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How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool from Google that helps business owners manage their online presence across the search engine and its growing portfolio of utilities.
Seasoned SEO professionals use GMB listings to leverage a location-based strategy
Creating a GMB listing is the first step to local search success.
And for good reason.
GMB offers the greatest impact for brands seeking local exposure.
A feature like Google’s Local Search emphasizes the need for a GMB listing for both new and established businesses.
It gives a list of businesses nearby and a lot of information needed to find a specific business like:
- Business address.
- Business hours.
Google’s Knowledge Graph also utilizes verified Google My Business information.
It helps generate details for its database about businesses and related entities that are relevant to specific searches.
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Once a new listing is created, a Google Maps location is then generated.
That synchronizes with traditional Google Search for ease of access and searchability.
It certainly helps that the clear majority of organic searches come from Google – around 90% for worldwide search engine market share.
It also shows the value of a GMB listing and effective local SEO.
Use this guide to ensure you’ve completed your Google My Business listing correctly, and optimized all possible facets of the tool.
Doing this will also give the most leverage for your business on Google and third-party platforms that use the Google Maps API to generate location information for users.
Basics of Google My Business
If digital marketing is a somewhat new endeavor for you and your business, there are some basics to know.
And it’s good to understand Google My Business and the value it offers.
First off: Yes, using Google My Business is free.
And, no, a GMB listing doesn’t replace your business’s website.
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Google My Business complements a brand’s already-existing website(s) by giving it a public identity and presence with a listing on Google.
The information provided about a business through Google My Business can appear in Google Search and Google Maps.
Any third-party platform utilizing the Google Maps API will also show Google My Business listings regardless of what device type is being used to search.
If you’ve previously used certain Google tools to complement your business (Google+, for example), or your business has been operating for a while, chances are your business is already listed on Google My Business.
Google Places for Business and the Google+ Pages Dashboard were the best ways to manage your business information previously.
Both have automatically been upgraded to Google’s universal platform, Google My Business.
Starting Your Google My Business Listing
The first step to getting your Google My Business listing up and running is to actually conduct a Google search to ensure your business doesn’t already have one.
You can also use Google’s in-platform My Business search feature to locate your business on GMB.
If your business has been around for a while (several years or more), it’s likely it already has a GMB listing and you just need to claim it.
Once successfully claimed, you can manage the information as if you started the GMB listing yourself.
If there is already a listing for your business, it will notify you.
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It may also notify you that someone else already claimed your business.
If that happens, follow these steps.
If your business listing is not already created, you can set it up pretty quickly.
Verification takes a bit longer to complete, but it can usually get done within a week.
Start with the official business name before inputting more important info.
Then input your main business category.
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You can change and add to this later, but this is a critical part of completing (and optimizing) your brand page.
Be sure to find the best relevant category for your business.
There are a lot of variations to choose from but there should be at least one that summarizes your business best and most accurately.
You will then be asked if you want to “add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?”
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This is valuable information since many businesses operate as service-area businesses and do not need/allow customers at the brick-and-mortar location.
For these instances, the specific location of the business will not show up on Google Maps.
However, the business will still show up for relevant searches in its service area.
For those businesses that operate in a specific service area and don’t want the actual brick-and-mortar location to show up in Maps, select the service area(s) that pertain to the business.
You can then add contact information for the business, including the contact phone number and the current website URL.
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For businesses with that brick-and-mortar location that people can go to during business hours, you should add the business address next.
Once the address is set, Google My Business will ask if you “also service customers outside this location?”
It lets you set where/how far the business is willing to physically go to deliver goods or services.
If yes, you will be able to walk through the same service-area business details.
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You can add or change service area details at any time.
If you don’t service customers outside of the brick-and-mortar, select No then input contact details on the next prompt.
After that, you can then click Finish to publish the listing.
Lastly, verify it to get it live and visible.
Verifying Your Google My Business Listing
You need to verify your Google My Business listing.
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This is done via Postcard by mail, which takes up to five business days.
It proves to Google you can manage and do, in fact, represent the business you claim.
Verifying your business is crucial for the visibility and performance of the listing.
