GMB Insights & Local SEO Reports

IanJohnson

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
6
Hello all!

I am a one-man local SEO team at a small SEO agency and I am looking for some advice in regards to revamping my local reports. I am only about 15 months into the industry and a lot of of my knowledge has been self-taught from videos, articles, forums like this one and LOTS of trial and error. Currently, I have been manually pulling GMB insight data (I have been told by our devs that there is some blocker with the GMB insights API and they are in no rush to fix it) and building charts and spreadsheets, showing a 6 month trend for the major data points: Search Exposure, Listing Views & Calls/Actions. I've also included things like post views for the last week, as well as a separate citation report, plus any recommendations I have for things like reviews or photos.

My GMB reporting template can be found here.

Recently, our client services team has notified me that they do not like pulling up the reports and spreadsheets and their preference is to simply show the insights directly from GMB via screen share because it is more visually appealing for the clients. I can understand why they would prefer that, but my main concern is how limited the information on the Insights tab is, especially when it comes to historical data or MoM trends.

All that being said, I was just wondering if any of you guys had any tips or suggestions for things I could include to spice up these reports or any tools you guys have found to be particularly helpful when reporting local data back to clients. As I said, I am still new to this game and any and all advice/tips/suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,557
@IanJohnson, I've found the Search Console area in Google Analytics to be a goldmine of data on the kinds of metrics clients care about (and that I don't consider a waste of time). In Analytics, go to Acquisition -> Search Console -> Landing Pages.

You'll need to sync GA and GSC for a given client, if you haven't done so already.

The GMB insights generally aren't too insightful, so I think you'll love the GA+GSC mashup and what you find in it.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,985
You can save yourself a lot of time by using MapLabs who will store all the GMB Insights data for you for free.

Personally, I don't like using GMB Insights for reporting. It's crazy inaccurate. We use call tracking as the main thing we report on and then also look at Google Analytics & Search Console data
 

IanJohnson

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
6
@IanJohnson, I've found the Search Console area in Google Analytics to be a goldmine of data on the kinds of metrics clients care about (and that I don't consider a waste of time). In Analytics, go to Acquisition -> Search Console -> Landing Pages.

You'll need to sync GA and GSC for a given client, if you haven't done so already.

The GMB insights generally aren't too insightful, so I think you'll love the GA+GSC mashup and what you find in it.
I will definitely check this out, thanks Phil. What kinds of goals would you set up specifically for local?
 
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IanJohnson

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
6
You can save yourself a lot of time by using MapLabs who will store all the GMB Insights data for you for free.

Personally, I don't like using GMB Insights for reporting. It's crazy inaccurate. We use call tracking as the main thing we report on and then also look at Google Analytics & Search Console data
Thanks Joy, I will definitely check out MapLabs!
 

Raph2805

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
7
Agree with Joy. Clients I deal with only want to know clicks, time on site, too page views, calls and email enquiries. Analytics gives me all this for GMB performance
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
166
Hmmm Datastudio dashboard springs to mind here Ian...I'll reach out next week, do you have any experience with GDS? Cheers
 

IanJohnson

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
6
Hmmm Datastudio dashboard springs to mind here Ian...I'll reach out next week, do you have any experience with GDS? Cheers
Unfortunately, no I do not have much experience with GDS, but I will do some research and look for some online courses over in the next few days
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
111
@IanJohnson --- first, I do not agree with @AndySimpson -- I do not... in any way shape or form, recommend you use Google Data Studios (GDS) for your GMB Insights reporting. Unless there's another way I don't know about -- or unless you apply and obtain your own API license from GMB, you'll be forced to use Supermetrics which is a plugin that syncs your GMB data with GDS.

The problem with Supermetrics - I have found anyway - is that it has to "fetch" your data every single time you access a dashboard for one of our locations.

This is a HUGE pain... mostly because we (all of us) are used to data loading fast... using Supermetrics is the inverse of loading fast -- again, because it seems like it has to fetch your data each and every time.

Ultimately -- I do not recommend Google Data Studios because, unless you have your own API from GMB, you'll be forced to use Supermetrics -- and I simply don't recommend it.
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
111
@IanJohnson --- I also disagree (respectfully) with @Phil Rozek & @JoyHawkins comments about GMB Insights.

Our clients absolutely love... look forward to... and are highly appreciative of the GMB Insights reporting that we provide to them each and every month.

Aside from the fact that a client doesn't really need any kind of reporting if... after signing on with you their phone starts ringing 227% more than it did in previous months prior (in which case reporting isn't really needed to validate the value of your Local SEO work), but from my experience -- like I mentioned - our clients absolutely look forward to their GMB Insights reporting.

I do agree with the comments that there's not a lot of "productivity analysis" that can gleaned from the default Insights on your GMB dashboard.

For example, one of the things our clients really find valuable with their GMB reporting is they can see things like:

* phone call productivity over the last 12 months, month by month
* all GMB insights data points mapped out month over month
* % change in performance / productivity vs. points of time in the future
* % change in location authority
* ect...

Here's a screenshot of the "Actions" section of the productivity we provide each month... here you can see the month over month data points for each individual action (website actions, directions, phone calls, and total) mapped out month by month:



We provide the same metrics on the two other Insights sections as well (Searches & Views).

Here's the thing our clients probably love more than anything...

being able to see how each productivity metric performed vs. periods of time in the past.



In the screenshot, you can see that I selected the "3 Month" time frame.

But we / and our clients can select to view comparisons of:
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 12 Months
And each segment would give you the % change in productivity of the last full month (i.e. August 2019) vs. the time frame you selected.

