So, what are the common dos to perform your local strategy without an address in its traditional understanding? In fact, for each type of business, there are special guidelines
on Google that explain in detail what SABs, home, virtual and hybrid companies should do with their listings. Read them thoroughly. Here, we collected some universal pieces of advice on local SEO to help your business. Let's take a look: 1. Pay attention to your address on GMB
Google's guidelines say that the address should be in any case. Even if it is your home address, warehouse, or any other sort of location. Let's brief what each type of business should do in this case:
- SAB — you must provide your address when creating a listing, but then it is required to hide it. Instead, you should set your service area — cities or postal codes where your SAB serves. It is possible to enter up to 20 areas and there shouldn't be more than two hours of driving distance from where your business is situated.
- Home-based business — here several situations are possible.
The first one is when you serve your clients at home and want your address to be visible — you're welcome! Just put a signage and you can easily use every Google advantage like you're a brick-and-mortar company.
The second situation is when you serve your clients at home and want your address to be private or you serve clients not at your place — here, just act like you're a SAB: hide your address and set a service area following the same rules.
The third is when you do not serve anyone in-person (e.g. only virtual consultations) and just work at home — usually, Google doesn't allow you to create listings for such a business. But 2020 came and changed everything. So, if you used to meet your clients face-to-face earlier and plan to do it after the pandemic, you have the right to create a listing like a usual home-based business. Time changes and we'll see how Google adapts their guidelines on this point.
- Virtual business — if you are an owner of a virtual business you have strict limitations to performing what is listed above. Your listing will be concerned ineligible and you simply won't be able to promote your business for maps ranking and local pack. But there are some other ways you can follow not to lose your position on Google. Pay attention to:
- Organic user engagement on Google — focus on the high-quality content and links you earn. That will help you to raise your Page Authority.
- Paid opportunities for being visible on Google — use geotargeting for the proper regions.
- Hybrid business — here you are free to choose what opportunities in previous models are the most relevant for your company and add them to brick-and-mortar features if it is possible to get everything from GMB listings.
Whatever eligible for GMB model you choose, after making the first address improvements into your listings you should understand that it is essential to be active and consistent in working with GMB listings.
Here goes the second important step. 2. Communicate with your customers
It is the most essential thing you can do to show that your business is still there for your customers. So, how can you communicate through your company's listings?
- Reviews — when people write reviews they want to say something about your business. And your goal is to hear it and react properly to show that you interact and value these relationships. Positive reviews can increase sales and customer loyalty, negative ones can ruin your reputation and allow competitors to take the lead. So, don't ignore this kind of feedback from your audience, respond to positive and negative words towards your business, think out your strategy on working with reviews, and stay in touch with your customers.