How to: Track Google Places using Google Analytics

So now you’ve claimed your Google Places listing(s) for your business, how are you going to measure how effective your Google Places listing really is? Google does provide analytics for Google Places listings but the data is very simplistic, often unreliable, out of date or incomplete and more importantly doesn’t tell you how effective this traffic is for sales, however there is a solution.

Google Places Needs Better Analytics

The data collected by Google in the places analytics only shows the top 10 search phrases for which your places listing appeared over a selected period and doesn’t provide any of the key metrics that Google analytics offers in terms of visitor information, e.g. mobile users, loyalty etc.

…and don’t get me started on reliability, as we have reported on a number of occasions outages in reporting stats for Google Places can last as long as several weeks. Something there would be uproar about if it was the standard analytics.

A business can’t really afford to be relying on this as a source of measurement, so how can you deal with this?

Making Google Places Traffic Trackable

At e-mphasis we often use the Google URL builder to provide tracking data to identify clicks through to clients websites from Google Places listings and therefore provide the same level of analytics available for managing your traditional incoming link or social media campaign effectiveness.

Simply choose a unique combination of:

  • source – e.g. google
  • medium – e.g. places, maps
  • campaign – e.g. local, {town name}

along with an appropriate web link in order to create a URL to add to your listing and then tracking the quantity and quality of traffic through your website is easy.

Search Visitors That Don’t Arrive Via The Web

Of course the difficulty is tracking the visitors that don’t arrive via the web, those that simply find your location and turn up, or prefer to use the phone.

On solution for phone enquiries is to use a phone number service which can give you a call routing and tracking capability whilst still putting the caller through to your main number.

Technology Enabled Consumers Tell You More

Tracking in-store shoppers via online research is more difficult, coupons can help or customer surveys but social media can also play a part. Consumers who use technology for research often use it for other means too and therefore promoting social check-in through sites like Foursquare and Facebook can enable you to connect with the type of consumer likely to have used a Google Maps search.

Of course one you have connected with them finding out how they shop is much easier. Promotional offers that collect such information make getting consumers to fill in a survey much easier.

Want to find out more about Google Places SEO, follow my SEO company, e-mphasis on twitter @e_mphasis

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