Companies across the globe leverage Google My Business (GMB) to drive local engagement. Through Google My Business, companies can manage their contact information, hours of operation, photos, and other details — and ultimately help their businesses grow visibility on the SERP and in Google Maps to local customers.
Sample Google My Business Listing
When users place a local search — like “dentists in Chicago” or “auto repair near me” — Google My Business listings often rank among the top results. Through GMB, your business generates impressions that drive website visits, requests for directions, and, of course, phone calls.
Don’t forget: the majority of local searches take place on smartphones, and according to Google, mobile searchers are 39% more likely to call a business. Calls have always been integral to Google My Business — and they’ve only gotten more important.
In the past few months, during the COVID-19 crisis, call volume from Google My Business is on the rise. Starting on March 11, when US states began locking down, there was a quick and dramatic spike in phone calls to US businesses from Google My Business listings. At its peak on March 21, GMB listings drove more than three times the calls of its pre-COVID average. For more GMB trends, check out this Brandify and DialogTech study.
Source: Brandify-DialogTech Consumer Insights Study 2020
If you’re not using a call tracking and conversation analytics solution to track these calls from Google My Business, you’re missing out on key opportunities to connect the consumer journey to revenue, leverage conversation insights to optimize results, and identify negative caller experiences that harm your ROI.
But First — Why Is Google My Business’s Call Data Insufficient for Marketers?
Google My Business provides basic aggregate call count information via its Insights tool, but there are several challenges with its data. Below, I’ll go into these issues, as well as how a call tracking solution like DialogTech can help solve them.
1. Data Accuracy
Google’s call data is based on the number of clicks on the call button on a GMB listing — but that’s it. That means you’re missing data about desktop visitors or any users that manually dial the phone number. If you just rely on this data, you also risk getting data on mobile users that click the call button but hang up before actually placing the call.
On the other hand, when you use a DialogTech call tracking phone number in your GMB listing, you can ensure that all callers, regardless of device, are accounted for accurately. With call tracking, you don’t just get accurate data on each call driven from GMB — you also get accurate analytics and insights on the resulting conversations with your customers.
And don’t worry: putting call tracking phone numbers in your GMB listings will not impact your NPA or SEO. Savvy marketers understand the importance of a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) information for a business across the web and its impact on local SEO. Fear not, search marketers! Businesses can use a call tracking phone number within your Google My Business listings without affecting your NAP or SEO rankings.
Plus, tracking calls from GMB is also beneficial to measuring the results of your paid search spend. Many businesses pulled back on paid search during COVID, and calls from that channel dropped significantly. But does that mean you lost that business — or did they just call you organically from GMB or from SEO? You shouldn’t evaluate paid search results in a silo. Having holistic data on calls driven by search — both paid and organic — can help you truly understand the impact of reducing and raising PPC spend is having on your business.
2. A Lack of First-Party Data
Google My Business reports on summary call counts by day of the week or time of day — but it doesn’t have any information on who’s calling.
With call tracking, you can capture the full call attribution data from Google My Business calls. This is valuable first-party data that you could never get from GMB alone.
Sample DialogTech comparing call quantity and value from marketing sources, including GMB
You can capture call attribution data, identifiers and data about the caller (phone number, name, location, device), and connect that data to their call experience and conversation with your business using AI-driven conversation analytics to tell you if the call was answered, if they are a sales lead, if they converted, and more. Then you can activate this data in your martech stack, like Google Ads, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Search Ads 360, Salesforce, and more.
3. Spam Calls
Spam calls are not only a nuisance, but they’re also extremely costly to businesses. These calls interrupt agents from taking valuable calls and place real callers in queues that can result in abandoned calls and lost revenue.
Using a DialogTech trackable phone number in your Google My Business listing can block spam calls before they even reach your business, helping ensure real callers are connected as quickly as possible and limiting unnecessary distractions for your employees.
More Benefits of Tracking Calls From Google My Business for Marketers
1. Leverage Conversation Insights for Impactful Results
In addition to providing more accurate and detailed attribution information for calls from GMB listings, using a call tracking and analytics platform means that you can also leverage conversation insights from these GMB calls.
With a searchable database of call recordings and transcriptions, you can tap into what’s actually occurring on the calls your GMB listings are driving and use these insights to make optimizations that drive more conversions.
