As a car dealership, you already track a lot of data. From
close rates for your sales team to the inventory turnover rate, you’ve got a
close eye on all your key metrics.
The same should be true for your online marketing efforts.
Do you know how many people visit your website each month? How about the number
of website visitors who turn into paying customers?
If you’re investing your time, resources, and energy into
marketing your car dealership, you should know how well your marketing efforts
are working. Google Analytics provides car dealerships with an inside look at
the status of their website and digital marketing efforts.
Why Does My Car Dealership Need a Google Analytics Account?
There are several website and marketing analytics tools on
the market. However, these tools often charge a hefty monthly fee.
Google Analytics accounts are available to businesses free
of charge and provide a wealth of insightful marketing information.
With a Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to access
data such as:
- The geographic locations of website visitors.
- The number of visitors your website receives in
a given period of time.
- How many users accessed your website via your
- Which social media websites directed users to
- How much time users spent on your site.
And that’s only a handful of the data you can explore.
Google Analytics is not an optional tool, it’s a necessity for car dealerships.
How to Sign Up for a Google Analytics Account
Signing up for a Google Analytics account is simple. Simply visit the Google Analytics website and click “Sign Up for Free”.
The instructions will guide you through setting up a
property (your website) and various
reporting views to customize your dashboard.
Once your account is set up, you’ll need to add the tracking
code to your website’s HTML or content management system. To find your code,
sign in to your Google Analytics account and click on the “Admin” button in the
Once on the Admin dashboard, navigate to the middle column
and locate the “Tracking Info” button. Click on the button and choose “Tracking
Code” from the drop-down menu options.
Copy and paste this code into the tag of each website page
you’d like to track. Alternatively, your website builder or program may only
ask for your Google Analytics ID. This ID can be found in “Property Settings”
on the Admin Dashboard as well.
After you’ve set up your account and tracking code, it will
take a few hours to aggregate the data into the tool.
Now that your Google Analytics account is set up and your
tracking code is in place, you need to determine which KPIs (key performance
indicators) are worth tracking. We recommend analyzing the following:
11 KPIs to Track in Google Analytics
A session is defined as a single visit to your car
dealership’s website. Naturally, you want this number to increase as you
continue to promote your business online.
Using Google Analytics, you can adjust the time period and
see how many website sessions you received within that time frame. For
instance, you’ll be able to track how many sessions your website received in
the past 24 hours, month, quarter, year, etc.
2. Audience Data
Sure, you may have a general idea of who your target
audience is. But do you know if they’re interacting with your website?
Google Analytics has an entire “Audience” section full of
data on your website visitors’ locations, devices, languages, and more. Use
this information to better understand your audience and deliver the content
they need for a positive car-buying experience.
You can also create custom audiences to further analyze your marketing results. Follow this guide to develop your dealership’s audiences in Google Analytics.
3. New vs. Returning Users
As your sales team knows, there’s a huge difference between a cold lead just entering the buying process and a prospective customer on the cusp of signing a buyer's order on a new car.
In Google Analytics, you can see how many users are visiting your website for the first time and how many are returning for more information. This new-to-returning visitor ratio should give you insight into how your sales team, website, and re-marketing ads are performing.
4. Top Website Pages
There’s no need to wonder if your blog posts and website
pages are resonating with your visitors.
In the “Behavior” menu in Google Analytics, select “All Pages”. From there, you can sort your website pages by views, time on site, and other metrics to determine which pages your audience interacts with the most.
Knowing which pages generate the most traffic or engagement
from visitors will also help guide your marketing team’s content creation
efforts moving forward.
5. Pages per Session
For a car dealership, it’s not worth having a website if
your visitors don’t view more than one page. The Pages per Session metric shows
you how engaged users are with your website.
If this number is low, there are several potential causes.
Your website copy might not be guiding users as intended. Or, perhaps your
website is not loading properly on certain devices. Take time to thoroughly
investigate potential problems if your Pages per Session metric is lower than
6. Bounce Rate
A similar, critical data point on Google Analytics is the
Bounce Rate. A “bounce” is defined as a single pageview. Therefore, your
website’s “Bounce Rate” is the percentage of all sessions which resulted in
only a single pageview.
Unless your website is a single landing page, you want your
Bounce Rate to be as small as possible. Reducing your Bounce Rate isn’t a simple
fix, however. You’ll need to analyze your website pages and determine what is
halting users from continuing through your website.
The solution could be as simple as replacing a broken link
or as complex as an entire website redesign centered around your users’ needs.
7. Average Session Duration
This KPI is also referred to as “Average Time on Site”. It demonstrates how long users spend visiting your site.
As a car dealership, this metric tells you how long
potential customers spend reading and engaging with information about your
inventory, facilities, team members, and other content.
If your Average Session Duration metric is less than desirable, consider adding more content to help guide users through the sales process.
8. Organic vs. Paid Traffic
Car dealerships engaging in paid
advertising on Google, Facebook, and other platforms will have to sort
their traffic metrics in Google Analytics by Organic and Paid.
Organic traffic refers to individuals clicking on a free
link from a search results page. The Paid Traffic metric shows you how many
visitors came to your website via any paid advertising efforts, including PPC
ads on search engines, social media ads, and other funded campaigns.
Comparing organic traffic to paid traffic will provide insight into the status of both your organic and paid marketing efforts. For instance, are paid ads bringing in more traffic, but not driving ROI? If so, consider amplifying your organic SEO strategy or improving your paid search strategy.
On the left-hand menu of Google Analytics, you’ll notice a section titled “Acquisition”. This is where you’ll find out exactly how users find your website. Common sources of traffic include:
- Social media
- Email marketing
When you’re analyzing your marketing efforts, use the
acquisition reports in Google Analytics to determine how much website traffic
each promotional channel is generating.
For instance, if your social media efforts are generating
less than stellar results, you can use the Acquisition report to determine how
many users found your website via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other
Using acquisition as a KPI allows you to have a full
understanding of how customers find your website and gives you the ability to
develop integrated marketing campaigns based on this information.
10. Behavior Flow
The Behavior Flow report shows car dealerships the exact
paths users took to navigate their website.
For example, using the Behavior Flow report, you can see that a certain percentage of customers took the following hypothetical path:
Home Page > New
Cars > New Lease Specials > Exit
Although customers will have different paths and experiences
with your website, this visual chart provides vital insight on what’s working
best and how customers are navigating your site.
Let’s say you notice many users exiting after visiting your “About” page. This indicates you need to alter the design or copy of that page to convince users to continue interacting with your website.
Alternatively, you can use the Behavior Flow report to
determine if users are following the right paths on your website. If not, this
indicates that your marketing team needs to adjust the layout of the website to
help push customers down the right sales path.
11. Exit Pages
Lastly, it’s important to also understand how and where
users are leaving your website. Are they leaving your website on specific
inventory pages? Are they not making it past the homepage?
Look under the “Site Content” tab in the “Behavior” menu to
find your site’s list of the top exit pages.
Understanding Google Analytics KPIs for Car Dealerships
Work with your car dealership’s marketing team to identify a
handful of key performance indicators to review on Google Analytics. With this
insight in your court, you’ll be ready to make informed decisions about your
website design, marketing efforts, and overall business strategy.
If you need assistance understanding your Google Analytics reports, contact the J&L Marketing team.