get your Google business profile to the top of the local search engines

Get the Think Local SEO Free Online Toolkit trial and start managing your online presence all in one place today.

Get the Think Local SEO Free Online Toolkit

*30 Day trial after which some tools are limited

Google Business Profile - Offices and Shopfront

ATTACHMENT DETAILS GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE

Eligible Businesses

In order to qualify for a Google Business Profile, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours.

There are some exceptions:

  • ATMs, video-rental kiosks and express mail drop-boxes are permitted. If you add these locations, then you must include contact information for customers to get help.
  • Seasonal businesses, like an ice-skating rink only open in winter months, are eligible. These businesses must display permanent signage at their location year-round.
  • Virtual Kitchens are permitted. Virtual Kitchens are professional food preparation and cooking facilities set up to prepare delivery-only meals via third-party services. They are also referred to as Ghost Kitchens and Cloud Kitchens. A Virtual Kitchen should create their Business Profile as a service area business.

Ineligibile Businesses

The following businesses are not eligible for a Business Profile:

  • Rental or for-sale properties, such as holiday homes, show homes or vacant apartments. Sales or leasing offices, however, are eligible for verification.
  • An ongoing service, class or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent.
  • Lead generation agents or companies.

Two ways to edit your Google Business Profile

1 Edit your Business Profile on the web

On your computer, sign in to your Business Profile. If you have multiple businesses, open the one that you want to update. 

To edit your profile directly on Google Search:

  1. Sign in to the Google Account that you used to sign up for Google Business Profile.
  2. To find your Business Profile, search on Google for your exact business name. You can also search for ‘my business’.
  3. To open your Business Profile, select Edit profile and then Business information.
  4. After each change you make, select Save.

Your Google Business Profile Name

Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your shop front, website, stationery and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.

Add additional details like address and/or service areabusiness hours and category in the other sections of your business information. 

For example, if you were creating a Business Profile for a 24-hour coffee shop in Southampton city centre called Shelly’s Coffee, you would enter that business information as:

  • Business name: Shelly’s Coffee
  • Address: 324 Poppy Street, Southampton
  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Category: Coffee shop

Including unnecessary information in your business name is not permitted, and could result in your Business Profile being suspended. Refer to the specific examples below to determine what you can and can’t include in your business name.

Your Google Business Profile name must not include:

  • Marketing taglines.
    • Not acceptable: “Barclays Bank, Britain’s Most Convenient Bank“, “GNC Live Well*”.
    • Acceptable: “Barclays Bank”, “GNC”
  • Shop codes.
    • Not acceptable: “The Flower Shop – 2872
    • Acceptable: “The Flower Shop”
  • Trademark/registered signs.
    • Not acceptable: “Burger King®
    • Acceptable: “Burger King”
  • Fully capitalised words (with the exception of acronyms) or unnecessary spaces.
    • Not acceptable: “SUBWAY
    • Acceptable: “Subway”, “KFC”, “BHS”, “WHSmith”
  • Opening hours information, including closed/open status.
    • Not acceptable: “Pizza Hut Open 24 hours“, “Curry’s (Closed)
    • Acceptable: “Pizza Hut”, “Curry’s”
  • Phone numbers or website URLs, unless they reflect your business’s consistently used and recognised real world representation.
    • Not acceptable: “Airport Direct 0800 557 8953“, “webuyanycar.com
    • Acceptable: “Airport Direct”, “0800-Got-Junk”
  • Special characters (e.g. %&$@/”) or irrelevant legal terms unless they are part of your business’s real world representation
    • Not Acceptable: “Shell Pay@Pump“, “Re/Max, LLC“, “LAZ Parking Ltd
    • Acceptable: “Shell”, “Re/Max”, “LAZ Parking”, “Toys ’’R’’ Us”, “H&M”, “TK Maxx”
  • Service or product information about your business, unless this information is part of its real world representation or this information is needed to identify a department within a business (see “Departments“). Service information is best represented by categories (see “Categories“).
    • Not acceptable: “Vodafone 4G LTE“, “Midas Auto Service Experts
    • Acceptable: “Vodafone”, “Midas”, “Best Buy Mobile”, “Advance Car Parts”, “JCPenney Portrait Studios”
  • Location information, such as local areacity or street name, unless it’s part of your business’s consistently-used and recognised real-world representation. Your name must not include street address or direction information.
    • Not acceptable: “Holiday Inn (Ringroad)“, “Barclays Bank ATM – Lowe Street Multi-storey Car Park Foyer near Lift“, “Equinox near SOHO
    • Acceptable: “Holiday Inn Salem”, “U.S. Bank ATM”, “Equinox SOHO”, “University of California Berkeley”
  • Containment information indicating that your business is located inside another business (whether or not the businesses are part of the same organisation).
    • Not acceptable: “Link ATM (in Tesco)“, “Apple Store at Stanford Shopping Centre“, “Benefit Brow Bar – John Lewis“, “Kwik Fit Tyre & Battery (part of Kwik Fit)“, “Costa Coffee (inside Tesco Extra)
    • Acceptable: “Chase ATM”, “Apple Store”, “Benefit Brow Bar”, “Kwik Fit Tyre & Battery”, “Costa Coffee”