It’s important to know that Google won’t display your business or its edits until the business is verified.
Without verification, you cannot access page insights/analytical information or business reviews from the back end.
Verification typically takes less than a week.
Google will send you a verification code postcard that you will use to verify your listing and your business will officially be live.
Publishing Your Google My Business Listing
Use all resources offered by Google My Business within its listing details to get the most out of your business locations.
Here are some basic but crucial tips for optimizing your listing:
1. Enter Complete Data for Your Listing
Local search results favor the most relevant results for searches.
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Businesses offering the most detailed and accurate information will be easier to serve in search.
Don’t leave anything to be guessed or assumed.
Make sure your listing communicates what your business does, where it is, and how they can acquire the goods and/or services your business is offering.
2. Include Keywords
Just like traditional website SEO, Google uses a variety of signals to serve search results.
Including important keywords and search phrases to your business listing will be incredibly helpful, especially since your business website is listed directly within your GMB listing.
Use these in the business description and each time you post a Local Post to your audience.
3. Keep Business Operating Hours Accurate
It’s important to put your business hours, but it’s equally important to update them whenever they change.
Google offers the ability to customize hours for holidays and other special events.
It should always be updated to keep your site accurate and users happy.
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And, in the age of COVID-19, GMB offers even more flexibility around hours and messaging for potential customers.
Note: Additional hours won’t show for your business until regular hours are set.
4. Add Photos
Photos help business listings’ performance more than most business owners and marketers probably expect.
Businesses with photos on their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos, according to Google.
Keep reading for more GMB photo tips below.
5. Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews
Interacting with customers by responding to their reviews illustrates that your business values its customers and the feedback that they leave regarding it.
Positive reviews are going to have a positive effect on potential customers when researching your business.
They also increase your business’s visibility in search results.
Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews for your business.
6. Let Customers Message You
It can be somewhat inconvenient at times but messages to and from customers are solely enabled through the Google My Business app.
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To do so, tap Customers, then Messages, then Turn on through the app.
Once enabled, customers will be able to message businesses through their Business Profiles with the Message button that appears.
Messages can have customized automated responses to welcome customers for incoming messages.
This helps with the responsiveness and visibility of the business since response times won’t suffer as badly.
For maximum performance and visibility through the GMB listing, it’s critical to keep message response time under 24 hours.
But obviously faster is better.
Customers don’t want to wait for answers and oftentimes a fast answer is the difference between a customer and a non-customer.
7. Use Local Posts
You can publish offers, events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps through posts on Google My Business.
Posts let you engage with your audience and keep your presence fresh on Google.
And they can be sent on-the-go from either a phone, tablet, or a computer.
Businesses can also influence their Knowledge Panel breakouts with direct feedback about their businesses and the people that represent it.
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Some Google-provided tips for making the most out of Local Posts are: Make sure each post is high-quality – free of spelling errors, broken characters, gibberish, or useless information.
And they should be respectful and non-offensive.
The best posts include visuals and links, but the links should always be to sites that are trusted.
Links that lead to malware, viruses, phishing, or pornographic material aren’t allowed.
Posts from businesses that operate on regulated goods and services are allowed to use posts but can’t post content related to the products themselves.
These industries typically include:
- Adult services.
- Alcohol and tobacco.
- Pharmaceutical products and recreational drugs.
- Health and medical devices.
- Gambling-related services.
- Financial services.
These posts can and will show up in Google, so they need to be kept PG.
8. Stay Connected During COVID-19
This year has provided us with plenty of surprises. The biggest has been COVID-19 and the craziness it left (and continues to leave) in its wake.
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If stores operate differently than normal due to COVID-19 restrictions, mandates, or safety guidelines, businesses can update their profiles on GMB to provide the most accurate information to customers.
Recently added features make communicating with current and potential customers easier in the time of the pandemic.
In addition to customizable business hours and Local Posts, a business can:
- Mark store temporarily closed.
- Manage delivery options.
- Add healthy and safety attributes.
9. Use the Special Attributes
Newer features to GMB allow black-owned and women-led businesses to be highlighted on their profile.
