Google launches new, data-rich dashboard in local business center
Today Google is launching a new dashboard feature in the Google Local Business Center (LBC) that will provide business owners with a powerful level of information about how Google users are interacting with their local listings. The Local Business Center (www.google.com/lbc) is a free tool that enables business owners to control the content of their listings in Google Search and Google Maps. With the addition of the new dashboard, the LBC will now draw upon local search data to help owners optimize their local listings and their other efforts to attract more customers.
It’s estimated that 82% of consumers use search to find local businesses*, and the LBC dashboard will initially provide business owners with the following data on that activity in Google Search and Google Maps:
* Impressions: The number of times the business listing appeared as a search result on Google.com search or Google Maps search in a given period.
* Actions: How many times users interacted with the listing; for example, the number of times users clicked through to the business’ website or requested driving directions to the business.
* Top search queries: Which queries led users to the business listing; for example, whether more customers are finding the listing for a cafe by searching for “tea” or “coffee”.
* Zip codes where driving directions come from: Lists and maps of the zip codes users are coming from when they request directions to a listing.
With the LBC dashboard, business owners will be able to identify trends, such as days of the week when interest in their business spikes, or seasonality in the types of searches that lead potential customers to their listings. Owners will also be able to better determine how changes to their listings – such as adding a video or refining their category – influence the traffic to that listing.
The LBC dashboard also allows business owners to better measure the impact of changes to associated web content or adjustments to marketing campaigns – such as a new post to the company blog, or a new advertising campaign – by measuring impressions, actions, location, and more before and after the changes.
So, for example, a restaurant could host an event and then watch to see if queries for its business name increase in the following days. Or it could measure the results of an advertising campaign targeted at a nearby town by watching to see if more people are searching for directions to the restaurant from that zip code after the ad runs. It could also experiment with the information in its LBC listing to uncover which configurations produce more hits in Google search for certain keywords. With this data, owners will be able to make informed decisions about the most effective ways to promote their businesses and attract new customers.
The LBC dashboard will be pre-populated at launch with Google data from the past 30 days, and it will then be updated daily. All data available in the LBC dashboard will be anonymized and aggregated, so no individual Google user data will be shared.
The dashboard is accessible to any business owner who has claimed his or her listing in the Local Business Center. Business owners who do not yet have an LBC account can quickly create theirs for free by visiting https://www.google.com/lbc. The Local Business Center is currently available to business owners in 36 countries, but the dashboard feature will initially be available only for US listings.