In this useful overview, we will explain how to understand the results of your Google My Business Audit report.
A GMB Audit will look like this, once complete:
You can find the report by clicking 'SEO Tools' in the top navigation bar, then selecting 'Google My Business'. It is also accessible from the Location’s sidebar menu, as shown above.
1) Summary tab
When the GMB Audit is first opened, you will see the 'Summary' tab — this shows data pulled in from your Google My Business (GMB) account.
In the top right, you can see the selected search location ('New York' in the example below):
Directly beneath the search location, you will also see the date when the report was last run.
a) Business Details
The first section shows all of the Business Details from the GMB profile, as illustrated below.
This contains the following information:
NAP Data: The name, address, and phone number is displayed here. It also shows the website and chosen business category — all of this is critical information to be aware of within the location’s GMB account.
Opening Hours: It is important for local businesses to keep these times correct and accurate.
Photos: This shows how many photos are being displayed on the GMB account.
Underneath the Business Details section, you’ll see a number of different tabs — the first of which is ‘Reviews’. The report will show this information by default.
This tab displays the total number of reviews on the GMB account, and also gives the average star rating.
The table below shows the five most recent reviews, including:
- The feedback left from the reviewer
- The date when the review was left
- The star rating
The green ‘View Review’ button links to the actual review, enabling you to see the feedback in its entirety.
This section will flag if any duplicate GMB accounts have been detected for this location — if they have, it will show the following information:
- Phone number
- Whether the profile is verified
- The website URL
You also have the option to add an Action, if needed.
d) NAP Comparison
This table compares the name, address, and phone number used on your Google listing with the details supplied to us when the report was set up — thereby helping you to keep NAP data consistent, which is an important part of Local SEO.
It’s worth mentioning that if you're a service-area business because you won’t be displaying your address in your Google My Business listing but you’re required to add it to set up your BrightLocal Location, this will likely be flagged as an error in the ‘NAP Comparison’ section. There’s no need to correct this error, just make sure that the information you’re displaying in your Google My Business listing is correct because that’s what searchers will see when they’re looking for your services.
e) Other Ranking Factors
Additional local ranking identifiers on your Google listing and your website are included within this table — these are considered to be among the most important local search ranking factors. See the 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors survey.
We ask these key questions:
'Is phone number a local number?'
Having a local number (if possible) is beneficial for Local SEO.
'Is city name / 'state code' used in landing page ‘title’ tag?'
Having a specific location in the title tag has been proven to help Local SEO.
The results from these questions are included in the table, letting you investigate further (if desired):
2) Keyword tabs
Each keyword that's added in the report’s settings will have its own tab here, and each tab will provide the same types of information for each keyword, as follows:
a) Keyword table
We display a table of the top 10 companies who are ranking for each keyword in your chosen search location.
The location that's the subject of the report will always be at the top of this list, helping you to compare its performance to those within the top 10.
View Results button: You'll see this button at the top, next to the keyword — this shows you a popup where you can view the search results for this particular keyword.
Rank: This shows where the business is ranking for the keyword and search location.
Business Name: This displays the business name, as it appears on the GMB account.
Verified: A green tick or a red cross will be shown here, depending on if it's a verified GMB account.
Citations: This pulls in citations using Google to identify listings, and performs a real-time lookup of citations each time the report runs — it will not match the Citation Tracker report, as that has a far more complex and dedicated process for identifying citations, which uses an extended list of searches, APIs, and filters. The Citation Tracker also stores and reuses citations from one report run to the next, rather than performing a fresh citation lookup every time.
Top Citations: This shows the percentage of 'top citations' (having more value) that are found within all citations discovered. You can see more in the Citations Matrix section that appears below this.
Links: This displays the number of links found on the website listed under the GMB account — if this is very high, it usually means they have connected their Facebook page or another social media page. We gather this data through Moz.
Linking Domains: The total linking root domains count taken from Moz.
Website Authority: Authority score is similar to ‘Page Rank’ and is a measure of the website's ‘rankability’ that considers over 150 different SEO signals; the greater the Authority score, the higher the potential ranking of a website.
Majestic C-Flow: Citation-Flow is a link-related score provided by MajesticSEO, and is calculated based on the volume of inbound links that a site has; more links = higher C-Flow score.