For example, in the screenshot you can see the following % change in productivity for the 3 month period selected:
  • Phone calls: increased 26.22%
  • Direction requests: increased 27.12%
  • Website visits: increased 9.18%
  • Discovery (non-branded) searches: increased 39.55%
  • Direction (branded) searches: increased 160%
  • Map views: increased 45.43%
  • Search views: increased 33.6%
My point in listing this out isn't to show off or brag on productivity metrics...

My point is to show you the value that we gain, and our clients, by customizing the GMB Insights reporting.

The final GMB productivity metric that we, and our clients, find massively valuable is what we refer to as "Location Authority".

This is basically a term we use to describe the authority a location has to get found in Google Maps at a certain radius.

For example, if you can only see your business in Google Maps when you are standing in your office, then you have zero location authority.

However, if you can find your business when you are 5 miles away from your location, then you have enough location authority to fuel those rankings.

But location authority goes beyond just "presence" and "prominence"...

We actually created a calculation that analyzes all of the GMB Insight metrics and produces one number (%) that represents your "location authority".

And since we were able to calculate location authority down to a single metric, and this metric is calculated by your GMB Insights each month, we saw that we were able to actually chart out a graph that shows your location authority month over month.

Here's a screenshot of a client's location authority graph:




In summary... and I apologize that I've been going on and on with this...

I think GMB Insights is a powerful tool to show your clients the ROI on your Local SEO work.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

keyserholiday

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
114
The only GMB data I report on is actions, clicks for directions and to website and calls. The views data has been updated and tweaked by Google to completely devalue it. We also use tracking numbers and we report on phone calls and segment out leads from returning customers. Here is Joy's breakdown on GMB Insights.
 

MannyL

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
12
@IanJohnson --- I also disagree (respectfully) with @Phil Rozek & @JoyHawkins comments about GMB Insights.

Our clients absolutely love... look forward to... and are highly appreciative of the GMB Insights reporting that we provide to them each and every month.

Aside from the fact that a client doesn't really need any kind of reporting if... after signing on with you their phone starts ringing 227% more than it did in previous months prior (in which case reporting isn't really needed to validate the value of your Local SEO work), but from my experience -- like I mentioned - our clients absolutely look forward to their GMB Insights reporting.

I do agree with the comments that there's not a lot of "productivity analysis" that can gleaned from the default Insights on your GMB dashboard.

For example, one of the things our clients really find valuable with their GMB reporting is they can see things like:

* phone call productivity over the last 12 months, month by month
* all GMB insights data points mapped out month over month
* % change in performance / productivity vs. points of time in the future
* % change in location authority
* ect...

Here's a screenshot of the "Actions" section of the productivity we provide each month... here you can see the month over month data points for each individual action (website actions, directions, phone calls, and total) mapped out month by month:




We provide the same metrics on the two other Insights sections as well (Searches & Views).

Here's the thing our clients probably love more than anything...

being able to see how each productivity metric performed vs. periods of time in the past.



In the screenshot, you can see that I selected the "3 Month" time frame.

But we / and our clients can select to view comparisons of:
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 12 Months
And each segment would give you the % change in productivity of the last full month (i.e. August 2019) vs. the time frame you selected.

For example, in the screenshot you can see the following % change in productivity for the 3 month period selected:
  • Phone calls: increased 26.22%
  • Direction requests: increased 27.12%
  • Website visits: increased 9.18%
  • Discovery (non-branded) searches: increased 39.55%
  • Direction (branded) searches: increased 160%
  • Map views: increased 45.43%
  • Search views: increased 33.6%
My point in listing this out isn't to show off or brag on productivity metrics...

My point is to show you the value that we gain, and our clients, by customizing the GMB Insights reporting.

The final GMB productivity metric that we, and our clients, find massively valuable is what we refer to as "Location Authority".

This is basically a term we use to describe the authority a location has to get found in Google Maps at a certain radius.

For example, if you can only see your business in Google Maps when you are standing in your office, then you have zero location authority.

However, if you can find your business when you are 5 miles away from your location, then you have enough location authority to fuel those rankings.

But location authority goes beyond just "presence" and "prominence"...

We actually created a calculation that analyzes all of the GMB Insight metrics and produces one number (%) that represents your "location authority".

And since we were able to calculate location authority down to a single metric, and this metric is calculated by your GMB Insights each month, we saw that we were able to actually chart out a graph that shows your location authority month over month.

Here's a screenshot of a client's location authority graph:




In summary... and I apologize that I've been going on and on with this...

I think GMB Insights is a powerful tool to show your clients the ROI on your Local SEO work.

@IanJohnson --- if you are interested in checking it out, I'd be more than happy to create an account for you on our platform.

I would simply create an account / login to our platform, and upon your first time logging in you would authenticate your Google account where you have all of your GMB listings... and then you will see the list of locations.

We even added the last full month (in this case, August 2019) location authority metric as a column on the main listing dashboard.

This way, if you have a lot of locations, you could sort by the location authority metric to see your list of locations from highest to lowest, or lowest to highest.... we are finding this valuable because we can quickly see which locations are needing the most attention and improvements -- and also which are performing exceptionally well, and then we can look at those locations to see if we can extract any value that we can share across the other locations.

Anyway -- if interested, just message me your email and I'll go ahead and setup your account and you can take it from there.

P.S. This platform is in beta and we are still working on some final updates, etc... but it's definitely at a point where you could authenticate and see the productivity metrics for all of your locations.

I hope this was helpful and just let me know...

Bobby
This is very interesting... Were these graphs all generated from within Insights?
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
111
@MannyL -- GMB insights does not give you those insights by default... you have to use a 3rd party tool that pulls in the data via an API (like the resource that @JoyHawkins shared)

... Or, apply for your own API and build your own tool.
 
Last edited:

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