You can find out with UTM tagging!
How I’m UTM tagging my posts
Sterling Sky do a great job of outlining the ‘how and why’ of adding UTM tracking to some of the common links from your GMB profile in this post, but if you want to be more granular in your approach to measuring the value of Google My Business posts here’s how I’m putting together the UTM parameters for those.
You can populate the UTM parameters using a tool such as Google’s Campaign URL builder.
GA is case sensitive so you have to follow the rules EXACTLY otherwise it will be put into the wrong channel and not attributed correctly. If you tag your source as the medium and medium as source (so you got your labels in a twist) GA will put it in the Channel Grouping called (other) along with all the other lost data pots it couldn’t find a home for.
Use google as the campaign source, organic as the medium, and then use the type of Google My Business post to populate the campaign name.
You can use anything for these – the key is to be consistent, to keep them lower case, separated by dashes, and avoid the use of special characters.
I use the following:
- What’s new post: gmb-whats-new-post
- Event post: gmb-event-post
- Offer post: gmb-offer-post
- Product posts: gmb-product-post
Some might think that separating these out into individual post types might be overkill, and maybe it might! But given that different types of posts function differently in the business profile, and Google has a habit of testing placement of different types of placement for post types, I figured I want to know data by post type so I can track the impact of Google moving my shizzle left, right and centre.
Use the ‘campaign content’ field to describe the content of that post – again, keep it unique and descriptive.
You might be wondering, ‘but Claire, why do you use gmb in all of the campaign names? Isn’t that too much??!’
I do it so I can quickly filter by ‘gmb’ when I am looking at campaign traffic in Google Analytics.
I can clearly see what type of GMB links are driving revenue, newsletter signups, and many other micro conversions that are important to the business in question.
postsBy having a common naming convention, I can see the details of all of the links in GMB that are driving traffic to my client’s websites – and what that traffic does once it’s on the website.
NB the eagle 🦅eyed amongst you might have noticed that the campaign names in the above screenshot don’t exactly match those that I suggest using – the premise is the same!
So your posts are working hard, and you’re working hard on your posts. But are they also lending a hand to other channels in terms of conversions?
You can look at your efforts in the MCF Multi-Channel funnel reports to see how your GMB posts are assisting in conversions. Go to MCF> Assisted Conversions and change the primary dimension in (other) and replace with Campaign. Add gmb in the filter to see how all of your GMB efforts are contributing to the success of other channels.
Keeping it all nice and tidy
If you’re tagging up all of your Google My Business posts, you’re adding a product post for each of your products, you’re adding all of your events and special offers, and you’re maybe adding a ‘what’s new’ post once a week – that’s a lot of posts!
In order to keep a handle on all of this tagging – and to allow you to start to make sense of the successes (and failures) of your posts — you need to come up with a naming convention, and then you need to stick with that naming convention.
You hear that?
STICK WITH YOUR NAMING CONVENTION or you’ll end up having to tidy up the bad data retrospectively. You don’t want this.
I have a separate spreadsheet for each client, inspired by this guide by Annielytics. Set this up properly and it will autopopulate your UTM parameters based on what you add in the fields – then you won’t have to make each parameter in the Google URL builder.
This is a sample of one of the spreadsheets – the destination URL is populated by the formula, and then I copy and paste the values only into the ‘Raw URL’ column. This is the final URL you’ll use to add to your posts.
It’s easy to make your own using her Google sheets template, or any of the alternatives mentioned in this post. Just remember to add every new post and reap the full rewards of your GMB UTM tagging strategy!
I’m not a natural ‘data person’, I came to the joy of data late in life after sadly getting turned off maths at school. If you’re a (relative) newbie like myself, in terms of dealing with data and understanding attribution, then I’d like to recommend some great resources that have helped me.
The work of Annie Cushing, and Jill Quick of the Coloring in Department I’ve found to be very readable and comprehensive, and a great start for getting your head round all of this stuff! I have to mention also my colleague and good friend Dr Jess Spate, she has a PhD in data mining (🤓) but manages to make data accessible for all. If you’re in the UK and want training in anything data related give her a shout!
But what about you? Do you do things differently? Let me know on twitter if you have any other tips for measuring the success of Google My Business posts.