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By Brian Pasch
I wrote this week about calculating the Cost Per Shopper (CPS) and related to this metric is the Cost per VDP View (CVV). A number of inquiries came in asking how to setup Google Analytics to count Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views.
You can setup a "Data Segment" in Google Analytics to filter data by VDP views. This is something that is helpful for immediate answers but you lose some detailed analysis that GA can provide marketing profesionals by using a goal.
I recommend that readers setup a Google Analytics "goal" that triggers when a consumer visits a Vehicle Detail Page (VDP). The goal is the preferred method because to see which traffic sources are generating the most VDP Views.
If you setup goals for VDP Views, then you can also use Multi Channel Sales Funnels (MCSF) to see a better picture of the attribution associated with consumers looking at your inventory. However, MCSF will be a topic for another day.
You will need to have "Admin" permissions to setup new goals. Click on the Admin menu in Google Analytics and you should see a series of choices, like I have shown above. Click on Goals, shown in the red box, and then click on "Create a Goal".
Google Analytics is constantly evolving and you will be pleased to see that Google has added a number of templates to track goals for a variety of website applications. Many of these apply to car dealers so read them carefully. For this case, we will pick the "View More" option.
Then you need to create a name for the goal, which I set as "VDP Views". You also need to indicate what will trigger the goal counter. In this case, it will be a "Destination" page on the dealership website: the VDP.
The only tricky part of this goal setup is to know how your website provider defines Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). In the case shown above for Dealer.com websites, they differentiate VDPs for new, used, and certified vehicles. Each vendor has their own pattern, for example VinSolutions is simply /vd/.
Using the "regular expression" option, you can tell Google Analytics to trigger the goal counter if any of these 3 types of VDPs are viewed. The "pipe" symbol, located over the backslash key (\) separates the patterns for the VDP's with NO spaces.
If you did this correctly, when you "Verify this goal", which is the blue hyperlink shown on this GA page, you should see some data shown. If the data is zero, you typed something wrong.
Once you save the goal, data will be collected and VDP views will be calcuated from this day forward. Once you get a full month of data collected, you can start to use Google Analytics to better measure the sources that are generated VDP views and the multi-touch influences shown in MCSF. You can start to calculate CVV and in the next article I can show you how to calculate CPS.
I hope this helps to get a few readers into Google Analytics and on their way to better focus on the metrics that can improve their website performance and marketing investments.
Brian Pasch, CEO