Address is crucial to online search success. One of the hottest contested points for SEO is getting high ranking local results in the map listings. Map listings are the one that shows up at the top of the page on Google search. This highly coveted position brings huge volumes of free marketing and leads to your business that other businesses will be missing out on. These links are called Google Local Listings and are controlled on Google’s platform Google My Business.
The address in SEO that is so important, is an address that is professional and located in a business zone. The quality of the location and amount of traffic that go by on a daily basis all play a factor into how the rankings are determined. For example, in Billings there are several major business district roads such as Grand Ave, 27th St, Main St, King Ave & 24th St.
These main roads have the majority of traffic in the city and represent convenience zones for customers. They’re convenient because the customer is probably travelling through these main arteries in there daily travels through the city, anyway. This is why Google gives extra credit for these business addresses over no address or less prime business addresses. Residentially zoned addresses are by far the most uncompetitive but are better than no address at all.
It’s not always easy to secure a premium business address for smaller businesses who may be on a budget. A possible option might be to rent an address space. Some businesses like post centers offer a monthly rental service for a business address that will be a suite extension. These can be better than no address at all. It is important to note that an address that is exclusive to your business and in a premium location will provide the most SEO value & local rankings for the business website.
Post office boxes or P.O. box addresses for businesses do not work and offer 0 SEO value. If you want to have a P.O. box for business mail, that is fine, but make sure you have a good address if you want to rank locally.
The concept extends to other addresses and locations. Google will give more authority to a business that has multiple addresses in premium business locations. Verifying each of these addresses is an important part of gaining the value from Google. Each address location will need to complete this process to gain all the possible local SEO juice.
They offer a couple of verification options, if you have a cell phone for the business you can have them call and give a code. That code is entered into the verify my page part of Google local listing.
If you have a PDX system in your office, then the automated call system from Google won’t be able to get through and you will have to choose the postcard option. The postcard will show up in 1-2 weeks and will have a code on it that you’ll need to go back to Google My Business and enter to verify the page.
Scoring Local Rankings
After the address is registered, go through the profile and make sure all the information is completed. Add a profile icon, logo and cover are a good way to enfore the branding. See our logo sizing and choices for SkyPoint’s local page:
Hours of operation are extremely important! Playing with the open hours compared to competition is an interesting strategy because you can optimize when your business shows if it is open when none of the competition is open. Also super important of course is a link to your website (SEO juice!!) as well as the business categories. Pick several appropriate categories if possible, the specificity is pretty broad, but more categories is better than less. The more energy and attention is put into completing the profile as much as possible, the better Google will reward with higher local rankings.
Once the page is completed and ready for action, reviews become the next goal. I wrote an article covering the power of reviews a little while back. The overall idea is to get as many positive reviews as possible, of course from happy customers (:
One cool strategy for getting reviews for your local page is using a URL shortener. I use bit.ly which allows a easy short link option for reviewing SkyPoint on Google Local Pages, just type bit.ly/reviewskypoint in the browser bar and it goes right to the review area.