Google Business Profile — formerly known as Google My Business (GMB) — is a crucial tool for establishing your presence online, increasing the visibility of your business in search engine results pages (SERPs), and connecting with more local customers. Google Business Insights makes it easier to optimize your profile by providing data on how search users find and interact with your profile. What does this data mean, and how can you leverage it for better local SEO results? In this guide, I’ll dive into the usefulness of Google Insights, how to access and interpret the data it provides, and how to use that data to improve your SEO efforts.
What Does Google Insights Show You?
Google Insights is downloadable data that showcases how your business profile listing is performing in local searches. More specifically, GMB Insights takes a deep dive into the search process by showing how potential customers search for, find, and interact with your business through Google Search and Google Maps. Since the data Insights offers is only related to the performance of your Google Business listing in local search, you’ll see different information than you would in Google Analytics or Google Search Console.
Why Are GMB Insights Helpful?
Your Google Business Profile is viewable from two locations: Search and Maps.
Your profile may appear in SERPs when someone searches your business name. Potential customers may also encounter your business profile if they click on your business name when you’re featured in a local pack. Google Maps also shows Google Business Profiles. The only way to get information about how many people are seeing your GBP, where they’re seeing it, and what actions they take is with Insights and Performance.
Although some have suggested that GMB Insights data isn’t as accurate or reliable as that provided by other tools like Google Analytics or Google Search Console, that doesn’t mean it can’t still give you a better understanding of how your listing is performing in local search. Plus, it’s one of the only places to get data about your GBP. Ultimately, Insights data can help you identify what works and what doesn’t with your listing and to further optimize it to better connect with search users and potential customers.
Having a well-optimized Google Business Profile is key to local SEO success. A fully optimized profile listing will increase your visibility in local search results and make it easier for customers to connect with your business. The data provided by Google Insights can guide your optimization efforts, ensuring they’re based on solid, real-world data, and give your local SEO campaigns the best chance to succeed.
What Does Google Business Profile Performance Show You?
GBP Performance shows total Business Profile interactions, how people discovered your profile, the terms used to surface your profile, and specific actions users take (calls, directions, website clicks, bookings, and chat). You can access six months’ worth of data through this GBP feature. Just like Insights, it helps you better understand how helpful searchers find your profile and can help you identify areas for improvement.
How Do I Access Google My Business Insights & Performance Data?
If you own or manage just one Google Business Profile, make sure you’re signed into the associated Google account and then google your business name.
You should see the above where you would normally see search engine results. Click on ‘Performance’ to see your different metrics.
Alternatively, go to https://business.google.com/locations and click ‘See your profile.’ This will redirect you to a SERP with your profile.
Select ‘Performance’ to dive into the metrics.
To access your Insights data, you’ll need to download it from your account. Click the box next to your profile. Navigate to the ‘Actions’ drop-down and select ‘Insights.’
This will open a pop-up asking you which insights you want to download. Select the one you want to look at and click ‘Next.’
Set the timeframe for the report and then click ‘Download Report.’
You’ll get a notification on your screen when it’s ready. Click the ‘Download’ link to save the report to your computer.
The metrics in Performance will differ from those in Insights, so check both to get the most complete picture.
Manage Multiple GBPs?
If you manage or own several Google Business Profile accounts, head to https://business.google.com/locations, find the business you want to view data for, and click on ‘See your profile.’
This will redirect you to search results. Click on ‘Performance’ when your panel appears.
You can also select multiple businesses and then export the data.
How To Interpret Different GMB Insights & Performance Metrics
Google Business Insights and Performance provide a wealth of data that can help you learn more about the health and activity of your listing. Below you’ll find their associated metrics.
Google Business Profile Insights Metrics
- Overall Rating: Insights keeps track of how many reviews your business has received over a set time period and displays your average review score. Customer reviews don’t just influence potential customers’ decision-making — they also serve as an off-page local SEO ranking signal. Ideally, you want this score to be over 4.5 so your business is seen as trustworthy.
