If you’re a business with a physical presence. This article will explain everything you need to know to start tracking and reporting your Google My Business (GMB) data with Google Data Studio.
Table of contents
Authenticate Ownership of Your Business(es)
First and foremost. If you haven’t already confirmed ownership of your business on GMB, do so now. This process generally takes 5-10 minutes if you’re an established business and up to a few weeks if you’re new.
Got to GMB’s homepage and log in. You’re going to see a page similar to the below. Click “Add business” and add a single business or import a list if you have several.
From the “Add single business” link, you’ll be brought to a secondary page.
Previously Established Business
If you’re already an established business, you’re likely showing on Google Maps. Find your business from the search function. Once you find your business, Google will ask you to confirm ownership by calling the business line and giving you a code to type in.
If your GMB doesn’t have a phone number, you’ll be treated more like a new business below.
If you’re a new business, Google’s confirmation process to ensure that you are in fact the owner (or working on behalf of the owner) takes a little more time.
Google will send you a post card with a verification code through snail mail. This generally takes 1-2 weeks. If this is the case, bookmark this page, continue through the prompts and come back to this page once you’re confirmed in 1-2 weeks.
Add Owners of Properties
If you work for an agency or in house brand, you should never put everything under your email. It makes for a nightmare if you leave. Many of Google’s products require admin access for the same email to connect different products.
If that admin leaves. Everything breaks.
What you should do instead is create 1 email that acts as the connector for all of your properties. Use this email to sign up to all products then add permissions to yourself and others after the fact.
If it’s one business that you own, it’s fine to have everything under your own email (as long as you don’t plan to sell the business).
I can’t stress this enough. Do everything under the same account. Your Google My Business, Google Data Studio, and Supermetrics all should be under the same email. Preferably a *connector email account*.
Now that you’ve created a master account for your properties and registered everything with that email, now it’s time to add you and your team to the GMB property.
Click into the property and click “Users” in the bottom left of the page. Then “Add users” to add your team.
Create Group of Properties
If you have more than one property you want to report on, you’re going to need to create a group so that all of the data is rolled up in one reporting view.
To do this, go back to the Google My Business Homepage. Click “Create Group” and name your group to your liking. Right next to “Create Group”, you should now have a box with Ungrouped locations and the group that you just made.
Add Business Locations to Group
Now that you’ve created the group. You have to add your locations into the group. Click into each location and click “Users” like to did to add users above.
A pop up will appear but instead of adding users, you’ll click “Add location group”. A secondary pop up will appear and you’ll choose your group and role.
Connect Google Data Studio to Google My Business with Supermetrics
If you don’t already have an account. Go to Supermetrics and sign up for a free account. Supermetrics will act as the “connector” to pass data from Google My Business to Google Data Studio. Why Google hasn’t made this a default feature in Google Data Studio is beyond me.
Go to Data Studio while logged in with the same email as you used for Google My Business and Supermetrics.
In the top left, click “Create” then “Data Source.
This will lead you to a second page with a search box. Search “Google My Business” and click on the Supermetrics connector.
Once clicked, it will lead you to another page to authenticate Supermetrics and Google My Business.
Once authenticated, you’ll be redirected to the below page.
Change the Data Source name to something like “GMB-My Business Name”. Select locations to the location or group created earlier. Check “Allow “Select Locations.” to be modified in reports” if you’d like to toggle between locations.
Click “Connect” in the top right hand corner.
Then click “Create Report” in the top right hand corner to create a basic Google My Business dashboard.
Tracking Metrics from Google My Business in Google Data Studio
Google has provided small business owners and managers a wealth of data in GMB. Many small businesses don’t realize that many of their in store visitors are prompted to visit their store from Google Maps and the “Google Maps Pack” in Google Search.
Below is a small list of data points you can find from Google My Business and how to use them.
The metrics in “How Customers See Your Business” and “Where Customers See Your Business” are top of funnel metrics in marketing terms. This is how you get viewed with the hopes of customers taking some action that drives revenue to your business.
How Customers See Your Business
Direct Searches Impressions – “Brand Searches“. This is how many times somebody has directly searched for your business. This is a good long term metric to benchmark how well your business is known and whether your brand is growing.
Discovery Search Impressions – “Non-Brand Searches”. This is how many times somebody has searched for your category of product and you’ve shown up. This is a good metric to track for SEO purposes to ensure you’re showing up for the queries and products that you’re trying for.
Branded Search Impressions – I’m going to call this “Semi-Branded Search”. This is how many times someone searched for your brand or a brand related to your business. Tracking this metric is useful in the same way direct search impressions are.
Where Customers See Your Business
Views on Search – This is how many times your business has shown up in the “map packs” in normal Google search. If the top three data points is the how, this is one half of the where.
Views on Maps – This is how many times your business has shown up when someone uses Google Maps. It could be a non-brand search term like “Restaurants” or a branded term like “Joe’s Crab Shack”.
Actions Customers Take
The below are the performance metrics that align closest to revenue. These are what you hope to increase by increasing the previous two groups. If the previous two groups are “top of funnel” metrics, the below are “bottom of the funnel” metrics.
Website Visits – How many people click on the map pack or google maps to get to your website. Useful to track if you rely on users filling out lead generation forms on your website.
Directions Requests – How many people click on “directions” to find your business. *Most* of this traffic will be from mobile but some of it will be from desktop. Very useful to track if you don’t sell online or have any sort of an online lead gen in place.
Phone Calls – How many people call you from the map pack or google maps. Weirdly, many small business owners assume that people just have their business number written down or from their card.
Photo Views – How many users clicked in and looked at your photos. Since a potential customer viewing your photos shows high intent, I’d track this metric along side the above 3 calls to action.
Reviews – This is the same review data that other customers can view about your business. Putting it in Data Studio provides a much easier and formatted way of seeing your data. If you can’t figure out how to use this data, there’s no helping you.
Post Views and Actions
Local Post Views – How many users actually saw your local posts. (Top of Funnel)
Local Post Actions – How many users took an action like visiting your website, direction requests, or calling your business from your local posts. If this number is insignificant, it might be wise to reevaluate your posting strategy or ask if local posts are worth it in your industry. (Bottom of Funnel)
Why is Google My Business Important?
Offline attribution is hard and nearly impossible to be exact. Google allows you to track what happens on Google Maps that’s driving leads, sales, and visits to your brick and mortar store.
How Many Locations Can I Track?
Supermetrics doesn’t have a defined amount of locations that can be tracked. The Google My Business API times out after 6 minutes. When I was previously tracking 3,500 locations, 6 minutes on the API wasn’t enough and I could never pull data.
When I tried 2,000 locations on the API, I was able to pull back most data some of the time. As long as you have less than 1,000 locations, you should be fine.
If you have more than 1,000 locations, there’s a work around where you load the data into Google Sheets and then load the Sheets data into Data Studio.
Why am I getting a “Data Set Configuration Error” on some of my charts?
This is the same issue as above. In most instances, the API is timing out causing data to not be retrieved.
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