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GOOGLE MY BUSINESS FOR WORKSHOPS

FAQs and guidelines to help you in setting up your workshop on Google My Business

Best Practice Guidelines

We have outlined best practice guidelines to help you in setting up your workshop on Google My Business. These guidelines are designed to help you get the most from your listing and should answer any questions you have during set up.

Email address

To make the most from your listing you need to keep business information up to date, make sure you are responding to reviews and make the most of Google My Business’s Post feature. To be able to do this we need to assign an email address to your listing which you can use to login.

 

We will use the email address you have supplied to the Find Workshop Tool, but this must be linked to a Google account. If your email address is not linked to a Google account you will not be able to login to your listing to make changes, see reviews or use the Posts feature.

 

If you use a gmail.com email address or you are already able to log into Google services with the email address you have supplied, then you do not need to create a Google account for your email. However, if you cannot access Gmail with your current email address please follow the steps below.

 

1.  Go to google.com/accounts/NewAccount

2.  Enter your name and select ‘use my current email address instead’

Email address
3.  Enter the email address you supplied to the Find Workshop Tool in the box
4.  Create a password - this is a sperate password to the one you use to currently access your emails and does not need to be the same
5.  You will have been sent a code from Google to verify your email address
6.  Please retrieve the code from your email inbox (through your current email provider) and enter it into the box provided by Google
Email address
Business Name

Your business name must reflect your real-world name as used consistently on your shop front, website, stationary etc and as known by your customers.

Do not add any additional details to your business name such as aspects of your address, opening hours or business category.

If you have multiple businesses with the same name then use the same name for all businesses, do not try to differentiate between different branches with suffixes or prefixes.

Including unnecessary information in your business name is not permitted by Google and could result in your listing being suspended.

 

Do not include:

  • Marketing tag lines – e.g. Tim’s Autos, speedy service
  • Shop codes – e.g. Tim’s Autos 2876
  • Trademark/ registered signs - e.g. Tim’s Autos® 
  • Fully capitalized words (with the exemption of acronyms such as KFC) - e.g. TIM’S AUTOS
  • Opening hours information - e.g. Tim’s Autos Open 24 Hours
  • Phone numbers or URLS
  • Special characters – e.g. %£&*@?/
  • Services or products – e.g. Tim’s Autos Specialist Garage
  • Location information – e.g. Tim’s Autos Burley, Leeds
  • Containment information indicating that your business in located inside another business e.g. – Tim’s Autos Tyre & Battery (Part of Tim’s Autos)
Address

Please use a precise and accurate address to describe your business location as you would use to direct any mail to your business.

 

PO boxes or mailboxes in remote locations are not acceptable.

 

Do’s and don’ts

  • Do make sure your address reflects your actual real-world address
  • Do add any suite or floor numbers in the address line two section after your street address
  • Don’t include information in your address that doesn’t pertain to your physical location such as URLs or keywords
  • Do include landmarks in your address if the street address doesn’t accurately describe your location

Format

Address
  • Do include your street address only e.g. 45, Example Road
  • Do use only the number of lines that you need – you don’t need to fill all three
  • Don’t put your building number on a separate line
  • Don’t include your city, county, country and postcode information in the address lines

For example:
Line 1 – Volkat House 
Line 2 – Ground Floor
Line 3 – Westfield Estate


For most people you will need only one or two address lines. For Example:
Line 1 – 12, Smithson Avenue


City
Please include the city or town that your business is located in.

 

County
Please include the county, state or province of your business if needed. This field is not a requirement but do include this information if you would normally when providing your address.

 

Postcode/ Zip Code
If a postcode/ zip code/ pincode/ eircode is used in your country, then please enter it here in the format you would use generally when providing your address.

Phone Numbers

Please provide a phone number that connects people to your business as directly as possible. Try to use a local phone number rather than a central call centre helpline number were possible.

 

The phone number must be under the direct control of the business and premium-rate telephone numbers are not allowed.

Website URL

Input a URL that directs people to your business’s own website or webpage. If you have a webpage hosted on a site containing multiple pages for different businesses, please link directly to the page relating specifically to your business.

