Google Homes In On Small, Local Advertisers With New Analytics Tool

imageWith more people using *Google* Maps for driving directions, glimpses of potential real estate (through Street View) and even restaurant reviews, it makes sense to try to drive as much revenue from that traffic as possible. So Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is launching a new analytics dashboard that gives small businesses a better read on their local search traffic details.

As Greg Sterling notes, experienced search marketers won’t be wowed by the local business center (LBC) dashboard — but for local businesses that are either managing a small AdWords account on their own (or not using paid search ads at all), the stats will offer great insight into where some of their in-store traffic is coming from, the kinds of searches shoppers are using to find them online (and possibly, the keywords they need to start running ads against).

The dashboard is free for any business owner that “claims” a listing in Google Maps (also free); they get access to impressions (meaning the number of times their business listing showed up as a search result during a given time period), actions (including whether people clicked through to the site or requested driving directions), the most frequently used keywords their shoppers use, and the zip codes they come from.