Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

Goal Tracking Essentials for Local Businesses

Online Goals Any Local Business Can (and Should) Track to Improve Their Digital Presence

Goal and conversion tracking for Search Engine Optimization in Google Analytics is helpful for any business. For local businesses, however, it’s critical. Understanding where your business is coming from can help you create loyal customers and make more sales.

When starting any internet marketing campaign for a local business, tracking certain goals in Google Analytics can determine the campaign’s overall success. Knowing your way around Google Analytics can take time, but you only need to know a few things to start making use of the data.

You’ll need two things to measure the number of visitors coming to and interacting with your site:

  • Google My Business
  • Google Analytics

Goal Tracking with Google My Business

Every local business needs to have a Google My Business page. It’s free, and it’s an easy way to get people clicking over to your website or heading to your storefront. A Google My Business page also shows you how people found your site and where they’re coming from. This offers you valuable information you can use for goal tracking specific types of events.

Fortunately, Google My Business automatically tracks several events when you create your page. In the “Customer Actions” section under the Insights menu, you can see how many people visit your website, request directions to your business, and make calls to you.

As a local business owner, you’ll want to pay special attention to how many phone calls you receive from your Google My Business listing, as well as how many people request directions to your business. Talking to customers over the phone helps build the kind of personal relationships that local businesses rely on. Similarly, getting people in the door gets you one step closer to meeting a future loyal customer.

Example of the Customer Actions view on a Google My Business page
Viewing “Customer Actions” on your Google My Business page lets you learn how customers are finding you online.

 

Using Google Analytics lets you see how many customers are finding this information from you online. A high number of online visitors means you may greatly benefit from investing in a greater online initiative such as paid search.

Always remember to update your Google My Business page anytime your business undergoes any change, including for temporary closing. If you fail to update a changed phone number or hours of business, it could reflect poorly on your page if the customer-to-be decides to leave a review.

Google Analytics Goal Tracking for Local Businesses

Compared to setting up your Google My Business page, getting acquainted with Google Analytics requires more effort. However, Google Analytics offers more powerful tools to help you learn more from your business.

First, you should consider the design of your website. When a user visits your local business’s website, three things need to draw their attention:

  • Your phone number
  • Your address
  • Your Contact Us page

Your phone number should display prominently in your header, footer, and on your Contact Us page. More importantly, you should consider making your phone number “click to call.” Any time someone browses your site on their phone, they can simply tap on your phone number, and the number will immediately appear in their dialing screen. You can track this event in Google Analytics, and you’ll see how many calls you get from your website every month across different traffic channels.

Secondly, your address should display prominently in your footer and on your Contact Us page. In some cases, you may even want to display your address in your header, along with your phone number. Regardless of your business’s actual physical location, you can also add a Google Maps link so your business directly pops up in a web browser. Anyone who clicks on the link can easily get directions to your business. Tracking this event lets you get an idea of how many people use your address to get directions to your business from your website.

Finally, you should have a contact form set up and easily accessible on the site. Use goal tracking in Google Analytics to see any time someone completes a contact form. This will effectively tell you how many leads, patients, or business inquiries you get from your website and how they came to your site.

Setting Up Google Analytics for Goal Tracking

You can track all your goals using Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager. With Google Analytics you can set up “onclick” events for your address and phone number.

Add this code to the proper html tag (most likely a hyperlink tag Example.com Anchor tag code) to track every click that occurs on your site:

onclick="ga('send', 'event', 'category', 'action', 'label');"

Be sure to replace “category,” “action,” and “label” with the names you used when creating the Goal in Google Analytics, so you’ll know exactly what goal this is tracking.

Unlock Your Business’s Online Potential

The more you know how your customers use your website, the more customers you can have supporting your local business. By seeing how people interact with your website, you gain a greater understanding of your overall business. From there, you can refine your strategy and incorporate practices to drive customers to your store.

This just barely scratches the surface of what is possible with Google Analytics. However, you should now have enough guidance to start making a major impact to your digital presence.

Need help with Local SEO or managing your Google My Business page? Want to make sure nothing gets left out?

Contact SEO Inc. We’re ready to help.

About John Caiozzo

John CaiozzoJohn is a Senior SEO Analyst here at SEO Inc. John specializes in creating advanced technical SEO solutions and strategies to drive traffic and conversions to client websites. John graduated from California State University San Marcos with a bachelor degree in Management Information Systems and a minor in Computer Science. John also regularly writes for Advanced Web Ranking, providing unique insights as a guest contributor.