Review Count: The number of reviews found under this GMB listing are shown here.
Star Rating: This is the average star rating of all reviews under the GMB listing.
Photos: This figure represents the number of photos found against the GMB listing.
Categories: The main category under the GMB listing.
If needed, you can filter out any of these columns by clicking the ‘Columns’ dropdown menu.
Just select or deselect any checkboxes, as desired, then click the green ‘Update Table’ button.
b) Citations Matrix
Beneath the Keyword Table, you will find the Citations Matrix, which shows details about the citations for the same top 10 businesses found within the Keyword Table.
Authority: This shows the domain authority of the website itself. Citations from established websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. hold more value — the number reflects the numerical value from that site’s domain authority.
Count: This is the number of citations currently held by your business and your competitors that are found on that site in Google SERPs for the search term used. A different citation count is displayed in the ‘Top 10 results’ compared to what is in the ‘Citations Matrix’; the count in ‘Top 10 results’ includes duplicate citations or multiple citations on the same domain, whereas ‘Citations Matrix’ just shows your unique count of citations.
Top Directory: Similar to the Authority column, top directories have a trophy symbol to denote a high-value website — hence a citation from that website is also valued highly.
You: This column indicates whether you have a citation on each site. The ‘You’ is clickable and can easily be filtered to provide a better view of this.
Numbered Columns: These columns show where you and your competitors rank in Google Maps for the search term used. The top row shows the total number of citations found for each business. A tick or cross indicates whether the business has a citation on that site (or not). Hovering over the map pins featuring numbers will show you the name of the business that relates to each column — your business’s column will be highlighted in green.
c) Top 5 categories
Next to the Citations Matrix, you’ll see another tab called ‘Top 5 Categories’ (shown below within the red box):
Here, you will find the most used categories in the top 10 GMB listings from the Keyword Table.
3) Add Google Insights
Click the green 'Add Insights’ button (highlighted above with the red box) to connect. You’ll then see the following information:
This data is all extremely helpful when looking at your GMB listing, so we have located it in a single place for ease of use. You can see this information within your GMB account itself, however, we store the data for longer and allow you to look back further in time by using the date dropdown shown below within the red box:
Here is a summary of each area:
How customers search for your business: This section shows how many customers found you in a ‘Direct’ search (they searched for your business name or address) versus a ‘Discovery’ search (they searched for a category, product or service that you offer, and your listing appeared).
For example, if you manage an Italian restaurant called ‘Italy’s Best’, a customer might find you via a Direct search by searching for ‘Italy’s Best restaurant’ on Google Maps. The same customer might find you via a Discovery search by looking for ‘Italian dinner nearby’ on Google Search. Clicking on the chart lets you see the percentage of all customers who found you via each method.
Where customers view your business on Google: This section shows how many customers discovered you via a Google Search or Google Maps. Next to ‘Listing on Search’ and ‘Listing on Maps’, you can see the number of views your listing received from each product, during the timeframe that you’ve selected (‘Views’ are like ‘impressions’ on other analytics platforms).
To see how many people found you on a particular product on a particular day, place your cursor over the appropriate segment of the graph for your desired day.
Select the boxes to the right of the graph to turn off segments, so you can isolate particular data points that you’re interested in. For example, you might want to only look at how discovery via Google Maps changed over time. To do so, tick the box beside ‘Listing on Search’ to temporarily remove the Search segment from the graph, and only look at Maps referrals.
Customer Actions: This section shows what customers did once they found your listing on Google. ‘Total actions’ gives the total of the following types of actions that customers took on your listing:
- Visited your website
- Requested directions
- Called you
To discover how many people took a particular action on a particular day, place your cursor over the appropriate segment of the graph for the day you're keen to see. Select the boxes to the right of the graph to turn off segments, so that you can isolate particular data points that you're interested in.
Phone calls: This section shows when, and how often, customers called your business via your Google listing. At the top of the section, ‘Total calls’ gives the total number of phone calls in the timeframe that you’ve selected. In the graph, you can choose to view trends in customer phone calls by either ‘Day of the week’ or ‘Time of day’. The graph will show when customers are most likely to call your business after viewing your business listing on Google.
To learn more about optimizing and understanding a Google My Business listing with Google My Business Audit, enroll in BrightLocal Academy for free today.