A physical storefront is not a prerequisite for a Google My Business (GMB) listing. Service area businesses (SABs) — or those that service a specified geographic area — can also benefit handsomely from GMB features. Compared to traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, however, there are a few additional idiosyncrasies to pay attention to, both during the setup phase and during the optimization phase as you strive to build a presence in local search.
Whereas customers come to a brick-and-mortar business, a service area business goes to the customer. Examples of SABs include:
SABs might operate a physical location open to the public, such as a showroom or office, but they don't have to. Even if they do, showroom visitors aren't going to be the primary driver of revenue — phone calls and form submissions through their Google My Business listing and website landing pages are.
Thus SABs have two main priorities:
GMB listing setup begins the same way for both brick-and-mortar businesses and SABs.
Where the process deviates, of course, is in the provision of a physical address. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, you'll need to enter this information exactly as it appears on your physical signage, on your website, and in other local directories (see our previous post about citation building).
However, if you're an SAB, you will follow these steps:
Next, whether you're a brick-and-mortar business or a service area business, you'll have the opportunity to add your website URL to your listing before clicking "finish." If you do not have a website URL, Google can generate a web page from the information provided for your GMB listing.
Note about hybrid businesses: If you're a hybrid business — for instance, a restaurant that delivers or a dog groomer that travels — you would still enter a business location and define the boundaries within which you deliver or travel through service areas.
Local SEO strategy for both SABs and brick-and-mortar businesses has the same foundation:
As you start building on that foundation, though, our points of emphasis diverge a little. For a brick-and-mortar business, especially one with only a single location, proximity is paramount in local search rankings ("near me" queries in particular). For an SAB, queries you might appear for are more likely to correspond to a more generalized geographic area. The searcher could very well not be anywhere near that area, but perhaps planning to go there.
If your service area is broader and encompasses multiple cities or towns, or even a whole region, it could be a good idea to create city-specific landing pages to cater to these different clientele bases specifically (include geo-specific keywords on-page and in metadata). The bigger you are, though, the higher a priority you'll want to make organic SEO.
No matter what kind of local business you are, the importance of a fully realized GMB listing cannot be understated. High-quality and high-impact images and videos, regular Google Posts, social proof through Google Reviews, and thoughtful answers to frequently asked questions through the Q&A feature can all boost your local SEO profile considerably. Let ASAPmaps handle the details while you focus on dominating your specialty — wherever it takes you.