As we are starting to get into the rhythm of 2017, it’s critically important that each and every dealership know exactly what they are getting from their marketing strategies. The only way to know how well your strategies are performing is to have a transparent and comprehensive reporting available to you.
There are some providers that try to force you to use their own analytics and tracking tools, we urge you to push back and require any vendor you work with to integrate fully with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Doing this will allow you to standardize all of your KPIs through one reporting platform. Google is the most widely used and trusted source of data on the internet today. There is no good reason that any web provider, SEM company, or other digital vendors that can’t pass data into Google Analytics for your independent review in 2017!
Like most advanced automotive digital marketing agencies, we have chosen to fully embrace Google Tag Manager. This allows us to only have to add code to your website one time. Any future scripts, third party add on trackers, and even tracking events can be setup at any time in the future without ever having to touch your website code again once it’s already on the site. This is a huge benefit when many of the vendor approved website providers are incredibly slow and unresponsive when trying to manipulate anything on your automotive website. They are built to scale, not for customer service. Having Google Tag Manager greatly reduced the reliance and headaches with having to continually make service request from your unresponsive website vendor.
Through Tag Manager we are able to track anything and everything. This means setting up A/B testing, setting up triggers and tags for conversion tracking, setting up call tracking scripts, etc. Google Tag Manager events allow us to setup goals in Google Analytics for many complicated things that allow you to easily see and utilize data from your website.
An example could be chats. As a website vendor ourselves, it has always been frustrating that we handle the automotive website, automotive SEO, and automotive PPC for a client, but when it comes to reporting we couldn’t paint the full picture of what our results were delivering in the past because of third party integrations with our websites such as chat, finance applications, service schedulers, etc. Now with Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics we are able to get a full picture for our customers on what we are truly providing them. We can show not only intent to fill out those third party applications but also how many chat interactions and even chat leads we delivered to them through our Drive Digital Group websites!
Our Account Managers are able to get a comprehensive look at our various digital marketing channel performances and report the full picture to our customers in their monthly strategy calls. This also uncovers very interesting points that, without full tracking, you would never know about. For example we have a client that wanted a very large “schedule test drive” button as the only conversion point on the SRP (Search results Page) and displayed prominently on the VDP (Vehicle Details Page).
As you can see from the graphic above you should be tracking the following
Core Engagements Measured:
- Lead Form Submissions
- Phone Call Conversions (Sales & Service)
- Chat Conversations
- SMS/Messenger Conversions
Secondary Engagements Measured:
- Intent for Conversions Not Able to be Tracked
- Car Fax Downloads, Specials Printouts, and Window Sticker Downloads
One thing to be aware of is that even if you are being provided this level of information from your vendors, are they making any sense of it for you? What I mean by that is these goals are simply measuring all conversions on the site. They are not segmented by source or channel. For that we provide custom dashboards to our customers so that they can easily see all of the above information but only as it relates to the sources of the traffic.
Below is an example to highlight what a dashboard might look like to segment all of that goal tracking only by paid search as the source. The dashboard shows all the relevant information using the Google Analytics Goal data, but only if the conversion originated from a paid search visit to the website.
As a full service automotive digital advertising agency we use many more tools to gather data and make good decisions based on the data we collect. We are also using the Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics tools for much more than just what we have talked about in this article, this is simply a plea to car dealers to make sure that you are being provided with the necessary information you need to make informed decisions about the money you are spending to drive traffic and ultimately sell cars for your dealership.
Too often we see how loyal people have become due to relationships or habits and no one is actually looking at any real data to determine if changes need to take place. Don’t be one of those dealers! You are the customer, even if you are mandated to use certain vendors, it’s your right to get this information to be able to run your business effectively. It’s 2017 and it’s high time you start working with partners that have YOUR best interest in mind and whose livelihood depends on delivering real results that are measurable.
It’s important to fully optimize your website to have the best results and the highest visibility in organic rankings. The same goes for local business listing on external sites such as Google My Business and Yelp to gain visibility in major search engines. A local citation or business listing is an online profile that contains information about your business such as NAP (name, address, phone number, etc). Without these Local Citations, your competitors will have better exposure when searching for products or services you may provide. Meanwhile, you are nowhere to be found.
The significance of Local Citations today:
- 92% of consumers have used the internet to search for a local business in the last year, according to BrightLocal.
- Distribution of yellow pages has declined over the years, ending their door-to-door delivery in some regions.
- 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014), according to BrightLocal.
We can see that searching for local businesses is increasing especially in this day and age; where we find everything we need in the palm of our hands, just a click away. You may now be questioning, what should I do next? There are excellent citation tools available to you online. Check out these tools below for a simple and quick way to determine the health and visibility of your business listings.
Moz Local (powered by Google) is a free tool in which you can use to check your current business score. Moz checks to see if your business listing is correct, consistent and visible across the web in order to ensure that search engines and new customers can find you.
BrightLocal is a paid platform that allows you to clean up your existing citations as well as create new business listing. One of the luxuries of BrightLocal is that it recognizes citations that have yet to be claimed and gives you the option to claim it with a direct link. It also helps spot incorrect business NAP which is harmful to your local search rankings.
The good news about building your Local Citations is that it’s simple and free! Increasing your online presence by creating business listings will most definitely help your organic performance. Our dedicated team can help clean up your existing citations as well as find quality listings and make sure each one has the same consistency so it’s accurate across the board. Boost your local authority on major search engines by locking up your Local Citations!
Automotive Semantic SEO | Digital Marketing
The ultimate goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to increase revenues for a business utilizing organic search results on a search engine. Since this is the case, it makes sense for anyone with a commercial website to begin to utilize semantic markup on your website as part of your SEO efforts. This blog post will take a look at the effects that properly marking up your website with rich text snippets can have on your bottom line.
What Is Semantic SEO?
You will find a couple of definitions of what Semantic SEO really is out there. In both cases the ultimate goal of Semantic SEO is for Google to deliver the most relevant results as quickly as possible to people searching on their site. In the past searches have been strictly keyword based with very little context considered. Google now is getting quite clever in the way they deliver search results to users. In addition to suggestions and instant search results, they now try to analyze the usage of the keywords you enter and deliver you the most relevant results based on what they think you are intending to search for.
As web developers, we encompass marking up dealer websites with rich text snippets as another usage of Semantic SEO on a website. Utilizing standards that Google & Bing have agreed to and published on their schema.org project, we now markup pages of the website and especially vehicle data with rich text snippets. This encoding allows Google & Bing to crawl your website and get very specific information about the content of the pages, allowing them to better use your website content when they deliver search results to users on their platform.
Semantic Markup In Action
It’s all well and good to talk about these types of concepts, but what does it really mean to a user? That’s a great question and this is a situation where an image can speak a thousand words. Please check out the image below to get a sample of what a search engine results listing can look like when you mark up your website properly with some rich text snippets:
As you can see the search results are showing extra data that Google is picking up because the website has been properly coded with the use of schema.org approved rich text snippet markups.
User behavior tells us that the eye will automatically be drawn to this new search result data, even if it is not in the first three positions where users would normally click. Because of the extra data about our websites that Google is providing to the users, we gain instant credibility and a higher click through rate, even if we are not in the top organic placement! More click through to your site means more visitors that you can attempt to turn into real business opportunities.
Drive Digital Group has embraced the next wave of Google’s future by including full implementation of Semantic Automotive SEO on all of our websites.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will talk about further manipulating search results with Google Authorship implementation! What do you think, can your website benefit from taking advantage of the next level of SEO and web markup?