These also allow for other features like outdoor seating and the like.
If the business is healthcare-related, additional attributes may be available including:
- Inform customers whether your business offers online care.
- Provide customers with a direct method to schedule and receive online care.
- Edit your gender information.
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10. Use the Product Catalog
For merchants with products to showcase, GMB’s Product Editor allows them to do just that.
Most business types are eligible to showcase products, so long as they are small- and medium-sized businesses; and a few business verticals.
Larger businesses need to use Local Inventory Ads to showcase their products.
Offering information about products including pricing, details, and photos, allows customers to get a better idea of products offered and interact more with businesses.
These product details also allow Google to better understand a business.
Photos & Videos for Your Google My Business Listing
The most important piece of imagery for a GMB listing is obviously the logo.
There likely won’t be an image that gets more exposure, and there likely isn’t one that will have more of an impact.
Google recommends businesses use their logo to help customers identify your business with a square-sized image.
Other types of digital assets that should be added to your GMB listing are:
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Your cover photo should showcase your brand page’s personality.
The cover photo is the large photo featured at the top of the brand’s business profile, it will always be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.
This helps customers better understand the in-store experience at a business.
It lets business operators share the look and feel of the business interior, so make a good impression!
It also let’s potential customers get a visual idea of the store, its layout, and any potential limitations it may have.
Videos are one of the most popular media forms on the web.
It’s because they are extremely effective at telling a story and/or explaining something that could otherwise potentially be tough to explain.
Other kinds of photos are used to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions.
These photos will differ from the above-mentioned rich media and are dependent on the kind of business you manage.
These photos may include other general photos that summarize the business and what it can do for its customers.
They can be:
- Goods and/or services your business offers.
- Business staff working and/or assisting customers.
- The exterior of the business and available parking.
All photos should follow Google best practices:
- Format: JPG or PNG
- Size: Between 10KB and 5MB
- Minimum resolution: 720px tall, 720px wide
- Quality: The photo should be in focus and well-lit, and have no alterations or excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality.
Google also offers the opportunity for a Virtual Tour, which will further enhance the brand profile’s visibility.
It can also draw traffic to the business with a 360-degree interactive experience.
Monitoring Your Google My Business Listing Insights
Over the last several years, Google has made tremendous strides with available analytical data for Google My Business listings.
Now called Insights, Google offers businesses a different way to understand how customers interact with business listings, including:
- How customers find your listing.
- Where customers find you on Google.
- Customer actions.
- Direction requests.
- Phone calls.
How Customers Find Your Listing
This section of Insights shows how customers found you in a “Direct” search (they searched for your business name or address) versus a “Discovery” search (they searched for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your listing appeared).
These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:
- Total searches.
- Direct searches.
- Discovery searches.
Where Customers Find You on Google
This section shows how many customers found you via Google Search or Google Maps.
Besides Listing on Search and Listing on Maps, you’ll see the number of views your listing received from each product in the timeframe you’ve selected.
According to Google, “views” are like “impressions” on other analytics platforms.
To see how many people found you on a particular product on a particular day, place your cursor over the appropriate segment of the graph on the day you’re interested in.
These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:
- Total views.
- Search views.
- Maps views.
This section shows what customers did once they found your listing on Google.
Total actions gives the total of the following types of actions that customers took on your listing:
- Visit your website.
- Request directions.
- Call you.
- View photos.
The following labels are available as reports in this reporting section:
- Total actions.
- Website actions.
- Directions actions.
- Phone call actions.
- Direction Requests.
This part of Insights uses a map to show where people are that are requesting directions to your business.
Your business location is identified on the map and some of the most common spots that people request directions to your business from are shown.
It even breaks the total number of direction requests down by city or neighborhood.
This section shows when and how often customers called your business via your listing on Google.
At the top of the section, Total calls gives the total number of phone calls for the selected time frame.
The graph offers the ability to view trends by phone calls by either day of the week or time of day.
This lets marketers and business operators know when customers are most likely to call after seeing your GMB listing.
Lastly, GMB allows you to examine how often your business’s photos are being viewed with the Photo views graph and Photo quantity graph.
