Who Even if you aren’t selling as much as you’d like right now, you’re selling something. Who’s buying your items now? The more you know about them, the more effectively you can work on satisfying them so they’ll help you increase sales. Everything you’d love to know about your buyers, from exactly who they are to the other websites they frequent and the keywords they used to find your site, is available to you. It’s time to start using that information to tailor what you’re doing and make sure you’re speaking to the right people.

Set up visitor tracking

The key to satisfying your buyers is to first understand who they are.

Here’s what to do:

Google offers very powerful tracking and analytics tools for free that can give you invaluable information on who’s looking at your eBay listings. The wealth of information can be overwhelming at first glance, but for now, we’re just going to set it up and let it start passively tracking our traffic, so they’ll be something worth looking at later when we’ve got time to figure it all out.

Visit http://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign up. Getting signed up with Google Analytics is quick if you just fill out the required fields and don’t obsess over settings. You can also use any existing Google account you may already have such as Gmail, YouTube, or even your customer Google apps accounts in some cases. Once your account is active, set up your eBay items as a site and get the Java-free version of the unique tracking code. Now add that code to the bottom of all your active eBay items in minutes with the bulk editing tools. Don’t worry, it won’t show anything on your listings itself as long as you add it to the HTML.

Once that’s done, take an extra moment to add that tracking code to the HMTL of your new listings template or listing software so it’ll also be in every new listing you list from now on without your having to remember to add it. It’ll only take a minute more to also add the code to all your other eBay pages such as My World, About Me and Custom Store pages. Basically, anywhere eBay will let you add HTML, input the tracking code–though never more than once on a single page. Even if you aren’t sure you’re ever going to need tracking info about that page, it costs nothing to let Google keep an eye on it in the background just in case.

If you’re an eBay Store owner, Traffic and Sales Reports are also included with your store subscription and are on the Store Management dashboard. These are also very useful but come with one use-it-or-lose-it catch. You must log into your reports at least once every 90 days or they will stop tracking your data. Keeping this powerful service is therefore as simple as setting yourself a reminder on your phone or calendar to log in once every three months. Take a moment to log into those reports now and set yourself that reminder so you don’t lose them. While I recommend setting up Google Analytics anyway because they give you more detailed reports, it’s always helpful to have a back-up option like this.

Why are we doing this?

Before we can work on converting our existing buyers into word of mouth and recurring fans, we need to know who they are. Once we understand their identity and where they’re coming from, literally, we’ll be able to better serve them. Traffic reports do two big things for you. They tell you who is visiting your items and what other sites they visit, which helps you to better understand and serve your customers, while also cluing your into your competitors and similar sites to use as allies. They also show you the effect your marketing is having. In short, they’ll help you understand what’s going on with your items and how your sales relate to the marketing you’re doing versus people who stumble upon the items themselves. We’re setting this up first because, while traffic reports by themselves won’t bring in more traffic or buyers on their own, they’ll inform you of everything you do from here on and help you fine-tune your efforts so you’re not just blasting your message into the void.