One of the most important things after you have registered your business is to know how much traffic this will get to your website. I’ve put up a very thorough tutorial on Mike Blumenthal’s blog and I suggest you all check it out.
I’ll put up a part here in this post to give you guys a preview of what I am talking about. This part is about adding URL parameters to your Local Business Center URL’s. In the full article you will also learn how to track the vertical ‘maps.google.com’ and the 3-click-path traffic from the Universal Search results.
Feel free to leave a comment here or on Mike B’s blog!
Track URLs in Local Business Center
First of all, we want to track the URLs in the Local Business Center. The Local Business Center provides very basic information. Impressions and Views. Google is very vague in their answers in the help groups/forum on what an impression or a view actually mean. Does it account universal search traffic as well? or just directly Google Maps related views/clicks? And is this data accurate? We will decide to monitor this not from the Local Business Center but rather with Google Analytics.
Imagine your business has 2 store locations. Each in a different city/state. Your website has one URL www.example.com.
We will give each location a URL with GA parameters. By doing this, we will create a Ã¢â‚¬ËœvirtualÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ campaign in GA for our local listing.
In order to do this we will use the Google Analytics URL builder tool, which you can find here: http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578
You only need to fill in your specific location URL. the campaign source (in this case; google), the campaign medium (maps) and give it a campaign name, for example local_location_1.
Now copy the full URL and enter it in the Local Business Center for that specific listing. Everything should work okay (although the URL might be a bit long for the LBC to display it properly). Note that Google Maps will only display the part of the URL before the parameters!
Track Local campaign using 301 Redirects
You can do the same using a 301 redirect. (this is my preferred method, but you will have to know how 301 redirects work. ) Using 301 redirects you will be able to have a clean URL in your local business center.
In this case the Google Local Business Center contains the following URL :
Google Maps will display :
clicking on the link in Google Maps will actually bring you to :
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it to track your Local Business using a virtual Campaign!