Well, if you’re an avid reader of our blog here at Advice Local, you know that we’re going to talk Google My Business (GMB) listings – which have never been more important for the service area businesses out there!
Service area businesses (SABs) can take many forms, but there’s one thing they all tend to have in common. More often than not, they do not have a business location, but rather, they operate out of the homes of the business owners or, in some cases, they do not accept customers at a business storefront.
In 2018, Google rolled out a brand new set of guidelines that changed the status quo of GMB listings for service area businesses. We’re going to discuss those today, and offer tips moving forward for how SABs can still rule with highly optimized listings on the web.
The Impact of a Google My Business Listing for Service Area Businesses
The updates made by Google to the service area guidelines are actually extremely beneficial to SAB owners. It certainly adds a degree of safety!
Now, a service area business can remove their address from their listing, which was once a required step to activate it. While the owner could hide their address, it was still disconcerting to know it was on the web.
Today, a listing owner can set their service area to a region, city or zip code, and they can even designate multiple service areas that Google will rank equally. These measures, among others in the rollout, were designed to help service area businesses better connect with new consumers.
Tips for a Service Area Business’ GMB Listing
Nailing the best GMB listing for service area businesses is the name of the game, and we’re ready to help get them competitive. Fortunately, these updates have made it more realistic; before, it seemed like a tall order with Google My Business’ specifications. As with anything, we have to cover the basics before we can get more tactical.
With any type of business listing, it’s a priority to make sure that there aren’t any duplicate listings across directories. Duplicates hinder a customer’s ability to find or contact a SAB, and for a business with enough competition as it is, any distractions should be avoided at all costs.
Speaking of competition, research rivals! This will help hone the listing to make it appear more detailed and unique. Using Google My Business Insights can and will help the business understand why their GMB listing is surfacing when a consumer searches for a competitor. If you want to learn more about this topic, here’s a GMB Insights how-to.
Lastly, the SAB can expand their hours of operation. While businesses with an actual storefront have to list their hours of operation on a Google My Business listing, a SAB can list the hours that they’ll be available to customers. So, if they’re a 24-hour business, or simply a business that operates beyond traditional hours, there are opportunities to showcase their greater availability.
To fully take advantage of GMB, the Messaging feature is essential for any local business and since service area businesses are always on the go, the Google My Business Mobile App is a must. On top of Messaging, the app is also a great tool to respond to reviews and create Google Posts on-the-go – perfect for a SAB.
Service Area Businesses Need to Stand Out
We know, we know – all businesses need to stand out on the web! But, service area businesses can find this more challenging than other businesses. When it comes to their business listings especially, being properly optimized does help SABs get found easier.
We’ve harped on it time after time, but guess what: no matter the size or scale of a business operation, the GMB listing has to be flawless. That means no typos, no incorrect information, good photos, etc.
Advice Local Can Help Service Area Businesses
If all of this is a bit intimidating, Advice Local can help. Visibility, local business optimization and GMB listings are only a few of our specialties. Add in our local vision, and we can create the ultimate service area business success story.
We’ve done this over and over for the brands and franchises we represent. Request a demo today to see what we can do for the businesses you represent!