String's Automotive Marketing Blog

Getting GA Goals Right: Google Analytics for Cobalt Dealer Websites

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Nov 5, 2013 4:18:53 PM

Welcome to our new blog seres, Getting GA Goals right.  Over the next few posts, we'll provide step-by-step instructions for configuring goals in Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of traffic to your car dealership websites. These steps can vary slightly depending on your web vendor. In this first installment, we'll be addressing Cobalt.

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Topics: auto dealer analytics

Money Talks: Tracking ROI for Car Dealers with Google Analytics

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Oct 20, 2013 11:58:00 PM


Google Analytics clarifies your attribution and ROI picture – but not without a little legwork. Learn how car dealers can leverage GA to see the direct impact of digital channels on their bottom line.


The lure of Google Analytics is that it promises to answer a question as old as the web: what’s the return on my digital investment? 

While getting a perfect answer remains elusive, GA casts light into the black box that is digital marketing and brings you a more complete ROI picture. There is a catch, however: it takes commitment on the part of you and your vendors.

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Topics: auto dealer analytics, google analytics

Google Glass for Vehicle Merchandising

Posted by Dan Fontaine

Oct 8, 2013 5:10:00 PM

We're thrilled to feature a guest post from Dan Fontaine, e-Commerce Director for the Colonial Automotive Group, one of the fastest-growing groups in New England.  Dan will be checking in with us occasionally to talk about applications for Google Glass within auto dealerships.

Google Glass has been out since about May for a select number of Glass Explorers. Since picking up my device in late June at Google’s NYC offices, I have been exploring (pun intended) ways to use Glass in our dealerships. 

photoSo far, it's been a valuable tool for dealership walkthroughs, which has been beneficial to our internal processes.

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Topics: automotive marketing, vehicle merchandising, Google Glass

The Future of Automotive SEO is (not provided)

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Oct 4, 2013 3:15:00 PM

Organic keyword data from Google is slated to disappear permanently. Smart car dealers who embrace this change and focus instead on creating killer content have everything to gain.

Anyone who spends a signifcant amount of time in Google Analytics or website vendor dashboards has experienced a slowly creeping scourge over recent months: (not provided) keyword data. After its recent announcement that it will no longer be providing information on specific keywords, the Big G has businesses who rely heavily on search marketing in a tizzy.

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Topics: automotive seo, auto dealer analytics, google analytics

How to Stop Bots from Polluting Your Google Analytics Data on Cobalt

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Sep 17, 2013 2:35:00 PM

Car dealers with Cobalt sites across the country are seeing massive traffic spikes in Google Analytics reports over the past few months, and the culprit is a bot arriving courtesy of Microsoft. Learn to block the bot from your Google Analytics reports by setting up a filter in a few easy steps.

Cobalt is currently sending out instructions on creating an advanced segment to dealers who have inquired about the traffic, and Brian Pasch posted similar advice on Digital Dealer. While this is a great way to segment out the traffic from your existing data, String recommends going one step further by setting a filter to prevent the bot from ever being recorded in your GA again. 

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Topics: automotive seo, auto dealer analytics, google analytics

Introducing the String Dealer Positioning System

Posted by Ken Kolodziej

Sep 2, 2013 11:31:00 PM

Today is a big day here at String Automotive.  Today, we launch the String Dealer Positioning System, -- or DPS -- a new solution that helps dealers leverage their data to attract, convert and retain more car buyers. As the product has taken shape over the past weeks and months, our team has gotten more and more excited to get the DPS in the wild and in the hands of dealers.  As one of our employees put it: “It’s like we got someone the best birthday present ever, and we can’t give it to them yet.” 

String Dealer Positioning System resized 600

The DPS is the culmination of more than eight years of working with auto dealers as a marketing services vendor.  We launched the company in 2005 because we felt there was a better way to help car dealers develop web sites that would set them apart from the competition; over time, we’ve added SEO, SEM, inventory management and customer reputation management to our repertoire.  But one thing has remained constant throughout our evolution and a changing car industry: A lack of transparency at the dealer level when it comes to data.

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Topics: auto dealer analytics, google analytics, dealer positioning system

How Car Dealers Can Take Advantage of the New Google Maps

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Jul 22, 2013 10:46:00 AM

A new Google Maps means new opportunities to reach in-market buyers. Make sure your dealership is there.

This week, Google opened the doors to their new Maps product, and the changes are more than skin deep. Along with its prettier, full-screen facelift, the new Google Maps moves business listings from the left sidebar and places them directly on the map itself. That means more exposure for your dealership on every local search...but the strategy for sem and customer reputation management for car dealers may change slightly.

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Topics: google analytics, sem/ppc

Per Google, Responsive Design For Car Dealers May Soon Be A Must

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Jul 11, 2013 1:32:00 PM

How do you handle the mobile version of your web site?  If you don’t currently utilize responsive web design, it’s time to consider it.  Reading all of the signs, subtle and otherwise, coming out of Google in recent weeks and months, businesses that don’t have a comprehensive mobile SEO strategy will risk more than a poor customer experience – their search rankings will also take a hit. This has big implications for automotive SEO.

Google clearly recommends responsive design as their preferred approach to mobile SEO. This means having one site design that automatically adapts for an optimal user experience on any device.  In the past, they have also supported the dynamic serving method with either the same URL (different stylesheet served up depending on the detected device) or a separate mobile URL (, for example).

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Topics: seo, google, automotive seo, responsive design

Advanced Attribution: Track the Car Buyer Customer Journey

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Jun 28, 2013 5:00:00 AM

Your customers don't rush to buy a car, so why rush to attribute leads to a single source? With Google Analytics' new Model Comparison Tool, you can easily pick between a number of attribution models that give credit to all sources involved in generating your web leads.  You'll be able to give credit to marketing activities that serve as "assists" as well as those that score the actual sale.

It's been almost two years since Google Analytics introduced Multi-Channel Funnels into it's reporting, but the past two weeks have delivered two of the biggest and most important changes to this feature since its launch.

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Topics: auto dealer analytics, google analytics, conversions, car buyer customer journey

Why Car Dealers Should Care About Structured Markup

Posted by Matthew Kolodziej

Jun 20, 2013 3:27:00 PM

A few quick thoughts on structured markup, since it's been on our minds lately! Search engines still don't seem to be using data markup for dealer sites, but if they ever do (we're betting on it), then you'll want to at least have a thumbnail tagged correctly so that it will show in search results and make your vehicles stand out.

Was that just Greek to you?  We'll break it down: Data markup is something that's been in Google search results pages for awhile. You've probably seen it when you've searched for Yelp reviews or online recipes.

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Topics: seo, on page optimization, automotive seo