In the past month, I have experienced an increase in the number of automotive marketing managers reaching out to me for help to get their GA4 accounts configured properly. One marketing manager, who was very comfortable with Universal Analytics (GA3), said to me:
If I’m having problems getting GA4 configured then there are thousands of people in the same boat as me!
That is a true statement. Regardless of the past 15+ articles that I have shared in this LinkedIn newsletter regarding GA4, I thought I would restate my guidance on how to get your GA4 account configured properly for an automotive retail website.
#Reminder: Each dealer must contact all vendors on their website and request that they send ASC events into the proper MEASUREMENT ID for each store. I have provided an email template that can be used for each vendor.
Your website company is not responsible for getting all your vendors to send events into GA4.
GA4 Configuration Checklist
Dealers and dealer groups, who complete the spreadsheet I created, will find that I can help them better and so can their consultants. Take the time to complete the spreadsheet before asking for help!
#1. Create a Google Sheet (or use mine) that can be easily shared with your vendor partners and consultants. The spreadsheet should list each store in the group and contain the critical information you need to manage the configuration process. The spreadsheet I created can be downloaded and then saved under your own name, which looks similar to this:
#2. The key to this spreadsheet is to get the MEASUREMENT ID for each store, which is found in GA4 under the Admin menu, then click on Data Streams, and then click on the store URL. You will need this number when contacting each vendor that sits on your website.
#3. Then add each vendor that each store uses for chat, digital retailing, trade tools, and merchandising tools. Toggle each vendor’s status to reflect the current statuses: Yes, No, Request Sent, or Unverified. In the example below, the dealer sent an email to Gubagoo to send ASC events (purple), Roadster is already sending events (green), and CarChat24 is not yet sending ASC events (red).
#4. Keep in mind that the MEASUREMENT ID will be the one given to you by your website company, who created your GA4 account, UNLESS you are using Sincro, an Ansira company or Dealer.com websites. In the latter case, you will need to create your own GA4 account and tell them the corresponding MEASUREMENT ID for each website.
#5. Make sure your website company is sending at least 12 ASC events into GA4. In the example above, we found a website company that was only sending six ASC events into GA4 which triggered an email to get their implementation fixed (orange).
#6. Any vendor that is not sending ASC events into your GA4 account should be sent a support ticket with the following text:
Please send ASC compliant events into my GA4 account for www.mywebsite.com using MEASUREMENT ID G-XXXXXXXX (add your measurement id). Please advise when the events will start so I can check my account. If you are not currently supporting ASC events, please respond immediately. We expect all our vendors to support the ASC specification in a timely manner.
If you don’t receive a response, call your vendor immediately. If they refuse to support the ASC specification, you may want to consider changing technology partners. Update your spreadsheet after each vendor claims that they are sending events into your GA4 account.
#7 How do you know what should be in your GA4 account?
- Call tracking companies should be sending asc_voice_submission events
- Digital Retailing companies should be sending asc_retail_process events
- Chat & SMS companies should be sending asc_comm_submission events
- Coupon pop-up companies should be sending asc_special_offer events
- Service schedulers should be sending asc_form_submission_service_appt events
You should have over 20 ASC events firing in your GA4 account if you want the full benefits of the ASC specification and the ability to optimize your ad campaigns.
#8. Once your GA4 account has all events firing properly, make sure you configure which events should be considered a conversion event. The recommended list of conversion events are available in the ASC Specification document, which you can download for free: https://automotivestandardscouncil.com/specification/
#8. Once your conversion events are properly set, schedule a call with your Google Ads agency to make sure that they are using the proper conversion events for sales campaigns and service campaigns. Each type of conversion is now separated by department to improve Google ad optimization.
#9. Dealers should not be using asc_click_to_call as a conversion event. They should be contracted with a call tracking vendor that supports the ASC specification for call #outcomes. Those companies include: CallRevu, Car Wars, Invoca, Marchex, TotalCX.
#10 Dealers should not be using the “roll-up” events as conversion events. The roll-up events are asc_form_submission, asc_comm_submission, and asc_voice_submission. Dealers should be using the departmental conversion events for sales, service, and parts. For example, asc_form_submission_sales and asc_form_submission_sales_appt for form conversion tracking in sales campaigns.
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