Using Google My Business to Capture Local Search
Google My Business is one of the most important pieces in getting your business found in local search. This goes further than just making a Google My Business account though. The account needs to be up-to-date, optimized and better than your competitors. This includes having adequate reviews, photos, keywords, and business information. This may seem like a no-brainer to many people, but the majority of business listings on Google My Business are under performing because they lack in various areas of this. Lucky for us, Google gives us a handy Insights tool in the Google My Business platform. This allows us to track how we appear in searches, our interactions, and how we stack up against our competition. Let’s look at some of the information that Insights provides for us.
Searches For Your Business
Google My Business Insights gives us an easy to read pie chart that breaks down how customers search for your business. This is mainly how you show up based on what the customer searches for. The three main sections of this are direct, discovery and branded. These show what areas you are showing up for in customer searches. This data also gives you insight into what areas you may need to improve in.
Direct means that the customer found you by searching your business name or address. This is the easiest to rank for, but you should also target people doing more broad searches. This is where the second section, discovery searches, come in to play. Discovery searches are where people find you by searching for a category, product, or service that is relevant to your business. This is extremely important because this is where your competitors are trying to show up as well. The last category, branded searches, is people who search for a brand related to your business, and you show up. For example, lets say you have your own realtor page, but you work under Keller Williams. If people search for Keller Williams in your area, you want to show up in the branded searches relevant to this.
Queries Used to Find Your Business
I find this to be one of the more interesting insights on Google My Business. This shows the exact search terms that people are using when they find your business. In addition, it also shows the number of users that have found your business from each key term. This allows you to see what your Google My Business Knowledge Card is optimized for in search, but whats more important may be the key terms that don’t show up. Using real estate for example again, you may want to show up for “realtors near me” or “buying a house.” If these terms are not showing up in your queries, then you may need to rework some of the information in your services section, or your in your business description.
Where Your Business is Viewed
This allows you to break down where customers are finding your business at through Google. Everyone would love to be at the top of the search engine results page, but only a few can achieve that. Instead, you may be appearing in other sections of the search engine that are allowing customers to find your business. This may include Google Maps, images, videos, or even the news section. It is often easier to rank in some of these less competitive sections. This section of Google My Business Insights allows you to see what Google sections that people are using to find your business. Unfortunately, this is only limited to search and maps through Insights right now. This does still give you a rough idea of the proportion of people who are looking at proximity as a factor in choosing a business.
The customer actions sections provides you details on what actions customers make most when they view your GMB listing. This includes clicking the link to visit your website, requesting directions to your business, and calling your business. This is useful in analyzing upticks in certain behaviors and tracking what information customer finds to be the most valuable.
The downside of this information is that it is not considered to be complete by many people. If someone pulls up you card and reads off the phone number to their friend to call, then it is not in the tracking, even though you did get a call from it. The same can happen if someone pulls up your address and types it into the GPS in their car. One way to help with this is to get a tracking number for your phones. This is a unique number that forwards calls to your phone. This way you can tell if someone got the number from your GMB listing, even if they did not directly click on it.
Photos are an integral part of building trust with potential customers. Customers want to see peoples faces, to get an idea of who they are working with. They also want to see the building, so that when they go there it is easier to recognize. People also want to see up to date images. If all of your images are several years old, then there is a good chance that some things may have changed. You do not want to create confusion for potential customer by having out of date photos. Many customers also consider regular posting of photos as a metric of trust in showing that you care about the representation of your business. GMB Insights tells you how you compare to similar businesses in terms of number of photos and photo views as well.
Reviews are one of the most important aspects in building customer trust. If people see that past customers are happy with their experience, then they are more likely to choose your business. You can create a quick link that you can email to customers to give them a quick and easy way to write a review for your company. Sometimes running promotions or enticements to get reviews can help you boost your numbers as well, just make sure you do not violate the Google Terms of Service. Although Insights does not monitor your reviews, you can monitor them through the reviews tab of Google My Business.
Google My Business Insights is a wonderful tool to gather information regarding some of the metrics that customers utilize from your GMB Knowledge Card. It is not the “golden key” to success though. Using it in combination with other tools and analytics will help you optimize your business marketing plan. This will ultimately help you maximize your local search visibility.