While Google My Business Insights and Google Analytics are both important metrics, they each measure different things. Business owners should be made aware of these differences to better understand how each metric impacts their overall local marketing goals.
Google Analytics helps you understand how well your content marketing strategy is performing, and gives you a sense of how many warm leads are finding your site. These may be prospects interested in your services, but they might also be individuals who've come across your content for the first time and are not quite ready to make a commitment.
Whereas, GMB Insights illustrates how many hot leads have found your website through your GMB listing. While they've still clicked on your website link, the key determining factor here is that searchers going through GMB are more likely to be at the final stage of the sales funnel: They need a home service provider, and are about to commit to your company.
In a sense, yes. Google designed GMB to be like the first page of your website. The platform's entire goal is to get your business found by appearing in searches on Google and Google Maps—particularly "near me" searches. If a customer is already looking for service professionals in their area, and are checking out the Google Maps listing, they're much closer to making a purchasing decision than they would be while scrolling through your blogs.
Each facet of your SEO strategy has its place. Your content marketing strategy's goal is to convert warm leads into hot leads—to make hesitant customers put their trust in your company by illustrating brand authority. Through integrating SEO into your content, warm and even cool leads are able to find your site.
But when it comes to clients who are ready to commit, they're more likely to click directly on a GMB listing. That's why it's so important to focus on GMB growth.
We tracked a client's growth for an entire year using GMB Insights and Google Analytics. In that time, their GMB Insights skyrocketed, showing a 200% increase. This was paralleled in the increase in business said company experienced. Meanwhile, Google Analytics fluctuated and showed more conservative growth—roughly a 30% increase.
While both the organic search results and GMB clicks (including phone calls) demonstrated growth, what's really impressive is the amount of hot leads finding this company's GMB listing—a growth rate that's echoed in its conversions, as you'll see below.
In other words, GMB insights and phone leads (both GMB click-to-call and calls from page visits) matter most. Period.
Based on our data, local listing engagement is the most important metric for home service providers. This is because the organic results appear below the top Maps results. Having the number one position in Google Maps and organic rankings resulted in over 40% of the traffic for that search query.
Google Analytics reports the amount of activity on your website including traffic sources, number of visitors, bounce rates, average session durations, sessions by channel, page views, goal completions, customized events and actions and more.
Traffic sources are the origin through which people found your site. Every session, or visit, to your website has an origin, or source, of the click. Through analyzing this data, we're able to tell where the majority of leads are finding your site.
A conversion is when a visitor completes a desired action, or goal, on your website. This could be submitting a service request form, or phoning your office by hitting the call button on their smartphone. It could also be subscribing to a newsletter or registering for your mailing list.
It's important to note that while conversion rates are supported by good SEO, they are not SEO. Rather, conversion illustrates a customer reaching the end of their customer journey—usually in the form of booking an appointment for your services.
Although both platforms are owned by Google, each one measure different things with limited crossover - with the exception of website clicks from GMB that land on a Google Analytics tracked property.
With full access to Google Analytics and Google My Business, we found that we were able to get all of our facts straight - and that the numbers don't lie.
For local service area businesses a local search engine optimization strategy with a mix of content creation and GMB optimization is the way to get results!