There are also lines on the graphs that compare your business’s photo data with photo data for other businesses similar to yours.
Section of this reporting component includes bulk insights for:
- Total owner photos.
- Owner photo views.
- Total customer photos.
- Customer photo views.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by author, September 2020
Linking your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account will provide you with a greater range of visitor data, allowing you to analyse the activity on your site once a visitor has landed on your website via a click on an ad.
Google Ads conversion tracking allows you to see how your campaign is performing in line with your business goals, but by linking Google Ads to Analytics you will be able to import Goals configured in Analytics as a conversion.
In addition, it becomes possible to see how many people have visited your site from your adverts, which pages they visited, the amount of time they spent on your website, and where they exited your website. This will paint a better picture of how Google Ads is working in relation to your website.
Before you attempt to link your Google Ads and Analytics account, there are a couple of key considerations:
1) The Google Account that you are using to set up the link must have access to both your Ads account & Analytics account. If the account only has access to one, then give it access to the other.
2) Your account must have the necessary administrative permissions to enable linking of Google Ads and Analytics. This is Admin Access in Google Ads and Edit Access in Analytics.
There are a couple of ways you can link Google Ads to Analytics, but the simplest method is as follows:
1) Log into your Google Analytics account and click on the ‘Admin’ button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
2) Ensure that your Google Ads account has access to the Analytics property by selecting the ‘User Management’ button and checking that the email related to your Google Ads has edit access to Analytics.
3) Click on the ‘Google Ads Linking’ button located below property management, and select the ‘+ New Link’ option.
4) Select the AdWords account to which you would like to link and click ‘next step‘.
5) Select which Analytics views you would like AdWords to be linked to – this will also enable Auto-Tagging on your AdWords Account. Then click ‘Link Accounts‘.
6) You will then be presented with some information detailing ‘What’s next?’, which explains that it may take up to 24 hours for the Google Ads Link to begin.
That’s it! It’s really that simple to link up Google Ads and Analytics to each other. Now you’ll be able to import goals, view time on site metrics and much more. If you’d like any help understanding the kind of insights you can get with this linking process, please contact our PPC specialists.
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How to Create a Google Account With a Company Email Address
By Michelle Carvo
Signing up for a Google account enables users to take advantage of such free Google applications as Google AdSense, Google Analytics and Google Voice, among others. If you already have a company email address, you may be looking to create a Google account with this address. Creating a Google account with a company email address requires signing up for and verifying the account.
Go to google.com/accounts/NewAccount in your Web browser.
Type in your company’s email address in the “Your current email address:” field.
Type in a password for your Google account. This must be at least eight characters in length and should include a mixture of letters and numbers. Re-enter this password in the “Re-enter password:” field.
Select your location by clicking the drop-down menu next to “Location.”
Type in your birthday and the verification code under “Word Verification:.”
Click the “I accept. Create my account” button at the bottom of the page to create your Google account with a company email address.
Log in to your company email. Open the email from Google regarding your new account. Click the confirmation link in the email to activate your Google account and complete the process with your company’s email address.
Michelle Carvo has been writing professionally since 2006, contributing to a variety of websites. She is also a technical writer with extensive experience in Android/iPhone development and PC repair. Carvo holds a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from the University of Michigan-Flint and works as an IT SEO project manager.
Google My Business
The success of Google+ was minimal, causing Google+ Local to pass over to the independent Google My Business service. The benefit of Google My Business is that all company-relevant data and services can be managed with one Google account. This allows users to not only manage information on their company and their location, but at the same time, to call up important data on access or promotions via Google Ads. A Google My Business entry also offers the opportunity to place prepared Ads express adverts via the account. With this Google wants to make it easier for companies to place local-based adverts via Google Ads.
Where do the Google My Business entries appear?
Company entries via Google My Business appear both in the organic search results of the Google search engine as well as on Google Maps. If the search engine recognizes a local reference in the search query, the algorithms refer back to the stored Google My Business profile and lists corresponding hits prominently above the usual organic search hits with a map extract. If there is only one relevant hit, it is displayed to the right of the regular snippets.
