According to the NADA 2014 Annual report, “…total dealership net profit before tax as a percent of sales was 2.2 percent” for the third year in a row. In a business with tight margins, maximizing every dollar is imperative. This imperative applies especially to digital advertising, where wastage is not easily identified. The good news is, you can use Google Analytics to measure the performance of digital campaigns driving traffic to your web site,  but not as it comes to you “out of the box.” You’ll need to customize Google Analytics before it can become a powerful tool for your business.

The first step is to set up the metrics that matter. As a car dealer, these include how many views you are getting on each type of vehicle detail page (VDP), whether new, used, or certified pre-owned. Then, translate these metrics into goals in Google Analytics, lining them up with the actions you want people to take on your website once they get there, such as clicking to call, engaging in customer chat, viewing incentives, and checking out financing, among others.

Next, assign values to these goals to help you quantify the return on investment (ROI) of your digital advertising dollars. For example, a VDP view by itself is worth less than someone who clicks to call the dealership from that VDP.

You can then customize Google Analytics even further through the use of Events to track these metrics and goals with incredible accuracy, getting around GA’s innate “blindness” to what happens on individual pages. The result? A GA dashboard that delivers data and insight you can use to assess each traffic source and its impact on your business.
Download the step-by-step guide to setting and tracking metrics, goals, and values in Google Analytics with the free white paper.