What The Latest Google My Business Update Means For Local Marketers
It makes a difference when you know if consumers found your local business via general search or via maps.
“Google My Business,” the search giant’s online presence management system for local marketers, has added a number of improvements over the past year. But this past week’s reporting alterations offer a deeper level of insight involving discovery and the path-to-purchase.
Pointing to internal stats that indicate a “well-maintained Google My Business listing” gets five times more views than listings which haven’t been claimed by their owners, Google is providing marketers with additional ways of defining proper maintenance.
The big idea is that if you can tell how people are finding your business, you can use that information to focus your attention on optimizations that will have the biggest impact.
“Now when you log into Google My Business, not only will you see the total number of views for your listing, you’ll also see a breakdown of how many are coming from Google Search vs. Maps,” writes Tom Pritchard, product manager, in a Google My Business blog post heralding the update.
If you can tell how people are finding your business, you can use that information to focus your attention on optimizations that will have the biggest impact, says Jon Kennell, Yext’s VP of Product (Full disclosure: Yext is GeoMarketing’s parent company. More on that relationship here.)
“For example, if you know most people find your business by searching for a category, product, or service that you offer (as opposed to your business by name), a natural next step would be to focus on making sure your listings, ratings, and reviews help you stand out from the competition,” Kennell notes.
Notably, the focus is on Google Search and Maps — Google+ stats are being removed from the dashboard. Though Pritchard doesn’t say why, it’s safe to assume that the low penetration of its social network is the reason. In the end, it just seems simpler to offer the two most popular pathways that local businesses are found.
Nevertheless, local search consultant Mike Blumenthal finds a few things lacking in the Google My Business updates.
“Unfortunately the new Insights product still has limited date range and comparison features, no multi location aggregation of data and the data is not yet integrated with Analytics or the Google My Business API,” Blumethal writes on his blog. But Google has indicated to me that these are all things that they are looking at. Whether the reliability of the data is greater is also TBD.”