For every local client we have, we always submit and verify them to the major local search engines – including Google Local Business Center (essentially Google Maps). Recently, Google added a great addition to the works – the Local Business Dashboard! Here’s Google’s official story on it.
Some say the addition was simply for those with limited web presence, although if sites are even showing up in local search results, I’d say they’re doing something right. Regardless of the reason behind it, these statistics will be helpful for any local business: from those with a huge search presence to those with none. Furthermore, even with Google Analytics, this information is awesomely powerful; not to mention, you wouldn’t be able to figure it out any other way.
Your business info
If you already have an account, you know that there is a ton of information you can include in your local listings – from what you do, to payment taken, to business hours, to tags, to photos, to video. What’s more, the dashboard acts as many social profiles do, with a % complete meter – to further persuade you to continue filling out information.
Activity & Totals
Activity is set up very similar to Google Analytics – impressions indicating how many times (in the past month – or whatever timeframe you select) your listing has shown up as a result. What I find even more impressive is the fact they drill down into actions: those people who click for more info on the Map, for driving directions, and those who click the link to your website.
Top Search Queries
Here’s where you can verify that you’re being found for the correct keywords. The only problem I can see: you don’t see the locations searchers used. In other words, for flyte, all of these keywords look great. But we don’t know if they were looking for website design in Portland, Maine or Kennebunk, Maine. My guess would be the former; but for a lot of our clients who are in lesser-known towns in the middle of Maine, that information is vital.
Where driving directions requests come from
Again, priceless statistics: who’s thinking of coming to your location? Are you investing in those opportunities enough? This information may be a little less important for a company like ours than, say, an Inn or hotel who finds they get a ton of driving directions requests from the Boston area. That might convince them to advertise a little more in Massachusetts.
Coupons are another addition to the dashboard. You can further enhance your local listing by adding coupons for customers who find you via Google Maps.