If a customer or interested party searches directly via Google Maps for a company, the data from the profiles of the My Business accounts is also used there.
Uses for local SEO
Google My Business is predominantly important for SEO that is locally orientated. With a free entry theoretically even companies without a website have the opportunity to achieve a high ranking within the organic web search. As Google is more and more orientating its search results according to the respective user, local search is of particular importance. A Google study has shown that almost half of all web users carry out local searches. For companies it is all the more important that they achieve high rankings in search queries with a geographical reference. And Google My Business is a key for this.
This is how a Google My Business entry is created:
In order to create a Google My Business entry, a valid Google account is required.
This is the process:
- Log into your Google account.
- Call up the Google My Business homepage.
- Click the “Start now” button.
- Enter the name of your company as well as the address with post code and city. Also enter the phone number. Select a main category from the suggestions that best fit your company. You can also define a catchment area for your services or your offer via a selection field.
- Google then compares its data with your information. In some cases there may already be a rudimentary entry, if Google has entered publicly visible company details in its system.
- Next, follow the instructions and confirm the registration as well as the conditions of use.
- In order for your entry to be approved and for you to be able to modify it, you still have to confirm your company. For this, Google sends an approval code by post to your company address. Generally you will receive this letter within a few working days.
- After approval with the code you are able to edit your company profile in detail.
This information includes a Google My Business account:
- Contact details: Alongside email addresses, you can also add fax and phone numbers to your account. Using your Google+profile you can also add contact options via social media.
- Address details: Your company address is the central piece of information of your entry. It is also possible to enter numerous locations for Google My Business.
- Photos: The account offers you the opportunity to extensively present your company with pictures. In your profile pictures can be sorted by outside and inside as well as by team members.
- Logos: In order to be able to clearly arrange your company, the addition of logos is possible. They are also shown in the corresponding search hits.
- Keywords (category): The keywords of the Google My Business entry are made up of the respective categories. Only categories suggested by Google can be used. The selected categories, however, do help decide whether your company is displayed in the search results.
How can I optimize my Google My Business account for SEO?
Basically, the more information stored in Google My Business, the better. You can also use My Business to maintain a Google+page. Further contact options for the target group are also available to you, such as chats or hangouts, for example.
- Images: It is recommended that you use high-resolution image material. Companies also have the opportunity to use the Google Street View service in their company premises.
- Categories: It is very important that the categories be selected appropriately, and it is worth it to determine which keywords are relevant.
- Correct company descriptions, contact and address details: Use all the relevant data precisely the same as on your homepage.
By the way: A profile with Google My Business not only uses SEO, but can also be linked to a Google Ads account. In this way locally orientated advertisements can be placed, which display users the address of the provider. With a smartphone users can then click this address so that Google Maps opens and the interested parties can immediately have the route to the provider displayed to them.
Google study on local search: https://storage.googleapis.com/think-emea/docs/research_study/Report_Google_Local_Search_Behavior_DE_1.pdf
Google My Business homepage: https://www.google.com/business/
Google My Business help: https://support.google.com/business/?hl=en
 How to Interpret Google My Business (GMB) Insights
Posted by Joy Hawkins
Updated March 4, 2021
There are many questions that often come up about how to properly interpret Google My Business Insights. I’m going to break down the different sections and explain what they mean.
For an overview of the new Mobile vs Desktop breakdown and the upcoming display to track driving directions, website clicks, and bookings via GMB, check out this article about the 2021 GMB Insights Update.
How Customers Search for your Business
This chart is only reporting on impressions (not clicks).
- Direct = People that are searching for your business by name or location. I would say you can attribute these impressions to other forms of marketing since the person has already heard about you. A lot of these impressions are most likely existing customers as well. These are searches that return a knowledge panel of your business. I got confirmation from Google that impressions will count in this section when the search results only list a single business listing (so this could be misleading in cases where you see a one-box for a non-branded query).
- Discovery = People that are searching generic categories and see your listing (auto insurance, dentist near me, italian restaurant etc). These are impressions you can most likely attribute to your SEO efforts.
