For businesses looking to optimize their online presence, Google Business Profile (GBP) is a gold mine. However, one question often leaves businesses scratching their heads: should the business list a physical address or a service area in their profiles? This decision isn’t a strategic SEO maneuver but, rather, a reflection of the business model.
GBP categorizes businesses into three distinct groups based on customer interaction:
Until a recent update from Google, SABs faced stringent restrictions, but now, thanks to more flexible guidelines, SABs can have multiple profiles, each dedicated to a unique service area and supported by its own staff.
Even though SABs don’t have a visible location pin on the map, GBP nevertheless links an underlying physical address to the verification address of their GBP listing. This way, businesses without a physical address gain visibility in Google’s ecosystem.
Proximity is an integral part of local SEO. Businesses closer to the searcher often secure a higher ranking in map results. However, even SABs are linked to a physical location in GBP’s underlying mechanics, making the proximity a critical factor in rankings.
Some businesses in competitive markets unwisely reveal their addresses in SAB listings in an attempt to climb the ranks. Remember, the decision to show or hide your address doesn’t influence rankings; it merely mirrors your business model.
For businesses that operate as a hybrid model, adding a service area to an existing physical address profile makes no impact on rankings. On mobile devices (like Google Search on Android and Google Maps on iOS), these profiles show a location pin and list service areas. A key point to acknowledge is that Google will not display a marker and a service area simultaneously for the same business location.
To protect your GBP listing from suspension or removal, adhere religiously to Google’s guidelines. Even if not showcasing a physical address leads to a minor fall in rankings, your competing SABs are likely to face a similar disadvantage. If you discover businesses falsely showing ineligible addresses, you can report these inaccuracies via the “Suggest an edit” feature on Google Maps.
Navigating the complexities of Google Business Profile can feel daunting, particularly when making decisions that might affect your local search visibility. Yet, understanding the different dimensions and their implications for physical versus service area businesses can significantly enhance your online visibility, painting an accurate picture of your business in the digital world. Moreover, it’s crucial to remember that Google Business Profile isn’t just a visibility booster—it’s a platform to reflect your business’s true identity and mode of interaction with customers. So, as you select options that mirror your business structure, make sure they align with your actual mode of operation.
However, managing your GBP and coordinating various aspects like managing locations, posts, and photos, controlling reviews, and tracking SEO rankings can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where platforms such as Local View can be your perfect ally.
To start your journey towards local SEO success, contact Local View today! You’ll discover how efficiently you can manage your Google Business Profile and catapult your local SEO rankings.