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Are Your Business Goals Aligned With Your Data Reporting?

By Brian Pasch on Jan 19, 2012

For many dealers, Google Analytics is not yet one of the standard tools they review each month to provide business intelligence and accountability for their digital marketing strategy.  

I encourage dealers and marketing managers to learn more about Google Analytics in 2012.  There are three free webinars starting in February 2012 if you join the Automotive SEO Study

A majority of dealers who are looking at Google Analytics data are using the "base" level functionality and few have setup "Goals".  

Why Setup Goals?

Goals in Google Analytics coupled with Multi-Channel Sales Funnels can start to give you insight into the influences that brought local consumers to your website.

For example, a company comes in to sell you a product/service that claims will drive more qualified consumers to your inventory pages.  How do you measure that claim?  

Another vendor claims that by adding video to your website, consumer engagement will go up 250%.  How do you measure that?  

You decide to invest more in direct mail campaigns for Fixed Ops.  The vendor claims that online service appointments and visits to your "Service Specials" page will increase 150%.  How do you measure that?

Goals, when setup to match your marketing objectives, can be a simpel way to consolidate data for an executive reports each month.

What Goals Should We Setup?

There are four conditions that represent a goal in Google Analytics:

  1. A specific page is viewed
  2. A period of time on your website
  3. Pages are viewed per visit
  4. An event

For many dealers the first three will be utilized the most.  For example, according to automotive shopping research, when a consumer visits the "Hours & Directions" page on your website, it is a strong indicator that they will be coming in to purchase a car.

So, if we setup a "Goal" to see how many times a month people are visiting your "Hours & Directions" page, we can also see what outside influences brought consumers to this page.  You may also want to get goals for popular meny choices on your navigation bar which could include:

  • Used Car Inventory Page
  • New Car Inventory Page
  • Service Appointment Page
  • Specials Page

Defining a Goal

To define a goal based on a consumer landing on a page, follow these steps:

  1. Login to Google Analytics
  2. Click on your store, if you have multiple accounts
  3. Click on the "gear" symbol in the upper right hand side of Google Analytics.
  4. Click on the "Goals" tab on the page presented
  5. Click on "Add a Goal"
  6. Name Your Goal like "View Used Cars"
  7. Paste in the full URL of that page
  8. Save The Rule
This diagram can help you see how to fill-out the goal form:


 Setting Goals For Lead Submission


If your website provider displays a distinct "Thank You Page" after a consumer submits a lead, you can also setup a goal called "Lead Submission".  Just submit a lead, and when the thank you page appears, copy that URL and use it in a goal.

If your website provider is using a programming language like "Ajax" that changes the contents of just the form submission area with a thank you message, you will be challenged to setup a goal in Google Analytics for a lead submission.

Once Goals Are Set - Now What?


Once you have your goals setup, you can then setup your "influencer" rules with Multi-Channel Sales Funnels.  You can reference my previous blog post on Multi-Channel Sales Funnels for more details on how a car dealer can create custom rules that tract their marketing investments.

Wouldn't you want to see which marketing and social media investments are driving more consumers to view your inventory?

As we hold our employees accountable for their sales performance each month, so should you setup goals for your website and hold it accountable for performance.  Google Analytics is one tool to setup the parameters by which a dealer principal can measure performance.

I encourage dealers to request the executive dashboard reports from their vendors or consulting partners to help them better understand, inspect, and adjust their digital marketing strategy.  Google Analytics goals is one of those elements that should be reviewed.

If you are heading to DMSC prior to NADA, I will doing a workshop specifically on Google Analytics and how to use these free tools to gain better insights into the ROI of your digital marketing investments.  

The conference will also have members of the Google Automotive team that will shed some light into future opportunities to leverage Google products to create a stronger presence in the Zero Moment of Truth.  

DrivingSalesTV will also be covering DMSC and capturing some of the highlights to be shared on


Brian Pasch CEO of PCG


Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences


My favorite conversion measurement is lead form submissions. Problem is many auto dealer website platforms do not generate url specific pages for a user to land on after submitting the form. This data can be huge as you can use it to determine referral traffic quality and the keywords that typically drive more conversions.

Jan 19, 2012

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