Google Business Profile Insights: Are They Accurate?
As a small business owner, creating, claiming, and optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is an important step in boosting your small business’ search engine rankings. A Google Business Profile offers companies several tools and benefits, including increased visibility and website traffic. One of the popular free tools that come with Google Business Profile (GBP) is Insights. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits, accuracy, and limitations of GBP Insights.
What are Google Business Profile Insights? (Formerly Google My Business Insights)
Google Business Profile Insights helps small business owners discover how customers interact with their GBP listing. Data provided by GBP Insights includes information such as:
- How and where customers find you on Google (platform and device breakdown)
- Popular keywords used to find your GBP listing (searches breakdown)
- How many times customers have viewed your GBP listing
- Volume of various actions customers take specifically through your GBP listing including calls, messages, bookings (if enabled through third party), direction requests, photo views, and website clicks.
Are Google Business Profile Insights Accurate?
Google Business Profile Insights undoubtedly provides valuable information that can help your small business understand your customer activity online. However, despite providing good information, it is important to know that GBP Insights only captures a small portion of your small business’ total customer interactions. Discover a few limitations of GBP Insights below:
A major limitation of GBP Insights is the history of the data provided. The data found within GBP Insights only represents the past 6 months of data. 6 months is actually an improvement since prior to 2020 the data was limited to the most recent 90 days.
While GBP Insights does provide information on the phone calls your small business receives, the number of calls is not fully representative of all calls you receive from the search engine. GBP Insights only captures the phone calls made from mobile devices and only from customers that use the click-to-call action button. As such, you likely have many more phone calls occurring from those that view the phone number from a desktop or table, or who simply reference the phone number to call it later.
According to Google, “[phone calls] represents the number of clicks on the call button on your business profile. If the user copies the number and dials it manually or ends the call before it connects, you may see discrepancies between number of Phone Calls on the Insights page and number of actual calls your business receives.”
Views and Website Clicks
With GBP Insights, the number of views and website clicks your business receives is also skewed. GBP Insights only shows the number of views and website clicks your Google Business Profile receives (either on Maps or within the organic search), not the overall views of your business on Google as a whole. For example, if your business does not pull up in the map pack, but it does in the other organic results, this will not be counted as a view on GBP Insights. As of this writing, we do not believe Google spells this nuance out well in their documentation.
If you would like a better idea of how often your website is being viewed and clicked throughout Google’s organic results, you should check out Google Search Console. For example, in the month of February 2022, our GBP Insights says we received 1,260 impressions. However, our Google Search Console results show that our total search impressions (without running any ads) were over 444,000 for the month of February.
As an added nuance, views on GBP Insights are counted per user, device, and platform. One person visiting your business profile on multiple devices will be counted as multiple views
Other Tools for Assessing your Online Visibility
Given the limitations of Google Business Profile Insights, our SEO experts at Igniting Business recommend utilizing more robust tools and services to help you track and increase your small business website traffic, visibility, and more.
Two of our favorite SEO and online visibility tools are BrightLocal and Semrush. Both of which have advanced mechanisms to track interactions on your Google organic results, assess site quality, as well as monitor your Google Business Profile.
BrightLocal is more focused on Local SEO, including citation building, data aggregator submissions, review collection, GBP monitoring, and exceptional rank tracking.
On the other hand, Semrush is a robust technical SEO site auditing tool that also assists with content marketing, backlink research and building, rank tracking, and overall site health monitoring.
Both of the above platforms offer free trials if you are interested in checking out the tools.
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