- Branded = These are searches for a brand your business sells that return a set of results (you are not the only one listed).
What is the difference between branded and direct searches?
We often see a lot of confusion around the difference between branded & direct searches so I’m going to give some examples. This is a car dealer that sells for Nissan (a brand) in Woodbridge, VA. When you are located near the dealership and you search “Nissan dealer near me”, you get a single result. This would be counted under direct.
However, if you move a little further away from him and do the same search, you now get a 3-pack. This would be counted as branded.
For more examples of what is considered branded vs direct, see this forum thread.
What is the difference between branded and discovery searches?
One way to tell if Google knows a term is branded is to see if the 3-packs have an ABC label on it. For example, “botox” returns a normal 3-pack but “progressive insurance” returns a branded 3-pack that has the ABC label. For more on these different types of 3-packs see this article.
However, since this only appears to happen when business names contain the brand being sold, it’s not always the case for businesses that carry products. I’m currently trying to get more clarification from Google on how they distinguish a branded term from a discovery term.
Where Customers View your Business on Google
This graph is a bit confusing if you don’t understand that when both boxes are checked, the graph is cumulative (the top of the graph includes the total of both numbers). So for those of you scratching your head wondering why the heck the graph is up near 60 for July 25th in this picture when you hover over it, it’s saying 17, you’re not alone. Here is how you actually see the numbers – the total searches on Maps was 41. The total searches on Search is 17. Therefore the total for the two is 58, which is what the graph is showing. Yes, very confusing. To avoid confusion just look at the graphs separately (only click one box – either Search or Maps).
Searches on the Local Finder are included in “Search” since they happen on Google.com and not Maps.Google.com.
As of March 4, 2021, Views in Google My Business Insights are the number of unique visitors to your profile.
Users who viewed your profile: Number of unique visitors to your profile. A user can be counted a limited number of times if they visit your Business Profile on multiple devices and platforms such as desktop or mobile and Google Maps or Google Search. Per breakdown device and platform, a user can only be counted once a day. Multiple daily visits aren’t counted.
Since this metric represents the number of unique users, it may be lower than the number of views you find on Google My Business and in email notifications.
Since the metric focuses on views of the Business Profile, as opposed to overall views of the Business on Google, it may also be lower than the number of views you find on Google My Business and in email notifications.
This section shows where your driving directions came from if you have enough of them. Google will also show details about the areas where your direction requests come from including a nice heat map. If driving directions seem high, it’s probably because you are in a building and Google is counting driving directions that were actually to other businesses at the same address.
Don’t be surprised if the numbers on this graph don’t match the numbers under “customer actions”. This graph shows 4 weeks whereas the actions section shows 30 days.
As Tim Capper illustrated, you can still copy and paste the values into a spreadsheet if it’s easier to interpret the data that way.
Chat To You
The GMB Messaging feature is the newest feature that generates insights data. You first need to setup the GMB Messaging feature before Google can collect this data. Additionally, if you are using a 3rd party for the messaging feature, the graph inside GMB Insights might show zero even if you actually have been receiving messages. In this example, the business is using Podium for this feature and has been receiving messages but GMB Insights shows zero.
My church (in a very small town) gets an average of 20-40 photo views a day. Their monthly photo views exceed the number of people who actually attend the church. When I asked Google for an explanation for this, they said that “view photos” is counting both impressions (the photo appears in the 3-pack or knowledge panel) and if a user clicks to go to the photos. So these really are not clicks but rather impressions (and could be very misleading).
This section will also compare the number of times your business photos have been viewed, compared to photos from other businesses.
This section compares the number of photos that appear on your business, compared to photos from other businesses. It breaks them out by “Customer Photos” and “Owner Photos”
Popular Times & Visit Duration
Popular Times data gets pulled into the Insights section of GMB for businesses that have a decent amount of foot traffic. If you have “Popular Times” displaying in your knowledge panel then you will likely see the data in Insights as well. Visit duration is calculated slightly differently. It’s based on how much foot traffic you’ve received in the last few weeks whereas Popular Times is looking at the data from the last few months (reference).