  • Don’t include any URLs which take people to website pages that are not related to your business
  • Don’t provide a URL which links to a social media account
  • Do provide a URL for your website’s homepage if possible – not any product or ‘about us’ pages
  • Do include the full URL including http:// or https:// - the easiest way to input your URL is to copy and paste it from the address bar in your browser

 

e.g. https://www.castrol.com/en_gb/united-kingdom/home.html

Website URL
Categories
Please select the most relevant category for your business from the drop-down list provided. For the best results from your Google My Business listing it is important to select a category that accurately reflects your business type and not one you believe may be more popular in searches or more closely describes your competitors.
Opening hours
Default opening hours will be provided based on your business type. The default hours will be those most commonly used by your type of business. You can override these hours and input your own hours if they different from the default.
From the Business

Your ‘From the Business’ description will likely be similar to any ‘about us’ information on your website or social media pages. Content should highlight what makes your business unique and sets you apart from competitors as well as provide useful information on services and products offered. All content must be honest, relevant and informative for the user. This is a place for you to focus on business details and not details about promotions, prices or sales.

  • Do keep content high quality and relevant - no misspellings, using characters in place of letters (e.g. F@st Aut0$) or strings of nonsensical letters, numbers and/ or characters (e.g. fg7%*”kj^hf)
  • Do stay under 750 characters and try to be as succinct as possible while still being informative
  • Don’t try to use specific keywords to influence search results as this will have a negative impact
  • Don’t be misleading or provide inaccurate or false informationDon’t focus on sales, prices or special offers
  • Don’t include links
  • Don’t display any offensive or inappropriate content such as hateful content, explicit content or use obscene language

Google My Business can refuse to accept description if it does not meet their guidelines and we may edit description copy to comply with guidelines if needed.

Logo/ cover photo/ other photos - CBW

You may enter up to five URLs linking to images to be included in your profile. All photos should be in focus and well-lit and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.

 

Please be aware that Google My Business takes the uploaded images as a suggestion and there is no guarantee that these images will feature on your profile – Google My Business will use images from online and those submitted by users as well as those you provide to deliver the most useful and relevant images to users.

 

Logo

Please select the relevant Castrol logo from the three provided to you. 

 

Cover photo

Your cover photo should represent your business but there is no guarantee that this image will feature prominently on your Google My Business listing. We suggest a picture of your building exterior or exterior signage. The image should be at least 480 x 270 px

 

Other photos

We recommend you provide additional clear images of your building exterior showing your main entrance to help users locate you as well as any other images that may help people find your location such as your business near local landmarks. These images should be at least 250 x 250 px

 

Hosting photos online

We have requested that you provide a link to where your photo is hosted online. This does not include web pages which include your photo. If you wish to use a photo on your website right click on the image and select ‘open image in new tab’ the URL from the new tab is the one you should provide.

 

Alternately, you can upload your images to a hosting platform such as Google Photos and share the link from here.

Attributes

Attributes help users understand more about your business and should be included to help maximise your listing.

 

Attributes are provided in seven categories. Please select any and all relevant attributes from the dropdown lists provided. 

  • Accessibility – these attributes provide information for accessing your location such as whether you have wheelchair ramps or disabled facilities
  • Amenities – these attributes allow you to add in any facilities your location offers such as toilets or parking
  • Highlights – these amenities allow to highlight key business information such as being owned by a woman or veteran
  • Offerings – these attributes allow you highlight any specific services that you offer such as car rental
  • Languages spoken – these attributes allow you to highlight any additional languages outside of your native language spoken by employees
  • Payments- the attributes allow you to inform users of the types of payments that you accept
  • Service options – these attributes allow you to inform users of any additional service options such as getting a quote online 

Any attributes you assign to your business must be factually correct and not mislead users.
 

Note: Google users can also suggest and influence the attributes on your listing so you may see some attributes appear on your listing that you did not assign. If you have a concern about any user-assigned attributes you can flag this through our support process.

FAQs

The following FAQs are designed to provide more information about your listing after it’s verified and help you make the most of Google My Business’s features.

When will my business be live on Google?
Most businesses will be live on Google Maps a few days after being verified but it can take up to two weeks. It can also take longer than this for your business to show up in search results rather than on Google Maps.
How do I find my business on Google?

To find your business search for your business name (and location if you have multiple businesses using the same name) in Google Maps. Searching for keywords as soon as your listing has been verified might not result in you seeing your listing.

 

Please bear in mind that your location at the time of searching may impact the results you see so if you are situated some way away from your business location you may need to adjust your search. Just because you don’t see your business location right away doesn’t mean that users closer to your business will see the same results as you.

How do I find my business on Google?
Why am I not appearing for keyword searches?

There are a number of reasons why you may not see your listing when searching for keywords other than your business name such as ‘garage’ or ‘Castrol’.