There are additional guidelines for multi-location stores (chains and brands), departments and individual practitioners (e.g. doctors, lawyers and estate agents) below.

 

Google Business Profile Addresses

  1. Use a precise, accurate address and/or service area to describe your business location. PO Boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations aren’t acceptable.
  • Create your Business Profile for your actual, real-world location.
    • Suite numbers, floors, building numbers and so on may also be included. Only include information like cross-streets and nearby landmarks in regions where the official street address doesn’t accurately pinpoint the business’s location.
    • If you must specify a mailbox or suite number:
      • Enter your physical address as ‘Address Line 1’.
      • Enter your mailbox or suite number as ‘Address Line 2’.
    • If your business rents a physical mailing address but doesn’t operate out of that location, also known as a virtual office, that location is not eligible for a Business Profile on Google. 
    • Businesses can’t list an office at a co-working space unless that office maintains clear signage, receives customers at the location during business hours, and is staffed during business hours by your business staff.
  • Don’t include information in address lines that doesn’t pertain to your business’s physical location, like URLs or keywords.
  • Don’t create more than one page for each location of your business, either in a single account or multiple accounts.
    • Individual practitioners and departments within businesses, universities, hospitals and government buildings may have separate pages. For more info, go to specific guidelines about individual practitioners and departments.
  • If your address doesn’t have a street number, or the system can’t find it, you can pin your business’s location directly on the map.

Service-area businesses

Service-area businesses, or businesses that serve customers at their locations, should have one profile for the central office or location with a designated service area. Service-area businesses can’t list a ‘virtual’ office unless that office is staffed during opening hours.

Some businesses, like auto repair shops that have a garage for repairs and offer road side service, are hybrid service-area businesses. These businesses can show their shop-front address and designate a service area in Google My Business. If you serve customers at your address and want to set a service area, your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.

Google determines how best to display your business address based on your business information and information from other sources.

Shopfront versus service-area businesses

If your business doesn’t have a shop front with clear signage but travels to customers at their physical locations, you’re allowed one service-area Business Profile.

If you have different locations for your service business, with separate service areas and separate staff at each location, you’re allowed one profile for each location. The boundaries of your profile’s overall service area shouldn’t extend farther than about two hours of driving time from where your business is based. For some businesses, larger service areas may be appropriate.

Learn more about service-area businesses.

If you’re a service-area business, you should hide your business address from customers. 

  • For example, if you’re a plumber and run your business from your residential address, clear the address from your Business Profile.

Departments within other businesses, universities or institutions

  1. Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals and government institutions may have their own Business Profiles on Google.

    Auto dealers and healthcare providers have specific and separate guidelines. Get started with Google  Business Profile for auto dealers and healthcare providers.

