Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google Places Analytics - Tips to Getting Maximum Benefit from Google Places

As a marketing consultant, one of the greatest challenges I face is working with my client to get tracking for any campaign.  Whether it is a newspaper ad, Craig's List, a local trade show, an ad in an industry publication, or the use of a promotional product, most owners and their employees have a hard time remembering to ask "How did you hear about us," whether on the phone, by email, or in person.

Without accurate tracking information there is little hope of getting enough real feedback to determine the success of any effort.  Sure, you can look at the quantity of contacts during the campaign, or the total sales around that time, but these are subject to other influences, and therefore not an accurate gauge.

Enter internet marketing.  One of the best aspects of online marketing is that many of the stats are automatically gathered by the advertiser or through attaching statistical tools to the back end of any online marketing ap.  So it is with Google Places.  And the huge results that can be seen in the analytic tool supplied by Google Places is one of the reasons I continue to point to this marketing product as the most important in the local internet marketing toolbox.

Here's the sad thing.  Most owners of small local businesses don't bother to check the analytics that are so easily accessible and free.  The wealth of information is huge, and can be used to impact future purchases, locations, phone practices, prices, couponing, event planning, and other online advertising approaches.

Google has now created a central location where you can access all of your Google products and tools.  Just type in Google.com/accounts  If you haven't signed in recently, you'll have to supply your id and password.  You will get something that looks like the above (although you likely don't have quite so many items on your page).

If you have claimed a Google Places business under this account, you should see Google Places as a link like the one in the first column on this page.  click that and you will go to this page.

Here is where you can start digging in to see who is looking for you, what they do when the find you, and what keywords they are finding you under, just to name a few. I will devote more time to this in a future post. For now - just go there and play around to see what is of interest to you.

No comments: