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I agree with you. I use Google Analytics on all our sites including those on Etsy & Artfire. I find the info useful and allows me to see how effective my promotions are as well as where my traffic comes from. How long each visitor stays, how many pages they looked at and Soooo many other factors that I can now see makes this a "must have" IMO. The fact it's free makes it all the better.
Attached is a useful ebook on GA Uses & Tips
I'm signed up for the analytics for my Etsy and ecrater shop. It essentially shows me that it's going to have to be MY efforts to get any level of traffic to get to my eCrater shop. I get next to no views on eCrater when compared to Etsy.
My GA also kind of hints that social networking could be a major waste of time. I had been much more active in all the various social sites, a couple of years ago. My GA never showed these to do much as far as traffic building.
Does anyone know why the page views within Google stats, never seems to jive out with numbers that are displayed within venue counters? I had an Artfire account for awhile, and left, I have the GA for Etsy nad eCrater, don't have it for Bonanza. BUT when I was comparing GA to the other 3 venues I listed, the view counts within the venues was always substantially higher than what is reflected within Google.
I wanted to share this feature that is available on Google Analytics - not sure how long it has been available because I just discovered it, but it is a really neat feature. You can now create a new dashboard through your administration page that allows you to set up widgets to provide you with 'REAL TIME' active visitors information. You can select from a list of criteria that interests you that will appear in 'REAL TIME' as an active visitor is in your store. I set mine up to include the type of visitor (new or returning), city, state, country of visitor, source as in google, bing, social etc, page topic, page viewing, device (such as mobile or desk top) etc. This information appears as the person is in your store and you can actually watch what pages they are viewing etc. I was able to see a shopper in my store last night and the page she was viewing and then I could see that she was in check out and when it left the screen, I heard the ding in my inbox and the sale was there. It is just a neat feature but I enjoyed it and wanted to share with the group in case you are not aware of it.