You read right. Adding to the arsenal of website and business intelligence tools such as Google Analytics, Google launches in October the new beta analytics view of Google Local Business Center.
Operators and owners of websites who have already created a Google Local Listing, can now view the performance of their Google Local listing directly within the Google Local Business Center.
What are Google Local Listings? The Local listings by Google is a itâ€™s a combination of Googles popular Google Maps and Google Local Business Listings, organic search results, and complimented with optional sponsored Search results from Googleâ€™s Adwords program (paid search marketing).
Businesses without a web presence, or those with a web presence but lacking poorly in organic / natural search results, can add a local listing through Google’s Local Business Center. You may have seen these local listings when searching in Google for a local product, service or business. These search results are displayed at the top of the SERP (search engine results page), complimented with a Google Map pinpointing the different locations of businesses.
A Google local listing is tactical means to compliment, and manipulate, a websites traditional organic search results on local queries. However as more businesses list their local listing in Google, the competition will increase with optimizing the local listing to maintain a top position in these results. In early November I’ll have a new posting talking about how to optimize a Google Local Listing (sneak preview here) to achieve a top position on the local results.
Google’s Local Business Center’s new analytics…or statistics, now offers marketers and business owners insight into the performance of their local listing in organic Search. The analytics offers two core areas to gauge local listing performance – impressions and actions. The Dashboard provides the typical analytical overview showing activity over time in ‘impressions’, compared against ‘actions’.
Impressions refers to the traditional digital marketing metric of how many times a user has viewed or saw your business listing in a local search results.
Actions refers to how many times a user showed interest in your local listing by clicking on either A) clicking for more information within the Google Map, or B) clicks to the website.
Google Local Business Center analytics for Google Local Listings provides organic Search referral insight similar to Google Analytics by showing the top search local search queries and keywords that produced the display of the local listing. Technically its the top Google search queries for which a business listing appeared, along with the number of times users saw the business listing in search results for for those queries.
Offering the ability now to tracking the performance of a Google Local Listing is no surprise to see from Google as with all marketing tools Google offers, there is some means to track the performance of its usage.
The unforgotten area also available in Google Local Business Center is the usage of Coupons. Google coupon enable businesses to provide coupon listings that will be included in Google natural / organic search results. Coupons enable business owners and merchants to easily distribute coupons for free via the web.
Consumers can also search for, print and redeem Google coupons for free. This service from Google brings tangible value to both merchants, who can use coupons to find new customers who are very likely to make purchases, and for customers, who can find more competitive offers for the products and services that they buy. Unfortunately we have yet to see Google offer the same analytical insight into Google coupons as they’ve now done with Google Local Listings, but I’m sure its simply a matter of time.
Marketers will now be adding this to their marketers toolbox as an added means to understand how their Search strategies are performing in the Search channels. Google analytics has been around for some time now, which provides a good depth of intelligence into the performance of a website, including tracking various channels of marketing including organic and paid Search. The new Google Local Listings analytics simply compliments this its was this missing piece in the puzzle to track referral traffic from Search to a website.
Both Google analytics and Google Local Business Center’s local listing analytics will work in tandem for marketers to give that holistic view of the performance of Search. I would not be surprised to soon see some integration between Google Analytic accounts and Google Local Listings, just as Google had done with Paid Search (Adwords) and Analtyics.
Google always seems to release new tools from their incubator to help marketers and business owners get a better 360 degree view on business performance from Search and the web. Its only a matter of time we’ll soon see how Google elevates this by incorporating the new Google Street View into their arsenal of tools.