You Want To See The Journey Of Your Car Buyers Using Analytics Without Installing Shady Scripts?

I’m surprised by the amount of dealers out there that put third party scripts on their website. It’s like sharing your family’s personal diary with others without their knowledge. Why would you want to share your data with other companies? Why on earth would you let another vendor touch your DMS?

The only people benefiting from them are the companies installing the script. The data you get is missing a bunch of information, especially Safari users which is pretty much your entire IPhone Audience.

Here is all mobile for a Ford Dealer (last 30 days):

Now let’s see what browser IPhone users typically use:

You get my point? Safari and Firefox no longer allow third party cookies, which is what scripts are dependent on.

Here are a few sources on the matter:

Here is a recent Reddit thread about Firefox:

You also have to consider Ad Blockers.

West Coast Car Dealer (last 30 days)

23% of this dealer’s website visitors have Ad Blockers installed. There are many different types of Ad Blockers, and some block these tracking scripts as well.

Here’s How To Do It Without Being Sneaky

This does not violate PII. If you think about it, E-Commerce sites have been able to truly track their online purchases for a long time. You just can’t pass that information back to any Google property.

What I’m doing here is only paying attention to what my visitors do on my site, and that’s all I really care about.

This is a test that I did today (I blocked out the Stock Numbers). You can see by the time stamps I came to the site from Bing. I engaged in a 2017 Ford Mustang and I looked at the CarFax report. Then I went to Yahoo and came back to the site (note the session ID changed). I engaged more, then left.

For the fun of it, I shut my wifi off, so now analytics thinks I’m in Boston (even though I’m an hour south). Then a couple of hours later, I opened my browser and clicked and engaged again.

Just a little while ago I woke up my Safari and I did a mobile click to call. We take our VDP Click to Calls very seriously, and each gets a timestamp and the client ID attached to it. I wish I had this back when I was an internet director at a dealer group. I would update every single call if I was able to get their information.

When you take a call you are suppose to set an appointment and enter the info into the CRM right? Now is your chance to enter the source properly.

You can do the same for contact forms as well. Your CRM will list the source as coming from your website. But let’s face it, that’s not a source. They came from somewhere.

The point I’m making is that this can be tracked in analytics without that “proprietary blah blah blah”. Let’s face it, you don’t get that many click to calls from your website that you can’t update your sources.

I have a separate page to measure all pageviews, but I like to condense the important stuff. If I took this call and set an appointment, I would know everything I needed to know about what vehicles they looked at, including the prices they engaged in.

Here’s a real example of remarketing in action:

Notice how they came back via the Google My Business Page? I’ll tell you exactly how this went down. This user clicked the Google Maps directions link from the website. Then, they clicked the link to this dealer’s website, which created a new session ID. This is why map clicks are an important thing to measure. It’s an external link, so a tag needs to be written. If we didn’t have this information, the source would have been Google.

This is very addicting for me. I spend hours looking at shopping behavior because you can learn a lot. If the first cookie drop was three months ago I can go back and watch the entire shopping journey.

See that CarFax up there? That’s an audience for me. If someone was interested in a car enough that they looked at a CarFax report, I think they are worthy of remarketing for used cars. I’ll just create an audience for event label – matching regex CarFax.* and send that right to Google Ads. I can create the Invoice Views as an audience as well by using CarFax.*|Window.*

How Is It Done?

Google Tag Manager is how you properly install Google Analytics. It’s been 4 years since I sold my Showroom Logic Shares, and since then I’ve been working on these tags. 4 Years of asking myself many questions, and a lot of reading.

Google Tag Manager and Google Data Studio is what you need to learn. You will learn Google Analytics by accident.

OK, you may not have time to learn tag manager, but Data Studio is very easy to use.