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Obsessing Over Google Analytics Metrics? Make Sure You Take The Blindfold Off Of GA First

It’s kind of funny. We obsess over our metrics in Google Analytics. How many visits are we getting? Is our time on site getting longer or shorter?

But the truth is, without tracking page events, Google Analytics is giving us an incomplete picture.

With a standard installation of Google Analytics, let’s say someone viewed three pages on your site:

  1. They went to your homepage, after typing your brand into Google. They spent 30 seconds there, while entering the Year, Make and Model they’re looking for.
  2. They spent 10 seconds on your search results page, looking for exactly the car they want, scrolling until they find it and click into the Vehicle Description Page (VDP).
  3. They arrive on the VDP and are looking right at the car they want to buy. They click through different pictures, read to the end of the page, they even write down the address of your dealer. Overall, they spend 3 minutes on the page before they close the browser tab.

I think we can all agree that from a dealer’s perspective, this was a great visit.

Unfortunately, to Google Analytics, this looks like a 20 second visit.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 4.33.48 PM


When calculating time on site, the standard implementation of Google Analytics only measures the time between when different pages load.  But what we *really* care about is how long people are active on our sites, especially on the VDPs that most express interest.

Thankfully, we can now measure that too. Using Event Tracking we can start listening to all of the actions that happen on our site’s pages. Instead of just measuring the times between page loads, Google Analytics will measure the time between events, giving us a much clearer picture of how long people are actually on our sites.

This shows an example in the difference in time on page post event tracking and pre event tracking. This shows an example in the difference in time on page post event tracking and pre event tracking.


At LotLinx, we want every dealer to have as much visibility into their business as possible. That’s why we’re offering to set up Event Tracking for anyone that contacts us, whether or not they use our product. Please join me for a webinar on March 3 where I cover how dealers can access the benefits of Event Tracking for their VDPs.