We all know that just having a website, no matter how great, is not enough to make sales in the automotive industry. LEARN MORE
If you have not taken time to work through then new interface and reports, I strongly suggest that you invest some time this month. Dealers need to make a new commment to running their Internet business using data and new reporting tools.
For this article, you will need to expand the "Conversions" menu on Google Analytics navigation bar to see the features regarding Multi Channel Funnels. (shown on right)
Multi-Channel Sales Funnels is a feature that visually displays your TOP CONVERSION PATHS, which is one of the most important discussions you need to have in regards to your primary website.
I wrote about Multi Channel Funnels this earlier in the year, but the new interface finally makes it easier to use and report on this feature for the average user.
Google will show you a snapshot of shopping behavior that leads up to a lead being submitted which they call "Assisted Conversion". This falls right into my recent discussions on knowing which sites influence consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth.
See the description Google provides below:
You need to setup a conversion "goal" in analytics to have the report accurately reflect what you consider a conversion. You can setup a conversion goal for new car leads, used car leads, service leads, parts leads IF your website provider has the ability to differentiate form submissions by page source.
Of course, a conversion does not have to just be a lead, it could be having a video watched or a coupon being downloaded, so you can get very creative.
Google has setup some Basic Channel Groupings for users of Google Analytics which can be customized for the Automotive business. I clicked on "Channel Groupings" from the menu under Multi-Channel Funnels, and used the "Copy Basic Channel Grouping Template" to create a customized automotive rules.
I called this Channel Grouping "Automotive Sales Channels". Once the group was created, I started to create sales channel rules that apply to car dealers.
For example, you can add a new rule called "3rd Party Classifieds" to track consumer activity on Autotrader.com, Cars.com, EveryCarLiosted.com, GetAuto.com and Craigslist.org.
The purpose of these channels is to see how consumers behavior during the Zero Moment of Truth before they submit a lead. This will give dealers INSIGHTS into which websites consumers visited prior to visiting your website, as well as the PATTERN of their behavior.
The data will document how some consumers move back and forth between ZMOT influences and your website a number a times before submitting a lead.
To Create a Custom Rule, you can copy what Google has already setup for other websites. For example, when you look at the rules in the Social Network Channel, you can see that one of the dozens of websites listed in the channel rule is Facebook.
You can copy the syntax of what Google calls a "Matching Regular Expression" for any website.
So I created a number of entries for popular third party classified websites, and of course the list is bigger, so go at it!
This rule will allow be to see the "paths" that consumers took prior to submitting a lead or just visiting my website. This is the start of adding CLARITY to dealers who are tired of not knowing which websites are INFLUENCING consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth. (ZMOT).
Once this is setup, you can start to see consumer behavior as it relates to your website traffic, as shown below:
Of course, you can really create as many channels and rules that you want to better document your digital marketing strategy. So if you want to break out your "microsites" from organic traffic, you can easily do that by creating a rule called "Microsites".
The takeaway from this post is that for the first time Google is making it EASIER to see which investments in the Zero Moment of Truth are contributing to conversions.
Now, that is exactly what car dealers have been asking for; which online investments are helping to driving traffic and sales via my website. This upgrade along with data tools from Dataium, which I previously wrote about, will be dramatically impacting advertyising investments and BDC strategies in the years to come.
Dealers can start using the new features in Google Analytics to create effective digital marketing investments driven by data and not a gut reaction or a smooth sales professional.
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
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