Local Brand Manager provides consulting services to agencies, marketing teams, and business owners. During many of these consulting exercises, one conversation that often pops up is the Google Business Profile audit, the audit process, and the framework for identifying and fixing GBP issues. Owing to the results, Local Brand Manager has amassed many positive reviews and compliments from clients who are requesting access to purchase a license or gain access to the in-house Google Business Profile audit dashboard.
This request has been favorably reviewed and Local Brand Manager is offering free access to its users.
Google Business Profile Listing Audit
For the sake of this GBP audit training, Bob’s Law Firm will be used as a made-up example.
To get started, choose a category for the listing. The audit works best with one category instead of multiple listings. Proceed to choose whether your business is a single or multi-location business. Next is the radius problem detection which pertains to multi-location listings. It is possible to have two or more listings that serve more than one location, however, it is important to ensure that the information provided is accurate. To test the accuracy of your location information, proceed to Google Maps to ensure that it is appropriately referenced.
The next step is to complete the business hours accurately. Ensure that the hours are optimized to include only the hours your business can serve customers. Proceed to the label check and make sure that there are no issues pending. You should also prioritize a local number for your GBP listing. Local numbers give you a map ranking advantage. Tracking numbers can also be used to track where your traffic is coming from.
You should also pay attention to other details like location page photos, Q&A section, and other components that make the business more accessible to the user.
Google Business Profile Name Audit
For Name Audit, we will use the Law Office of Refai Arefin, LLC as an example.
The first step is to run a brand dilution check to determine the brand’s online presence. Do this by entering a search for the business name, in this case, “Law Office of Refai Arefin LLC,” on Google. The first page of the result is expected to point to the target law office. Make sure that the top listings have the business name in the correct format.
This search will uncover any business that has the same name as the company. When a brand replica that doesn’t direct to the target business appears in the search, the brand dilution test fails. However, if there are no replicas, not directed to your target business, you can make a note stating that on the audit side.
Google Business Profile Address Audit
This section uses the Law Office of Refai Arefin LLC as the test subject.
To conduct a GBP Address audit, proceed to Melissa Data Check to complete an address verification form. Address verification is necessary because your bills, transactions, and customer meetups are directed to it. Once the verification process is complete, check for errors that may likely appear due to the absence of certain information like the apartment number. Note all the errors found or otherwise.
Proceed to check for postal discrepancies between the postal city and the actual city wherein the business is located. Compare the postal information provided by Melissa Data Check with your Google Search result postal code and proceed to check for multiple addresses.
Make sure that other locations on Google Search do not share your business address. Your business location has to be unique to prevent possible ranking issues down the line.
For saved map location, save the address in the Google Map Search result. This will increase your chances of knowing the city your address belongs to and help you track your ranking accordingly.
Google Business Profile Phone Number
A proper phone number audit for a Google Business Profile listing is essential to make sure that the number used for each location is unique. It is also essential to ensure that no other business is sharing the same phone information with the business.
To get started, toggle all search extensions off and Toggle your VPN and incognito mode on. Enter the business phone number in the Google Search bar and scroll through the listings. The aim of this search is to ensure that the business phone number points back to the business listings online. Sometimes, the phone number may point to the correct listing but not the right location, for this, you may need to note the problem and correct it where appropriate.
Each business should strive to have unique numbers added to their business listings. Once you have confirmed that the phone number points back to the correct listing and location, you can proceed to check the variations of the phone number on Yelp. The program optimizes phone numbers for Google search.
Once the process is complete, mark the audit process complete with the “We have old citations with our phone number” comment. However, if you didn’t find any old citations, you can add the “We have no old citations with our phone number” comment.
Google Business Profile Possum Audit
This tutorial will use the Law Office of Refai Arefin LLC as the test subject.
For a Possum audit, the business address is simply extracted and put in the Google Maps search bar. All modifiers like apartment number, office number, etc. are removed and the search is run for duplicate listings. The goal here is to return a single listing that points back to the specific business.
Close Competitor Category Check
For this, we take the business’ primary category which can be anything, e.g., “Law Office” and check for any other businesses that match the same category within the business location. Sometimes, you may need to go through the different results to see how each of the businesses differs from the primary business of interest.
Google Business Profile Citation Audit
For this section, we will use the Law Office of Refai Arefin LLC as the test subject.
Citations allow Google to look for businesses in a more dominant way. Businesses are recommended to have at least 30 citations but can go above this count for a stronger and healthier online presence.
For a citation audit, begin by visiting WhiteSpark.com. The website has a local citation finder that’s great for citation comparison at a fee. The tool allows you to organize citations by domain, comparisons, and opportunities.
The comparisons feature is the best part as it pitches your listings against competitors. The result can be used to check where you have major citation losses. Be sure to confirm your Yelp and YouTube citations are healthy.
It is important to take note of the findings here as they can have a significant effect on ranking. Be sure to take note of duplicate citations and check YellowPages to determine the culprit. At the end of the exercise, make a final note on the areas that need improvements.
A website audit is an important part of optimizing your online presence for better ranking, traffic, and visibility. For this section, we will be using the Google Business Profile auditing tool. This section analyzes important aspects of your website and its links to ensure it follows the best practices of Local Search Engine Optimizations.
To get started, we check for URL Cannibalization. Every website to be audited must open so that a proper audit can be done. View the website URLs and check for pages that appear to have a similar setup. For example, two different pages with ‘wills-trusts-estate-planning’ and ‘trusts-estate-planning’ can be potentially harmful to your website. If you are dealing with particularly long URLs, it is best to copy them out into a notepad or Word document for better appraisal and auditing.
Proceed to do a URL structure audit on the Multi or Single Location business website. URLs can be improved for Google Search Results and user navigation if the URL structure is not optimal.
Navigate to the Service Page. Ensure that all of the services listed under the menu are healthy, correct, and have a healthy URL structure. Check to see if any of the service links lead to an incorrect page and make a note of this problem. You should also check if any of the pages have thin content. Proceed to check the Meta Title Heath to see whether the business’ meta title contains the right keywords and the right word length. Title tags can also be compared with that of top competitors in the industry.
Pay attention to the H1s. They should be used for displaying brand and location. Check the competitor’s website to see how they’ve used their H1s and make notes accordingly. Also, use keywords in your H1s if they aren’t already present. Proceed to do a health check for your H2s. Be sure to check the header structure of the website and make notes as regards whether it is good or needs optimization. During this audit phase, pay more attention to your H1s, Meta Titles, and URLs. Ensure that your GBP Website Audit categories are matched, images are properly optimized to include keywords and alt titles, and that bulleted services are in H3 format. Your bulleted services should also match your GBP terms to ensure better results.
Note that H3s may not necessarily exist in some cases but they should if you have services that can be listed under this heading. At the end of this audit, take note of your findings and determine the areas that passed and those that need to be improved.