If you have a business, you might already have a Google My Business account . If you previously had a Google Places account, you’ve been automatically switched to Google My Business. However, if you haven’t visited your account in a while, it’s time to make sure your information is current and correct. This Google My Business Audit will give you the points to check so your listing is performing at peak effectiveness.

Verify your business.

If you discover you have not verified your business previously, that’s the first thing you want to do. Here are the instructions, you can click here to read how to verify your business with Google. The process will take between 7-14 days because Google sends a postcard to your physical address with a code for you to enter to complete the process. In the meantime, you can make changes to your listing, but they will not be live until you have verified using the code.

Review your listing with this Google My Business Audit Checklist.

Here’s the list of 7 things you need to do to ensure your listing is optimized.

  1. It starts with accurate information. If you have details already listed, double-check them. Is your business name correct? The phone number and address right? Since people are using the internet and mobile to find you, it’s crucial that all the details are up-to-date. Add any missing facts to make the listing as complete as possible. It’s important to make sure the information, from your business name to your phone and address, match exactly with what you have on your website and other platforms. Even the particulars, like Ave. vs. Avenue,  need to be the same.
  2. Enter the days and hours of operation, plus any seasonal changes or special hours you might have during holidays.
  3. Make sure you have selected the right categories to describe your business, as they are used to determine search results and help your customers find you. Use as few categories as you can to describe your business.
  4. Write a meaningful introduction for your business, including keywords or phrases. Describe what makes your business unique and special. Keep it brief and scannable, with bullet points and headers. A good number of words to aim for in the introduction is around 250.
  5. Include a link to your website for additional information.
  6. Photos enhance your listing and make your business appealing to visitors. You can add photos that show a preview of your business, feature your employees, spotlight your goods or services, as well as an exterior shot to help them identify your location. Other ideas include a photo of yourself, customers using  your products, your employees making your product or your special “claim to fame”. At least three photos are recommended, and you can upload new ones as you wish to keep them fresh. Make sure you use good quality images that tell a positive story about your business.
  7. As you gather comments and reviews, make sure you respond appropriately, answering questions and addressing concerns. You are not allowed to delete reviews.

Your Google My Business includes a Google Plus account, which gives you an opportunity to promote and connect with others. Try to post once a week, with news about products, events, interesting related articles, and promotions. The information on your Google My Business listing appears on your Google Plus account, as well as Google Search and Google Maps, so you want to be sure it’s correct. Periodically, use this Google My Business Audit Checklist to review and update as needed.

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