Featured image for “Google My Business – Should my profile use my physical address, service address, or combination?”
  • Outside the Box
  • Uncategorized

Google My Business – Should my profile use my physical address, service address, or combination?

March 6, 2024

Your Google My Business (GMB) is your digital storefront on Google. It’s where potential customers find essential information about your business, from location and hours to services and reviews. In today’s digital era, it’s a cornerstone of local SEO and online visibility. Local businesses have always thrived on community presence, but the digital landscape has shifted how customers find you. GMB is at the forefront of this evolution, providing a platform for local businesses to be seen and interacted with in the online community.

Setting Up Your Google Business Profile

There are basically three options to choose from regarding your Google My Business Profile location that you are able to choose from when setting up your profile.

1) List your physical address
2) List your service area(s)
3) Choose a hybrid model that includes both your physical address and service areas.

Using a Physical Address

For physical storefronts, setting up GMB is straightforward. You should include accurate details like address, hours, and contact info. Remember, consistency across the web is key.

Opting for a Service Address

If you’re a service-based business without a storefront, GMB still works wonders. You can list your service areas, ensuring potential customers in those regions find you. An example of a local service based business would be a roofer or a lawn-care company. These businesses go to their customers location address and it would be highly unusual for their customers to come to their address.

The Hybrid Approach

Some businesses benefit from listing both a physical and service address. This approach is perfect if you offer in-store experiences and at-home services, like a computer repair shop I helped, which saw increased bookings for home visits.

Maximizing Your Google Business Profile

Essential Tips for Optimization
Your GMB profile should be a true reflection of your business. Include high-quality photos, up-to-date information, and highlight what sets you apart. Regularly posting updates or offers keeps your profile active and engaging.

Managing Reviews and Customer Interaction
Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows you value customer feedback. It’s also a fantastic way to improve your online reputation and build trust with potential customers.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Address Verification Issues

Address verification issues with Google Business Profile (GBP) can be challenging for business owners, but there are several common problems and solutions to consider:

  1. Incorrect Listing Address: Ensuring the accuracy of your listing address is crucial. If your business doesn’t show up on Google Maps or if there are discrepancies in the address, make sure to correct it in your GBP. This includes checking for any typos and ensuring the address format matches Google’s standard.
  2. Expired Verification Pin: Verification codes expire after 30 days. If your pin has expired or if you’ve recently changed your business address, you’ll need to request a new verification pin. This can be done by logging into your GBP and selecting “Request another code.” A new postcard with the verification code should arrive within twelve days.
  3. Verification Pin Not Working: Sometimes, the verification pin sent by Google may not work. In such cases, it’s advisable to contact Google support directly for assistance. They can provide guidance or issue a new verification code as needed.
  4. Issues with Virtual Offices or Shared Spaces: If you’re using a virtual office or shared space as your business address, Google requires additional proof. You need to show that you rent a dedicated office space, have employees staffed during business hours, and have permanent signage with your business name. Photos or videos showing these elements can be helpful.
  5. Listing Gets Suspended: Google Business Profile listings can get suspended for various reasons, often for not adhering to Google’s Terms of Service. If your listing is suspended, review the GBP guidelines to identify any violations. Correct any issues with your listing and then submit a reinstatement request to Google, providing proof of your legitimate business operations.
  6. Use of Home Addresses: GBP guidelines prohibit the display of residential addresses for certain types of businesses. If your business operates from a home address, ensure it complies with Google’s guidelines for home-based businesses.
  7. Contacting Google Support: If you’re unable to resolve verification issues on your own, contacting Google support can be a useful step. They offer assistance via phone, email, or chat.

Address verification issues can be a hurdle, but with careful attention to Google’s guidelines and a willingness to seek support when needed, most problems can be successfully resolved.

For more detailed guidance and support on these issues, you can refer to the comprehensive articles by Search Engine Journal, Seodity, and Advice Local.

Keeping Information Up-to-Date

Set a regular schedule to check and update your GMB profile. It’s crucial for maintaining accuracy and showing customers that your business is active and attentive.

Advanced GMB Strategies

Leveraging Local SEO

Incorporate keywords relevant to your business and location in your GMB profile. This practice boosts your visibility in local searches.

Utilizing Google My Business Insights

GMB offers valuable insights into how customers interact with your listing. Use this data to understand customer behavior and refine your marketing strategies.

The Continuous Journey of GMB Profile Management

Mastering GMB is an ongoing journey. With these tips and strategies, you’re well-equipped to start or enhance your GMB, making a significant impact on your business’s local presence and success. Remember, it’s about staying active, responsive, and engaged with your online community.

Here are some comprehensive resources to help you set up and optimize your Google My Business Profile:

  1. HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Google My Business: This resource provides a step-by-step guide on how to create a Google Business Profile, including logging into your Google Account, entering your business name and address, choosing your business category, and adding your phone number or website. It also covers the various methods for verifying your business on Google, such as by postcard, phone, email, instant verification, and bulk verification. You’ll find tips on optimizing your GBP listing, including adding as much information and media as possible, like a business profile photo, the area you serve, your hours, and more. For more details, visit HubSpot’s Guide.
  2. Semrush’s Ultimate Guide to Google My Business: This guide elaborates on the verification process, which changes depending on whether you have a physical location or not. It also includes steps for adding more information about your business after verification and opting into relevant Google services. Additionally, it provides a thorough explanation of how to claim an existing, unverified listing and how to request access to a GBP managed by someone else. For more comprehensive insights, check out Semrush’s Guide.
  3. BrightLocal’s Guide to Setting Up a Google Business Profile: This resource gives a detailed walkthrough for creating a Google Business Profile, including creating a Google Account specifically for your business, visiting the Google Business Profile gateway, and adding your business name and category. It also covers important steps like verifying your business, adding business hours, and enabling messaging. For an in-depth guide, you can visit BrightLocal’s Guide.

These guides provide a wealth of information for small business owners looking to leverage Google Business Profile effectively. They cover everything from setting up your profile and verifying your business to optimizing your listing and managing customer interactions.

If you are getting the success you are looking for or if this all feels too daunting, we have a professional add-on service that can help you. Check out our Google My Business Optimization service page.

Interested in discussing this topic more and learning how we could apply this knowledge with your new or existing website? Let's chat. Book a free consultation with us.