Easy Instructions On How To Send Make/Model, VINs ETC…. Back To Google Analytics

There’s a plugin for everything, and I’m going to show you how easy it really is to send the data you want back to Google Analytics for reporting.

The Chrome Plugin (Install This)

Copy CSS Selector

Highlight anything you want to scrape, right click and click “Copy CSS Selector”.

This is a Dealer On Website, and the Make/Model CSS Selector is this:

div#content div.panel-heading.hidden-xs.hidden-sm > div.vdp-vehicle-title > h1 > span 
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Go to Google Tag Manager and click the variables tab on the left. Under “user defined variables, click “new”.

Select “DOM Element” on the right, then change selection method from ID to CSS Selector.

Now paste the CSS selector in element selector box. Keep the attribute name blank and name your variable.

Now Let’s Send The Data Back To Analytics

You have two choices. You can create an event or a custom dimension. A custom dimension is a bit more complicated because you would have to create two different analytics variables because you would only want this to fire on either all VDPs or engaged VDPs. You still can fire on all pages, you’ll just get “null” for all non VDP pages which is no big deal, you can just filter them away.

To make this easy, let’s create an event.

Create Your Trigger

Most people create the tag first, but for some reason I always make the trigger first. I’m left handed, left eyed and right footed.

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This is a DealerOn website and the common urls on VDP’s are “/used-” and “/new-“. So in this case every time someone visits the page, we are going to send the make model data back to analytics. I also separately measure only engaged, but that’s a whole other thing.

Create Your Tag

Create a new tag type “Google Analytics – Universal Analytics”. Under track type, change to “Event”.

Name your Category and Action whatever you want, then add the variable you created in brackets.

If you don’t want this event to eliminate a bounce, be sure to select True for “non interaction hit”.

If you set it to false, you will see the events come in on live view.

Save & Publish!

Now you will see your events come rolling in.

In this case I’m separating new and used, but you don’t have to.

Here I’m sending the data to Google Data Studio and I can present whatever they want. In this case, I’m scraping the VIN, Make Model & Price. You can scrape stock numbers if you want, but in transit units will get a null because there isn’t a stock number assigned yet.

Wouldn’t you agree this is a lot easier to read than page urls?

Using filters, you can separate the model years.

In this case I’m reporting by year because this dealer wants to focus on selling leftovers. We can use any toggles we want to segment:

This was a new site I tagged so the data is all new, but you can see what I’m doing here.

Here you can see why I scrape engaged used prices to attempt to identify the market. You can scrape prices the same way.

Once you start doing this and realizing how easy it is, you can measure things your way.

If you are stubborn and haven’t moved to data studio you can still use this in Google Analytics by looking at the custom dimensions (if you set it up that way). Above you can see some other things I send back to analytics. If you’re sending events you can see the data under the event category you made.

What I’m doing here can be applied to any industry. I’ve done it for appliance websites, attorney directories, schools etc…..

Have fun!