This section focuses on the search terms people typed into Google to find your business. The numbers under Search Queries might appear smaller than other metrics you see in Insights for the following reasons:
- Search queries are showing the number of unique users.
- It only includes queries that meet Google’s privacy threshold.
It’s important to realize that the data here shown for “1 quarter” is not representing the last 3 months. It doesn’t get updated in real-time and often will show the same data for several weeks. Unlike other parts of GMB Insights, it doesn’t display a graph that clarifies what date ranges it’s pulling from. This issue seems like it will be fixed with the update to the new search queries report that we discuss in this article, 2021 GMB Insights Update.
Does Insights Data Include Data From Google Ads?
Yes. If a business has an Google Ads account that has Location Extensions added, the users will be taken to to the Google My Business listing when they click on the extension.
When a user clicks on the ad in the 3-pack the person would get taken to the GMB listing (not the website). Clicking on the listing would count as a search in Google My Business Insights. If the listing shows up as an ad and then also as a listing organically in the 3-pack, it would count as 2 searches (impressions) in GMB Insights.
There is currently no way to track Google Ads data separately from regular organic data in the GMB Insights section so my recommendation would be to add a call tracking number in the Google Ads Location Extension field in the Google My Business dashboard so you can accurately track the calls from ads.
Does Google My Business Insights Data Include Voice Searches?
If someone searches for a plumber near them on their Google Home or using the Google Assistant, is this counted in Google My Business Insights? The current answer is no. The data only includes visual searches.
Contact Our Google My Business SEO Experts At Sterling Sky Inc.
If you’re a local business that needs help with their Google My Business listing or their business’s online presence on Google and other search engines, at Sterling Sky we can help. We offer SEO audits, consulting, or monthly local SEO services. Contact our office today for more information.
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Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006. She writes for publications such as Search Engine Land and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.
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Linking Google My Business & AdWords Accounts: The How & Why
Improve Google AdWords Location Extensions With Google My Business
According to a study recently released by Google, “50% of consumers visit a store within one day of searching for local information on their smartphones.” If you own a smartphone, you probably fall into this 50% and this doesn’t surprise you in the least bit. Location extension accuracy is now more important than ever before, which is why Google recently enabled the linking of Google My Business Accounts (previously called Google Places) to Google AdWords accounts.
Why the Change?
Before this feature was enabled location extensions had to be manually entered and applied to each campaign in your AdWords account. (This could be time consuming and an absolute pain if you had more than a few campaigns.) With this new feature, location extensions are automatically enabled at the account-level & for all campaigns inside of that AdWords account, getting rid of the time-consuming task of copy & pasting. As a business owner, this helps ensure that customers receive the correct information about your business’ locations.
Not only does this new feature save users some time, but these new location extensions also allow for targeting & bid adjustments. For example, if you’re targeting New York City, this new feature allows you to increment your bids by any percentage you wish based off of proximity to your business location.
Have multiple business locations? Not a problem. If you’re advertising locally and want specific locations to show up for specific campaigns or ad groups, you can set up filters. With filters, you can choose which locations go with which campaign or ad groups.
How Do I Make This Change?
- If you haven’t already, create a Google My Business Account. (This account is associated with your businesses Google + page.)
- Sign into your Google AdWords account.
- Click the Ad Extensions tab.
- Select View: Location Extensions from the drop-down menu
- Click +EXTENSION.
- You will then be asked to link your Google My Business account. Click Done.
The linking of these accounts can take up to 24 hours, so don’t stress out if you don’t see them ready to go immediately.
How Do I Filter My Addresses?
Setting up filters enables you to show certain business locations in specific campaigns. You can filter these addresses by using the business names or categories that you’ve specified in your Google My Business account.
- Click/choose the campaign or ad group you wish to set up filters for.
- Click on the Ad Extensions tab.
- Select View: Location Extensions from the drop-down menu.
- Click “Campaign Extension” or “Ad Group Extension” (depending on what level you’d like to filter your addresses to).
- Click +EXTENSION
- Click +Filter, and then choose to filter by either Business Name or Category. Once you’ve entered this information, click Save, and the location you specified will now be showing for that campaign.