Small business owners have nothing to lose when they take advantage of listing their businesses on the free Google Local Business Center. It helps customers find your business online, and you can use it to assess your customer base, what services or products are most valuable to them, and what marketing strategies work best.
Once you set up your business on Google LBC (step-by-step instructions guide you), you can begin receiving information that can make a world of difference in managing and marketing your business.
Getting Free Data
The best thing about LBC is the data the service provides about customer searches. You can learn how your customers search for your business and where they come from. The site’s data will also show you how many times customers click through to your Web site from your LBC listing and what kinds of keywords they use to find you. The data shows up on your LBC dashboard once you sign in, and you can use it to track marketing trends and set up effective marketing campaigns once you have analyzed the data for movement and insights.
Using the Data
When a person searches for your business or a related business on Google or Google Maps, the data will show up on your LBC dashboard. You can see the top search queries that lead people to your site, the ZIP codes where they start their search for driving directions, and how many users click through to view your site directly.
Using this data to analyze your marketing strategies can be invaluable. For example, you can use the search queries results to add the keywords searchers used to find your Web site. These keywords will help Web surfers find you more effectively. You can see how often people request driving directions on Google Maps after searching for a business. If they aren’t seeking you out, see if updating your Google listing makes a difference.
The dashboard information also includes graphs and other data that you can use to monitor your business day-to-day. For example, you can check to see if searchers look for your business more frequently on weekends or weekdays and adjust your advertising to peak periods. You can also gauge if customers search for your business but then go to another site, instead of clicking through to your site. If you have too many customers going somewhere else, you may need to rethink your business listing on Google to better explain your services.
New information pops up every day on your LBC dashboard, so you can monitor your statistics and make instant decisions on what to change, keep the same, or monitor for more information.
Keeping It Fresh
You can constantly update your listing to keep it current. For example, if your business is a pizzeria and you see that most of your customers come from one area or ZIP code in your city, you could offer a coupon to residents of that area and then track the results by looking at the Google data to see if traffic to your listing increases. Since you can track data by ZIP code, you can see whether customers in your target area are looking for you or contact you after you advertise.