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So much potential, so few features

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# 1
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First, let me say that I'm new to this forum but not new to Google My Business. 

 

Google My Business is an AMAZING and REVOLUTIONARY tool that provides a tsunami of data and possibilities.

Last year, we set up our bulk account, claimed all our locations (23) and updated each location with the information we wanted our customers to have. 

 

Working with Google My Business is a top priority for us, because traffic to the locations listings dwarfs traffic to our website and social channels. 

That being said, there are some real shortcomings in the current feature set. I'll highlight my top complaints:


  • No bulk reporting. I would LOVE to be able to generate reports - just like I can with Analytics or Adwords. How great would it be to send our store managers their location star rating and reviews for the past month, etc. Not to mention customized Insight reports, etc.
  • Lack of email notifications. According to Google support, this feature was discontinued about 6 months ago. Strange, because I still get notifications via email when someone leaves a review at any of our locations, but managers I've added to our GMB account do not. Why? This seems so elemental. I want our GMB managers to be notified as soon as someone leaves a review. This feature is curiously available via notifications on the mobile app, but not via email. 
  • Google continually suggesting updates. The suggestions are seldom, if ever, ones I want to include. Please trust us to know best what amenities are available at our locations. If you multiply all the google suggestions by our 23 locations, it becomes a nightmare to dismiss all of googles recommendations.

    Finally, and this is more of a feature request, given that google is responsible for steering so much traffic AWAY from our website via the GMB listings that dominate search results, it would be nice if they would develop tools to integrate GMB into our website. I.E. -> Allow our website locations page to actually display data from GMB. Ideally, there would be a google map showing all our locations, allowing customers to click on the location pins and get the complete listing info in a pop-up.  
    That's my two cents. I would love to talk about this further with anyone from GMB. You have my contact info.
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Accepted by topic author Brent W
March 2017

So much potential, so few features

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# 2
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Brent, 

 

There are some third party tools out there now that can help you with the bulk data management, roll up reports, custom insights, etc... if you'd like some recommendations, just let me know as they are all pay for play tools. 

 

Otherwise, to make some of your GMB insights more accessible in Google Analytics in aggregate, the best solution I can propose in the interim is to use the Google Campaign URL builder and tag each location's URL with a unique Campaign Name or other parameters to make the website clicks data accessible in aggregates under the campaign tags. 

 

Here's a link to the tool to create custom URL's:

 

https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

 

I usually post the Source as "Google My Business", the Medium as "Website Button" and the campaign name, the "location city". 

 

If you're tracking Goals in analytics already, this will create a clearer picture of what the website traffic from GMB is worth. 

 

As far as adding a map to your website is concerned, you can 100% do that, but you would need to integrate with the Google Maps API and customize the code to match your database. I've done this on several websites so I know it's possible. 

 

Hope that helps! 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Brent W
March 2017

So much potential, so few features

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# 2
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Brent, 

 

There are some third party tools out there now that can help you with the bulk data management, roll up reports, custom insights, etc... if you'd like some recommendations, just let me know as they are all pay for play tools. 

 

Otherwise, to make some of your GMB insights more accessible in Google Analytics in aggregate, the best solution I can propose in the interim is to use the Google Campaign URL builder and tag each location's URL with a unique Campaign Name or other parameters to make the website clicks data accessible in aggregates under the campaign tags. 

 

Here's a link to the tool to create custom URL's:

 

https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

 

I usually post the Source as "Google My Business", the Medium as "Website Button" and the campaign name, the "location city". 

 

If you're tracking Goals in analytics already, this will create a clearer picture of what the website traffic from GMB is worth. 

 

As far as adding a map to your website is concerned, you can 100% do that, but you would need to integrate with the Google Maps API and customize the code to match your database. I've done this on several websites so I know it's possible. 

 

Hope that helps! 

Re: So much potential, so few features

[ Edited ]
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# 3
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Evan,

Thanks for your great advice. I will explore the options you mentioned.

I am a novice with Adwords, so feel as though this is just one more layer of training I will need.

If I were to outsource the maps integration, any advice on who I might turn to?

So much potential, so few features

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# 4
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P.S. - YES I would like your 3rd party recommendations.

So much potential, so few features

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# 5
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Hi Brent, 

 

Very common feedback, especially from brands with multiple locations. +1'ing Evan's advice to look at some 3rd parties to help solve your issues. 

 

Re: GMB more further integrated into your website experience, a few 3rd parties also surface your latest Google reviews (alongside other platforms) via widgets you can host on your website. You should also create linkage between your GMB listing and the unique store page on your website. That is a best practice. 

 

Example: http://locations.tindrumasiankitchen.com/ll/US/GA/Roswell/10800-Alpharetta-Highway

So much potential, so few features

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# 6
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Here's what I've come across for Aggregated Google My Business insights so far:
 
Yext.com, known for their Powerlistings product, now also offers aggregated insights through the GMB API. I have a few clients on Yext with this feature but it's lacking utility as the visualization is not high quality... but it does have GMB insights aggregated via the API. 
 
Momentfeed.com is also another GMB API driven product that offers location insights from GMB in their dashboard. I have never used it personally so I am not sure if they offer this is a standalone service or if it's wrapped around their other products, so you'd have to inquire about costs / related services. 
 
GMBData.com Is the platform we use. It's cheaper than the other two I mentioned and is a "hybrid" of manual data extraction as well as the GMB API, so it offers greater flexibility in what you can do with the data... for example, the GMB API Limits Direction Request data to just the last 90, 30 and 7 days, GMBData.com pulls it in on a daily basis. For our restaurant and high foot traffic customers, that is the most important data set to have as a daily value, not just an aggregate number. It also integrates with a variety of other Local SEO products like BrightLocal so for our agency it clicked right in as a deliverable. 

Hope that helps a little!