5 Common Local SEO KPIs And How To Measure Them
Understanding which local SEO KPI’s matter and how to measure them is essential for meaningful performance reporting.
Have you ever put together what you now know to be one of the worst SEO reports ever made?
A 10-page report filled with pointless data that means nothing to the client; that they’ll probably never read.
You add Google Analytics (GA) users, sessions, page views, bounce rates, time on site, and traffic by channel for a start.
You sprinkle on some Google My Business (GMB) data to show the number of listing views on Search and Maps, then plug in Google Search Console for a clicks and impressions table.
These types of reports aren’t valuable to the client; they complicate and pepper the hard work completed.
Before we put together our reports, we need to get straight a couple of things first.
We report to collect the right data and analyse that data to understand what’s working and what’s not in terms of our local SEO marketing activities.
We also rely on reporting to demonstrate the value of our work and the ROI for the client.
As local search marketers, we must demonstrate the value we add to our clients in a language they understand.
In this article, you’ll find five examples of Local SEO KPIs and how we can set up a simple measurement framework to track them.
What Your Local SEO Reporting Needs To Do
If you’re working on local SEO for a smaller business, it’s more likely that they will want to see how local search results are driving business-critical user actions.
Some more common questions that local businesses are looking to answer in terms of GMB (Google My Business) performance include:
- Are people calling me from my GMB profile?
- Are people using my GMB profile to interact with my business in a way that will lead to inquiries and sales?
- Are the people visiting my website via GMB parting with their hard-earned cash and buying online?
- Is GMB driving traffic to my website?
If you haven’t already worked with your client to put together a ‘goal charter’, now will be the right time.
In project management, the project charter defines the goals and objectives of the project. We would suggest that you apply this framework in your local SEO campaigns to determine what it is you’re hoping to achieve.
Don’t make SEO complicated.
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The goal charter answers three key questions
- Why do these goals exist?
- How will we know when we’ve met these goals?
- What are your goals?
Looking into questions one and two of the goal charter enables you to identify the business-critical actions that move the needle for the business and how these change into goals.
Where SEO KPIs Come In
So, we have now identified our goals and already know that these goals need to be SMART.
What’s a KPI again?
The goal is the endgame, the outcome that we hope to achieve from all the hard work put into it.
The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the metric that we’ll use to know how well we are reaching that goal.
KPIs are measurable – they’re the measure of performance you’ll use to help you to judge progress towards your end goal.
Local SEO Reporting: Common Data Sources
There is a case for local rank tracking, as you are likely to want to track organic visibility across main search terms.
In some cases, you may want to discuss the ranking with your client, but this very much depends on the client.
The fact that you have scored them a ‘top of the map pack’ ranking for a fantastic high-volume keyword might not mean so much to the business.
But the fact that this drove a £5,000-a-week increase in GMB-attributable revenue or an extra 50 phone calls a week via GMB.
Insights are much more likely to get them excited about your local SEO efforts and see how they work for their business.
Google My Business Insights
GMB Insights gives us some fantastic data on real-world actions that have the power to affect the bottom line of any business.
These are labelled as customer actions:
- Direction requests.
- GMB messaging.
- Views of your website.
It also provides data on ‘how customers view your business on Google’ and other (perhaps) less actionable/robust metrics.
GMB Insights gives us data on many actions taken on our GMB profile that doesn’t require a click-through to the website.
But what it doesn’t say is which parts of our GMB profile customers and future customers click on and what they do on our websites when they visit them.
To do this, we can use Google Analytics.
To get this data, you’ll need to have set up robust UTM tagging on your links from GMB. If you haven’t set this up already and you need some local SEO advice we can help you with this.
5 Local SEO KPIs You Need To Know
1. Website Clicks
A lot has been said about the idea of Google as your new home page. Yes, Google indeed continues to change and adapt the GMB interface so that a searcher can do many things in the SERPs (search engine results pages) without clicking through to the business website.
Current GMB functionality includes:
- Browse products and services.
- Call the business.
- Ask questions.
- View photos.
- Make a booking or reservation.
- Read reviews.
On the other hand, there are still a few opportunities to encourage click-throughs to our website from GMB if we include:
- An appointment link (if available).
- Google products (if available).
- Google posts (if available).
- A website link.
How to measure website clicks via GMB Insights
GMB Insights gives us ‘website clicks’ data.
You can now select the new profile performance option from up to 6 months of the most recent data.
This data shows you the total number of visits that have clicked your website via the ‘website’ link in your business profile.
How to measure website clicks via Google Analytics
Google Analytics GA can give us data here, as long as you have your GMB UTM tagging set up.
In GA, if we select only GMB traffic in our campaign data:
Filter by campaign name:
Apply the filter; you’ll see the number of website visitors that arrived at our website via GMB.
