Clean Up Your Google Analytics Data For Better Decision Making

Last week I posted an article to show dealers how to update Google Places to create a measurement for the number of clicks to your website you get inside of Google Analytics. (Read Part I)

This code will help “clean-up” the visitor traffic reports that are being attributed the other sources.  This will be important in our use of data to accurately attribute vistor traffic by source.

For most dealers, Google Places traffic is mixed into general traffic which is sloppy data since we know how important Google Places is for referral traffic.

I have included a snapshot of the last five days of traffic to this dealer’s website once I added the tracking code.

Google Maps Tracking Code Yields Google Analytics Data

The campaign name that I chose is now clearly showing in the “All Traffic Sources” report in Google Analytics.  Once this runs for a month, you will start to be able to see just how important Google Places Optimization (GPO) is for your business.

So, if you are starting to dig into your site analytics to make smarter marketing decisions, it is critical to isolate Google Places traffic which otherwise would be padded into other broader categories.


Low Bounce Rate


It is too early to say that there is a pattern accross multiple dealers, but it is interesting to note that the bounce rate from Google Places (19.57%) was much lower than Google Organic Search (33.43%).  See below:

Google Places Clicks in Google Analytics

If you liked this tip, please click on the Google +1 button on the bottom of this article.  Also, tweet it out to your friends and share it on Facebook.  Your support is greatly appreciated.


Brian Pasch CEO of PCG  

Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences

Google Places Star Counts Impact Direct Website Traffic

Google Places ReviewsWe all know by now that at the end of July, Google changed how they calculate star counts on Google Places.  (see previous post)

Dealers that relied heavily on,, or saw their review counts drop drastically toward the end of July.

I have been encouraging dealers to post review on Google Places because it will increase referral traffic to their website and increase calls.  Some dealers are skeptical just how important Google Places is to their overall website traffic.  Others are skeptical if posting reviews directly on Google Places makes an impact.

I finally have some direct proof that focusing your attention on customer reviews has a major impact on consumers clicking through to your website from Google Places.

The term Zero Moment of Truth refers to the digital “scorecard” consumers see prior to selecting a product or service online.  For dealers, Google Places reviews play a major part of the ZMOT experience. For the dealer in this case study, Google Places shows over 40,000 times a month.

If you have been lackadaisical on adding reviews each month to Google Places, this is your wakeup call.

When Referral Traffic Dropped 86%

I am sharing the Google Places analytics for a dealer in the period from June 1st  through September  16th in the graph below.  Notice that over this period of time, the number of impressions have stayed basically the same.  However, there was a big drop in “actions” when the dealer’s star counts dropped from 275 to 3 when Google changed their algorithm.

So let’s dig deeper and look at traffic in June and then we will look at traffic in the last 30 days.  In June, the dealer had over 275 reviews in their star counts, primarily from  In August, their review “star” count dropped to 3.  Notice the BIG difference in referral traffic in the two graphs below:

June Traffic and Actions

Last 30 Days

The Big Drop Defined

In the month of June, this dealer had over 275 starred reviews and it resulted in 3,176 clicks through to their website.

In the last 30 days, with 3 reviews this dealer had 429 clicks through to their website.

Lost Google Places Traffic

This is an 86% drop in referral traffic and the impressions stayed basically the same.   So if anyone is NOT taking their Google Places account seriously, here is the data.

To get 2,747 replacement visitors would cost you over $6,000 in pay-per-click or $72,000 a year.  Is the effort to get reviews posted by your customers worth it?  You decide.

The more reviews you have on Google Places, the more FREE traffic you will generate to your website.  This makes a strong case to immediately implement an in-store review process using the Google Places app.  Once this dealer gets their review counts over 275 using Google Places App, their high referral traffic will return.  For a store of this size, this can be fixed in a short period of time.

 What Are You Waiting For?

If you have been holding off implementing on in-store Google Places review process, this data should light a fire under your ass.

Choose if you want to leverage Google Places to drive free traffic to your website or drive traffic to your competitors.

If you need help, give us a call.

I hope to see many dealers at Internet Battle Plan 7 in Park Ridge New Jersey on October 5-7th and at the Driving Sales Executive Summit on October 9-11th.

Brian Pasch CEO of PCG  

Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences

Changes To Google Places Confirmed by Avni Shah

As I reported yesterday, Google has stopped including 3rd Party Review counts into their yellow stars.  There was some disagreement if this change was permanent, and today we see that it is.

The product manager for Google Local had this to say in an article posted on TechCrunch

Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from Place pages.

Rating and review counts reflect only those that have been written by fellow Google users, and as part of our continued commitment to helping you find what you want on the web, we’re continuing to provide links to other review sites so you can get a comprehensive view of locations across the globe.

Changes Are Here To Stay

So there you have it, so it looks like this is here to stay.  So like all changes, we adapt and adjust our strategy.

In-store IRM process like Google Places App and PrestoReviews is your best way to maximize the face to face advantage.

Then through cards, emails, and adjustments to communication channels, you can build post sale, at home review process.

The number of consumers that have GMAIL accounts will be growing, since Android activations are at 550,000 a day.  I estimate that 20-25% of dealership clients  today will have a Gmail account or associated business account.   Those numbers will be increasing.

Jumpstarting Google Reviews

Dealers can get a jump start on this recent change in Google Places by searching their DMS for Gmail accounts, and sending them a special email encouraging them to assist your dealership with this change in Places.  It will not fix any large drop in reviews, but its an easy way to jump start things.

Implementing an in-store process is critical and most effective to collect authentic reviews.  Once you have these reviews, you can syndicate them on your blogs and platforms like also provide an SEO benefit.

Dealers should be considering adding banners and desktop tent cards throughout the dealership to increase the feedback about the customer experience at the store.  The signage starts conversations that can turn into in-store review compliance.

Anyone who needs help in this area, can call.


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