When establishing an online presence for our business, we try to make the best possible decisions. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t always give us the necessary data or it delivers it in a format that isn’t the easiest to use.
This is absolutely the case with the data that Google provides in the Insights section of the Google My Business dashboard. Finding out the rankings of your company is great, but tracking the clicks from the listing itself is vital information to know.
Google Insights gives a little bit of the data, but it isn’t the most reliable source there is. Even if it was reliable, it doesn’t include a breakdown by keyword; information that would be vital to any business online. But there is a way to begin tracking your GMB click data.
Tracking Traffic in Google My Business
While there are a number of different ways to track through the GMB dashboard, the best way to record data is by adding a UTM code to the link that is in the listing. By doing this, you can get your information over to both Google Analytics and Search Console. Adding the UTM code allows us to record the number of clicks, but also the number of impressions and some associate keyword data.
Overall, this provides a lot more data than what Insights tend to give us and it only takes a few minutes to set up.
Setting up the UTM Codes for Tracking in the GMB Dashboard
It might sound complicated, but creating a UTM code is actually very easy. If you don’t know what a UTM tracking code is, they are basically extra parameters that get added to the end of a URL for tracking purposes. It doesn’t change the page, but it does let you see when that specific URL has been loaded.
To create a UTM code, you can use the Campaign URL Builder in the Google Developer Tools. Once you fill out the values in each of the appropriate fields, the tracking URL will be available in the box below the input area.
There is one important note: if you keep the ‘Campaign Source = google’ that generates automatically, it will automatically be grouped with collected data from Google that would be shown in Analytics.
Adding the UTM Tracking URL to your GMB dashboard
The next step is to add the URL that was just created to the listing. This is pretty easy to do. All you do is go into the info section of your Google My Business account dashboard. From there, click on ‘website’ and then add the URL into the field. You can also add a separate URL into the Appointment field.
Then, hit ‘apply’ and your new tracking URL is ready to go. That’s it! To verify that you have done everything properly, you can load up your Knowledge Panel in a generic Google search and then hover your mouse over the Website button. By doing this, you will be able to see the UTM link appear at the bottom corner of the window and you know that you are all set.
Google My Business Data in the Search Console
The unfortunate part is that it takes a day or so before the data begins to appear in the Search Console. This might seem like an eternity, but it really isn’t that long. Once it begins to generate, you can find the data in any number of ways.
One of these ways is by using the new version of the Search Console. You go to the Performance tab and add a new Page filter. After that, type in ‘campaign’ in the field for URLs containing. You can actually type any word here that is in the string of the UTM that you have created, but ‘campaign’ will work for any of them if you have created more than one UTM URL.
From here, you will now be able to play around in the Search Console while looking only at the data collected for your Google My Business listing. This includes impressions and queries that have displayed your listing.
There is a bonus here: previously, if you had only ‘domain.com’ entered as your GMB URL, all the data would be lumped together with any of your normal organic display data. With the UTM added, you have effectively split the data and can explore GMB rankings and organic rankings separately. This also applies to the Search Console as well as Analytics.
After you complete this task once, and it should only take a few minutes, you are set. You can begin to reap the rewards of setting up that extra UTM tracking for as long as the listing lasts and you won’t have to alter the updated URL for really any reason until Google changes something that applies to it.
Being able to track clicks and organic data through the GMB and Analytics dashboard can really show you the strong points of your website, where to place emphasis, and what portions of your site are not getting as much action and need extra attention.
For the longest time, data through Google seemed to be helpful but not everyone really knew how to use it or what was missing. But now, with the ability to add these tracking URLs, anyone can see just where the clicks are being focused and the impact it is having on their website.
The tools are now at your fingertips to make the best use of this information and to best apply it to the betterment of your website. As Google continues to better understand how its data is tracked and how companies make use of that data, it will continue to be refined and more useful.
Gone are the days where all of your data was too generic and lumped together to make much of it; you can get all the organic data that you could possibly need to be successful and make your website the weapon that you always envisioned it being.