People are reaching your business differently than they did even a couple years ago. Today, more than half of traffic comes from mobile search, and its clear that a well-optimized Google My Business listing is essential for helping users find you — because it is the main, most prominent search result, featuring all the information someone needs to contact you. But where is the proof? How do you know what traffic is getting to your site through Google My Business? Where’s the data?
It can be found in Google Analytics, you just need to set up a little additional tracking (we’ll show you how!).
Wait, How Does Google My Business Work Again?
For example, if I search for “tacos near me” on my phone I get these GMB results, providing locations, ratings, and pictures of the taco joints closest to me. When I click the third result, because Yo Quiero Taco Bell, I get more info as well as links to call, get directions, and visit the website. It’s easy to see why Google My Business has a significant impact on driving traffic to your business.
Continuing with our Taco Bell example, I want to check out the menu, so I click on “Website”. This is the traffic you want to be able to identify in Google Analytics. More and more of your organic traffic is coming from users clicking your local listing, and without additional tracking, you cannot expressly see this traffic in Google Analytics. It just shows up as “organic traffic”, mixed in with all your other organic search traffic.
So what do you need to do? Simple. Just log into your Google My Business dashboard and add UTM campaign tracking. This will help Google identify this specific traffic within your Organic bucket.
But Wait… What is a UTM Code?
A UTM code is a simple code that you can attach to a custom URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from. Google’s (free) tool for building campaign tracking can be found here: ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
The builder is easy to use and once you fill in a few required fields, Google spits out your custom url (like this): abc_company.com/utm_source=googlemybusiness&utm_campaign=Google%20My%20Business&utm_medium=organic
Then, all you have to do is log into your Google My Business dashboard and replace the url that you have entered for your website with your new custom tracking url.
But Wait… Where Do I Find This Traffic?
Now organic traffic that comes to your website from clicking on your Google My Business local listing will be identified within your Organic channel.
To see this traffic in Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. In your Channel Report, click on Organic, then Source. Within your organic sources you will begin to see googlemybusiness, because you told Google to classify all traffic that comes from your website link in your GMB dashboard with this organic source.
It’s essential to understand where your traffic comes from so that you can make informed marketing decisions, and I suspect you’ll find that much of your traffic is coming to you from GMB.
You can also break down this data by device to get a better understanding of the most common user experience on the way to your site.
Now that you know how you can identify and learn from Google My Business traffic, you can take it one step further in Google Analytics and create a custom channel for Google My Business, which will take it out of your Organic channel altogether. This is also an interesting way to look at this traffic, as the Google My Business slice grows and the Organic channel (with this piece removed) continues to shrink.
If you have any questions about optimizing for Google My Business, tracking its traffic properly, or finding the best tacos in Chicago, shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help ?