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From: Jared Hamilton
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Jeremy Patterson

Jeremy Patterson Chief Technology Officer

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Custom Analytics for Automotive Dealerships

There are many solutions available for capturing data about your website visitors.  Many automotive dealerships and digital marketing vendors stay with Google Analytics, which is the standard free solution.  However, the potential of a website’s complex data cannot be fully tapped without some kind of custom analytics set up.

This is by no means a knock against Google.  They've created a free solution that works well for most people.  The reason an automotive dealer might want to opt for a custom analytics solution lies in the advanced detail, and much more accurate reporting.

Google Analytics provides session data, and supposedly does it’s best to filter out bots and other unwanted or irrelevant traffic.  With custom analytics, parameters can be set to show only visitors that are legitimate.  Reporting can be filtered with regards to time on site, IP address, location, and many other useful specifics that Google Analytics does not provide for filtering your traffic.

Custom analytics will also give more detail about website traffic and it's behavior.  With Google Analytics, a dealer would not be able to find a specific user and see every event that the person triggered with extreme accuracy.  Custom analytics allow one to literally trace a user’s steps and see everything that they viewed.  In aggregate, this level of information can help make any marketing plan much more effective.

Google Analytics is great, but serious automotive dealerships are going to want to upgrade to a custom analytics solution in order to take full advantage of their website's visitor data and use it for effective marketing.  Are any of you guys using custom analytics?

Carl Maeda
Google Analytics doesn't intentionally filter out bots. They simply are unable to track bots because the tracking is based on javascript code. 99% of bots are unable to execute javascript so they are not trackable. A percentage of real users also turn off javascript and these users are not tracked as well. This is true with all javascript-based analytics and one of the downsides of Google Analytics. To get true analytics, you need a server side analytics program. In Google Analytics, you can filter by using Segments. Segments allow you to filter by location, by referring source, even demographics such as age or gender. And you are correct, Google Analytics does not allow you to trace single users. I really wish it did. You can't do creative things such as tag a user once they open up one of your emails and trace that person through your website. I'm also curious what other analytics software people use.
Nathalie Godoy
Great share Jeremy. Although Google Analytics was great for us at one point, we learned that building a custom analytics solution for our clients is far greater!

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