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Dealers Can Unlock Digital Buying Signals With These 6 Advanced Google Analytics Techniques

I’ve trained a lot of people on Google Analytics. And I’ve always started those meetings with the same phrase, “Google Analytics is great at telling you how people got to your site, and what they did once they got there.”

I started using that phrase when I was at Google and was teaching Fortune 500 clients on how to use the data that was newly available to them using Google Analytics (GA). I trained clients and Googlers from Mountain View, California to Dublin, Ireland, always starting with the same phrase.

But things have changed.

Back then, in 2004, almost every time you did something on a website the URL changed. So that’s what the standard Google Analytics implementation measured - and still does: what changed between URL loads. How much time passed, which page was last on a visitor’s visit.

But that leaves a lot of interactions on your site out.

For example, Bounce Rate is a very dangerous metric for most marketers. They see a low bounce rate from a particular traffic source and think, “Awesome, everything is swell!” But, while GA is great at telling marketers what users are doing on their sites, it's horrible at telling them why they're doing what they're doing. For example, the 3 minutes that organic traffic is spending on a dealer’s website is likely the user just trying to find the right car.

A low bounce rate more often than not are misleading, people are clicking around the site to get to the information that they actually want. A low bounce rate more often than not are misleading, people are clicking around the site to get to the information that they actually want.


What if someone starts their visit to your site right on a vehicle description page and clicks to see photos?

Klein Honda scrnshot A VDP page that shows actions people can engage with. These do not get recorded with a default implementation of Google Analytics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under a standard installation of Google Analytics that visit is a bounce.

How do you really see the truth of what’s going on? Do these 6 things:

  1. Install Event Tracking to get to advanced Google Analytics. With event tracking, you can get visibility into what’s really going on each page.
  2. Track whether they’re clicking on pictures on your VDP. If they’re looking at pictures, they’re engaging with your page.
  3. Track whether they’re scrolling down the page. If they’re scrolling down the page, they’re looking at the details of the car.
  4. Track whether they’re watching videos. Again, if they’re watching a video about your car, you wouldn’t count them as a bounce.
  5. Track whether they’re clicking on third-party widgets, like calculating car payments or finding insurance options...again, showing interest in purchasing the car.
  6. Finally, track whether they’re spending more than 30 seconds on your page. If a viewer is on your VDP for more than 30 seconds, that’s a sign of true interest.

I’m not suggesting you do these things just for the sake of having additional metrics, I want you to have more honest overall metrics.

Above are the kind of information that event tracking will provide that happens on your VDPs. Above are the kind of information that event tracking will provide that happens on your VDPs.

Without event tracking, a user that lands on a VDP who finds exactly what they're looking for, grabs their keys, and drives down to the dealership...looks like a bounce. (In that case, marketers should be driving for a 100% bounce rate.)

The bottom line is, if you’re not working backwards from conversions and engagements, you’re losing visibility into the last part of your site users are interacting with before actually buying a car.  In terms of the conversions you should be measuring, here are the 4 standard goals we suggest that every dealer tracks: new vehicle VDP view, used vehicle VDP view, CPO VDP view, and website leads. If you want to get into more advanced conversions, you should also track: Click to call from SRPs/VDPs, Customer Chat or Text, Finance Leads, Trade Appraisal Leads, and View Incentives/Coupons. If you’d like some help setting up your advanced analytics in GA either for goal conversions or engagement measurements, contact us and we’ll walk you through it...free of charge, and without a sales pitch.