Best Practices

5 Dealership Website Conversion Goals You NEED

5 Key Google Analytics Goals you NEED to set up – NOW!

As Automotive Digital Marketing professionals we are constantly subjected to distractions from our real marketing goal Selling More Cars!

With all the information Adwords, Google Analytics, the CRM, and our website providers bombard us with we run the risk of forever burying ourselves in the data. It’s easy for us to get fixated on the 1-3% of our online shoppers who actually fill out forms or call our dealership but these consumers represent a very small minority of  the thousands of users who interact with your dealership website.

What are we doing about the 98% who shop our websites and never contact us?

What are we doing to better cater to them?

This tip provides 5 Key Google Analytics Goals you should set up that don’t rely on form submissions or phone calls to track. These unsung goals highlight key metrics that you can use to measure your marketing effectiveness and better predict possible showroom traffic.

HINT: If you are the admin on your GA account these Goals should only take you a few minutes to setup and should be very straightforward. If you are not the admin on your GA account (you should be) it should be equally easy for your agency or specialist to set them up. If it isn’t you might want to take a second look at your agency or if you’re the admin a mirror.

1.) Time On-site
This one may seem pretty obvious but the longer your customers are on your website the more interested they likely are in doing business with you. For this reason I highly recommend that you constantly monitor the average time on site per session (Avg. Session Duration) your website is getting (this can be found in the Audience overview report). Once you’ve established the avg time on site for the last four months, I recommend creating a goal for anyone who stays on your site incrementally longer than your average user.

If 5 mins is your AVG time on site than set your conversion goal to be triggered for everyone who spends 7 minutes or more on your website. You can create this Goal in GA by selecting the goal Type “Duration” and then setting the time in how many Hours, Minutes, or Seconds you want to pass before your goal is achieved.

2.) Hours and Directions page view
Try as I might I could not come up with a single reason why anyone would visit this page if they were not interested in either contacting you or dropping by your showroom. This is nothing new. Several experts have suggested tracking people who come to the hours and directions page long before this article was published but it is an important page to have analytics on and an important one to optimize and maintain.
Create this goal as a “Destination” goal in Google Analytics for a basic understanding of how many people are touching the page.

3.) People who viewed 7 or More pages
This is another one many industry experts have been speaking on “More VDP views = More Possibility of Seeing Users in your Showroom”. You should build this concept into a goal in GA if you haven’t already. I recommend referring back to the Audience > Overview report and setting a date range the covers about 4 months time. Observe what your website is currently producing with respect to Pages / Session. Use this number and create a standard deviation from it as a goal.

Example: If one of your dealership website produces about 5.50 Pages / Session on average you should create a goal to be triggered by anyone who views anywhere between 7-10 pages. Create your Pages / Session Goal in GA by using goal Type “Pages/Screens per session” and just determine how many pages you’d like to consider for your goal.

4.) People who viewed your Reviews or Staff page(s)
Okay this one is a little less “out of the box”. If you have a page dedicated to your dealerships’ reviews (and I strongly urge you to build one if you don’t have on already) than this is a great place to setup a goal. It is reasonable to assume that anyone who is checking out your reviews page is at the point where they are deciding whether or not they would like to work with you. It’s called “Social Validation” and any good salesperson will tell you that social signals are very persuasive. “If everyone else bought from them and had a great experience, I will as well.” 

This can also be said for the staff page. If they want to know who you are that means they are considering whether or not they want to do business with you. People who view your onsite reviews and or staff page are probably deeper in the sales funnel and you need to be tracking them.
Create this Goal in GA by going into the Goals section under Admin and selecting goal Type “Destination” from there it is as simple as putting your staff or reviews page url suffix in the “Begins With” section.

5.) People who viewed your Trade-in page
Whether you’re using KBB, Pure Cars, or Black Book I’m sure you know as well as I do that these are some of the best homegrown leads a dealership could ask for. The problem with these applications is that on most if not all dealer websites they are Iframed-in and therefore do not have a unique “Thank You” page. This is why many dealers neglect applying some form of tracking to their Value-Your-Trade page.

In addition to heavy promotion of this page throughout your website, I recommend setting up a destination goal for your Trade-in page. After setting up the goal I recommend comparing your goal number to your trade in lead number. In my experience about 1/3 of people who view this page usually carry out the appraisal process.
Create this goal by going into admin section of GA, selecting “Goals” and then select goal Type Destination.


Dan Mondello is a true “Car Guy” – his first word (as a baby) was “Vehicle” and while in college Dan worked part time as a Corvette Restorat...