Google Business Audit: What You Need to Know

  • 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 Profiles (GBP) help customers locate your business, build trust with prospective customers, and allow 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 Profile (GBP) 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. Some have cited that businesses that have a Google Business listing are 94% more likely to be viewed as reputable than those without.

Why you should do A Google Business profile 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 for 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, this article should help convince you to start your Google Business profile ASAP. But, if you’re still debating whether or not to create one, 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 to find local eats, it’s becoming more vital that businesses configure their Google Business profile to make it easy for prospective customers to locate them. Here’s another stat for you: about 93% of consumers use Google Maps when searching for a business. So, by not having a profile, you are essentially non-existent to 93% of consumers.

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. Just remember the stat we mentioned above, your business will be 94% more likely to be viewed as reputable.

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. We recommend all of our local business clients establish a consistent feed of Google Posts. Not only do Google Posts provide an additional point of communication, but it could also help Google’s algorithm better understand your business.

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. You don’t want to keyword stuff in this field, so, stay as close as possible to your official business name as possible. Stuffing this field with too many keywords could do more harm than help.

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. When auditing this section, you want to be sure that your categories are as relevant and as thorough as possible. Some tools like Local Falcon allow you to see what other competitors list in their primary and secondary categories, so if you need help deciding which to pick, that could be a good place to start.

Service area: Does your local business only serve a defined geographical area? If it does, make sure you define that area in your profile. Google Business allows you to select up to 20 service areas, so pick your most profitable zip codes! 

Hours: Accurately fill out your business’ operating hours. If you are a business with special hours, for example, you only serve lunch or breakfast at certain time, then be sure to highlight those hours using the “Special Hours” or “Add more hours” section on your Google Business.

Website URL: Make sure your website address is correct! It’s that simple. Please don’t get this checkpoint wrong… Additionally, you want to make sure you are linking to the secured version of your site. What this means is that you are linking to the HTTPS version of your website address.

Attributes: Google Business has a myriad of attributes to select from. 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. If you are lazy and would rather leave it to AI, Google allows business owners to use their AI to draft up a unique description for you!

Social media profiles: In 2023, Google enabled business owners to link directly to their social media profiles from their business listing. Previously, this was done at Google’s discretion, so, if they happened to find your social media profiles, they’d add them to your profile. Making sure your profiles are linked in your business listing can help build more trust with customers.

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’s 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. 

Common mistakes we find with Google Business Profiles

Having done our fair share of Google Business audits across a myriad of industries, we’ve seen it all! But there are only a handful of common mistakes that we find time and time again. Here are the most common mistakes we find when auditing profiles:

  • Low amount of photos and videos: In today’s digital landscape, photos and videos are so important. It’s the reason why platforms like Instagram and TikTok are so huge. Oftentimes, we notice businesses usually don’t have enough high-quality and up-to-date photos and videos of their business.
  • Unoptimized business names: Many times, we find that businesses rarely include 1-2 valuable keywords in their business name. Ultimately, you want to use the official name you do business as, but, there is room to include 1-2 keywords in your business name. 
  • Unlinked social media profiles: As we mentioned, this is a relatively new feature on Google Business, but it’s often overlooked. Many business owners forget to link to their social media profiles, and they could be missing out on valuable followers and customers because of it.
  • A lack of quality reviews: Many clients we come across have a low number of reviews on their profile. This is usually because they don’t have a plan in place to encourage their customers to leave reviews. 
  • Unoptimized business descriptions: Business descriptions are similar to meta descriptions on a webpage or blog article. It’s an opportunity to entice prospective customers to interact with your brand and include keywords that could help your business.
  • No cover photos: If the business description is similar to a meta description, then the cover photo is like the image on your website’s homepage. The cover photo has to be a high-quality photo that helps your brand establish credibility and trust with prospective customers. Many clients fail to set an appropriate cover photo on their Google Business profile, leaving it to Google’s algorithm to figure out which image to show for their business.
  • A lack of Question & Answer posts: The Question & Answer section provides a great opportunity for businesses to address commonly asked questions around your business. Many clients don’t know that you, as a business owner can add in your own Q&As. Leaving this section empty is a missed opportunity for your business, and we see this happen very often.

Audit on!

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 well 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! 

Author avatar
Jason Martinez
Jason is a Cal Poly Pomona Alum, extreme fan of marketing, and social media advocate. As a Brand Marketing Manager at Redefine Marketing Group, he is responsible for the development and execution of strategy for reputation management, link building, and social media marketing for both the agency and its clients.
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