String's Automotive Marketing Blog

Measure What Matters: Are You Tracking the Right Stats?

Posted by Matt Kolodziej

May 16, 2013 2:33:00 PM

Welcome to our second installment on analytics for auto dealers!  We’re back with more tips and tricks on how to use successfully use Google Analytics to measure your marketing effectiveness. As we discussed in yesterday’s installment on goal tracking, the key is to stop focusing on irrelevant statistics when you're looking at the funnel as a whole.

Don't bother with visits and pageviews. If you want an accurate look at how you're filling the funnel and which sources are contributing most to conversions and sales, put engagement aside and concentrate instead on unique visitors and new visitors. If a vendor is tying success to time on site, bounce rate, and pages per visit, then they're not looking at the right metrics. A longer time on site and higher pages per visit may simply mean that users are confused and spending longer looking for what they want. 

Bounce rate is useful only to the extent of understanding whether a customer is finding what they are looking for on your site.  If you are experiencing high bounce rates, take the time to understand what is going wrong.  As Avinash Kaushik suggested in his keynote presentation at Digital Dealer, try implementing a simple survey for visitors who are spending 3 minutes or more on your site.  Ask them three simple questions: Why did you come, did you find what you were looking for, and what were you looking for that you did not find?  An inexpensive survey tool we like is Qualaroo.  

The Customer Journey

So how do you connect the dots to determine if visitors are becoming customers – and what makes them do so?

Now that you have the right goals enabled, start looking at the Multi-Channel Funnels report in GA under the Conversions tab. Here, you get a 30-day window into the interactions with your site that a visitor makes before submitting a lead. This report is particularly important for auto dealerships, as car shoppers touch your site more than once before converting, but that lead is attributed solely to the final traffic source. The more you understand how visitors move along the funnel, the better you can tweak the experience at each stage to move them along to the next one.

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Google recently launched its Customer Journey to Online Purchase site, with the typical conversion path that users take across a variety of industries. Automotive is one of the feature categories, and Google's 2012 data suggests that direct and organic traffic are receiving the lion's share of the credit for work that email campaigns, referral sites, and paid search are putting in. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on the one GA report you should be implementing today!

Read Part Three of Measure What Matters series>>

Read Part One of Measure What Matters series>>

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Topics: auto dealer analytics, google analytics, digital dealer, web stats, car buyer customer journey