GMB Insights – Reporting on Google My Business Data
Update: September 14th, 2019
I’ve decided to turn this blog post into more of a “Question & Answer” based forum type posts… mostly because of the amazing GMB Insight questions and discussions that are taking place down in the comments.
For example, here’s a great question from someone about the Direct Searches / Branded searches data showing in GMB Insights:
Question: … looking in the Insights panel of GMB, they have separated branded search from direct and discovery in their doughnut chart, just under the list of keywords. It would be easy to take those live numbers, but harder to put them into context with an accurate, month-to-month report.
Here’s my answer: I can’t wait to get our new Google My Business reporting tool live — I think you are going to love this thing…
Basically, with our new dashboard, you are not only going to be able to see the “Direct Searches” graphed out over 1 year (month by month)…
But you can also see the comparative % increase or decrease vs. points in the past such as 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months.
Here’s a couple of screenshots:
Google My Business Insights Data & Reporting Article update: July 22nd, 2019
Here’s a video I created to show the “old” way we used to do GMB reporting for clients:
** Article update: July 22nd, 2019
I wanted to share a couple of key updates via this article on the work we are doing with Google My Business Insights and reporting.
First, I want to thank everyone who’s been commenting and reaching out to me and for showing an interest in the fascinating world of Google My Business / GMB Insights and reporting. This is quickly becoming one of my passions and I really enjoy the topics of discussion that emerge around these critically important data points for local business growth.
Second, based on requests and questions from you – the readers of this post — we’ve decided to create a Google Sheet that you can copy for your own GMB Insights work. Here’s a link:
You should be able to simply open that link > Make A Copy of the sheet > then replace the GMB Insights data with your own or your client’s data.
Once you update the data points, your GMB Insights charts and graphs will be automatically created underneath your main data points. You’ll just scroll down to see all of the different GMB Insights charts that you can then copy via the embed options and publish them on your own website or on your client’s websites.
Third, also based on popular demand and feedback, we are currently building out a GMB Insights Dashboard app that produces exactly what we (Bipper Media) sue for our own internal use and client reporting. But we are building it so other people (you) can use it to produce reports just like the ones we are building.
In other words, we are building out an app that will allow you to authorize a GMB and boom… the reports are live on a dashboard.
Then once we have the app live, I’m going to be looking for as much feedback as I can get from users like yourself so we can rapidly release updates with the ultimately goal of producing a highly effective, intuitive, and valuable GMB Insights reporting tool for you to use.
** updated: April 18th, 2019
How to See Google My Business Insights From The Past
In order to view your GMB Insights from a point in the past, you have to access your Google My Business dashboard, then select your location, and download “Insights” from the action menu in the top right. There you’ll selecting “Insights” and then proceed with selecting your data range to download.
Or you can simply watch this video I put together that walks you through the process (recent as of April, 2019).
I created this video because I’ve been asked several times lately how to view your Google My Business Insights data – what we call “productivity metrics” – from points of time in the past.
Let’s say you want to compare your most recent GMB Insights to 6 months ago, or 12 months ago.
People have been getting frustrated because Google doesn’t make it easy to access this data or see where to go!
So in this video, I walk you through exactly how to go to Google My Business dashboard, select any period of time in the past you want to isolate, and download the your GMB Insight data from that point in time.
Now you can access your GMB Insights data from the point of time in the past and compare to your most recent data.
I also share a little bit more about how we are doing this for our Local SEO clients but at a much higher level of scale, etc… just so you can see how we do this type of work at a much higher level… but ultimately it’s the same workflow.
How to find GMB Insights on new GMB Dashboard
** Update: May 2nd, 2018
I’ve been getting some feedback that people can’t find the Download Insights link on their GMB dashboard.
The reason is, Google has been testing a new Google My Business dashboard which does not have the Download Insights link on it.
So the way to find your download insights link, if you are on the new GMB dashboard, is to click the Back to GMB Classic link found in the left hand menu of the new GMB dashboard. This will take you back to the GMB dashboard where you’ll see the Download Insights link directly above your list of locations.
Here’s a screenshot of the Back to GMB Classic and where to find it on the new GMB dashboard:
Downloading GMB Insights Data
The Google My Business Insights downloads as a CSV file to your computer.
So I’ve already started a Google Docs Spreadsheet where I’m copy the Insights from the CSV file over to the Sheets.
This data is already valuable because I quickly see performance metrics for all of our local SEO clients in one place.
I can sort each of the columns from highest to lowest, or sort our clients alphabetically which allows me to group clients that have more than one location.
Overtime, however, is where the data starts coming to life. Once we figure out how to isolate one client’s Insights, track their performance overtime, and present that data in one place or one report, then we’ll be providing exponentially more valuable reporting to our clients.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have one report that shows you the growth of phone calls over time; the growth of traffic from non-branded keyword phrases, and the growth of people requesting directions to your business… all in an easy to read graph, chart, and trend line?
