Are you a data-driven marketer?
As a small business owner or marketer for a local business, harnessing data can be a daunting prospect. It’s not just a question of where to look to access the most useful data but how to interpret it and put the findings of your analysis into action.
Google My Business offers an easy place to start, with accessible analytics that give useful insights on your search presence. If you’ve carried out a Google My Business audit recently, you’ll likely have a plan of action which maps out the changes you need to make, additional activities you need to perform and, hopefully, aims and objectives to take your Google My Business presence forward.
Google routinely makes additions to Google My Business and occasionally makes new Google My Business Insights available, too. We’ll keep this resource updated as new Insights and data points roll out.
We’d also thoroughly recommend reading our comprehensive Google My Business Insights Study once you’re done with this piece, as it gives you a detailed look at how your business’ Insights performance is comparing with others in your industry.
Why do I need all this data?
According to an Econsultancy survey, many marketers feel ‘data-driven marketing which focuses on the individual’ is the most exciting opportunity of 2019. As a local business owner or someone responsible for local search marketing, you too can leverage this trend and make Google My Business Insights work for you and your customers.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start or how to effectively harness your data, a round table discussion that took place off the back of the survey discovered that many marketers feel the same. Many say that organizing data is increasingly difficult. They identified three ways to use data more effectively;
1. Keep data up to date – data must be current and stored in an appropriate format
2. Integrate – combining data across various channels such as search and social media is important as integrated data provides much more useful insight.
3. Improve – the point of data is not just to measure previous performance. Data in hand can be used to improve marketing effectiveness and drive future improvements.
With that in mind, let’s look at how you can use your Google My Business Insights data to help you work more effectively. If you’re ready to use Google My Business Insights to inform your own performance improvements, read on for our quick guide to this often-overlooked tool.
Google My Business Insights, Search Console, and Google Analytics
Google offers business owners and marketers several different data tools; Google My Business Insights, Search Console and Google Analytics. These three properties are individual tools in their own right. While some integrations exist and all provide useful information to help you build a full picture of your business online, they do differ.
What are Google My Business Insights?
Many customers find businesses through Google Search and Maps. Google My Business Insights focuses on how customers find your listing on Search and Maps, and what they do after they find it.”
You can think of Google My Business Insights as your window on local search. It contains information relating to your local search performance such as the number of views your listing has received, how search users find you, and the types of interaction they have with your listing such as clicking through to your website, calling you or requesting directions.
What is Google Search Console?
Google’s official description of Search Console is that it offers a series of “…tools and reports to help you measure your site’s Search traffic and performance, fix issues and make your site shine in Google Search results.”
Search Console is more advanced than GMB Insights. Here, webmasters can submit a sitemap and individual URLs to the search engine to assist with crawling and Google visibility, and delve deeper into search analytics metrics such as impressions, clicks, and search queries.
Registering your business website for Search Console is important even if you do use Google My Business Insights, as Google uses this tool to alert webmasters when it identifies issues with a site. Through Search Console you can see the affected URLs and inform Google when you have fixed the problem.
If you’re struggling to differentiate between Google Search Console and GMB Insights, it may help to think of Search Console as your health check and maintenance tool. Use it to check on things like mobile usability and keep abreast of potential problems.
What is Google Analytics?
Part of the Google Marketing Platform, Google Analytics is the most advanced and comprehensive of the trio. It allows users to build a complete picture.
About the tool, Google says,
Analytics helps you understand how people use your sites and apps, so you can take action to improve their experience.”
It has sophisticated modeling capabilities, a variety of reporting options including behaviour, conversion and user-flow, and data visualization capabilities as well as intelligence and anomaly detection and expansive integration options (including with Search Console). Google Analytics is available in both small business and enterprise versions.