 

Firstly, Google will show results closest to you so if your listing is in another town or city you will find it difficult to get it to appear for your personal search. This doesn’t mean that people close to your business aren’t seeing it. Google also takes into account the relevance of your business to the search and your business prominence in order to determine what results appear for what searches.


Google keep their algorithms for ranking hidden to ensure the system is as fair as possible, however, they do provide some advice:

  • Keep information up to date including hours
  • Include photos
  • Respond to reviews
  • Enter complete business information


Please note:
Additional factors also influence local search results including how well your website ranks, having a greater number of more positive reviews and having a number of quality links, articles and directories pointing back to your business so it’s not always possible to get top rankings based on Google My Business optimisation alone.

 

We will be regularly monitoring listing performance and may provide recommendations that you supply additional information/ images or respond to or encourage more reviews to help improve your listing.

Why isn’t my updated business information visible on my listing?
It can take up to three days for any changes to your business information to become visible in search results. If after a week your changes still aren’t visible, please raise the issue through our support process.
Why am I seeing information I haven’t provided on my listing?

Google collects information about your business from several sources with the aim of providing users with the most honest, relevant and useful information about your business and its location. These sources include online information, information you provide, and information gathered from users.

 

Google Maps users have the ability to answer questions about your business after they have visited and Google may use this information to update your listing.

 

Generally, updates are helpful but if you see an update on your listing that is factually incorrect please raise the issue with our support process.

How do I manage reviews?

Monitoring and responding to reviews is key to getting greater visibility in local search results. In order to view and respond to your reviews:

1.  Log into your Google My Business account

2.  Click on the business name

3.  Click ‘Reviews’ in the left hand column menu

How do I manage reviews?
4.   Here you will see reviews organised by ‘All’, ‘Replied’ and ‘Haven’t replied’
How do I manage reviews
5.  You can reply to a review by clicking the ‘Reply’ button under the review
How do I manage reviews
6.  Once you’ve written your reply click ‘Post reply’
How do I manage reviews

7.  If you wish to edit a reply later you can click the ‘Edit’ button under a reply

8.  You can delete a reply by clicking the ‘Delete’ button under a reply

How do I manage reviews
If you see a review which is inaccurate or deliberately malicious you can flag this with our support process. You cannot simply delete a review and any reviews that you wish to have removed must go through Google’s stringent review process. Negative reviews are a part of life so do not flag any accurate but negative reviews – please try to resolve negative reviews by replying.
How do I post an offer or update?

Google My Business allows you to post updates, events and offers in the form of Posts.

 

Posts allow locations and business owners to share information with audiences and those who are likely to come across your listing. The benefits include:

  • Directly communicate with your local customers
  • Improve your customer experience with timely information
  • Promote your sales, specials, events, news and offers
  • Engage with your customers through videos and photos


A few things to note:

  • Posts are visible to customers for a limited time only. Posts more than a week old will be archived (unless you specify a start and end date)
  • You can use a mix of text, photos or videos to promote key features in posts

 

Each type of post (e.g. update, event, product, offer) have slightly different features, however the majority of post types include options for:

  • Media (an image or video)
  • A title / product name
  • A button / CTA
  • A link 

 

Offers


For ‘Offers’ specifically, there are 4 required fields you need to fill in to post. These are photo / video, offer title and start / end date:

Offers

However, there are a number of optional fields you can use to make the offer more detailed, these include a time, offer details (description), a coupon code, a link to redeem the offer and terms & conditions.

 

When it comes to creating offers on Google My Business, it’s important to be able to track promotions or offers. We would recommend exploring coupon codes or a link the customer must visit before they redeem the offer.

Offers

Optimise posts

 

A few things from us when it comes to optimising offer posts:

  • Try to keep content and text short – especially for offer posts.
  • For photos – best format is .jpg or .png at 1200 x 900px
    For offers clear and engaging photos work better that graphics or images with lots of text
  • For video AVI, MP4, MOV and maybe more formats are allowed
    Max file size is 100MB
    Max length – 30 seconds
  • For the title – try and describe the offer in 4 – 5 words – you have 58 characters for the title
  • For the detail – you have up to 1,500 characters, but we would recommend 150 to 300 characters
How do I make changes to my business listing?
Need to confirm this process internally and with the client. How much autonomy do we want to give to CBWs and how do we manage the potential issue of overriding changes made in GMB with uploads from the WTB tool?