Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | May 18, 2020

Google My Business Insights Explained: What Your Brand Needs to Know

One of the best tools that come with a Google My Business (GMB) listing is Insights. GMB Insights give you a behind the scenes look at how your customers interact with your GMB listings. There is a vast amount of data to be found within Insights, here’s a look at what the data means, how to use Google Insights, and the limitations that come with GMB Insights.Insights can also be viewed within the Google My Business mobile app.

What are Google My Business Insights?

 “Google My Business Insights focuses on how customers find your listing on Search and Maps, and what they do after they find it.” – Google.

The Insights panel found within your GMB dashboard provides businesses owners with customer engagement data derived from their GMB listing. This data includes information like:

  • How many views your listing had.
  • How and where customers find your listings.
  • The actions customers take on your listings.
  • And other interactions customers have with your GMB listing.

How customers search for your business:

One of the first data points GMB Insights offers is how customers search for your business. Are customers using a direct search or a discovery search to find your listing? These views are just impressions meaning they either clicked into your listing from the Google 3-pack or saw your listing in the knowledge panel (either as a branded search or a single result from a non-branded search).

Direct: A direct search refers to a search made by using either your business name or location. These types of searches are usually from people already familiar with your business or they heard about it from another form of advertising. Joy Hawkins also confirmed with Google that searches that output a single result are counted as a direct impression.

Discovery: Impressions from a discovery search refer to generic searches like “restaurant near me” or “dress shop open now”.

Branded Search: A branded search is when a consumer finds your listing for a brand related to your business.

Although not always the case, it’s easy to think of Direct impressions as a result of branded searches and Discovery impressions as a result of non-branded searches. Most businesses will see that discovery searches account for ⅔ of their total listing impressions. This reinforces the fact that optimizing for non-branded keywords and maintaining a strong local SEO strategy helps to bring in more customers to your business.

Where customers view your business on Google

This graph gives business owners insight into whether their customers are coming from a traditional Google search or a search on Google Maps. High traffic from Google Maps means that customers are most likely looking for your business on their mobile device. When it comes to local mobile search, 71% of consumers prefer to conduct queries by voice instead of typing. If your insights show a high amount of impressions from Maps, make sure you have a VEO plan in place. Again, these are just impressions not clicks within your listing.

Customer Actions

The Customer Actions graph gives you an overview of the actions customers took on your GMB listing. Unlike the previous data points, these are actual interactions customers had with your GMB listing. This graph is broken down into action type. You can then take a look at each action further in breakout charts.

Types of Actions:

  • Visits to Website
  • Direction Requests
  • Phone Calls
  • Messaging/Chat

Direction Requests

This data is the number of times someone requested directions to your business location. The data displayed here is probably some of the most valuable information for a local business. Because the requests are broken down by zip code, city, or state, you can use this information to better target your ads to a specific region.

You can also use driving direction requests to determine things like projected sales from traffic to GMB listings. To do this, you need to determine the % of people who click the driving directions and actually make it to the business. You can determine a number that works best for your business (around 70% would be safe). You’ll also want to determine the percentage of people who actually make a purchase during their visit (this number might be higher around 80%) and how much the average spend during a single visit would be. After determining these numbers you can use the formula below to calculate your projected sales from people who find you on your GMB listing.

Phone Calls

Phone call actions are how many times a customer called your business through your GMB listing. The total calls graph helps to show the time of day or day of the week customers call your business most. This information is great for knowing when people are looking at your listings most, and you can target those times with ads or social posts.

Messaging Actions

If you have the messaging action enabled you can now see insights on messaging. If you’re not seeing this information in your insights dashboard you need to turn on GMB messaging first.


Photo insights include both photo views and photo quantity. If your business is in a competitive market, insights will show how your photos compare to your competitors.

Here are some powerful stats that highlight the strong correlation between a GMB profile’s photos and traffic your business can receive.

  • Businesses with more than 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business, while those with just one image get 71% fewer.
  • Businesses with more than 100 images get 713% more discovery searches than the average business, while those with just one get 65% fewer.

Businesses with more than 100 images get 1038% more direct searches than the average business, while those with just one get 71% fewer.

Photo Views

This shows how many times your photos were viewed. Google counts a view as any photos that were seen in the knowledge panel (impressions) or clicked by a customer.

Photo Quantity

Here you can see how many photos you uploaded compared to how many photos your customers uploaded. If your customers are uploading more photos than you, it’s probably a good idea to review those photos to make sure they’re an accurate representation of your business.

Popular Times

Here you can find a breakdown of when your business gets the most foot traffic. This information is gathered from tracking location data on people’s phones, similar to how Google tracks driving traffic. Take advantage of this information and use it to schedule posts around these times.

Search Queries

In this section, you can find the most popular keywords used to find your local business listing. This information is extremely useful for creating better Google Posts and Ads.

What is your Business known for?

This section breaks down popular terms used by customers in your reviews. By pulling the sentiment from reviews, Google shares how customers feel about your business (eg. cozy, quiet, relaxing).

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]You can use driving direction requests to determine things like projected sales from traffic to GMB listings.[/tweet_box]

Limitations to GMB Insights

Although GMB Insights have a ton of great data for business owners, it does come with some limitations. The first limitation is the history of the data provided. The data presented doesn’t go past 90 days and some insights are limited to just one month. This makes it difficult to get a good feel of how you’re improving over time and can cause misleading results.

Another issue is if you have a business with multiple locations you have to download the data to see how each location is doing. Instead of looking at interactive graphics, you’re now comparing locations in a spreadsheet which takes more time and effort to evaluate.

A Better way to view GMB Insights for Multi-Location Businesses

If you have a multi-location business using a local brand management software, like Chatmeter, can help you to interpret GMB Insights without having to download the data for each location. The Chatmeter software pulls GMB Insights into the dashboard and gives you all the analytics you need and more.

GMB Insights through Chatmeter

Within the Chatmeter reputation management platform, users have access to data going back as far as your first Google review. This helps businesses to see their improvement over the years. Users can take a look at the breakdown of how and where customers found your listing as well as the actions they took. This is shown through interactive charts. You can even filter to a single location or compare and rank all of your locations (without having to download first).

The Chatmeter platform also shares data about your rankings, something that Google Insights does not offer. You can see rankings across different search queries. Similar to the “what your business is known for” section in GMB Insights, our Pulse tool breaks down the sentiment of all your reviews. This helps you to understand how customers feel about your business and you can use this information to make strategic improvements.

Our listings management software will also notify you of any inaccuracies, duplicates, or missing listings. Two of the most important aspects of listing optimization are keeping them clean and accurate. Keeping your listings up-to-date will help to improve your rankings and overall engagement with your GMB listing.

GMB Insights are a great way to learn the behaviors of your customers and make improvements based on your findings. If you’re looking at your insights and you’re not happy with the results you’re seeing, you need to improve your local SEO strategy. This means keeping your listings accurate, responding to reviews, and building up a social media presence among many other details. GMB Insights are great but they’re useless if you’re not using them to improve.

Want to see how you can improve your local SEO strategy and get the most out of your GMB Insights? Request a free demo to learn how our all-in-one brand reputation platform can make brand management an effortless experience.