The Google Local Business Center, which allows businesses to create free listings within Google Maps, has recently added a new detailed analytics dashboard. The Local Business Center has long provided business owners with the ability to list their store locations for inclusion in Google Maps, as well as in its main search results for relevant queries. This data comes directly from the marketer and thus provides more authentic and verifiable location information than what’s received through Google’s relationships with data providers and its Web crawling.
The new Local Business Center reporting interface empowers businesses with detailed analytics about how customers are finding their business via search, where they are coming from and how they are interacting with their listings.
In addition to showing impressions and clicks, which the LBC has provided in the past, the new dashboard shows:
- Number of actions, or how many times users showed interest in the listing
- Number of clicks for “More Information” on Maps
- Number of clicks for “Driving Directions,” and which zip codes they came from
- Number of clicks to a business’ Web site
- Top search queries, which can enlighten marketers as to which search terms result in impressions of the their Web site
One key drawback to the new interface is that larger brands – which may have hundreds, if not thousands, of locations under a single domain – will not be able to view analytics in aggregate. The current system will only allow a marketer to view data on individual locations, and does not currently provide a larger feature to show how all (or even regional) locations are performing. This capability, along with a tool to make data easier to export, would make the interface even more powerful.
As more marketers recognize the value of their online presence and its powerful influence on offline conversions, the need for this data becomes even more important. Now, if Google can just find a way to track offline conversions (Coupons? Point of purchase data collection?), they will have truly have helped bridge the gap.
– Danny Young, Associate Director, SEO