Customizing Vehicle Page Events in Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4. We all know it’s here and it’s really different from what we are used to. So much has changed in a tool that we use all the time, it can make us feel like imposters trying to complete the analytics tasks we’ve spent years mastering. But don’t worry – it is possible to master this new tool. This week, our stop on the journey towards mastery is learning how to create vehicle page events in Google Analytics 4.
Before we log into GA, let’s clarify terminology. For years, page views in Google Analytics were listed as a metric everyone could access. Google Analytics 4 brings a new focus on the engagement of website traffic, so metrics that used to live on their own, like page views, are now captured as events. GA4 does offer a “Pages and Screens” report, but that displays page title, not page URL. That’s fine if you only have a handful of pages on your site. But for dealers, with dynamic inventory, page title isn’t going to be a helpful metric.
To find your events in Google Analytics 4, navigate into the left-hand menu to the “Events” section. The “Event Name” is a combination of event actions from Universal Google Analytics and the GA 4 events.
To create your search result events, click “Create event” from the existing screen. On your custom event screen, click “Create” a second time.
When naming your new custom event, you must use the underscore to signify a space. Make sure you are giving the event an impactful name that will make sense later, such as “Vehicle_Search_Results” or “Vehicle_Details”. The parameter to use for a page view is “page_location”.
Once you select the page location parameter select “contains” from the Operator drop-down box. The “Value” of this custom event is where you enter in part of the URL from your website. The entry into this field will differ based on the website provider. For example, if I wanted to make a custom “Vehicle_Search_Results” for a Sincro website, I would enter the value of “/VehicleSearchResults”. If your website has new and used inventory at two different URLs, you will need to create a custom event for both new and used search results.
To help dealers navigate the URL world, we’ve created a new guide for vehicle page structures across all the major website providers you can download here. The list isn’t meant to cover every website out there but function as the starting point for GA4 in automotive.
If you have been following the Google Whisperer Guides to Google Analytics 4, you already have your testing GA4 property set up and can start matching your previous page load goals to new GA4 conversion events. And don’t worry. If I lost you in the land of attribution, reach out and I am happy to help anytime!