In this article, you will learn how to track Google My Business in Google Analytics using UTM codes.
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What Is Google My Business?
Google has gotten a lot smarter over the years. It used to be that if you searched for something like “dentist” you would receive generic results pertaining to dentists, but chances are that you weren’t really intending to look up generic dentist information. You were probably using Google to search for a dentist in your area. While Google was already the leading search engine, it still lacked the ability to analyze user intent.
The times, they are a changin’.
With a new emphasis on local search, Google is able to deliver tailored search results based on your location. If you search “St John’s dentist” you will receive top results for dentists in the area. If Google has access to your location, you don’t even need to include it in the search. Simply type “dentist” in the search engine and again you will see top results for local dentists.
So how does Google know which dentists are in your area, and which ones to show you?
In 2014 Google released Google My Business (GMB) free service for businesses to manage how their business appears on Google Search and Google Maps. This was a game-changer for local businesses, allowing them to add all their pertinent details such as name, location, hours of operation, Google reviews, photos and more, with the ability to use their google my business insights.
Google My Business is straightforward from the customer side, but what about the business owner’s side? How do you measure whether it’s working? Further, it is important to learn how to track clicks from that GMB listing, with Google My Business Analytics.
Setting up Tracking in Google My Business
While GMB is a helpful feature, it’s important track Google My Business in analytics or more specifically Google Analytics. By far the easiest way to set up tracking within GMB is to add a custom UTM code within the listing itself. This allows you to access data from the listing such as the number of clicks, impressions and associated keywords from your Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Linking Google My Business to Google Analytics is the best way o track how effective your listing is.
Remember, an Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) code is just a snippet of extra text added to a URL to help track the source of the click, its medium and its campaign. It does not change the page that the user sees when they click the link. You can create a UTM code for any link using the Campaign URL Builder.
You can also learn more about tracking other marketing channels with my Complete Guide to Google Analytics UTM Tracking
“https://www.newfoundmarketing.com” would the destination page, but if we were running an ad campaign in LinkedIn and wanted to track who was coming to the website from that campaign we might create a UTM code that looks something like this: https:// “www.newfoundmarketing.com?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=fastball”
In the case of tracking GMB results, we would probably set it up something like this: “www.newfoundmarketing.com?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb”
Now if you go to your Google My Business listing, and add that entire URL to your website URL, you will begin tracking clicks from users who find your business through local search or Google Maps! Find Info>Website>Add URL:
Tracking GMB in your Google Search Console
Just like with Google Analytics, your GMB data won’t appear in your Google Search Console immediately. You can expect to wait a day or so before you start to see results. Once the data appears, creating a filter within the Search Console allows you to focus exclusively on that data set.
Start by clicking Performance and add a new Page filter.
In the field for URLs containing, add ‘campaign’ which will automatically retrieve any URLs with a UTM link, as they all contain the word campaign in their structure.
It’s worth a reminder that if you set your GMB listing up with a UTM code, you gain the additional benefit of being able to tell which traffic is coming to your website from local search and which is coming from other sources. If you were to simply enter your company website into the website URL for your GMB business settings, your traffic would be lumped in as a single source, and you would have no way of knowing whether your Google My Business listing was effective or not.
How Customers Are Searching For Your Business
Direct: these impressions come from customers who are looking for your brand specifically. In our Newfound Marketing example, use search terms such as “39 Pippy Place”, or “Newfound Marketing” itself.
Discovery: these customers find your company through proxy when searching for similar products and services. These would be search terms such as “marketing” or “digital marketing firm”, in our example.
Interested in learning more about local search, and how we can boost your business’ online profile and attract new customers? Give me a call or reach out to us through our website.
In conclusion, it’s important to track all of your marketing channels as it will allow you to adjust your marketing efforts. Should need help to link Google My Business to Analytics, please feel free to reach out. I’ve listed ways for you to connect with me below.
If you are looking for more resources to track your digital marketing efforts, I’ve also written several other articles related to Google Analytics best practices that you may find helpful.