Exploring the benefits to car dealers from partnerships between website suppliers and Google...
What is a Google Analytics Certified Partner?
When a dealer website supplier becomes a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), this indicates that Google has verified they have accredited web analysts and optimization experts on staff. Google awards their certification only after a rigorous application and interview process... Only a few of the companies who apply make the grade. Over the past several years I have become familiar with, and worked with the owners and staff at String Automotive. In early 2012 String became the only Google Analytics Certified Partner web provider whose products and digital marketing services are geared specifically to car dealers.
Why is Google Analytics Important?
Compared with proprietary tracking and reporting programs supplied by dealer website vendors, Google Analytics (GA) provides car dealers with unbiased, actionable insights into how users reach the dealership's website, how they engage with it, and who they are.
Since the Google Search Engine is the predominant tool used by car buyers and service customers to find the information, products and services that dealers provide, it only makes sense that Google Analytics would provide value. GA unlocks valuable information on where a dealer's customers live, the devices they use to access the Internet and navigate your site, and which pages in your website receive the most attention. Because the capabilities are so extensive, my comments only scratch the surface of the data that Google Analytics delivers. The people at String Automotive can show interested automotive professionals whatever deep dives into the data you believe will help grow and evolve your online business development.
What Google Related Products Should a Supplier Provide?
I find it helpful to assess what a supplier provides dealers as a benchmark for comparison purposes. For example, String Automotive provides a robust and full featured Google Analytics deployment with advanced technical implementation and easily digestible and automatically generated and emailed reports. Any dealer website supplier can take the GA tracking code and insert it into each page of the dealer's website. This code insertion process can be set up for dynamically generated webpages as well. In all cases, the GA code insertion process can be complete with custom variables to track more granular data, including Key Buying Indicators (KBI) and event tracking to monitor visitor to business opportunity conversions.
String Automatic provides dealers and their management teams with direct access to GA site profiles, along with custom reports and advanced segments tailored to present a dealer with exactly the KPI's and KBI's your team find to be the most valuable.. String makes a point of providing dealers with access to Google Analytics experts, as should any dealer website provider. Ask if your website supplier is willing to make resources available to help you and your managers parse and examine the data that requires a deeper dive.
The best dealer website suppliers should be able to draw upon their partnership with Google. As a Google Website Optimizer Authorized Consultant, String Automotive has been awarded the coveted Content Experiments Specialization.
In early 2012, the Google Analytics team absorbed the Google Website Optimizer team... The GA team then enhanced Website Optimizer's features, and renamed it "Google Analytics Content Experiments". The tool's core function of conversion rate optimization remains the same in Content Experiments, which means that the String Automotive team is also the only web provider for car dealers with a verified history of Google-partnered lead conversion optimization. String also tests and improves their dealer web page designs on an ongoing basis to maximize conversions and deliver their dealer clients a constantly increasing volume of leads from a given quantity of site visitors.
Data and Human behavior
Dealers and automotive marketers should not assume anything! Human beings, especially car buyers and service customers are diverse, and no two people use a given dealer's website identically. Good advise to dealers is to think outside of the box and let your website data do the talking. Find a supplier who can perform blind testing multivariate setups to see how online shoppers use your dealership website and interfaces before making any permanent design or function changes. The web is an ever evolving platform, and the way your customers use your dealership's website evolves with it.
The most advanced dealer website providers are not necessarily the biggest. Staying competitive in a changing consumer communication channel like the web requires ongoing research. With each new study, the best digital marketing suppliers will gain invaluable and eye-opening information about how users interact with their dealer sites and what elements engage those customers. Observing car shoppers using each dealer's websites should fundamentally influence the design of a supplier's interfaces as well as the software architecture upon which they design and rely upon.
In the case of String Automotive, their dealer client reporting systems show sales closing ratios of 30% or more on leads from their websites. Automotive consumer studies they conduct have confirmed that when given the proper images and information about a specific vehicle, car shoppers are far more likely to simply drive in to the dealership without contacting the dealer. Showroom traffic from dealer websites boast closing ratios above 60%.