Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) isn't just "a little" better than SEO...
Traffic from Google Business Profile blows SEO out of the water.
This is based on an analysis that includes:
If you're a business owner - this case study will show you why Google Business Profile can be a multiplier for your bottom line.
If you're a marketer - you'll see how important it is to segment the performance of Google Business Profile and SEO.
(Most people think SEO and Google Business Profile are the same thing. They're not. I'll explore the reasons why in a future article.)
Let's jump in.
This data is from a US-based client that operates in financial services.
They operate in 3 states and have multiple Google Business Profiles.
Their primary goal is to drive qualified leads from their marketing efforts.
Leads come through:
My client has given me permission to share the nitty gritty details - as long as I keep the data anonymous.
There are a number of challenges to accurately attribute data to the right traffic channel (e.g. Google Business Profile vs. SEO).
Some were easier to solve than others:
I love Google Analytics (what my client uses) - but it's horrible at segmenting traffic from Google Business Profile.
The default is to attribute Business Profile traffic to the google/organic channel in its reporting.
...Which means it gets lumped together with SEO.
(This is one of the many reasons that causes people to believe Google Business Profile and SEO are the same thing. Again, they're not.)
The (easy) solution: We added UTM parameters to each Profile. This allowed us to see which Profile drove a lead when analyzing our results.
Basic call tracking gives us the ability to attribute calls to a traffic channel.
But that doesn't solve the problem.
The business gets calls from potential clients and existing clients...
So we needed a way of tracking new leads generated via phone.
The solution: We created a process for agents taking the calls.
They were tasked with entering the call tracking number into the CRM - along with the lead's regular details.
This process was added to their training documentation.
(This has since been automated. We initially had to take a manual approach - due to technical constraints with the client's CRM and call tracking platform.)
Tracking the number of leads generated from SEO and Google Business Profile is one thing...
But attributing revenue back to a specific lead - and tracking that lead to a specific traffic channel can be a lot more difficult.
That crucial data point is usually lost in the data flow between Google Analytics, the CRM, and the payment processing platform.
The solution: We set up an end-to-end integration, using a combination of hidden fields, session IDs, and post-backs to make this work.
(The setup required will vary, based on your tech stack.)
To get results we trusted, we needed a large sample size of data.
We also needed a long enough timeline from which we collected leads - to account for any seasonality.
Leads for the client can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to close.
So we excluded any leads generated in the previous 90 day window.
Since we did this analysis in January 2022, we excluded leads generated between October to December 2021.
We randomly selected a total of 5,500 leads:
The client was most interested in comparing revenue per lead between the two channels.
Here's how that was calculated:
Revenue Per Lead = Total Revenue Generated (by Audience Sample) / Total Number of Leads
Important Note: Revenue per lead isn't a useful metric in a vacuum. For added context, you'll need to compare it to another metric - like cost per lead.
At the time of this analysis, my client had been investing 6 times the budget into SEO versus Google Business Profile.
Here's the revenue per lead for each channel:
Google Business Profile: $481.07
And here's a breakdown of the data:
Google Business Profile didn't win by a small margin...
Leads from Google Business Profile drove 314% more revenue than SEO.
At the very minimum, you should be segmenting your traffic between SEO and Google Business Profile.
Most companies don't need to go through the lengths we did in this case study, but something is often better than nothing.
If you can segment leads by traffic channel - but you can't attribute specific revenue - then you can use average close rates and revenue to build estimates.
Most companies make this mistake:
They create an "SEO budget" and Google Business Profile gets added to it.
At its extremes, this leads to two scenarios:
1️⃣ SEO performs well - and more budget gets added.
This sounds good on the surface - but which parts are performing well, and which aren't?
If you can't tell, it often leads to over-investment in SEO - and ROI quickly turns negative.
2️⃣ SEO performs poorly - and budget gets cut.
But what if Google Business Profile is producing outsized returns, compared to the rest of your SEO efforts?
This means the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater.
If you found this helpful - you might be interested in the Execution Plan.
It's a step-by-step guide to building a revenue engine with Google Business Profile.