Google My Business audit: a step-by-step guide

What is Google My Business and how does it work?

It will not come as a surprise to know that Google is used by almost all internet users to find information, products, and services online. As of 2022, Google boasts a 92%[1] search market share.

Google My Business (or GMB) can be defined as a tool that gives business owners an opportunity to manage business profiles. Anyone (including non-business owners) can create a business profile, which is similar to adding a place on Google Maps. In order to create a business profile, Google Google simply requires a business name, category, and location. What’s more, profiles can start getting populated with reviews, questions, photos, and information that Google collects from the web.

Everything seemed so simple up until this point. However, once a free business profile is in place, businesses need a Google My Business account to claim and manage such profiles effectively. A Google My Business account enables you to claim ownership and gain management rights over your business profile, as well as unlock many features that boost your business’s visibility on Google. This is how Google can be of help to business owners: these types of handy features make it possible for you to prove your connection to a business and well as enjoy many associated benefits.

Google my business listing


What is GMB listing?

Another handy feature for business owners is a GMB listing. This shows Google searchers the target location of your business, among other critical information like reviews, directions (how to locate your business), website, and phone number. A GMB listing is created when you set up a GMB account and it is likely to appear on SERPs when people search for information, products/services offered by your business, or nearby businesses. The biggest benefit of this feature is its convenience: it is the easiest way for people to find your business’s location and have easy access to reviews and other important information in just a few clicks.

Where can I find my GMB listing?

Google My Business (or GMB) listings appear at the top on SERPS (search engine results pages), just below paid Google Ads.


What is a GMB audit?

Now that we know how valuable a GMB listing is, let’s analyze how to gain the most out of this tool. A GMB audit is an independent assessment of a Google My Business listing to see if it needs improvement. The main aim of the audit is to optimize a GMB listing to make it rank better on search results.

What goes into a GMB audit?

A GMB audit looks into every element of a Google My Business listing that can be improved. Our years of experience as digital marketers, SEO experts, and Google My Business managers mean we have a foolproof system when it comes to all types of audits.

In case this is your first GM audit, allow us to give you a hand. You can follow our step-by-step guide and use it as an audit checklist to learn the tricks we have used to help our clients through the years:

How to do a GMB audit: a step-by-step guide

Step 1: Check for the existence of a GMB listing

As mentioned above, you can have a GMB listing without creating one. Anyone can create a business profile on your behalf. Although it might sound simple, a GMB audit begins by checking if you already have a GMB listing. To check, simply go to Google Maps and then search for your business name. If a profile exists that you didn’t create, you have the opportunity to claim the business, as shown below.


Step 2: Identify and audit the competition

If you are unclear about where to being, it helps to check what your competitors are doing. For the purposes of GMB listings, your competitors are those who rank above you. GMB listings are ranked by Google based on many ranking signals, with location being a major factor. As a result, the focus should be on competitors near you.

Note your competitors’ location and title, which is usually shown in their GMB listing. Top competitors who rank above you tend to have listing titles with keywords. However, since Google guidelines[2] require real business names to be in the listing title without adding legal suffixes/keyword modifiers, it helps to have a business name that is a keyword in itself. This also helps identify competitors who have ranked fairly better than you. Please note you reserve the right to report competitors who haven’t followed the rules by suggesting an edit on their listing.

Step 3: Checking business details

Once the existence of a listing is established and you have an idea of your competition and their tactics, the next step is checking if your listing has accurate business details. The most critical business details include the business Name, business Address, and phone Number collectively referred to as NAP. However, business listings should contain more information, such as the company website, email address, business description, business category, opening/closing hours, and more.


A GMB audit aims to ensure all the necessary business details are present and optimized. For instance, the business address, and phone number/s should be accurate and consistent with information in other areas (i.e., the website). Variations in the address or phone numbers can be misleading. A GMB audit will reveal such inconsistencies.

Details such as business URLs are crucial for directing searchers to your website. However, the links need to be able to track visitors originating from the GMB listing.

The business description is another critical part to check and amend. Your GMB listing’s business description should be well thought off and have the right keywords to rank better.

Your listing should also have the right category/industry and business type to attract your target customers from Google searches. Generally, you will be prompted to include the industry/business type when setting up your GMB profile. However, if you didn’t set up yours initially, the industry/business type could be the wrong one.

For local SEO (search engine optimization) benefits, it also helps to add business hours. Potential customers are definitely interested in knowing your operating hours, so adding that information will be crucial. Additionally, if your information could be similar to or better than your competitors it will give you an advantage.

Step 4: Customer reviews

A GMB audit also assesses the existence of customer reviews on a GMB listing. Customer reviews are critical online reputation tools to consider. To get good reviews, you must begin by offering great services/products. It also helps to actively ask your existing customers to rate your business and respond/comment on already posted reviews. Besides helping you rank better and boosting your online reputation, customer reviews on your GMB listing will improve your click-through rates (the rate at which potential customers click on your website to buy products/services). A GMB audit will show whether you’ve taken full advantage of customer reviews.


Step 5: Google post section

This is arguably the most overlooked GMB feature. Most businesses don’t utilize this feature despite the obvious benefits. You can promote new products/services, highlight your latest offers or even offer business updates. Posts can also feature links to evaluate traffic from such posts.

While posts expire after a while, they are great for showing you have an active listing which counts when GMB listings are being ranked. An active post section also increases the odds of your listing appearing high on the search ranking pages. A GMB audit will reveal if you are making good use of this feature.


