We all know that Google My Business is used to improve your company’s local search presence and attracting new customers via reviews, photos, company information and much more. We can all agree these are very important, but how do you know if this is attracting more customers to your website?
Learn how to start tracking your company’s Google My Business traffic data and see how much of an impact it has!
Why You Should Track Google My Business
There is no doubt that having a properly optimized Google My Business listing is the lifeblood of any local based company. Even though this is the case, I am willing to bet that 99.9999% of all Google My Business listing owners or managers do not track their traffic and data.
Tracking your company’s Google My Business data is an often overlooked aspect of any local seo campaign. We all know the value of Google My Business listings, but how much value does your l really offer?
I have been tracking numerous Google My Business listings for a while now, and the key metrics that have stood out to me the most are click through rate and conversions.
Google My Busines Listings Have a High Click Through Rate (CTR)
If your listing is displayed in the local pack, you can assume that you will get clicks. I have seen click through rates for listings that have been as high as 7.3% over a 90 day span.
While this is a great CTR, I have seen that the average is about 5%.
GMB Listings Convert Very Well
Along with a high click through rate, Google My Business listings have a very high conversion rate. I have seen conversion rates as high as 16.40%, but on average, somewhere around the 6% range is more common.
This shows that Google My Business listings are extremely valuable if you are showing up in the local pack from both a click through but as well as a conversion standpoint. If you are a company who worries about leads and have a focus on converting site traffic, Google My Business is one of the best avenues for local lead generation.
How Do I Track Google My Business Traffic To My Site?
Tracking Google My Business traffic is actually very easy, and there are a couple of ways to do this. The first method is by create a custom UTM tracking code. The other way to track data is done within your GMB dashboard.
If you create the UTM code, this enables you to track data in both Google Analytics and Search Console. In my opinion, UTM code tracking is the best way to see any traffic coming to your site from your Google My Business listing. As long as you set everything up correctly, this is a very effective way to track data.
Tracking your listing within your GMB dashboard is also a great way to track traffic data. In my opinion though, unless you are ok with being handcuffed by very limited data, this the the lesser of the 2 methods mentioned. Even though this gives a limited amount of data, this is easier for small business owners to use.
No matter which method you use to track your Google My Business data, it is always important to see where your traffic is coming from, and how it as increased over time.
Using UTM Codes To Track Google My Business Traffic
When it comes to accurately tracking your Google My Business traffic, you need to set up UTM tracking codes. This is very easy to do and requires no prior knowledge of any sort of coding or programming whatsoever.
For those that do not know what a UTM tracking code is, they are simple codes that you attach to the end of a URL in order to track a source, medium, campaign name, campaign term, and campaign content. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where traffic is coming from as well as what campaign directed the traffic to your site.
In my opinion, having UTM url’s in GMB listings is a must for any company that relies heavily on tracking every aspect of their marketing efforts, or for an seo consultant who gives detailed reports to their clients.
Creating UTM Codes
To create a UTM code you can use the Google Developer Tools Campaign URL Builder and you will come to a screen as shown below. I filled out the appropriate sections similar to how I create all my Google My Business tracking URL’s for you to copy if you so choose.
All you need to do is simply put in the right information into the appropriate fields.
- Website URL – Put the root URL or whatever page you are linking to in your listing.
- Campaign Source – I use “local” as the source since Google My Business is part of my local SEO campaign.
- Campaign Medium -Use “organic” since GMB listings are from organic searches.
- Campaign Content – I use “gmb”, but you can use or whatever you think is appropriate here .
Once you input these values into the appropriate fields, your new tracking URL will auto populate in the box at the bottom.
After your new URL is created, you have the option to keep it as is or shorten it. If you decide to shorten it, then it will appear like below.
Note: If you have a company with multiple locations and have more than one Google My Business listing, you can put that data in the Campaign Name section. This will allow you to create as many different URL’s as needed. For example, if you own a small chain of restaurants, you can use each location’s city as the Campaign Name.
Adding UTM Tracking URL To Google My Business Listing
Once you’re all set with creating your new UTM tracking URL, you need to add it to your listing. To do this, simply go to your account dashboard and select either info or edit. This will bring up a new screen with your company information.
Scroll down to find the existing URL and replace it with the new UTM tracking URL.
Once you add the new URL to your listing, you can refresh the page and it should be live.
Setting Up Tracking Within Google Analytics
Once your new URL is live on your listing, you need to now be able to track it in Google Analytics. The way to do this is by creating a new segment within your GA property. To create a new segment you simply click “Add New Segment”.
This will bring up a list of all existing default segments. Once this appears, select the red “+ New Segment” button. This will display the screen shown below.
Choose “Traffic Sources” on the left and this will display the correct info that needs to be filled out.
