How to Track Visits from Google Maps in Google Analytics
If you have a listing set up within Google Maps, it’s important to track people who click through to your website via your map listing. Without taking extra steps to configure this tracking, these visits will be labelled within Analytics as Organic hits, along with all other organic search traffic. Having these visits all grouped into one medium leaves you with no way to attribute website traffic and online sales to truly organic search visits / clicks within Google Maps.
In order to definitively identify where your organic visits came from so that you can better measure your online traffic / conversions by source, you need to do the following (and it’s actually very simple!):
1. Create a custom campaign URL for your website
Using https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/, you can create a campaign URL for your website, which will be used within your map listing. This allows you to add a custom UTM string to the URL, which can then be tracked within Analytics. For example, you might enter something similar to the following in order to indicate that this URL is associated with your Google Maps listing:
This will produce the following campaign URL: https://www.varn.co.uk/?utm_source=googlemaps
2. Add your custom campaign URL to your Google Maps listing
You can set your website address within Google Maps so that it shows one URL whilst actually using another. For Varn’s map listing, for example, the website address shows as “varn.co.uk” as this is simple, short and clean. But when you click on the link, it takes you to /?utm_source=googlemaps. Always make sure the link people visit when clicking on your map listing takes them to the campaign URL you set up within the previous step.
3. Set up a new Channel Grouping within Google Analytics
The next thing you need to do is set up a new U within GA, so that visits via your map listing are recorded separately from Organic visits. To do this, log into Google Analytics and click on ADMIN > Channel Settings > Channel Grouping. If you click on ‘NEW CHANNEL GROUPING’ and then ‘Define a new channel’, you’ll see a screen similar to the below:
You’ll see that we added a title of ‘Google Maps’, and set a rule so that it tracks any visits where the Source/Medium contains ‘googlemaps’. Simply click on the Done button, and that’s it!
And you’re done!
From now on, all visits that come through from Google Maps can be seen within Google Analytics. If you click on ACQUISITION > All Traffic > Channels within GA, you’ll see that Google Maps will be included within the Default Channel Grouping column (as long as you are actually getting visits from this channel). Please note that Analytics won’t pull through historical data for this channel, it will only start tracking these visits from the point of implementation.
You can now accurately track visits from Google Maps, and successfully split out visits from your maps listing from standard organic visits. You can also use this method to track other online campaigns / traffic sources – and even set up custom reports in order to collect additional information or drill down into visitor behaviours / online conversions by source.
If you would like help integrating custom URLs into your map listing / Google Business account or require assistance with any form of Analytics tracking or training, feel free to contact the Analytics qualified professionals at Varn.