Know Your Dealership’s Customers Better with Google Analytics

Like any other business, auto dealerships need to develop a deep understanding of their core customers. You can never just say “everyone is a potential customer,” because that’s far too broad to be useful. While your customers may vary widely, they can always be segmented into smaller groups defined by particular qualities. The differentiating factor doesn’t have to be anything complicated, sometimes age and gender can be enough.

If you have a website, which in this day and age you should, analyzing your buyers in this way becomes even more important. If you don’t know who your target audience is and whether it overlaps with the profile of the people visiting your website, you might be wasting precious time, money, and effort trying to capture the wrong people’s attention.

Luckily, web analytics tools have evolved so much, that they can give you information on virtually any detail you need to know about your potential customers. Google Analytics is undoubtedly the leader among these tools and has a relatively new feature, which can prove very useful to auto dealers with websites. It’s called the Demographics and Interests reports, where in addition to age and gender you can now learn about your visitors’ interests. Here’s an overview of the tool and how you can use it to leverage your online presence and boost sales.

Getting Started with Standard Reports

If you don’t have prior experience with Google Analytics, all the options this tool offers can be a bit confusing. Luckily, the Demographics and Interests reports feature has a simple form called Standard Reports, which is a great place to start.

It’s a simple, yet extremely informative analysis of your visitors, grouped in four categories. The “Age” category will give you a breakdown of your visitors in seven age groups (18–24, 25–34, 35–44, etc.) The “Gender” category will, naturally, show you a gender breakdown. It gets really interesting in the “Affinity Categories” section where you can learn about your visitors’ lifestyle choices and interests by seeing whether they’re labeled as “technophiles,” “travel buffs,” or “sports fans”. Within each of these lifestyle categories you can get yet an additional age and gender breakdown. Finally, under “Other Categories,” you can see what type of content your audience prefers.

How You Can Use the Information

For each of the four categories, there is a mountain of data available. You can find out how often your potential customers visit, whether they just open your website and leave or actually convert (i.e. buy from you or use your services), and even whether they bring revenue compared to the site’s average visitor. This can be extremely useful for budget optimization; if you see a particular group is not buying cars, i.e. it’s not bringing you any revenue, why keep investing in attracting their attention? Armed with this information you can redirect resources to the groups which bring you the highest profit.

You can get much better at targeting your ads now that you know exactly who is visiting your website. And while you’re at it, you can cross-check if they overlap with the social media audience you have been gathering and make adjustments there, too.

With the insights from “Other Categories” you can improve your site content and the articles you publish on your dealership blog, so they have a higher appeal to your visitors, especially those bringing you the most revenue.

More Analytics Options

As you can see, the standard reports are so informative that they have the potential to transform your marketing strategy entirely. Still, why stop here? Google Analytics offers you nearly infinite resources, you just need to get creative.

Let’s take the “Segmentation tool” as an example. It allows you to merge one type of analytics with another. For example, merging gender data with a particular campaign, you can find out whether the campaign was more effective among males or females. Of course, you can do the same for age or affinity categories. Another great feature of Segmentation is that you can do A/B testing for your webpage. By testing two slightly different versions of the same page, the tool will let you know how small changes, such as putting in a video or changing an image, will affect visitor engagement. You can do an incredible amount of fine tuning with these tools.

With some imagination you can do miracles with Google Analytics’ Demographics and Interests reports. Do you use any analytics for your dealership’s marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear about your experience.

Anna Karadzhova loves delving into the nitty gritty details of bonding for the automotive industry and sharing her knowledge online. She regularly contributes premium content for JW Surety Bonds.

Anna Karadzhova


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