Google is always looking for ways to improve the needs of both business and consumers alike. Case in point: Google has recently improved the signup process for local service-area businesses (SABs). Search Engine Land describes what the changes are and what they might mean for you.
Joining Google My Business
Historically, Google has given preference to businesses that are close in proximity to a searcher. Now, Google is considering service areas to include nearby cities the company also operates in.
Greg Sterling writes, “It recently adjusted how SABs identify service areas in Google My Business (GMB). In November last year, Google eliminated address and radius-based service areas and replaced them with the ability to designate specific cities or postal codes.”
This elimination of the need for a physical address is apparent in the new signup process. Now, GMB starts the process by asking if the business has a physical address, or not. If the answer is “no”, GMB will continue to ask questions about the business type, website, where the business is based, and where the service areas are. See the photo below to get an idea of what this looks like.
Think of all of the professionals who might not have a business address. Plumbers, electricians, accountants—these people may not have a physical office and would rather not list their home address as their work or office location.
Serving Small Businesses
There’s a large number of small business in the U.S. The number’s 28 million, to be exact. Given this, Google will continue to fine-tune their processes which help connect businesses and customers. @GoogleMyBiz—the official Twitter handle for Google My Business—confirms this in their Tweet below.
Google My Business continues to work on improving the overall experience for service-area businesses. We're excited to announce a few updates designed to meet the unique needs of service-area businesses, including a new signup process. Learn more: https://t.co/icMgXtY1zz
— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) January 22, 2019
Greg Sterling writes about why you should care about these changes. He continues, “With these changes, Google continues to address some of the long-standing challenges around representing SABs in search results. This is another incremental improvement to better serve this population, which represent a substantial chunk of the 28 million small businesses in the U.S.”.
Increasing Your Ranking
Getting your company on Google my Business will expand your reach in Local search results. It takes time and a lot of effort to get the number one spot; however, there are certain techniques you can implement to get you there faster.
Using proper keywords, improving your page speed, optimizing your website for mobile use, and acquiring backlinks are important ranking factors. Contact us to learn how we can help you implement these ranking factors, and more.
Featured photo by Caio Resende on Pexels
Google My Business Signup photo is a screenshot by Gain Local