The Critical Lead Tracking Step That Most Auto Shops Are Missing
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know the importance of lead tracking. Where are you getting the most leads? The best leads (ones which actually translate to paid work)?
Most auto shops are doing the basics, and are at least tracking the following categories of leads (or something similar):
- Word of Mouth/Referrals
- Direct Mail/Print
- Paid Media
This is a great start, but there is a huge gaping hole in one of these large lead buckets: Internet/Website.
If you’re doing a good job marketing online, your website should be producing 20%-40% of your leads, which is a big chunk of your overall lead flow. If you don’t have more insight into where those leads are actually coming from (SEO, PPC, Social Media, etc.), you are going to be throwing a lot of money out the door.
Let me explain.
Google Analytics Isn’t Enough
Most of you probably have Google Analytics set up, which is great. That’s the standard when it comes to website analytics, but today that’s not enough. Google Analytics does a great job of telling you where your traffic is coming from, but it doesn’t “close the loop.” Where are our leads actually coming from? Remember… It’s not just about visitors.
Let’s take a look at a quick example:
If someone finds you on Yelp, then clicks through to your website, and finally, that individual fills out your Contact Us form, what will Google Analytics tell you? It will tell you that you received 1 visitor from a Referral Website (Yelp.com). That’s helpful, but it’s not the whole picture.
Capturing Part of the Equation
Because this person filled out a form, you call them to see what work they need to have done. As a part of your Lead Intake Process, you ask how they found you. They say they found your website. Chances are good that they don’t remember they clicked through from Yelp (or any other website for that matter).
So, now you have 2 pieces of information that are sort of helpful, but they are giving you false information (or at least not the full picture). The true picture is that you got a lead from your website, but they arrived there from Yelp. The picture you have is that you got 1 lead from your website. Separately, you know you got a visitor from Yelp, but you don’t know who that visitor is.
We need to connect the dots. Why, you ask?
Because many of your online sources require either time, money or both. Using our current example, Yelp has a free version, or you can pay for targeted local advertising. If you’re paying for Yelp ads, don’t you want to know how many leads it’s producing for you? Grouping all Internet leads together doesn’t do your marketing budget justice.
How to Close the Loop
So, how can we close the loop on our marketing efforts and get some more visibility into what’s happening on our website? It requires some extra tracking, but it’s not rocket science.
Here’s what it can look like if you’re tracking your website correctly:
- Column 1 shows Visitors to your website for various traffic sources.
- Column 2 shows Contacts (Leads). These are people that have filled out a form on the website.
- Column 3 shows Customers. These are leads that have actually paid for services.
And if you want to drill in and see where those referrals are coming from, you can put a tracking system in place, in order to measure various online paid media channels we use (Google Pay Per Click, Facebook Advertising, Yelp Ads, etc.). When those annual contract renewals come up, it’s much easier to make the decision to continue or stop.
No more flying blind!
Are you closing the loop on your marketing efforts? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.