How To Do a Google My Business Audit

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If you’re reading this, you are passionate about your business and committed to boosting your online presence. You know that to stand out and be the clear choice among the competition, you need a strong digital brand. An optimized Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is crucial to achieving this goal, and it’s important you regularly perform a Google My Business audit to make sure it’s firing on all cylinders. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of conducting a comprehensive Google Business Profile (GBP) audit, helping you identify areas for improvement. By following these steps and leveraging the insights gleaned from your audit, you can make sure your business profile is optimized to attract more customers.

For a deeper dive into Google Business Profile Optimization and Google My Business Complete Listing Optimization Training strategies, check out our comprehensive guides.

What Is a Google My Business Audit?

A Google Business Profile audit is a comprehensive evaluation of your profile designed to identify areas for improvement and ensure it’s optimized to grow your business and enhance your local SEO efforts. By conducting a GBP audit, you can gain valuable insights into your profile’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to refine your strategy and increase your visibility in search results.

Think of a GBP audit like a checkup for your online presence. Regular checkups are essential for maintaining good health, and profile audits play a similar role for your digital brand. Regular audits help you identify potential issues before they become major problems and ensure your Google Business Profile is working as hard as it can to attract new clients and retain existing.

Now that you know what a Google Business Profile audit is and why it’s important, we’ll walk through how to get started. The first step is accessing and verifying your GBP.

How Do I Access my Google Business Profile?

Before performing an in-depth Google Business Profile audit, you’ll want to make sure you can access your GBP. Thankfully, it’s a very straightforward process:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/business/.
  2. If you haven’t claimed your GBP, follow the on-screen prompts.
  3. If you’ve already claimed and verified your profile, sign in using your Google account associated with the profile.
  4. Once logged in, you can access your GBP dashboard where you edit your information, manage reviews, and access other features.

During this process, you’ll want to check to see if you have duplicate profiles for your business. You can do so by doing a Google search for your current and previous business names, address, and current and previous phone numbers. We recommend scrolling through the results for a bit to ensure there aren’t multiple listings.

If you have several physical locations, you should have a separate profile for each. But if that isn’t the case, having more than one Google Business Profile for the same business can confuse Google and potential customers, which can lead them to choose a competitor with a clearer online presence.

How do I Verify my Google Business Profile?

As we mentioned above, after you claim your Google Business Profile, the next step is verifying the profile. This is crucial for establishing legitimacy and ensuring your profile appears in local search results. Google offers several verification methods, including:

  • Postcard Verification: Google will send a postcard to your business address containing a verification code. Once you receive the postcard, you can log in to your GBP dashboard and enter the code to verify your profile.
  • Phone Verification: If available for your business category, Google might offer phone verification as an option. You’ll receive a verification call to the phone number listed on your GMB profile. Enter the provided code during the call to verify your listing.
  • Email Verification: In some cases, Google may send a verification email to the email address associated with your GBP. Follow the instructions in the email to complete the verification process.
  • Video Verification: Occasionally Google will want to do a live or recorded video; confirming the location by showing a sign on the door, street view of the location, etc.

How to do a Google My Business Audit

Now that you know how to claim and verify your profile, let’s delve into the steps involved in an audit.

1. Gather Information: The first step in any audit is gathering information. For your GBP audit, this means collecting all the relevant details about your business and its Google Business Profile. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your Business Information: This includes your business name, address, phone number (NAP consistency is crucial!), website URL and category selections.
  • Your Current GBP Listing: Access your business profile and make note of all the information currently displayed, including descriptions, photos, customer reviews, and any questions and answers sections. 
  • Competitor Google Business Profiles: Take a look at the business profiles of your top local competitors. See what categories they’ve chosen, what kind of content they’re using in their descriptions and photos, and how they’re engaging with customer reviews.

Tip: Perform a search for “best ‘your business type’ near me” to see who ranks high. If you’re in a more rural area, it’s also good to do a search in a nearby major metro area. For example, “best plumber in the Chicagoland area.”

2. Analyze Your NAP Consistency: NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency is a critical factor in having a strong online presence and improving your local SEO. Inconsistent NAP information across the web can confuse search engines and negatively impact your search ranking. During your audit, verify that your NAP is consistent across your profile, website and online directories where your business is listed.

3. Optimize Your Google Business Profile: Once you’ve gathered your information, it’s time to make sure your business profile is fully optimized. In addition to consistent and accurate NAP information like we mentioned above, here are key areas to focus on:

  • Category Selection: Choosing the right categories is essential for helping potential customers find your business. Make sure you’ve selected the most relevant categories that accurately describe your business offerings. One way to think about it is that your category selection should complete this sentence, “This business is a …”
  • Business Description: Craft a compelling and informative business description that highlights your unique selling points and incorporates relevant keywords.
  • High-Quality Images: Add numerous high-quality photos that showcase your business, products and services. Regularly update your photos to keep your profile fresh and engaging.
  • Customer Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your GBP and respond to positive and negative reviews promptly and professionally. Customer reviews have a key role in people’s decision-making process. Google reviews also positively impact your SEO results. 
  • Products and Services: The products section is a visible section of a Google Business Profile. Even if you only provide services, and don’t sell products, you want to fill these out. It’s good to have a few evergreen products that are always available. For instance, if you’re a Real Estate Agent, include products like “Home Value Analysis.”
  • Regular Posts: You can post to your GBP like you do other social platforms. A good rule of thumb is to post at least once a week. Posting is a great opportunity to engage with customers, while also improving your search rankings. 
  • Questions & Answers: Google enables you to create a storehouse of questions and answers within your profile. Start by adding and answering the most frequently asked questions your business receives.

Next, let’s dig into how you can check your GBP ranking.

How to Check Your Google My Business Ranking

There isn’t a single, definitive way to check your GBP ranking. However, several methods can give you a good indication of where you stand in local search results. Here are a couple of options to consider:

  • Manual Search: Conduct a Google search for relevant keywords that local customers might use to find your business. See where your business profile appears in the local search results. Keep in mind that your ranking can fluctuate depending on the user’s location and search query.
  • GBP Profile Optimization Services: An optimization service will ensure your profile is fully optimized. Most will also offer a regular maintenance option that will include monthly audits to keep your GBP running smoothly. If you’re interested in a service like this, feel free to reach out to learn how we can help.
  • Local SEO Tracking Tools: Several local SEO tracking tools can provide insights into your GMB ranking and overall performance. These tools often offer features like keyword ranking tracking, competitor analysis, and local search visibility reports.

Conclusion

Maintaining a well-optimized Google Business Profile is essential for a strong online presence that attracts new business. By conducting regular GBP audits and implementing the recommendations outlined above, you can ensure your profile is up-to-date, informative and optimized to rank well in search results.

Ready to take your business profile to the next level? Get started by claiming and verifying your profile today! 

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