Google maps is a staple for many in this fast paced world, both customers and businesses alike. Now, Google My Business updated the way their directions heatmap works. It’s now easier than ever for businesses to track the starting point where their customers request directions. Understanding where your customers are originating helps businesses know which areas to target with their advertising. Businesses can then really focus their social, print, and hyperlocal advertising as needed. They can also target other communities to increase traffic from those areas as well.
The directions heatmap has been around since 2014 under the Insights area of Google My Business. The heatmap itself is a representation of information using a diagram of colors that overlaying a map. It’s the recent changes that are pumping new life and usefulness into this tool.
The changes offer information regarding your business’ footprint. It also helps you understand your customer base, allowing you to see the effectiveness of local SEO and marketing activity. Businesses can now see which areas they’re attracting customers from and tailor their marketing plan accordingly. This allows your company to have an edge over other local businesses that aren’t as SEO savvy.
The directions heatmap changes were announced this past spring. The biggest benefit is the ability to see exactly where your customers are when they request directions to your business. The locations are displayed on the heatmap and viewable at different zoom levels. This allows the business to see how many searches result from each area such as postal code, city, and country while still respecting customer privacy. Essentially, it’s now possible to see how many requests for directions to your business location broken down into cities or neighborhoods.
When viewing the directions heatmap you’ll see a map of the area surrounding your business, much like typical Google Maps. You’re able to zoom in and out as needed to see where your customers begin their directions inquiry.
There are several ways businesses can use this data to focus their local advertising and marketing campaigns. One of these is to adjust targeting across all marketing campaigns. Understanding where customers are when they decide they want to visit your establishment could influence your choice of billboard locations, as well as newspaper advertisements, inserts, mailings, radio station advertisements, and more. If the data shows that customers are prepared to drive a little further to your business then you know you can expand your reach.
Not only that, but you may even choose to expand your advertising into other areas to see if you’re able to encourage customers from neighboring zones to do business with your company. You may even decide to expand the services offered by your business to accommodate those who drive from further away. Additional services such as online customer service, delivery options, and more may further strengthen your customer base and your reach.
Another way to utilize the heatmap is by using it to understand which neighborhoods are providing the bulk of your customers. Most companies realize that they have a much wider reach than originally expected. This allows them to include previously overlooked areas in their social media and hyperlocal marketing campaigns. It even provides you with the information you need to know which keywords to target for location pages. Adding new pages for select areas can increase the amount of traffic from key areas. You can even use the data to select which charities to support and sponsor.
Google My Business contains many helpful insights in addition to the heatmap. They’re all located on the Insights section. Additional information includes how customers find your business listing: if they’re using a direct search or a discovery search for a service, product, or category. You can also see if customers are finding your business through Google Search or by Google Maps. The insights even show you which actions the customers take after they find your business. You’ll be able to see if they’re requesting directions, calling your business, or viewing your business photos.
All of these things come together to help you refine your hyperlocal advertising. Knowing where your customers are is essential for any local business. The tools Google provides shed new light on which neighborhoods are attracted to your business. It also helps you to see the extent of your company’s reach. In short- this information is nothing short of a goldmine when it comes to understanding local marketing and SEO.
With so many new tools and methods of marketing available, many business owners find themselves overwhelmed. It’s easy to get lost in the hordes of data when it comes to marketing and expanding your reach. Thankfully, companies like Portside Marketing make this easy. We handle the behind the scenes SEO to allow business owners to focus on what they do best – running their business and caring for their customers. We help companies just like yours maximize your presence and reach to grow your business.
Updates to the Google Maps Directions Heatmap provide valuable opportunities for business owners. Local businesses can now see where their customers originate with each directions inquiry. This information empowers local businesses to understand their reach and their customers. They’re also armed with more data to improve local marketing campaigns. To learn more about the updates and how you can use them to improve your business, click here.