Step 6: Photo audit

Photos are another crucial part of a GMB listing and appear just above each listing. A cover photo and logo are required for a GMB listing to be verified, but it helps to include other photos as well. A GMB audit will reveal the exact kinds of photos you need to add i.e., interior/exterior photos of your business, a team photo, photos of products/services, etc.

While there may be user-submitted photos in your profile, it’s better to take charge. An audit will reveal the photos present and those you need to add. What’s more, regularly uploading photos is a way to create an activity that is tracked by the GMB dashboard.

Below is an example of a GMB listing for New York restaurants and corresponding photos:



Step 7: Additional audit tasks

A GMB audit will involve many other things. For instance, a Google business profile needs to be verified to enjoy limitless visibility. Newly treated GMB listings tend to have limited visibility unless they are verified.

An audit should confirm if you are verified. If not, it should specify an ideal verification method. Generally, you can verify your GMB profile by sending a postcard (to the listed address), through phone verification, email, or video.

What are the benefits of a GMB audit?

A GMB audit has one main benefit – it reveals what can be improved on a GMB profile. The information is then used to create a perfect profile that ranks highly against your competition. We believe Google my business audits inform efforts that:

  • Improve Local SEO by recommending many changes to business details, Google post sections, etc., that have an effect on SEO.
  • Improve website click-through rates (since listings have links that local searchers are known to click).
  • Improve reputation management. GMB audits recommend customer review strategies that boost a business’s reputation.
  • Ensure updated information. An audit will inform constant efforts like updating business information, business offers, physical location, etc., that build trust.

Improve Google My Business ranking


Google My Business, SEO

A GMB audit will help your company’s SEO efforts by allowing Google to understand your business more. Most fields on a GMB listing let your prospective customers, as well as Google, understand your business. The location of your business, as well as the niche/industry, reputation (via customer reviews), and other elements mentioned above, all have a direct or indirect effect on SEO.

The business description section of GMB listings offers opportunities for inserting relevant keywords. Location information also boosts local SEO. Google considers search location information when ranking GMB profiles on SERPS. Customer reviews are also a trust signal which has an effect on Google’s ranking.

Is there a GMB audit tool?

Yes. There are GMB audit tools out there that automatically check all the above elements. They will produce an audit score and audit report on the current status of your GMB profile and where you need to improve. While GMB audit tools are helpful, they only let you know about common issues. You have to make the changes yourself to the primary categories and additional categories.

What’s more, most SEO tools won’t do competition analysis. Your GMB profile is also a small part of SEO, prompting the need for expert help.




The biggest takeaway from this guide should be that, if you are a business owner, having a GMB profile should be at the top of your priorities. Without one, you’ll be missing out on thousands of potential customers locally (within your city) that are searching for products/services just like yours. However, you now know that simply having a profile isn’t enough: it needs to be set up properly. That’s where GMB audits come in.

An audit will reveal the element of a GMB profile that should change to boost local SEO. Audits reveal if a GMB profile exists, if Google business profiles are properly filled with the target keyword/s, if the profile has accurate information, if a GMB profile is verified, and if there are photos and other elements like 5-star reviews that boost SEO directly or indirectly. While audits can be conducted automatically, you need to make the changes yourself to all the above elements of your GMB profile and other aspects of SEO.

Because we know firsthand the impact of a thorough GMB audit, we encourage you to perform one yourself! Put in the time it requires and help your business reach its full online potential. However, there is a lot that goes into running your own business, and time might be of the essence for you right now. f this is your case, allow us to give you a hand.

We happen to be digital marketing experts with vast knowledge and expertise in crafting high-ranking GMB profiles. We understand what it takes, including creating GMB profiles that adhere to the recommended guidelines. Including prohibited content in your profile, as well as information that inaccurately represents your business can have your profile suspended, so we have firsthand knowledge of every rule and penalty as well as every requirement to create a solid GMG listing.

We can help if you need a full-stack digital agency with Google business profile audit services as part of our SEO packages, on top of a wide list of digital services. Contact us and claim your FREE 30-minute consultation, in which we can discuss everything from what you are expecting from your GMB profile, if a GMD audit is right for you, different optimization and SEO strategies, and much more.



Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I audit my business on Google? 

A GMB audit is an independent assessment of a Google My Business listing to see if it needs improvement with the purpose of optimizing a GMB listing to make it rank better on search results. To that end, you should analyze all the elements of your GMB listing to see what can be improved or optimized. We recommend: checking if you have a GMB listing, if you don’t have one then create it. You can get ideas from identifying and auditing your competitors. Check your business details to make sure they are accurate. Add customer reviews to your listing. Use your post section to highlight your new information, such as products, services, offers, business updates, etc., this will show your listing is active. Ensure you are using the best photos possible, and more.

Why is optimizing your GMB important?

Optimizing your GMB brings a lot of benefits you don’t want to miss. For starters, it is the best way to increase your online visibility and make sure you are reaching your target audience, which is another way of saying you’ll increase the exposure you are getting from local search results. By reaching your audience you will also have the necessary tools to optimize your content that understands your user intent, which will have a very positive impact on your overall ranking on Google. When your ranking starts to improve make sure to protect it from fake reviews or spam, they will not only hurt your newly increased ranking but also will make you vulnerable to penalties from Google or you could even get some content removed. Lastly, we recommend you analyze in detail the report of your business’s GMB performance to know exactly the progress you have made, we guarantee you’ll see a significant improvement.






1) Kinsta:,91.88%25%20as%20of%20June%202022.

2) Google Business Profile Help:

You May Also Like…