consultant

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We have one website and offer identical services in multiple cities and have a Google Places listing for each city with URL pointing to the home page of our website. We eventually will build unqiue landing pages for each city but for now, we are using the home page. We suspect we are getting increased exposure/clicks and we want to measure our local SEO efforts to gauge the effect on the traffic generated from our Google Places listing. As most know, the 3-pack and map results don't link directly to the website but to the Google Places listing which then links to the website. We of course don't want to do anything that would raise red flags with Google.

I've seen lots of complicated strategies using UTM parameters etc, (see Tracking Traffic from Google Places in Analytics for SEO - Moz ) so that in Google Analytics people can run reports on their Google Places traffic. I was thinking these may be over complicated. Wouldn't this simple strategy work....

For each Google Places listing use the URL http://oursite.com?place={city name} It would take them to the home page but in Google analytics we can filter a pageview report for URLs containing ?place= this would only show us pageviews that came from our Google Places listing.

Later on when we have unique home pages for each location, we just go edit the Google Places URL for each of our locations. Is it that simple or am I missing something important?
 

Tiggerito

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You could do that. All I'd say you are doing is simplifying your URL but making it more complex to track traffic from your places listings in Analytics.

Why not use the slightly more verbose utm based URL and make places traffic fully identifiable in Analytics?

When you change to dedicated pages I would switch the URL but keep the utm parameters. Then you can still identify that traffic to those pages is coming from the business page.

Pro tip: Use # instead of ? to start the utm parameters and you can see places rankings in Google Analytics
 
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