Time to Take Google Analytics Seriously

Google Analytics

I estimate that nine out of 10 auto dealers do not have Google Analytics properly configured to capture valuable online marketing data. As a result, dealers do not have access to metrics that would allow them to quickly inspect the quality of their marketing investments and vendor partners.

CBT News readers and progressive dealership managers who want to identify and eliminate marketing waste must have Google Analytics goals and events configured properly. Google Analytics does not allow dealers to go back in time to recapture lost data pertaining to consumer actions on websites.

Therefore, the sooner Google Analytics is configured properly, the faster marketing investments can be inspected and optimized to increase conversions, engagement, and showroom traffic.

Why Invest in Google Analytics?

Managers of auto dealerships are frustrated with their lack of ability to fully inspect the effectiveness of their online marketing investments. The current metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) provided on monthly marketing reports have little actionable data for dealership executives.

Managers have shared with me that they do not have “digital levers” to increase sales outcomes, like they once had. If you have any doubts about my thesis, please answer these questions:

  • How does Impression Share, Cost per Click (CPC), Click-Thru Rate (CTR), or Views relate to selling more cars?
  • How is it that website visitors can increase by 40 percent in a month yet total sales leads stay the same?
  • If you change your marketing investments to move from 20 percent Impression Share to 35 percent Impression Share, how many more cars will you sell?

Dealers are looking at monthly reports with metrics like these and shaking their heads, wondering if they are investing their marketing dollars wisely. Managers who run all other aspects of their dealership efficiently are hoping they’re making the correct decisions from this data. But good managers can’t simply hope that this phase of their business is running well, they need to look at the numbers and KNOW if there is a problem.

How to Clean Up Analytics

Every Wednesday on CBT News, I host a show called Auto Marketing Now. Many episodes have touched on the need to have accurate data in Google Analytics (GA) because it is a reliable third-party reporting partner. Despite my urging, many dealership managers have not stepped up to take Google Analytics seriously.

To make it easier to capture all the marketing data that is being thrown out each day, I have created a special Google Analytics Clean-Up (GAC) program to build the skills that dealership managers need to inspect their current Google Analytics configuration to know which areas of the software need to be fixed. If dealers do not have the resources to fix their own Google Analytics accounts, they can opt to have assistance from Google Analytics certified professionals.

What It Involves

Managers who participate in the GAC program will have the skills and/or assistance to clean-up Google Analytics. Here is what they can expect.

  • Data access and user privileges will be reviewed to align with current staff and vendor partners.
  • Traffic from marketing vendors will be inspected for compliance with Google UTM tagging standards.
  • CRM email templates will be inspected for compliance with Google UTM tagging standards to reduce unknown traffic sources.
  • Goals will be created and tested for all four conversion paths: calls, lead forms, chat sessions, and SMS messages.
  • PCG’s automotive industry multi-touch attribution scripts will be installed for more accurate Assisted Conversions and Last-Click conversion reports.
  • Filters will be created to eliminate internal traffic and common source for bots.
  • Segments will be created to allow dealers to quickly inspect SRP/VDP activity by marketing channel.
  • Custom dashboard reports will simplify ongoing inspection of website data
  • Managers will understand the role of Google Tag Manager (GTM) and how GTM containers allow their vendor partners to create events to track what consumers are doing on the dealer’s website.
  • Google Analytics will be certified to be compliant and complete by the end of the program with the understanding that vendor partners are willing to support the dealer’s desire for data transparency and accountability.

This special Google Analytics training and clean-up program will prepare dealers to fully engage at the Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit, which will be held in November 2017.  Attendance at the Summit is not a required but dealers who want to engage and participate in the development of better marketing metrics should attend.


Additional details on the Google Analytics Clean-Up (GAC) program can be found by visiting this page: https://pcgcompanies.com/ga/