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[Guide] Managing Google Business Profile Department Listings

Within the world of Google Business Profiles (GBPs), there are certain business types like department stores, hospitals, auto dealers, and universities that are allowed to have department listings on Google.

The departments should have different categories, their hours will typically differ, and they often have separate entrances.  Departments can show up on your Knowledge Panel and show up in a different space than the “located in” feature.

If you have a department listing, it won’t always automatically connect to your main listing.  If you’re not seeing the “Departments” section on your Knowledge Panel, you can contact Google Business Profile support and have them add it for you.

Tips for Department Listings: 

Greg Gifford offers some awesome tips for creating department listings on this thread at the Google Business Profile forum.  Specifically here are a few things he recommends doing:

  1. Make sure the department listings are nested properly.
  2. Make sure the department listings have a unique phone number, category, and link to a unique URL on your website.
  3. Don’t include the name of the parent company in the business name.  This will help you avoid having your service listing ranking for a branded search.  For example, if you run a car dealership and the name is “Tricity Mitsubishi,” name your service listing as “Mitsubishi Service” or “Service Department.”  That way people searching on Google for “Tricity Mitsubishi” won’t be likely to see the service listing.

George Nenni also recommends grouping department listings together with the listing they are located in, in the same location group, to avoid having them get flagged as duplicates. More on that can be read at the Local Search Forum.

The Google Filter and Department Listings:

If you manage department listings I highly recommend using Local Falcon’s Trend Report. This will show you if your department listings are causing filtering issues. In the example below, you can see the department listing and the main GBP swapping ranking positions over time.

The issue turned out to be that they were using the same primary category and once we identified this issue via the Trend Report, we fixed the category on the department listing and the filtering stopped.

If you manage department listings let us know in the comments what you have found to be the biggest challenge.

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Colan Nielsen

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

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