Google My Business Insights vs. Google Analytics: What's The Difference?


Google My Business Insights vs. Google Analytics: What's The Difference?

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 shows traffic and activity that happens on your website.
  • Google My Business Insights shows traffic and activity for your GMB listing.

Why is this important?

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.

So, are GMB Insights more valuable than Google Analytics?

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.

Then why bother with 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.

But, what does this all mean for my business?

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.

Notable GMB Insights

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.

GMB Search Results

gmb insights direct vs discovery vs branded searches

  • Direct searches: Direct searches for your business name or address.
  • Discovery searches: Searches for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your listing appeared.
  • Branded searches: Searches for your brand, or a brand related to your business.
  • Total searches: The total number of direct, discovery, and branded searches.

Total GMB Views

 gmb insights views

  • View on Search: A customer found your business via Google Search. Displays as “Search views” on bulk reports.
  • Views on Maps: A customer found your business via Google Maps. Displays as “Maps views” on bulk reports.
  • Total views: The total views of both Google Search and Google Maps.

Clicks, Directions and Calls Breakdown

gmb insights clicks

  • Clicks: The number of times the website was clicked from organic search.

gmb insights directions

  • Directions: The number of times directions to your business were requested.

gmb insights calls

  • Calls: The number of times a user clicked the call button from their smartphone. This is not the total number of calls because GMB Insights can't measure what happens on the website (this is where call tracking comes in).

Google Analytics Tracking

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 Session Sources

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.

Number of Sessions

google analytics sessions

  • Outlines the overall trend for the total number of visits to your business' website.

Session by Source

 google analytics sessions by source

  • Organic Search: Indicates how many consumers found your site through a Google search.
  • Direct: Visitors that find your site by typing your URL directly into their browser.
  • Referral: Prospects that find your site through clicking on a link on another website.
  • Email: Visitors who visit your site through clicking a link in an email.
  • Social: Consumers who go to your site via clicking on a link on a social media platform.
  • Paid Search: Prospects who click on a paid ad to visit your website.
  • Display: Users who click on display ads on other websites to get to your site.
  • Google My Business: Leads who click on the website button on GMB to access your site.

Conversions

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.

Total Analytics Goals

 google analytics goals

  • Demonstrates the overall trend in customers taking a desired action on your website.

Goals by Traffic Source

 google analytics goals by source

  • The breakdown of desired actions taken per traffic source. For local business in the home service and similar industries, we consistently see 40+ percent of the lead coming in organically.

Conversion rate

 google analytics goal conversion rate

  • Google Analytics tracks and measures conversion, and while we saw about a 30% increase in Google Analytics, the client's feedback (and GMB insights) showed that the conversion results were outstanding.

Conversion Rate By Source

 google analytics goal conversion rate by source

  • For this business, we found that GMB traffic had the highest conversion rate. This is in-keeping with the rationale that hot leads are more likely to click on your GMB listing and hire your services—reiterating the importance in focusing on GMB growth.

Final Thoughts

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!

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