GMB: Count Your Chickens, and Your Phone Calls

Posted by Visifii Admin on October 19, 2020

“The best tool for the job is the one you know how to use.”

As a wealth of knowledge, this adage was one of many that my grandad left me with. The logic is sound and it’s rooted in common sense, and yet it’s the little things we often overlook. It’s important to have the right tool for the job, but even more so to make sure you know how to use it.

GMB Home

GMB Home Menu

One of the many benefits of Google My Business is its accessible and approachable design. From hours and address, to posts, to reviews – each of the platforms powerful functions are just a click away. The insights section (aka reporting) is particularly handy, especially for dealers keeping an eye on their marketing. However, it’s important to know what this tool is telling you (and what it’s not) before you start hammering away.

Where do most dealers start (and often end) their reporting analysis? Yep, you got it, leads – or, in this case, phone calls from their dealership’s GMB profile:

Visifii - GMB - Phone Calls

GMB: Weekly Phone Calls

And the report seems simple enough, we saw 392 phone calls last month. Great, case closed! Whoa nelly, not so fast, let’s take a second check in on exactly what we’re looking at. Clicking the tooltip icon in the top right corner starts us out with this little tidbit:

Phone calls
This section displays when and how often customers called your business through your business listing.

Great, it’s how many calls to my dealership came from my GMB profile – easy peasy!

Except, it’s not. We have to wade down to the finer details to see:

Note: This represents the number of clicks on the call button on your business profile. If the user copies the number and dials it manually or ends the call before it connects, you may see discrepancies between the number of Phone Calls on the Insights page and the number of actual calls your business receives.

Aha, that’s quite the difference!

Although relatively few consumers will be manually copy/pasting the number on their mobile phones there will certainly be many searching from a desktop/laptop. These calls shouldn’t be treated any differently, but without a little setup there’s no way to account for them via the insights tab alone.

Visifii - GMB - Phone Number

GMB: Phone Number

Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple and an easy take away for any dealer to implement themselves. After firing up your favourite call tracking provider (CallRail and Call Source are two of many), create a dedicated tracking line for your GMB profile. Once you have it, copy that bad boy down and then head over to the Info section of your GMB profile. Click on the edit icon and drop that shiny new call tracking number the primary number and the dealership local the alternate number. Click apply and wipe your brow, you’re done!


Ok, that’s pretty easy and all, but is it worth it?


Well, first off, you better believe having the most accurate data is the first step in making good marketing decisions (ok, any decisions) for your dealership. But, let’s take a look at a real world dealer example to see how off we’d have been if we’d used this tool before knowing how to read it.

Visifii - GMB - Google Insights

GMB: Google Insights

We’ve extracted the data for one full month for one of our amazing dealer partners down in Arizona. In this first chart, we can see the call data straight from GMB:

Alright, so we had 392 calls throughout the month – a slight dip on the previous month, but it all seems to make sense. Let’s hop over to our call tracking reporting and see if it matches up:

Visifii - GMB - Phone Wagon Call Tracking

GMB: Phone Wagon Call Tracking

Wait, 558 callsgreat scott!


That’s a difference of 166 calls made, or 42%. If we’re looking to tie this back to determine how important of a source our GMB was, that would be a huge proportional difference. Not only that, we can also infer the rough difference in calls made between mobile phones and desktop/laptops. Layered in with some of our broader analytics data, this could help further colour how we approach targeting our consumers.

The bottom line is that Google My Business is a valuable, free, and easy to use tool to help your dealership connect with its customers. There are countless resources available to help you further understand how far you can take LSO (Local Search Optimization) without spending a dime. Even if you decide to invest in a service provider to take this off of your plate, it’s still valuable to know the basics to empower you in holding your vendors accountable.

Until next time, keep those wheels spinning.


For additional reading on GMB Insights:


We're here to help, just drop us a note and we'll get back to you.