When filling out the fields, all you simply do is match the sections to the same as when you created the UTM tracking code.
After this is done, you can start tracking you Google My Business Traffic!
Seeing Google My Business Traffic In Google Analytics
Now that you have correctly setup your Google My Business tracking within Google Analytics, you need to be able to start seeing the traffic. There are a couple of ways you can do this. The first method is to look within Source / Medium. To get here, simply go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source / Medium.
Once you get here, you will see a similar layout as shown below. Here you can see that local / organic, which is what we made our Google My Business UTM tracking URL source and medium set as displaying. This signifies that your listing is generating traffic.
Another way to see your Google My Business traffic within Google Analytics is to look at the campaigns. To see this, all you simply do is look under Acquisition again then Campaigns > All Campaigns. This will display the following screen.
Google My Business Data in Google Search Console
Being able to see Google My Business data in Google Search Console is a great way to see even more data. This to me is a great way to determine how many users come to the site from my listing, what keywords are used to find the listing, and how many impressions my listings get.
As you can tell from this screen grab, this GMB listing generates a great deal of traffic for this site. I have it filtered for Clicks, Impressions, and Click Through Rate (CTR). This data shows that this Google My Business listing has a very high Click Through Rate (5.44% over a 90 day span).
Google My Business Insights Tracking
Within Google My Business, there is its own unique analytics tracking called Insights. Some of these categories were updated in August 2016.
These metrics give details about the current performance of your listing such as:
- How customers are searching for your business
- Where they view your business on Google
- How they interact with the listing
- How often they look at driving directions
- The amount of phone calls
- The number of photos you have and how many times they have been viewed
These metrics are very easy to see and are found on the top of the Google My Business dashboard and titled “Insights”. For the basic user, these are very useful in determining how well your listing is performing in search, and how often users interact with it.
How Customers Search For Your Business
Of the numerous insights metrics, the how customers search for your business is one of the most useful. This bit of data shows if your listing is coming up via searches for keywords related to what you do or if users search for your brand.
Google My Business has two ways of looking at traffic, and they are called Direct and Discovery. This data shows impressions rather than clicks
- Direct traffic is defined as “customers who find your listing searching for your business name or address”. These listings often show up when users do a search and only your listing is the one displayed in the SERP. You can attribute Direct search data to other forms of marketing you are doing or have done, or even returning customers.
- Discovery traffic is defined as “customers who find your listing searching for a category, product, or service”. This type of traffic is more organic and displays your listing in the local pack or map. You can attribute this traffic source directly to your SEO campaign.
Where Customers View Your Business On Google
The where customers view your business metric is another very useful bit of data. This shows whether your listing is seen on the search results page, or on maps. This gives you a good idea of how your target audience is finding your listing.
The Customer Actions data shows how users interact with your listing. This shows the most actions that users can take once they are on your listing.
- Visit Your Website – this data tells you how many times users visited your site after interacting with your listing.
- Request Driving Directions – how many times users looked for directions to your business.
- Call You – the amount of phone calls your listing has generated
Based on your business, some of these metrics would matter more than others. For example, if you manage a local Dunkin Donuts, you might focus more on the request directions data.
If you operate a home services business, you might focus on the amount of calls or clicks to your website that could convert into leads.
Driving Directions Requests
This section shows the amount of times users looked for driving directions to your location. Depending on what type of company you have, you may have many or none. For example, you will get more data as a restaurant or service business at a single location like a gas station compared to a company that has a service area (ie. plumber).
Note: the chart above with no data is from a service area business that does not serve customers at their location.
Similar to the Customer Actions, you can see the number of phone calls here. The thing that stands out here is that the numbers here won’t match the numbers under Customer Actions. The reason for that is because you can only see 4 weeks (28 days) of data compared to 30 days in the Customer Actions section.
In the Photo Views section, you can see how many times users have looked at photos associated with your listing. This is a great indication that you have quality photos on your Google My Business listing. Google recommends that you upload quality photos to your listings, and if you do this, you will see an increase in photo views.
The Photo Quantity insight tells you the number of photos currently associated with your listing. As mentioned in the Photo Views section, it is always recommended to upload quality photos and update them often.
Another great feature about this is that you can see the amount of user generated photo content added to your listing. This is great for business where customers take a lot of pictures of your products or services.
I think that anyone who works with Google My Business listings in any capacity should start tracking traffic data. We all know that GMB is very valuable to any business, but now you can realize how valuable.
After I started tracking Google My Business Listings, I quickly learned that properly optimized listings have a high click thought rate when they are displayed. Not only that, they generate a good amount of conversions according to Google Analytics.
Start tracking your Google My Business traffic, and start seeing results today, folks!