That’s exactly what we’ll be doing, but at scale, for all of our local SEO clients… and this is now possible as the result of being able to extract the Insights data for our local SEO clients from Google My Business.
My Frustrations With Local SEO Reporting
First, I need to vent a little and tell you about my frustrations with Google My Business Insights!
I used to get so frustrated because of the inability to export data from the dashboard.
Since we provide monthly reporting to our Local SEO clients, we were basically taking screenshots of data and putting together percentage comparisons based on previous month’s emails.
In order to send comprehensive local SEO reports to clients, we were engaged with a very labor intensive reporting workflow.
Somewhere around April 19th (2017), Google released “Download Insights” to the Google My Business dashboard.
Local SEO Reporting & Insights
Now that we can download Google My Business Insights, I feel like new life has been given to the world of local SEO reporting.
You current have the ability to download data timeframes as follows:
- 7 days
- 30 days
- 90 days
- Customized range (not more than 90 days back)
And the current set of data points that you get with the Insights download are:
- Total searches
- Direct search (branded)
- Discovery searches (non-branded search)
- Total views
- Search views
- Maps views
- Total actions
- Website actions
- Directions actions (requests for directions)
- Phone call actions
For example, upon downloading all of our local SEO clients Insights data, we quickly saw that one of our dental practice clients generated over 1,200 phone calls in the last 90 days… WOW!
Local SEO Reporting: Charts & Graphs
Downloading Local SEO Data Monthly
Here at Bipper Media, we’ve already added a monthly calendar task to download the last 30 days of data for all of our clients.
As we download the last 30 days of data month over month, we’ll gain powerful insights into the true productivity of our local SEO efforts for clients.
We already know, as an example, that one of our personal injury law firm clients increased their case count 50% year over year as a result of their increased presence in Google organic and local search results. But this data was derived mostly from the call tracking and sales reporting from within the law firm.
Our data can show the increase in traffic and rankings for the personal injury law firm, and the GMB Insights showed the 7, 30, and 90 days of overall productivity on calls, non-branded search, website click thru’s, etc…
But now that we can download the data and record the data sets month over month, we’ll now be able to produce trends lines, graphs, and charts that correlate directly to the business impact our local SEO work is having on our clients. So we plan on downloading the data each month for each client, and then finding creative ways to use that data to present value.
Local SEO Graphs, Charts, & Trends
The image above is an example of our local SEO reporting that we provide to clients.
This is basically the GMB insights graphed out over time, month over month.
As you can see, in January 2018 this client hit a record hard in phone calls (140 calls).
Not only was it a record high, but it actually more than doubled vs. December 2018 and just about tripled since the same period a year ago (December 2016).
Keyword Search Query Data in GMB Insights
There’s been an amazing update to your GMB / Google Maps listing… now you are get insights into the keyword phrases that’s driving traffic and productivity to your business from search.
This points ultimately to the value of data and how it that data drives your strategy. To the positive, it can confirm and reinforce your strategy and encourage to continue building momentum in that direction. To the opportunity side, it can show you where you need areas of improvement in your optimization strategy.
Ultimately, anytime you can gain insights into keyword data from Google traffic is valuable data indeed…
I’ve been diving into all of our client’s data over the last 24 hours or so and one of the most interesting trends I’m seeing is the volume of “near me” searches.
I would guess that 90% or more of “near me” searches are from mobile devices. And anytime a “near me” query is made from mobile, you will by default get Google Maps search results.
This also leads to the bigger picture… the value of being found above the fold in the “near me” searches that are relevant to your business, products, and services.
Final point / observation… looking at the screenshot below – which is data from one of our clients who’s an eye doctor in St. Pete, Florida – you’ll notice the absence of city specific names.
So there are now “eye doctor in st pete” queries or “optometrists in st pete”.
The highest volume searches are “near me” or just vanilla searches such as “eye doctor” or “vision”.
This points to a couple of interesting points:
1) all searches from mobile (and to a certain degree from desktop) are automatically relevant to your exact location. And mobile users are now getting more used to the relevance of this technology and they (we) now know that all we have to do is ask for an “eye doctor”… no need to take the extra time to specific my location.
2) Location Authority is more important than ever for your business to compete in local / Google Maps search results. Google will always show “nearby” businesses anytime someone asks for something… and location authority ensures that your business is the one given precedence. And the more location authority you have, the wider your radius of influence can stretch and the further away from your exact location you can compete in search.
Here’s another quick screenshot of the GMB Insights keyword data from an eye doctor clinic in St. Pete, Florida:
Local Productivity Metrics
The value of our local SEO reporting is that our clients are now able see the direct impact we are having on their business.
In the screenshot above, the following GMB Insights are being mapped out:
- Phone calls (total phones calls made)
- Direction requests (total direction requests)
- Website actions (total clicks to the target website)
- Total (sum of all action)