- Google Business, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), is a Google product that allows local businesses to create a profile that is displayed directly in Google Search and Google Maps.
- Google Business helps customers locate your business, builds trust with prospective customers, and allows Google to better understand your business.
- if you want to take your small business to the next level then you should conduct regular audits on your Google Business account.
- Regular Google Business audits will reveal weaknesses in your business listing information, ensure your business information is up-to-date, and allows you to keep up with new features.
If you’re a digital marketer or small business owner, then you are probably already familiar with Google Business. If not, no worries! In this blog, we’ll explain what it is and explore why Google Business listings should have regular audits conducted on them. Without further ado, let’s start with what exactly Google Business is.
What is Google Business?
Google Business, formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), is a Google product that allows local businesses to create a profile that is displayed directly in Google Search and Google Maps. A Google Business listing allows businesses to easily display critical business information like their hours, website address, and more. It’s essentially digital storefront signage and has become a vital part of how consumers locate and learn about local businesses online today.
Benefits of a Google Business audit:
Just like a finance department may do an audit on an organization’s financials, you as a local marketer should do regular audits on your Google Business profiles. GB Audits (we know, it doesn’t sound nearly as good as GMB) allow you to take a stock check on each of the fields necessary to complete your listing. So, here are a few of the benefits of Google Business audits:
Helps maintain up-to-date business information
First, doing regular audits allows you to verify that all the business information on your listing is completely accurate and up to date. If it isn’t, then you’ll be able to catch this in your audit.
Allows you to keep up with Google Business features
Secondly, regular Google Business Audits make it easy for you as a local marketer to stay up-to-date with the latest Google Business features. The digital marketing space is changing every minute and so is Google Business. So, regular audits force you to check in on your profile to see what new features exist that you can leverage your business.
Reveals weaknesses in your business listing information
Finally, audits allow you to find weaknesses in your listing and optimize them as needed. For example, say your business description is looking a little thin. Then your audit (hopefully) would catch that so you could take the necessary steps to correct it.
Why you should use Google Business
If you’re reading this article, then you probably know why you should be using Google Business to begin with. However, if you’re new and still getting the hang of it, here are a few reasons why you should use and continue to use Google Business.
It helps customers locate your business
With Google being the largest search engine, it’s naturally become the primary method for locating local businesses. So, as more people continue to use Google search for finding local eats it’s becoming more vital that businesses configure their Google Business profile to make it easy for prospective customers to locate them.
Builds trust with prospective customers
Just like having a presence on social media builds trust with your customers, Google Business works in the same way assuming you keep it up to date and optimized.
Provides you with another touchpoint between customers
With Google Posts, you can now connect directly with your customers in Google Search. So, it acts as an additional communication point between you and your customers where you can share new products, events, and promotional offers.
Allows Google to understand your business and rank you for similar keywords
Every field you fill out on your listing is not only a way for people to learn about your business but also a way for Google to understand your business. So, make sure you are applying the same SEO fundamentals to your business listing as you would to your website. The most obvious example of this would be to make sure your business descriptions are filled with rich keywords.
How to do a Google Business audit
Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for! Here is a list of things to check for when doing a Google Business audit:
Completed business information: First off, you’ll want to make sure all of your business information is completely filled out and 100% accurate. If your business is missing information, you could potentially be losing out on customers and hindering trust you build among customers.
Official business name: Be sure your business name is the business name your customers know you by. Google likely uses this to determine what keywords to rank you for so if customers are searching for something else then they are probably going to have a hard time finding you.
Primary & secondary categories: Select one primary category that best describes your core business and select descriptive secondary categories that cover different aspects of your business.
Hours: Accurately fill out your business’ operating hours.
Website URL: Make sure your website address is correct! It’s that simple. Please don’t get this checkpoint wrong…
Attributes: Google Business has a myriad of attributes to select from. So, spend some time going through each of them and checking each one that applies to your business. Recently, Google has added more inclusive attributes so, if your business is minority owned or a transgender safe space be sure to select those! Yay for inclusiveness!
Business description: The business description is a 750-character section that allows you to tell customers about your business. You want this description to share your story with customers and explain what your business sells. It’s also recommended that you include high-value keywords in this section to help Google understand your business.
Photos & Videos: 2019 research from BrightLocal shows that Google Business listings with over 100 photos and videos tend to have a higher number of customer actions (website visits, direction requests, and phone calls) on their profile. So, be sure you have a good number of high quality photos that put your business’ best foot forward.
Customer reviews: There is no question that reviews build the trust of customers. So, as you do your Google Business audit, make it a point to check to see if you have enough reviews. If not, reach out to past customers and see if they can leave you one.
Google Posts: Google Posts are a relatively new Google Business feature but are critical for communicating with customers via Google Search. If you aren’t posting on Google then start! Our recommendation is to post at least twice per week on Google Posts. You can highlight services you provide, sales promotions, events, or blog content you developed on your site!
Question & Answers: The Q&A section of a Google Business profile is essentially a frequently asked question (FAQ) section of your listing. Customers can leave questions and customers can answer questions. Similarly, businesses can leave questions and answer them. So, if you don’t have a lot of questions here, go ahead and leave a few you think customers will ask and answer them yourself. It’ll be a little awkward at first but your customers will thank you!
Or, if you have a lot of questions from actual customers, make sure you are going to Google Business and answering them as quickly as you can.
Google Business is an important tool for small businesses all over the world. So, if you’ve created a Google Business listing then you’re already doing good for your business. But, if you want to take your small business to the next level then you should conduct regular audits on your Google Business account. If you have any questions about Google Business or local marketing in general don’t hesitate to reach out to the local SEO experts here at Redefine!