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  4.  | Google Business Profile Optimization – Your Address

One question I often get about Google My Business optimization is can you put your home address on your Google listing?

This is a common question for service-based businesses, virtual businesses, and others that run their business from their home. So can these businesses put their home address on their Google listing? Or is there another option? The short answer is no, you cannot put your home address on your Google Listing, but it’s a bit more complicated than that as there are some options and some limitations to determine.

Let’s dive into all this and more.

Google My Business Optimization

When you are setting up and optimizing your Google My Business listing, you must provide your address so that Google can verify you are a real business (they often do this by sending a postcard with a verification code to your address).

And this goes for businesses with a location and without.

Google My Business Address Options

When you are setting up your location, you have an option to set up a service area if you do not have a physical location, and that means the address you provide to Google is hidden.

But note, if you do not have a service location and you only do business online, you are actually not qualified for a Google listing.

Google my business optimization | Torie Mathis

For service area businesses, Google shows the area you serve instead of the exact location of your business. Service area businesses are designed for businesses that visit customers at their location instead of the other way around. Think of roofers, carpet cleaners, HVAC and landscapers.

Google my business optimization | Torie Mathis

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Does hiding your address hurt your Google Ranking?

There are always rumors that businesses without a location should use their home address instead of hiding their address so that they rank higher on Google, and that is just not true.

In fact, if you show your address, it must be a commercial building or have signs showing that it’s your place of business.

Can you use your Home Address on Google?

This means you cannot show your address on Google My Business if it is your home address, even if you occasionally meet customers there.

Residential addresses will get suspended and removed by Google, so if your business address is residential, you must hide it. Same with PO Boxes these aren’t allowed as you physical address and will get your business suspended.

If you do really do business out of your home, you should have a separate entrance and signage clearly denoting your business name, and you should be prepared to submit proof of these to Google if they do suspend your listing for using a residential address.

Does showing an address on Google make you rank better?

So does hiding your address or showing an address make your business rank better?

The truth is both businesses with an address showing and hidden can rank in Google Maps.

This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter what you choose, though. Instead of asking which will rank better, you should ask what is better for your specific business and your customers.

The obvious question you need to ask yourself is: do you serve customers at your business address? If you do, then you should display your address so that these customers can find you.

If you serve customers at their location, then you should set up a service area showing what areas you serve.

From Google on Storefront vs. Service Area Businesses

Google Service Area Rules | Torie Mathis

Google Service Area and Local Business Examples

It gets a little trickier if you do both. For example, maybe you are a carpet cleaning company that visits customers at their homes, but you also have a physical location where you clean rugs and where customers can pick them up.

Or maybe you have a restaurant, but you also deliver food to your customers.

In instances like this, you should consider what your primary function is.

For the carpet cleaner, it’s probably cleaning at customers’ homes, so you should set a service area.

For a restaurant, you want customers to be able to find your restaurant and walk-in, so you should leave your address displayed.

In the end, you shouldn’t worry about rumors or what will rank you the best when deciding whether or not to hide or show your address.

Instead, consider what will serve your customers best.

Service area or Show location?

If they visit you at your location, show your address.

If you go to them, hide your address and show them the area you serve.

All options are perfectly valid.

Google Listing for Home-based business or Virtual Business

But if you run your business from home, and you do not service clients at their business, but run a more virtual business, then you are unfortunately not qualified for a Google Business Profile.

And no matter what the situation, do not use your home address as your location on Google. This is not only against Google policy but also a safety risk for you and your family.

How to Optimize Your Google My Business

If you want to know more about exactly how to set up your Google Business Profile, which is how you get listed on Google maps, check out my video on Setting up Google Business Profile, where I walk you through each step!

Need More Help from Google?

If you’d like to get one-on-one guidance and tailored recommendations on how to make the most out of your profile, book an appointment with Small Business Advisors at Google.

And remember, You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.

What you need is to be SMART.

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine.

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