Better still, we’ll see the number of visitors that arrived on our website broken down into which element in GMB that they clicked on:
You can see here that the website link (‘gmblisting’ in this UTM setup) is driving the lion’s share of traffic, but that other parts of GMB, including Google posts and Google products, are also bringing visitors to the website.
2. Phone calls
You have a phone call. Someone wants to book something, buy something, or double-check that you can meet their specific requirements.
How to measure calls to your business via Google My Business
GMB Insights gives us call data that shows the number of clicks on the ‘call’ button in your GMB profile.
Click on the ‘calls’ tab to see calls via the GMB listing for that business over your selected time frame:
How to measure calls to your business via Google Analytics
We are also interested in visitors that are referred to our websites via a link on GMB, and then who will go on to ‘click to call our business via a link on our website:
Google Analytics can give us data here as long as we have our UTM tagging in place; the relevant goals and events also need to be set up.
In this case, you’ll have to have added an event to track phone number clicks using Google Tag Manager and have set up the accompanying goal in GA:
Then, in GA, if we select only GMB traffic in our campaign data:
And apply the filter; we will then see the number of website visitors that came to the website via your GMB listing.
Then select the appropriate goal from the ‘conversions’ column, and select ‘click to call’ (or whatever you’ve called this goal in your GA setup):
That’s 800 phone calls from people who came to our website after finding us via our business profile, a Map Pack, or Google Maps.
A third method for tracking phone calls is through a call tracking provider.
If you are working with a business that uses a third-party call-tracking platform, you can add those metrics into the mix.
If you are selling products on your website, website visitors via GMB will likely be buying some of the products from you.
This revenue is assigned to the direct or organic channels depending on where that visitor came from and which device they’re using.
Because we’re in the business of offering local SEO services, we want to make sure that we can attribute any revenue to our work.
How to measure revenue via Google My Business in Google Analytics
You will need to have UTM tagging set up, and you’ll also need to have eCommerce tracking operating.
Head over to Campaigns and apply that filter to show only traffic from GMB.
In the Conversions column, select ‘eCommerce’:
You will then see the revenue directly attributable to traffic from GMB from the last click.
If you want to see the total value of GMB and how it contributed to revenue as part of the conversion journey for customers who converted via different channels.
4. Total Business Profile Interactions
Necessary actions that a customer or potential customer can take on the business profile, and the things that GMB insights currently provides metrics for:
- Messages (now available for the business to manage on desktop).
- Calls (we covered this in point 2 above)
- Bookings (only if you have set this up using Reserve with Google, integrating a third-party booking partner).
- Website clicks (we covered this in point 1 above).
The total number of actions taken on your business profile is more likely to be a helpful indicator of GMB performance.
Keep in mind that an increase in interactions is usually a positive thing, but data interrogation is vital like any reporting.
Are the ‘overview’ peaks and troughs attributable to seasonality or world or national events?
Are peaks in any of the elements not indicative of a business win?
For example, has a rise in phone calls been caused by disgruntled or dissatisfied customers rather than potential sales?
These will need to be monitored as we want to make calls into positive sales and fix the negative feedback from sales.
5. Other Goals And Events
Every business is unique. We’ve covered four common Local SEO KPIs that will be useful for many businesses. It’s always encouraging to see the efforts and hard work visually.
Based on your goal charter, there are quite likely to be several goals that you have identified as being important to your business. If you’ve worked out a robust measurement framework, then hopefully, you’ll have set these up as goals in Google Analytics.
Examples might include:
- Newsletter signup.
- Appointment booking.
- Whitepaper download.
- Click to email.
- ‘Contact Us form submission.
Whatever the actions are, as a local marketer, you will want to know how your activities are contributing to these conversions.
We can see this data in GA.
You’ll be pretty familiar now with navigating to GMB traffic in our campaign data:
Campaigns>All Campaigns>Filter by ‘GMB.’
Select ‘all Goals’ in conversions to see the total number of conversions attributable to the various elements of GMB during your selected timeframe.
Drill down by a specific goal to see how GMB contributed to those conversions.
A local business might have just one location, or it could have many. It might be a typical SMB; it could be a multi-million enterprise.
Whichever type of business you work with, measuring the impact of your local marketing efforts on the bottom line will be very critical to demonstrate the return the client is making on their investment in you as a service provider.
These five common Local SEO KPIs should give you a good idea of your progress.
If these aren’t already in place before you start your work, then get them set up straight away as they are fundamental.
You’ll want to make sure you can benchmark existing performance before you get those phones ringing.
Are you ready to smash it online?
Euphoric is an SEO marketing agency based in West Sussex.
We’ve been smashing it for our clients and achieved significant increases in rankings and traffic through our SEO strategies and would love to do the same for you!