No Storefront? No Problem! How to Create a Google My Business Listing for Your “Service Area Business”
Let’s clear up a common misconception: No, you don’t need a physical storefront to create a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
And that’s great news for anyone who operates a service area business.
Think about it—where’s the first place you look when you need to find a plumber, caterer, or painter? Chances are, it’s Google. Google has taken over for Main Street as the place where people go to discover new businesses, which is particularly beneficial to those businesses that do not operate out of a traditional storefront. Without a physical location where customers can visit, you may find it easy to get overlooked when customers are searching for a service. However, a GMB listing can help you stand out.
GMB listings feature prominently in related Google searches, and they show up when users search for businesses in the Google Maps app. This association with Google Maps has unfortunately led many to believe that without a physical location, they can’t list their business via GMB. Luckily, that’s not the case.
While you do need to register your business to a physical address (which Google will confirm by mailing you a verification number), it does not need to be tied to an actual storefront address, and you do not need to display this address publicly. So, as long as you have a home address or P.O. box, you can set up a GMB listing.
1. Go to Google My Business, click “Manage Now” in the top right corner of your screen, and start by filling out your business name as you would normally.
2. After you fill out your business name, you’ll be asked for an address. Now, if you own a so-called “service area business” you don’t need to enter the address of a physical storefront. However, you will still need to register your business to an address. You can use your home address for this step and click “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” Clicking this box will give you the option to hide your address in your public listing.
3. Next, Google will ask you to set a service area for your business by either the distance from your address or specific areas to which you’re willing to travel. It is possible to expand your service area to include an entire country, which is perfect if you have an online business that caters to remote clients.
4. After this step, you’ll simply fill in your GMB listing as you would for any other business. (Check out our “Introduction to Google My Business” for more tips on how to set up your listing.)
And that’s all there is to it! It’s actually a very easy process, and the problem is only that many people with a service area business simply don’t know that it’s an option for them to have a Google My Business listing. Now that you’re in-the-know, however, you’ll have an edge over the competition when potential customers search for your services online.