Public-facing departments that operate as distinct entities should have their own page. The exact name of each department must be different from that of the main business and that of other departments. Typically such departments have a separate customer entrance and should each have distinct categories. Their hours may sometimes differ from those of the main business.

  • Acceptable (as distinct Business Profiles):
    • ‘Spring Gardens Optical Centre’
    • ‘Cafe Nero’
    • ‘Manchester General Hospital Department of Dermatology’
  • Not acceptable (as distinct Business Profiles):
    • The Apple products section of PC World
    • The hot food bar inside Meadowhall

For each department, the category that is the most representative of that department must be different from that of the main business and that of other departments.

  • The main business ‘Barclays’ has the category ‘Bank’ whereas the department ‘Barclays Advisors’ has the category ‘Financial Consultant’
  • The main business ‘Southend Toyota’ has the category ‘Toyota Dealer’ whereas ‘Southend Toyota Service & Parts’ has the category ‘Auto Repair Shop’ (plus the category ‘Auto Parts Shop’)
  • The main business ‘GetGo’ has the category ‘Convenience Store’ (plus the category ‘Sandwich Shop’) whereas the department ‘GetGo Fuel’ has the category ‘Petrol Station’, and the department ‘WetGo’ has the category ‘Car Wash’

Individual practitioners (e.g. doctors, lawyers, estate agents)

An individual practitioner is a public-facing professional, typically with their own customer base. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, financial planners and insurance or estate agents are all individual practitioners. Business Profiles for practitioners may include title or degree certification (e.g. Dr, MD, JD, Esq., CFA).

An individual practitioner should create their own dedicated Business Profile if:

  • They operate in a public-facing role. Support staff should not create their own Business Profiles.
  • They can be contacted directly at the verified location during stated hours.

A practitioner shouldn’t have multiple Business Profiles to cover all of their specialisations. Sales associates or lead generation agents for corporations aren’t individual practitioners and aren’t eligible for a Business Profile.

How to display your opening hours on your Google Business Profile

Provide your regular customer-facing hours of operation. If applicable, you may use your current seasonal hours as your regular hours. You may also specify special hours for particular days, like holidays or special events.

Certain types of businesses shouldn’t provide hours, including those with varied hours (like schedules for different types of activities, including showtimes, worship services or classes) and those that operate only by appointment. Examples of businesses that shouldn’t provide hours include, but are not limited to:

  • Indoor lodging such as: Hotels, motels and apartment buildings/complexes
  • Schools and universities
  • Cinemas
  • Transportation services and airports
  • Event venues and natural features

If your business has departments (see ‘Departments‘), provide the opening hours for each department on that department’s separate Business Profile, and provide the opening hours for the main business on the main  Business Profile

Sets of hours

If your business has multiple sets of hours, refer to these guidelines for particular industries:

  • Banks: Use lobby hours if possible. Otherwise, use drive-through hours. An ATM attached to a bank can use its own separate Business Profile with its own, different hours.
  • Car dealerships: Use car sales hours. If hours for new car sales and pre-owned car sales differ, use the new sales hours.
  • Petrol stations: Use the hours for your petrol pumps.
  • Restaurants: Use the hours when diners can sit down and dine in your restaurant. Otherwise, use takeaway hours. If neither of these is possible, use drive-through hours, or, as a last resort, delivery hours.
  • Storage facilities: Use office hours. Otherwise, use front gate hours.
  • You can also set More hours to highlight times for specific services.
    • Tip: In general, you should set More hours as a subset of your primary hours.

Seasonal hours

​If your business has seasonal hours, use the following guidelines:

  • During the season in which your business is open, set your regular hours of operation. You can set special hours for public holidays, temporary closures or other events.
    • You can also indicate that your business is open only for a specific seasonal period in your business description.
  • During off-season, you can mark your business as temporarily closed.
  • Set your regular opening hours when your business reopens.

 

Wondering how your business looks online?

By analysing the many aspects of your online presence including, Listings, Reviews, Social Media, Your Website, and Advertising – the Snapshot report will help you to understand where your business ranks, which areas need the most help, and how we at Think Local Seo can provide the right solutions for your business.