- Total searches: The total number of discovery and direct searches
- Direct searches: When a customer searches directly for your business name or address.
- Discovery searches: When a customer searches for a product, service, or category that you offer and Google shows your Business Profile.
- Total views: The total number of Google Business Profile views generated through Search and Maps.
- Search views: When someone finds your business listing via Google Search.
- Map views: When someone finds your business listing through a Google Maps search.
- Total actions: The sum of website, direction, and phone call actions. Basically, how many clicks has your profile received? While this doesn’t tell you how many people acted — since one person can complete each action or complete the same action multiple times — it’s still helpful for measuring engagement.
- Website actions: How many searchers clicked through to your website from your profile.
- Direction actions: How many people requested directions from your profile.
- Phone call actions: How many people used the ‘call’ button directly on your profile.
Businesses offering online ordering, booking, and other services will also see insights related to those features.
Google Business Performance Metrics
- Business Profile interactions: The sum of all business profile interactions, including calls, messages, bookings, directions, and website clicks.
- Platform and device breakdown: The platforms and devices people were using when Google surfaced your profile.
- Searches breakdown: The search terms Google showed your profile for.
- Calls: How many searchers clicked the ‘call’ button on your profile.
- Messages: How many searchers messaged you through your profile.
- Bookings: How many searchers made a booking directly from your business profile.
- Directions: How many searchers asked for directions to your business from your profile.
- Website clicks: How many searchers clicked through to your website from your profile.
Metrics for How People Discover Your Business
Insights provides you with numbers for total searches, direct searches, discovery searches, total views, search views, and map views. Understanding whether people are entering your business name into Search or Maps (a direct search) or are looking for the services you provide (hardware store near me) can help you improve your business description so you can reach more searchers.
Performance shows a pie chart breaking down user platforms and devices. This helps you visualize whether you get more views on Search or Map and desktop or mobile devices.
This set of metrics also highlights the search terms Google showed your profile for. Click ‘See more’ for an expanded view. You can use these terms to further optimize your profile. Or, if you see some that aren’t relevant to your business, you can update your business description to ensure they aren’t mentioned. Monitor total searches over time to spot seasonal consumer trends.
In the Insights CSV, you can see numbers for completed actions within the report’s timeframe. Similar data is provided in the Performance view but in graph form.
In the Performance view, you’ll see your Business Profile interactions. Insights calls this number “total actions.”
Click the different tabs for data about calls, messages, bookings, directions, and website clicks over time.
I want to specifically mention the phone call metric that both Insights and Performance share. This metric may not show the full number of calls your listing generates since it only tracks calls made directly through the call feature. So if someone dials the number listed on your profile themselves, that call won’t be reflected in the data. You may be able to get a more accurate measurement of generated calls by using a dedicated phone number for your Google Business profile or tracking it with third-party software.
If you want to see missed calls, turn on call history via Performance.
If you’ve set up and activated the Google Business messaging feature, Performance will track the number of unique messages sent through your listing. Keep an eye on the content of these messages so you can identify the most common questions and add them to your site’s FAQs.
Note: If you’re using a third-party tool to manage your customer chats, Insights may not be able to register chat activity, and your total messages may show up as zero.
Businesses that have enabled bookings through their Google Business Profile can also see how many bookings they have received each month. See if your GBP optimization or certain marketing efforts has led to increased bookings and monitor season shifts.
If driving foot traffic to your location is critical — like for a restaurant or retail shop — you’ll want to monitor how many people ask Google for directions.
Website clicks are crucial for almost every business. Your Google Business Profile can’t provide all the information potential customers want to know about your business. Those interested in learning more will click through to your website. To ensure these clicks are high-quality, make sure your profile is up to date and clearly describes your business offerings.
Turn Insights Into Action
Ready to turn those insights into action? With the help of a trusted SEO agency like Victorious, you can supercharge your SEO strategy and optimize your Google Business Profile to earn more calls, clicks, traffic, and conversions. To learn more about what we can do for you, book a free consultation to discuss our local SEO services.