorial. This has definitely helped me to have a better grasp of how Google Analytics works. Thanks!

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