How to Utilize Google My Business Insights

The importance of Google My Business hasn’t changed recently. In fact, it is still one of the most crucial parts of a local SEO strategy. But the data available in Google My Business has improved and can help give you a leg up on your competitors. While some of the data is only available when your listing receives enough traffic, when you do get it, you can utilize your insights to your advantage and get the most out of your business listing.

Before we start looking at specific beneficial changes, one not so recent, but really helpful change is the date range. Previously, you’ve always been given 1 month of data, but now you have other options. You can see data for 1 week or 1 quarter too. The other date ranges were available when you downloaded data, but not in the insights interface. If you download your Google My Business data, you have the option to do a custom date range.


The Google My Business insights have long included data like what you see below. The data shows how many people viewed your listing and how they found the listing. Google groups how people found a listing in two categories. The first category, Direct, being those who search your business name or address. It is very likely that existing customers or referrals fall into this category. The second group, Discovery, which tends to be the larger percentage of views are for those who searched for a service you provide, which also usually doubles as a Google My Business category. Note that this data is only impressions and not clicks.  

Recently, Google started providing you with more details about the Discovery category. They now provide you with the top queries and the number of users that searched the query. For those of you who use Google Search Console, this data looks very similar to what you would find in that interface.

How does this help my business?

The queries can be used in a variety of ways. First, it tells you the verbiage your current or potential customers are using to find and learn more about your business. You can then use these terms in the content you write for your site since the content on your site should be as much for the readers as it is for Google. Second, it helps you determine where your business might be lacking in SEO. Are you surprised to not see certain queries here? Your business listing and/or website might not be optimized for the queries you’d like to be showing up for. Adjust your SEO strategy if you think you should be showing up for keywords you’re not.

Driving Directions

Again, the data below probably looks familiar; a lot of Google’s improvements to the insights were made by building off data they already had. The Customer Actions section breaks down how users are interacting with the Google My Business listing. It tracks when someone clicks through to your website or calls the business. I have the chart below only showing the requests for driving directions currently.

If your listing is used enough to request driving directions, Google has started to break down where people are coming from by zip code. The data will look something like below.

How does this help my business?

The data can be helpful when creating service pages on your site. Based on the zip code, you can target keywords for the areas where your customers are coming from.

Chats to You

Google added the messaging function to Google My Business, which you can learn more about on our blog. From Jerod’s blog post on the subject, you will learn that you have to enable the messaging function. Without doing this, users can’t message your business and you won’t have any data. The data is currently nestled in with the Customer Actions section of the insights. If you select the ‘Message to you’ section only you’ll be able to see which days users contacted the business using the messaging function. The data below is for a local HVAC SEO client.

How does this help my business?

People go to the internet to find the information they want fast. If they don’t find it quickly, they will go somewhere else. If someone does contact you asking a question, you will know that the information they want isn’t readily available. If that was the case for me, I’d make sure I added the information somewhere accessible to help users in the future.

What Data Would You Like to See?

Google is taking steps in the right direction to help users get the most out of Google My Business, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. What information would you like to see Google start providing in the Google My Business insights?

Lexie Kimball

Lexie is an Account Manager at Netvantage SEO, an online marketing company that specializes in SEO, PPC and social media. At Netvantage, Lexie assists with online marketing campaigns and social media outreach.

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