Google definitely did a cool thing a couple days ago. They now offer a reporting dashboard for your local business listings. It's slick, intuitive and can even help local business owners jump on great opportunities.
Of course, Google provides a nice YouTube video tutorial:
Here is a small sample of two different businesses in two different areas:
This is slick but it gets better. The second set of stats are for a piano instructor in a Minnesota city with a population under 100,000. Google is showing the top search queries that land on their Google local business profile page.
Notice that none of the top 10 search queries included a regional qualifier. This has to do with Google throwing in local results for non-local search queries based on your IP location as pointed out by Sage Lewis. In a business such as piano instruction, it looks like they're showing at least partially relevant stat results.
There may be a couple flaws though. This next image shows clicks for more info, driving directions and clicks to your website. This particular instructor (my mother, actually) does not have a website... or even a computer.
In some industries, this might be better for branding than conversions. If you type in a general term such as "boats", you may find boating dealers in the local 10-pack. These searchers may be looking for information rather than looking for a boating dealer. In these new stats, the impressions may be very high compared to the number of clicks (actions) as shown above.
You can also track who is visiting your Google Maps profile down to your zip code.
The Google YouTube video provides some great info on how local businesses can use this data to create opportunities. Another could be in the legal industry. Depending on the practice area, an attorney in Miami may find that many users in and around Fort Lauderdale are searching for driving directions. In this case, opening a branch office in Fort Lauderdale may be a good opportunity.
An attorney is just one example. Any others? I'd love to hear your input.
June 5, 2009
About the Author
Paul Jahn is the owner of Localmn Interactive Marketing, a Minnesota-based Internet marketing company. Localmn focuses on helping local companies large and small leverage the most out of their search marketing campaigns depending on their respective needs, including SEO, PPC, local search, and social media campaigns. Paul also runs and contributes to the Localmn local search blog.
With over ten years of Internet marketing experience, Paul has particular expertise in search marketing, with extensive knowledge of local search.
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