Google is continually optimizing their analytics to give you the best insights into your website performance. This is why as of July 1, 2023, Google will officially retire Google Analytics 3, the previous generation of the free web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. This means that businesses will need to soon switch over to the platform’s new iteration, Google Analytics 4—as Google 3 will stop processing data. If you’re not already leveraging Google Analytics, it’s not too late to start. Commercial Truck Trader is sharing what you should know ahead of the transition to Google Analytics 4.
Why Do Analytics Matter?
Dealer websites are one of the most common resources consumers use when researching vehicles. This is why it’s crucial to establish a strong online presence to drive traffic to your website. By better understanding your website traffic through analytics, you can optimize your website to drive more traffic to your dealership.
There are a few essential metrics you can track using Google Analytics, including:
- How successful your website is based on how many visitors it receives, and the amount of time spent browsing.
- Where your site visitors are located, which you can use to create more targeted messaging when marketing to consumers.
- Which sources are driving traffic to your website so you know what part of your strategy is working, and what could use further improvement.
- Where visitors are spending time on your site and for how long.
Overall, Google Analytics can be leveraged as an all-encompassing reporting tool that allows you to better understand your customers and the entirety of their user journey. Whether your goal is to improve the user experience on your website or optimize conversion rates, Google Analytics will have the data and resources needed for implementing necessary changes.
The Next Generation of Google Analytics
This new version of Google Analytics retains some of the same functionalities as the previous generation, but there are a lot of new features, so it’s important to learn about the updated version.
The platform’s latest iteration, Google Analytics 4, was developed with even more advanced technology than previous generations. With the transition to GA4, Google has introduced a variety of new capabilities for GA4 users. Namely, the ability to conduct even deeper analysis by using machine learning to collect both website and app data. What does this mean for your website? GA4 can access more comprehensive information about users once they reach your website.
GA4 was also built with an event-based data model to better capture user engagement on websites. With the inclusion of the event-based model, GA4 can provide a wider range of visibility into your consumers’ journey across platforms and devices. The event-based model also enables GA4 to identify unique actions that users take on a website, including page views, button clicks, and more.
GA4’s capabilities were additionally expanded to allow seamless integration with Google’s other advertising features and reports, including Google Ads. This aspect of GA4 will be highly beneficial to use in tandem with any current advertising you have, as it maximizes potential marketing ROI.
Tracking Results Using Google Analytics 4
Now that we’ve covered Google Analytics and the newest version, here are a few reports that are worth looking into to help you make more informed decisions. The lifestyle cycle reports in GA4 will be where you can find the most valuable data for tracking the success of your dealership’s website. You can use the lifestyle cycle reports to find a variety of data, including:
Acquisition data provides insight into what users are being driven to your website, and the sources or medium the traffic originated from. These metrics are especially helpful to use when evaluating the effectiveness of your advertising investments.
Engagement shows you information about how users are interacting with your site, including how long they browsed and the amount of time they spent browsing. With GA4’s event-based module, you can learn about specific actions a user takes such as scrolling, clicks, file downloads, page views, and more.
Lastly, Retention metrics will be extremely helpful in tracking results on your website. You can refer to your retention data to view the percentage of new site visitors who were converted to returning users.
Though GA4 retains many of the same functions as its predecessor, there are a wealth of new features and benefits included in the latest upgrade. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the newest version of this platform to make the most of your access. You can start by checking out Commercial Truck Trader’s in-depth dealer webinar and training session on utilizing Google analytics. Check it out here.