Curious how your current car dealership web provider is performing? Want to know if that new ad company is delivering on their promises? These key metrics can be used to make sure that you’re on the right track. Some of these will require more advanced setup with Google Tag Manager to monitor, but many of them can be found right in your own Google Analytics dashboard.
1. Lead form abandonment rates
When faced with a lead form on your website, how does your traffic react? Using Google Tags and some simple calculations, you can calculate the abandonment rates for the lead forms throughout your website. Tracking your lead form abandonment rates will allow you to make optimizations to one of the most important parts of your website. To optimize your lead forms, collect abandonment rates over a fixed period of time, make adjustments, and remeasure. Adjustments might include changing button text, colors, promotional or assurance text on the form, or even changing whether fields are required or optional.
2. VDP views and leads by model
Tracking VDP (vehicle details page) views and leads by model is a great way to monitor what car shoppers looking for in your area. While trusting your instincts can be good, looking at the data is even better. Do you think its safe to assume that more buyers are interested in your AWD models or SUVs during a snowy winter? Probably, but you’d be surprised how often your instincts are wrong. Knowing that people are really looking for in your area can help you with ordering, creating special offers, advertising, and loads more. Note: Low VDP views by model may indicate poorly priced or poorly selected inventory.
3. Special offers viewed by model
Your customers are looking for a good deal and you’re looking to sell more cars. Ipso facto, you need to make sure you have the right good deals (special offers) on your website at all times. Monitoring the performance of your special offers pages (or page elements) is a great way to gauge interest in your models. For example, you might find that you had 1,000 visitors look at your Model A special offers page, only to find no special offers. This should be a good indicator that you need to create some special offers for that vehicle next month. Whether they’re actually a good deal is up to you.
4. Home hero/slider click through rates
First of all, if you’re still using a slider, you need to cut that out. There have been dozens, if not hundreds of studies recently that unanimously prove that sliders are bad for your website. People perceive them as ads, gloss over them, and don’t interact with them. Don’t believe me? Start tracking your click through rates, then toss that antiquated way of forcing content on your visitors to the side for a static solution and track again. You’re welcome. Alternatively, hire us to build and manage your dealership website and stop worrying about it.
Sorry for that tangent. Tracking your home page slider or hero click through rates is a great way to monitor the success of the content that you’re placing there. Your website’s real estate doesn’t get more prime than the top of your home page. Test out different calls to action and keep track of the best performers. This will help you create better calls to action that you can reuse or modify in the future.
5. Traffic demographics
Monitoring the demographics of your dealership’s website traffic should be a regular routine for you. Imagine that you sell a more youthful brand like Scion (RIP), but one of your ad providers is pulling in older traffic. That’s a problem. Chances are that your dealership should also be focusing on content that is geared toward women. Much of the content that dealerships publish on their own is written by men – for men. Women play a huge role in the car buying process, and you need to create content that is geared toward them.
6. Traffic quality indicators
Keep track of your traffic quality indicators like “Average Session Duration”, “Bounce Rate”, “Users”, and “Sessions”, “Returning vs. New Users”, and other broad traffic measurements. These are easy to monitor and hugely important when reviewing your ad providers. There are thousands of ad agencies out there that promise loads of traffic. You’ll see that increase in traffic, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that it’s just junk with huge bounce rates, tiny session durations, and 0 leads. Great! You need to glue your eyes to these metrics every time you switch providers.
7. Lead sources and counts
How many sales leads did your website generate last month? Service leads? Body shop leads? Do you know? How many of those leads came organically versus paid or referral? How much did you pay for those leads? Was it worth it? You should know what your website and your 3rd party providers are doing for you. Monitoring where your leads are coming from is a great way to verify if your web provider’s “Super Elite Conversion Package” is doing anything for you. Pro tip: It’s not. Get a better provider.