Local SEO can reap great rewards for your local or multi-location business, and part of that success can be attributed to having an optimized Google My Business profile. However, while tracking the success of your listing is important, the metrics in the GMB interface are unreliable.
Instead, check out the following steps to set up additional tracking to your GMB listing so that you can see the data in Google Analytics.
First, Create Your New Website URL
Within your GMB listing, you have an area where you link your website for customers to go to. This will likely be your homepage or a location page. We are going to be altering the link to include UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters to send unique data to your Analytics profile.
Go to Google’s Campaign URL Builder and fill out the following fields as so:
You will want to switch out the two that are highlighted yellow with the URL you want to use and the location of your selected GMB listing. This helps filter out your different locations in Analytics.
Once you have filled out the forms, you will want to copy the generated URL they built for the next step. It will look something like this:
Next, Navigate to Your GMB Listing
Once you have signed in and are inside the Google My Business interface and have selected the listing you want to track, click on “Info” from the navigation.
In the information section, you will see an area where your website link currently is. Edit the URL and replace it with the new, generated URL you copied in the previous step, then click apply:
You will want to repeat these steps across your other locations you manage in Google My Business while changing out the highlighted “location” in the URL you generate.
Lastly, Check Your Data in a Few Days
It can take up to three days for Google to publish changes you make to your listings, so you may not see data in Google Analytics right away.
But after a few days have passed, you will be able to see traffic, sessions, conversions (if you have goal tracking set up), and other unique data from users who found you via your GMB listing under Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium.
And you can use the search box on this page and type in “GMB” to see all location data, or use just the location name you set earlier to see just specific listing metrics.
Why Some Google My Business Performance Metrics Are Unreliable
When you are in the Google My Business interface for your locations, you have likely seen various widgets that show how many users have clicked on your listing, or details from the insights area that breaks down listing views, calls, and more.
However, while some of this data can be incredibly helpful in evaluating your listing, there are various numbers that, according to other local SEO experts, should be ignored.
Not to mention, the GMB interface does not give data on conversions, which is one of the most important metrics you should be focusing on as a business owner!