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5 Things Your Dealership’s Internet Manager Should Be Tracking

Do you ever ask yourself the question, what is my digital marketing team doing, and how do I even know if what they are doing is even making me money? If so, you’re not alone. In the early days of internet marketing, it was extremely hard to track the effectiveness of a website vs. the slew of other ongoing marketing efforts, including TV, print, radio and the like. So most owners of established car dealerships just threw their hands in the air, said “make me a website and make it cheap”, and then went on doing exactly the same thing they’d always done.

Nowadays, the tides have changed, and not only can you track the results of your digital marketing efforts, but you can’t afford not to be tracking everything. Google and Facebook invented it, the leading car manufacturers and tier-2 groups are certainly doing it, and you’re competitors (at least the smart ones) are too. Not only can we track the results of online marketing and segment these results by channel, but we can also track and measure our website visitors and aggregate their information to better understand, market to, and serve our customers. And we can also track our brands across the entire internet to manage our brand name and online reputation.

Below are five major items your internet manager needs to be tracking now. So, if you’re the owner of a dealership, a GM, or other manager, forward this to your internet manager, marketing team or web professional; and if you are the web pro, keep reading (and don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone if you’re not already doing these things).

1) Google Analytics

Goals

Goals in google analytics are how we track and report on success. Without goals, we are basically driving our car in the dark without headlights. You can setup goals to track and measure the effectiveness across your diverse array of internet campaigns, including organic search, paid search, email, social media and others. By implementing goals, you can see which campaigns are generating sales and which ones are dead weight.

google-analytics-goals

You can setup goals for views of:

  • New / Used VDP pages
  • Contact us page views

And you can also setup goals for events. Here are a few examples:

  • Lead submissions
  • Video content plays
  • Chat requests / chats
  • Video views
  • Downloads
  • Newsletter signups

google-analytics-goals2

Visit https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1032415?hl=en for more information on setting up and managing goals in analytics.

In 2013, Google started offering demographics and interests reports across it’s analytics platform. This allows you to see information about your website visitors including age, gender and interests.

Interests & Demographics

Enable this with the universal tracking code to see the following about your visitors:

google-analytics-demographics

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests (e.g. TV fanatic, news junkie, foodie, etc)

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2819948?hl=en

If you don’t already use webmaster tools and integrate this within your analytics accounts, you are missing valuable data about your website visitors and your performance within Google’s search engine.

google-analytics-interests
Setup Webmaster Tools and integrate with Google Analytics to see:

  • What users see in Google search results before they decide to click to your site (or some other site). You can use this data to identify opportunities and prioritize development efforts to increase the number of visitors to your site.
  • Identify landing pages on your site that have good click-through rates (CTR), but have poor average positions in search results. These could be pages that people want to see, but have trouble finding.
  • Identify search queries (keywords) for which your site has good average positions, but poor click through rates. These are queries for which your pages get attention and improved content could lead to more visitors.

Visit the following links to see how to setup and integrate Google’s webmaster tools within your Google Analytics account.

google-webmaster-tools

2) Google AdWords

Conversion Tracking

Setup conversion tracking to see how your ad campaigns are performing. Setup conversion tracking on any event which indicates valuable customer activity:

adwords-conversions

  • Lead form submissions
  • Phone calls
  • Video views
  • Downloads
  • Newsletter signups
  • Chat requests / chats

Visit https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722054?hl=en for more information.

Import GA Goals

If you already have analytics goals, you can import them into AdWords by following these steps:

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1034306?hl=en

3) Google My Business

So you’ve setup a Google My Business page and while Google does provide some useful insights about your page from within the Google My Business platform, what it doesn’t tell you automatically is how many people click over from the page to your website. Track clicks from your Google My Business page by following these steps:

url-builder
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en

4) Remarketing

Even if you aren’t currently using the remarketing feature of Google AdWords, Bing or Facebook, you can still place these codes on your site to start building lists for the future. You can remarket to visitors of your website for up to a year and a half, so it’s important to get ready now so that you can implement these campaigns effectively as soon as you’re ready. Otherwise you’ll be waiting for at least one month before you can even start retargeting. Below our guidelines for implementing retargeting codes for the three major platforms available:

Google AdWords

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2476688?hl=en

Microsoft Bing

http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/universal-event-tracking

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/business/a/online-sales/custom-audiences-website?campaign_id=648959365201614

5) Social Media Mentions (for reputation management)

Do you want to find company mentions beyond news articles and blogs?

Do you want to monitor social mentions and metrics?

There are a variety of tools to track social media mentions. Mention, Hootsuite, SumAll and HubSpot each offer a single dashboard so you can track mentions on social media, websites and blogs. With these tools, you don’t have to hop back and forth between networks to gather and compare data.

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