String's Automotive Marketing Blog

Measure What Matters: The Report Auto Dealers Can't Live Without

Posted by Matt Kolodziej

May 23, 2013 1:51:00 PM

Welcome to our third installment on analytics for auto dealers!  We've been taking a look at easy ways to leverage Google Analytics to get a better sense of how buyers are finding your dealership and moving through their journey on the way to becoming your customers.

At Digital Dealer, Avinash Kaushik, Google's Digital Marketing Evangelist, suggested that dealers take a comprehensive look at conversion events and break them down by channel. While it's not as sophisticated as the heatmap visualization he presented at this conference, we've taken the liberty of creating a custom report for GA that will provide you with a snapshot of your goals and which channels are delivering them.

Simply click the link and select the profile that you want to apply it to:


Custom GA Report resized 600

At the very least, this report will tell you:

  • Whether you have any conversion tracking in place

  • What types of conversions you're currently configured to track

  • Which sources are delivering the most last-click conversions 

If you're running paid search, display, and other campaigns, but you don't see them on this report, then your vendors may not be tagging their campaigns for Google Analytics. Ask them to do so going forward – it's a simple check box in AdWords – so that you can see what's working best. If you want to get even more insight into your paid search performance, ask your vendor to link your Analytics and AdWords accounts. That way you can see how every dollar is being spent any time you want. We'll have more on AdWords and Analytics in later posts!

Combine the sample custom report above with the Multi-Channel Funnel report we addressed in the previous post, and you'll have a pretty good window into the different roles that your traffic sources play in the conversion funnel.

Study which keywords, campaigns, and referrers brought shoppers who eventually convert. Look at which landing pages drove customers away for good or enticed them enough to dive in, and which content finally spurred them to convert. Armed with that data, you can work with your vendors to begin tailoring content to speak directly to where your customers are in the purchase process.

Maybe a test drive form submission typically arrives after a shopper visits your special warranty page. But that's only after a shopper has viewed a specific vehicle on your inventory a week earlier, arriving through retargeted ads focusing on your discounts. And that only happened because that shopper first arrived through search for an "OEM dealers" keyword.

It may seem overwhelming right now. But set your conversions to focus on the bottom line, start scratching the surface of the data you collect, and start experimenting. Share your insights with your vendors, and work with them to push that needle up.

Read Part Two of the Measure What Matters series>>


Topics: auto dealer analytics, google analytics, digital dealer, car buyers, conversions