5 GA4 tips every dealer should know

As Google Analytics 4 (GA4) turns one year old, many dealers are now comfortable navigating their analytics property to uncover basic insights about the performance of their website and marketing efforts. However, GA4 offers a wealth of advanced features that can significantly enhance your dealership’s ability to achieve data-driven strategic outcomes…if you know where to look.

So in honor of GA4’s one-year anniversary, I’m sharing my team’s top five tips that every car dealer should know to make the most out of their analytics property. Let’s go!

Identify what’s working in your marketing mix

As the buying journey becomes more fragmented, are you spending more to cover all the bases, but not sure what’s contributing most to your bottom line?  

You may be investing heavily in diverse marketing strategies to ensure your brand’s presence across all these channels. However, without a clear understanding of which specific actions are effectively engaging your audience and driving conversions, your overall strategy might feel like a shot in the dark. 

Are your social media ads bringing in more customers or is it your email campaigns that are sealing the deals? Are these customers unique or does the same audience visit your site via different channels? Where is your most unique audience coming from? Is your content marketing enhancing brand loyalty or are your pay-per-click ads the primary driver of traffic to your website?

Tip #1 : Identify audience overlap

This Segment Overlap report offers valuable insights into how different user segments intersect and interact with your website. It enables you to tailor your content, design, and marketing strategies more effectively to cater to overlapping interests, enhancing user engagement and satisfaction. Identify which channels are driving the most unique audiences to optimize your marketing mix for better results.

Multi-channel marketing measurement

In today’s fragmented landscape, it often takes multiple touchpoints before an in-market shopper becomes a buyer at your dealership. So, how do you verify which channels are contributing to your bottom line? The answer lies in understanding the true impact of each marketing channel. Thankfully, GA4 allows you to do just that.

By tracking and analyzing cross-channel behavior, you can identify which touchpoints are most influential in driving conversions and understand the customer journey in its entirety.

Tip #2 : Explore multi-channel conversion paths

This comprehensive view allows you to optimize each channel’s performance, allocate resources more effectively, and fine-tune your messaging to ensure consistency and relevance.

Make the most out of your marketing spend

Are your marketing investments driving the results you expect? Evaluate the performance of your marketing channels with precision and ensure your budget allocation is aligned with your dealership’s strategic goals.

For example, you might discover that Cars.com referrals are generating significant traffic that returns to your site week after week. This could indicate a need to adjust your strategy to reallocate funds to drive more users from that channel to your website. Using the data-driven approach of the cohort analysis report, you can pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of your current marketing tactics.

Tip #3 : Use cohort analysis for smarter decision making

The Cohort Exploration report allows you to analyze the performance of groups of users based on their common attributes or behaviors over a specified period. By tracking key metrics such as user retention, engagement, and conversion rates, you can gain insights into how different cohorts interact with your site over time.

Data-driven inventory management

Can you determine the age of each car on your lot at a glance or which vehicles aren’t getting many views? By leveraging data-driven insights with GA4, you can monitor inventory age in real-time and understand current demand trends. Identifying which vehicles attract the most attention and which need adjustments in pricing or marketing strategies allows you to stay focused on your turn rate to maximize each vehicle’s profitability.

Tip #4 : Create a custom inventory engagement report

Create a custom inventory engagement report in GA4 to get detailed vehicle insights by displaying the most viewed VINs, along with customizable variables such as make, model, year, price, addition date, and more.

Pinpoint gaps in your website experience

Dealer websites offer multiple ways for users to convert, from website forms and chat to retailing software and trade-in widgets. But do you know how your visitors actually engage with these elements? Understanding user behavior is key to identifying friction points and optimizing your site’s performance. Don’t just guess what’s working on your website — dig into the data to discover actionable insights you can leverage to keep your visitors engaged and on the path to purchase.

Tip #5 : Identify key conversion and drop-off points

GA4’s Path Exploration Report allows you to analyze user journeys across your website by uncovering hidden obstacles, streamlining navigation, and enhancing overall usability. This ensures that your website is optimized to provide a seamless user experience that eliminates obstacles and drives conversions.

Get even more from your GA4

By leveraging GA4, you can identify what’s working in your marketing mix, measure the impact of multi-channel efforts, optimize your marketing spend, manage your inventory with precision, and pinpoint gaps in your website experience. These insights not only help you understand your customers better but also enable you to make data-driven decisions that achieve your strategic outcomes.

My team and I are always eager to share our analytics insights and expertise with the dealer community. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time!

Got a DI Website?

Get more GA4 tutorials

Don’t have a DI website?

Get a demo with our team
Back to top arrow