In this week’s video, I share some easy-to-understand examples that help clear up the confusion around Google My Business impressions. Learn what the different impression types actually mean and when they’ll be counted – watch the video for all the details!
Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, I’m going to talk about some of the data served up by Google My Business Insights and try to clear up some common points of confusion.
Google My Business Insight data can be incredibly confusing if you don’t understand what’s going on. We get questions all the time about the different impression types and what they actually mean, so in today’s video, I’m going to try to clear up some of the confusion so you’ll know what you’re actually looking at when you check out your impression data.
When you log into your GMB dashboard and click “Insights” on the left menu, you’ll see a donut chart like this, with a basic explanation of the impression types.
Direct is explained as “People who find your Business Profile searching for your business name or address”
Discovery is explained as “People who find your Business Profile searching for a category, product, or service”
Branded is explained as “Customers who find your listing searching for a brand related to your business”
Exactly. That doesn’t really help, right?
Here’s a better explanation:
At a high level, these impressions happen whenever your GMB profile shows in search results, either as your GMB panel on the right side or in a map pack, OR when you show as a result or location in Google Maps.
Direct impressions are counted when your GMB profile shows up because someone searched for your business name or address. These impressions happen when your GMB panel is displayed because the user intent is to find your specific business OR when you’re the only competitor in your city. In other words, if someone is looking for a Ford dealer in BFE, Iowa, and you’re the only Ford dealership, your GMB panel will be displayed and that gets counted as a direct impression.
Discovery impressions happen when your GMB profile is displayed because someone is looking for generic search phrases and you’re displayed as a result. These are the most important to pay attention to, since successful SEO efforts will increase this number over time.
Branded impressions are counted when your GMB profile is displayed because someone is looking for a specific brand that you sell, but you’re not the only result that’s returned.
Still confused? Let me share a few examples that will clear up the confusing parts.
If a user searches for “Kia dealer Rochester, MN”, there’s only one Kia dealership in town, so Google displays that dealer’s GMB panel. Even though the user didn’t search for this dealer by name, it’s counted as a “direct” search impression because the GMB panel for a specific business was displayed.
If a user searches for “Ford dealer Dallas, TX”, there are multiple dealerships in Dallas, so a pack is displayed. Each dealership in this pack would receive one “branded” search impression because the user searched for the brand they sell and they were displayed as a possible option.
There’s a bit of complexity around the difference between branded and discovery impressions as well, since both will display map packs. For this same search that we just looked at, notice how the results are labeled A, B, and C? That happens when it’s a “branded” search.
If you instead searched for “car dealer Dallas, TX”, the pack looks like this. See how we don’t have labels or website links and we instead have images? That happens when it’s a “discovery” search.
So now you know the difference between the impression types and specific examples of when each impression can be counted, so you’ll better understand your GMB Insights data.
That’s all the time we’ve got left for today, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.