Introducing a Google My Business Performance Benchmark
May 21, 2018 | Contributed by: Jon Schepke
What exactly is Google My Business (GMB) page doing for businesses?
For many companies, the answer is simply, “I cover my bases with Google.” I understand that answer. I hear it all the time. But no business should ever operate on gut feel. A GMB listing takes time to set up and manage effectively. Marketers need to keep data up to date, content fresh and images compelling. That effort could be spent addressing other needs.
Fortunately, Google has made it easier to manage the value of a GMB listing. In recent months, Google has delivered to businesses more insightful data about the impact of a GMB listing on user actions such as phone calls placed to a business and requests for directions.
In years past, these kinds of metrics were untrackable. Location marketing vendors and their clients did the best they could to measure the impact of an accurate GMB listing, but we often had to rely on negative metrics such as the damage caused by posting inaccurate location data on one’s listing. But Google’s GMB APIs have been integrating metrics that give us strong insights that we can use to benchmark the performance of multiple clients’ GMB listings.
For example, at Reputation.com, we recently examined GMB listing data for 10 clients across more than 19,000 locations and 762,417 data points (over 12 months). These 10 clients represent a broad range of verticals: insurance, financial services, retail and healthcare.
We examined three types of metrics: Website Visits, Get Directions and Phone Calls. Here’s what we found:
These numbers are powerful. You can see why a well-managed GMB is like a home page for a location. A GMB listing may trigger a 42% increase in website visits, a 27% uptick in requests for directions to a business, and a 33% jump in phone calls placed to a business. The data shows that a GMB page does much more than help a business be found. A GMB page leads to conversions – and trackable ones.
These numbers should also challenge marketing executives to consider these questions:
- Do you realize a lot of this engagement is taking place outside of primary domains and therefore you may not be viewing it in your current analytics reporting?
- Do you know how many website visits GMB is generating for a web site?
- Do you know how many customers and/or potential customers are clicking on get directions?
- Do you know how many phone calls to a business and/or businesses (i.e. multi-location brands) result from GMB?
- Are your primary GMB KPI’s for Q1, 2018 up or down vs. Q1, 2017?
No longer can you accept “I don’t know” as an answer from your team. In addition, if your numbers are not meeting or exceeding the above benchmarks, you should ask your team why?
Your first order of business should be integrating these metrics into your reporting so that you have a baseline. Make these numbers your standard KPIs. And if you prefer, consider creating your own GMB benchmark.
You’ll also want to do take some other steps to improve reporting. For example, implement Google analytics UTM tracking for all traffic coming from GMB. (That way, you can measure GMB’s impact on websites.) And integrate GMB and local search KPIs into your digital marketing dashboard.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, manage GMB to generate business for brick-and-mortar locations. Doing so means, first and foremost, managing location data and content (both visual and written), including the little details. One of the most common mistakes is assuming a GMB is in fine shape after it is set up. A GMB is like a house. You have to maintain it after you build it and make seasonal adjustments. Retailrs, for instance, need to update GMB listings to reflect holiday shopping hours and make sure to implement Google Post. If you want to attract customers to a GMB listing and turn those visits into conversions, these are some of the actions you need to take.
How well are you making GMB a measurable asset? Are these primary GMB KPI’s part of your Digital Marketing Dashboard?