Google Analytics: The #1 Free Website Reporting Tool You Should Use
Ever heard of Google?
Neither have we. Just kidding.
Not only is Google a powerful search engine, but its list of other web services is long. One of our favorite and must-use business products is Google Analytics.
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a third-party reporting tool with in-depth metrics and information about the who, what, when, where, and why of your website browsers.
This free reporting tool gives you all of the data about who is using your website, which in turn allows you to make data-conscious decisions for your business.
Using a third-party reporting tool allows you to view unbiased data about your website. Alternatively, paying for a service within your auto dealership website may leave out critical metrics that could share what is or isn’t really working. (Watch our webinar to learn other things your website provider may not be telling you.)
How to Set Up Google Analytics
Setting up your own Google Analytics account is fairly straightforward. Google offers a library of how-tos for all of its products, including Analytics.
After you have the account set up, you’ll need to install the Google Analytics pixel on your website. If you work with a web developer or directly with your customer support rep from your website, they can add the pixel information in the right place on your website.
Once the pixel is set up, you’ll start seeing data coming in on the view you’ve created. We recommend you set up at least two views. We call the first one “Raw Data” (or “All Website Data”) in that it pulls in anything and everything from your site.
The second view can be a filtered view. Here, you’ll want to filter out things like internal IP traffic. This will take out the metrics of your employees browsing the site, which is not valuable data.
You can ask your marketing agency and web provider to filter their IP addresses as well, since they also spend quite a bit of time on your site.
Why You Should Own Your Google Analytics Account
One of the beliefs we hold at 9 Clouds is that you should own all of your company’s marketing assets. This way, if you were to ever change marketing agencies or web providers, you are able to keep the historical data.
Having this historical data can drive your marketing and sales efforts. We often look at year-over-year data, which provides an important look at where you were a year ago and how your business has grown since.
It also helps so you don’t have to start from scratch anytime you start a new relationship with a marketing provider.
How to Use Google Analytics
There are nearly countless data points found in Google Analytics.
You can be high in the clouds and look at how many users are on your site (live or historical). You can also go down some deep rabbit holes and view which specific pages people are visiting on your website.
There are so many data points to look at, we recommend taking some time to look around. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything in there.
One best practice we do recommend is setting up goal conversions for your site. This allows you to “watch” users move through the digital part of your sales funnel.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Google Analytics, you might find yourself hungry for even more data.
If you need more advanced reporting than Google Analytics offers — or just reporting that is more honed in on what’s really driving your revenue — you might look for a multi-touch attribution tool, like this one we use and recommend.
Go Further with Your Website Results
If possible, we suggest that you (or your marketing team) become Google Analytics certified. These free trainings allow you to learn more about what the website reporting tool can do for you.
We understand that you or your team may not have the time to understand or pull all of the information that can help you make data-driven decisions. That’s where our team can come in!
Feel free to reach out and visit with our team about how we can help drive more leads and sales to your dealership. You can start by using our search engine optimization (SEO) website grader if you’re unsure about your website’s performance.