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We talk to hundreds of dealers about live chat and were often surprised by internet managers who are clueless about their traffic and lead numbers. Certainly in the auto industry, an 'internet manager' can be anyone from a service receptionist who responds to internet leads to someone who is in charge of digital marketing for an entire group. If you are indeed managing the dealership's internet department or have any responsibility for the performance of the internet leads coming into the store then you need to navigate the maze of data to track your performance.
It's amazing how much information is at our fingertips in all facets of our life. My phone tells me every day how many text messages and call minutes I've used, as well as where I stand with data consumption. Press a few buttons on our mobile devices and we can monitor just about anything to do with our bank accounts, life savings, and even our physical fitness. Even in the graphic to the right of a trans-Pacific flight, passengers and those on the ground can monitor not only progress, but altitude, airspeed, approximate map location, and estimated time of arrival in near-real time.
Why track your internet data? Because that's where the money is! So what are some key metrics for an internet manager to follow?
These 10 are a good start:
Because these numbers are key to understanding health and performance of your internet, it is critical to find a process that works for tracking them. Whether it's a notebook or a spreadsheet (smarter), spend a few minutes each month to look up and document these numbers to recognize the health of your digital resources.
Maybe you are the decision maker for internet marketing dollars, but even if you're not, watching these figures will let you know if you are trending up or down, and also help you identify which of these areas should have more or less of the budget. Maybe the data indicate a one of your lead sources is dropping off and needs to be reevaluated. In other cases, one of your sources may have higher results than expected and deserves more attention.
One of the best - and most unbiased - sources for data is Google Analytics. Without question, navigating Google Analytics can be a daunting task, but your website provider and CRM company also have user-friendly reports that are a good source for this information. There are many more metrics to consider, especially with SEM and SEO initiatives, but the 10 basics above will help you create a much clearer picture of your website marketing strategies and how they are working.
Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT GURU
www.carchat24.com/ 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web chat software 727-638-0195
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with nearly 20 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He has been involved with the internet from the beginning, building websites at Johns Hopkins University in the 90's, and has been a performance leader in nearly every dealer role, from sales and service, to BDC / internet sales and viral marketing.