Google Maps (Serviced-Based Area)
Service-Based vs. Location-Based Businesses In Google Maps
Should you list your business as a serviced-based area or not in Google Maps?
When setting up Google Maps, you are asked if your business serves customers at the address you have entered.
- Answer YES: If you answer yes, you get a map marker, a red dot on the Google Maps that shows the location of your business to people who might search the maps for your services.
- Answer NO: If you answer no, you do not get a map marker, instead you get a target radius and your address stays hidden.
The purpose of Google Maps is to allow people to find local businesses, so Google wants to make sure you actually have a location that is staffed by people during the hours you stated.
Virtual Addresses For Google Maps
You can have a virtual address (a virtual address is where you rent an office space in order to have phone service, conference/meeting room, and mailbox at a location but not actually have an office there). With a virtual address, you MUST state that you serve businesses at their locations. You cannot state that you serve your customers at your virtual address location.
If you try to cheat and say you serve customers at your location, just so you can get a map marker, you run a risk of being caught and getting your account suspended, which could potentially cause a loss of all your reviews and history, which could be devastating for your business.
There is a significant difference in traffic/leads/visibility between having a map marker and not. Businesses who serve customers at the their storefront or address get about 5x the traffic than service based businesses, depending on the competition and location.
Home & Residential Addresses For Google Maps
Listing your business from home and saying you serve customers at that address will throw up a red flag. Generally, people try to use their homes to get more business and lie about using their homes as an actual storefront. Many people also try using fake addresses, abandoned homes, friends’ homes or different apartment numbers, thinking they will increase their exposure without having to pay for the extra expenses of actually obtaining a real, staffed location in a different city.
This is being cracked down on hard. If you want to use your home or apartment, remember to select the option ‘I serve customers at their own location.’ Even if you legitimately have customers coming to the front door of your home, it’s not worth the risk of getting suspended.
Enter A Correct Address & Never Change It
Remember this: You can change any part of the information on your Google maps listing without it affecting your account, but if you change the address, for any reason, in a way… you lose ALL your reviews and are suddenly treated as if you had to start from scratch. Make sure you are very sure about what address you want to use, and only get reviews for it if you think it’s going to be permanent.