Digital marketing is one of those fields of endeavour where there are many different platforms, tools and websites that you'll be expected to use.
Sometimes it's easy to understand what these different platforms/tools do, and sometimes it can be hard to discern the difference.
Google (you know, the search engine company) provides a number of different tools for businesses to use to help get more customers online.
Two of these are Google My Business and Google Analytics. You might have heard of both of them but be wondering if Google My Business is the same as Google Analytics - and in this article I'll show you the difference.
Are Google Analytics & Google My Business The Same?
No, they are very different.
Google Analytics is a web analytics platform that helps you to understand more about the performance of your website. In particular, you can use Google Analytics to:
- See how many people are visting your website
- See where they come from (both in terms of geography and also source, e.g. from organic search, paid ads etc)
- See how they interact on your site - what pages do people read? Where do they drop off? How frequently do they complete goals/conversions like submitting your contact form?
- Understand more about website visitor demographics, e.g. gender, age, device usage etc
I would consider Google Analytics essential for any business looking to promote online. Whether you're a local business trying to attract walk-in customers, or a large multinational B2B organisation, Google Analytics is an important tool in your digital arsenal.
What's more, if you want to engage the services of a digital marketing consultant, then they will almost certainly expect you to have Google Analytics (and if they don't, you probably shouldn't use their services!).
Get free digital marketing advice and tutorials by subscribing to my YouTube channel. New videos being released every week, covering everything you need to know to grow your business with effective digital marketing. View my channel and subscribe here.
So What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is another free platform provided by Google, designed to help you grow your business online.
However, the purpose of Google My Business (sometimes called "GMB" for short) is very different.
Google My Business is all about helping your business enjoy greater visibility for locally-focused searches.
This can occur in both the "map pack" and "local pack" for searches on Google.
For example, if I jump on Google and search for 'digital marketing consultant Christchurch' the following shows up:
My business is showing up for this search because I set up a Google My Business profile, and then have spent time and energy optimising it to improve its rankings.
- Google My Business allows you to do a number of things like:
- Specify your opening days/hours
- Communicate your business category and key services/products
- Indicate your service area (if you don't serve customers at a specific location)
- Collect and display review sfrom customers
- Display photos and videos
- Make basic posts that communicate business updates, special offers etc
- Understand how many people are seeing your business in local searches, maps etc and how they interact in terms of asking for directions, making inbound phone calls etc.
Basically, you can use Google My Business to develop a simple, effective online presence for the local element of your business.
This sits alongside your website and helps you to attact more customers/clients. In fact, for many local businesses their GMB listing is probably more important than their website, at least in terms of attracting customers.
Google My Business is particularly important for any business that relies on walk-in customers or is a 'destination store' (such as an art gallery, car dealership etc). It's also critical for local service businesses.
If you serve local customers/clients in any context, then you need to be on Google My Business. It is as simple as that.
In fact, if you don't already have a Google My Business profile and you're in the retail/hospitality/trades/local service space, then you should drop what you are doing and go out and set one up immediately.
For some of the B2B organisations I work with, Google My Business isn't quite so important due to the way that they acquire leads and customers/clients. However, I still encourage my clients to develop a robust presence on Google My Business as it is a solid branding tool when someone searches for your brand name directly. It's a great 'confidence builder' for potential customers.
Can You Have Both?
Yes, you can have both Google Analytics and Google My Business.
In fact, this is highly recommended to have both set up.
Which Is More Important?
If your business has a "local element" (i.e. you're in hospitality, retail or local service) then focus on Google My Business first.
Google Analytics is a fantastic platform, but is not going to inherently get you more business.
Google My Business, on the other hand, will help you to get more customers - which must always be the focus!
If your business is something like a SaaS company, startup, B2B supplier whose clients/customers buy from other locations etc, then you are probably better off to focus on Google Analytics in the first instance as you'll be able to yield more actionable data and insight from this platform.
Think of the following:
If your customers need to be in your local area, then focus on Google My Business.
If your customers can be anywhere in the country or the world, then Google Analytics probably has more potential value.
Conclusion - Google Analytics vs Google My Business
As you can see, there are substantial differences between Google Analytics and Google My Business.
Google Analytics is all about helping you to understand more about who is visiting your website and how they are interacting. You can use this data to measure the success of your digital marketing activity and also to help to inform future strategic/tactical decisions.
Google My Business is all about helping you get in front of more potential customers, primarily local ones. For example, if you have a cafe in Auckland CBD, then Google My Business is one of the best tools in your digital arsenal to help you attract more customers who are looking for a cafe in the Auckland CBD.
Google Analytics doesn't necessarily help you to get more customers or more visibility. In fact, the data collected by Google Analytics is fairly meaningless UNLESS you know how to interpret it and act on it.
On the other hand, Google My Business will help you to attract more local customers - particularly if you put in the time and effort to set up your listing properly and then optimise it.