For example, you can discover common caller questions and concerns and add them to your website and product pages to get more SEO visits and improve conversion rates. You can also answer them in your IVR to alleviate the burden on your location staff of answering common caller questions.
Or you could analyze your recordings and transcriptions to see if your locations, call centers, and remote agents are saying the right things when consumers call. Pinpoint any issues — are they not following the right scripts or failing to mention promotions? — and take steps to remedy them. You can also share these recordings and transcriptions with your locations and/or call centers to use as coaching tools to improve performance.
You could even also use recordings and transcriptions as an auditing tool you can use to check your GMB listings for accuracy and consistency.
For example, you can search the transcriptions from GMB calls to see when callers are asking about basic information like driving directions and hours of operation. This is an indication that one of your listings may have inaccurate or missing information.
Then, you can update your listing accordingly, ensuring your customers have the right information right away. This also helps spare your agents from having to take time to answer these basic questions and improves the quality of your inbound calls.
Sample transcription and recording of a call in DialogTech
2. Use Caller Information to Build Audiences
When you’re getting rich conversation insights from calls driven by Google My Business, it’s important to put these insights into action. Since you can glean caller intent, urgency, product/service interest, and more, you can use these insights when creating audiences for digital advertising.
You can identify unconverted callers from GMB and retarget them with digital ads for the product or service they called about. Even if they never visited your website, because AI-powered call tracking captured their information from their GMB call and their lead quality and product/service interest from their conversation, you can accurately retarget these leads with relevant ads.
For callers from GMB who did convert to customers, you can add them to your relevant upsell or cross-sell campaigns — and you can even add them to lookalike campaigns to find new prospects like your best GMB phone leads.
And what about GMB calls from unqualified leads? You can add them to exclusion lists so you don’t waste ad budget going after them.
3. Identify Issues and Improve Caller Experiences
Using call tracking numbers in GMB listings not only provides visibility into where calls are coming from and what’s happening on these calls, but you can also gain insights into call handling and answer rates.
You can see if your GMB calls are going unanswered or unconverted and diagnose the underlying reasons why calls aren’t being picked up or if quality callers aren’t converting. For example, your GMB calls might be coming outside of business hours or your locations aren’t staffed or trained properly.
Sample DialogTech report showing when missed calls occur
You can learn more about how to diagnose the “why” behind unanswered and unconverted calls and correct these call experience issues impacting your ROI in The Digital Marketer’s Playbook for Unanswered & Unconverted Calls.
One way to help resolve call experience issues like unanswered calls or long hold times is by setting up an IVR (interactive voice response). You can configure an IVR to ask callers why they’re calling, route them to the best destination based on their responses, provide answers to common questions, and more.
You can also set up dynamic routing rules. Below are several routing configurations that can improve conversion rates for calls from Google My Business:
- Have calls forwarded to specific agents, locations, or IVRs based on your business hours
- Route calls to agents’ cell phones or home phones if they’re working remotely
- Ring multiple agents’ phones at the same time — the agent who picks up first gets the call
- Use hunt groups that ring other phone numbers if the main location line goes unanswered
- Route calls to your highest-performing locations first
Set up rules in DialogTech to route more calls to your highest-performing locations
4. Provide Multi-Location Businesses with Much-Needed Insights
Managing Google My Business listings and acting on the data and referrals it generates poses challenges for any company, but it is particularly demanding for multi-location businesses that oversee hundreds or even thousands of locations.
GMB offers some tools to manage listings in bulk for businesses with more than ten locations, but reporting is limited to downloading spreadsheets and, as we covered earlier, the data available lacks important pieces of the attribution and activation puzzle.
By integrating a call tracking and analytics platform with a listing management solution like Yext that allows you to manage GMB listings and reviews in bulk, marketers can enjoy the benefits of call tracking for all of their locations.
DialogTech’s integration with Yext connects your online business information with your offline conversations. Yext users can update their locations with DialogTech’s trackable phone numbers and experience all of the benefits I’ve shared so far.
To learn more about how marketers are using call tracking solutions to drive better results from Google My Business, watch out our on-demand webinar: How to Acquire More Customers From Google My Business During COVID-19.
Get your copy of The Digital Marketer’s Playbook for Unanswered & Unconverted Calls and learn how to increase call answer and conversion rates, lower wasted ad spend, and prove your true value to locations.Download My eBook