Changing from listing with address to "service area business"

Tim Colling

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Hi - I have a business that is already listed and ranking somewhat well in organic and local pack results. The business provides services in the homes of its customers in the local city and surrounding cities. It also meets with clients for consulting meetings at its office address, in some cases with clients for whom the business does not provide in-home services, just consulting advice.

The office is currently listed with its address showing in its Google local page and so it's not set up as a service area business. However, I think it would be best for it to be changed to a service area business listing for the sake of having it show up for queries in those surrounding cities.

The business is A Servant's Heart In Home Care and its Google local page is at https://plus.google.com/+TrustworthyCare/abouthttps://plus.google.com/+TrustworthyCare/about

I would like to ask two questions:
1) Do you agree that it would be good to change this to a service area business listing, in terms of producing local pack results for queries in nearby cities?
2) Do you think that making this change is risky, in terms of Google looking at it as a spammy move?

Thanks!
 

HurricaneK8

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Re: Changing from listing with address to "service area business"

Hi :)

The best way to set up a business that has an office that serves customers, but also serves customers at their location, is to check both those boxes off in the dashboard. This will show the businesses physical address, but also show the service area they serve.

Is it risky to do this? Any changes in the dashboard can be risky. If the listing is ranking well, and the current set up isn't confusing customers, I would leave it as is for now... but that's just my personal opinion/fear of angering the Google Gods :)

---------- Post Merged at 11:30 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 11:28 AM ----------

Opps. I forgot to answer "in terms of producing local pack results for queries in nearby cities?". You probably won't rank in the pack for cities you're not physically located in. Check the results for those cities now and you'll probably notice they don't show businesses located in surrounding cities in the pack.

The best way to rank in those cities is organically with landing pages created to focus on each individual city.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Tim, I agree with Kate.

But want to stress setting up service area has no impact on ranking. You won't rank in towns you don't rank in now, no matter how you set up the service area. Best way to try to rank in other towns is with very smart location page and work on organic SEO.

FYI since Pigeon it's not as true that you can only rank in your town. I've seen lots of packs with 5 different towns in the pack. I've also seen lots of packs where you search for KW City 1 and the top 3 listings are in a different town and the 1st City 1 listing in down in the C spot.

So especially in less competitive markets and smaller nearby cities you can sometimes rank post pigeon. I've seen in a lot in the small east coast towns that are all clustered together.

But I just did a quick search for elder care san marcos ca, vista and escondido and they are all showing listings for the respective city exclusively.
 

Tim Colling

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Linda and Kate, thank you very much for your quick replies. I really appreciate your help.

This is sort of maddening for us in this particular business. We are in a VERY crowded market and we provide service throughout the North San Diego County area.

As Linda observed, the pack listings are pretty much limited to displaying providers in the specific city named in the search query, regardless of whether we are just a half a mile away, across city boundaries, and are a better choice because we're physically closer to where the person is searching from. <sigh>

There is a "cosmetic" reason why I still might want to change. Here's what I mean: it appears that the pack results display maps for service area businesses with a map marker pin AND a service radius, whereas our business only displays with a map pin marker and no radius. I kind of like the idea of displaying that radius. It's purely a cosmetic concern, though.

Am I correct in thinking that if we changed the listing to remove that "meet with customers at our office" checkbox selection, our listing would appear with a radius shown?

One other thing to know about my situation: on Oct 10, we're moving the office to a new location in different building, in the same city block. I'm probably taking less of a risk if I enter that address change first (with address updates across the board in all our other citations via yext and others), right?

Thanks for all your help!
 

Linda Buquet

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Am I correct in thinking that if we changed the listing to remove that "meet with customers at our office" checkbox selection, our listing would appear with a radius shown?
Noooo don't do that. That will hide your address totally and give you a round marker, so you look different than others. You'll get the service radius if you set up service area settings. If you have a commercial office and are staffed there for walk in traffic then you should leave the setting clicked that says you also see clients at your address.

Hiding address also has other negative ramifications which I won't go into. But if you are a plumber working from home they you have no choice and should really do it. But if you have an office and see clients there then you really should not.

One other thing to know about my situation: on Oct 10, we're moving the office to a new location in different building, in the same city block. I'm probably taking less of a risk if I enter that address change first (with address updates across the board in all our other citations via yext and others), right?
Too many tweaks can trip a filter and get you suspended. So since only a few days away I'd hold off and do everything at once. HOWEVER do it in the right order or will cause trouble. Do service area 1st. Then do address change. Once you do address change and trigger the verification be sure not to make any other changes until you enter the PIN.
 

Tim Colling

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Re: Changing from listing with address to &quot;service area business&quot;

...You'll get the service radius if you set up service area settings. If you have a commercial office and are staffed there for walk in traffic then you should leave the setting clicked that says you also see clients at your address...
Too many tweaks can trip a filter and get you suspended. So since only a few days away I'd hold off and do everything at once. HOWEVER do it in the right order or will cause trouble. Do service area 1st. Then do address change. Once you do address change and trigger the verification be sure not to make any other changes until you enter the PIN.
Thanks Linda. I am just a bit (maybe a lot) confused by one thing you said. The company listing is already set up with a service area. Here's what it looks like:



I have BOTH boxes checked off. This was done, by the way, with the blessing of a Google employee who called when I had submitted a help request about this topic.

The thing I'd like to improve is that when my business shows up in local pack listings, it never shows with that service area radius in those pack results. It only shows in my settings dialog, shown above. I speculate that if it looked as shown in the above screen shot, it would be enticing to prospective clients in nearby cities.

Thanks!

---------- Post Merged at 01:40 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 01:35 PM ----------

...So especially in less competitive markets and smaller nearby cities you can sometimes rank post pigeon. I've seen in a lot in the small east coast towns that are all clustered together.

But I just did a quick search for elder care san marcos ca, vista and escondido and they are all showing listings for the respective city exclusively.
Checking to make sure that I understand you point: in those nearby cities, where there are already more than 10 in home elder care providers, a service area business in an adjacent city, like my business, probably won't show up in the pack results. Is that correct?

 

Margaret Ornsby

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Tim, when I google home "health care san marcos ca" and look at the 7-pack I see only one listing with a service area "radius" that is a square-ish shape. Every other are has a pin only and no radius of any kind.

Am I confused?
 

Linda Buquet

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Weird. Glad you explained more and showed screenshots.

The way you are set up SHOULD be showing service are in the Knowledge Graph and on maps.

Actually in checking again it does show service area on maps.

Use Classic to see it: http://******/maps/8pu51

But it does not show in the KG. Not sure why.

"Checking to make sure that I understand you point: in those nearby cities, where there are already more than 10 in home elder care providers, a service area business in an adjacent city, like my business, probably won't show up in the pack results. Is that correct?"

Yes that is correct. Post Pigeon I tend to see more other towns ranking in some packs but that's usually for really small towns that don't have many providers, so then Google backfills with nearby towns.

But the big issue is that changing that setting won't make any difference in ranking. Plus you already have a service area and it's not helping you rank in other cities now. All it will do is hide address which could impact your click through rates and puts you in a different category/type of business in Google's eyes. So I would not do it.
 

Conor Treacy

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Feb 25, 2014
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This is an older thread, but I'm just checking in here to verify that things are still the same way.

We have a client who ranks really well in City B, but wants to rank in City A (his shop is located in B, but his clients are all in A). The client wanted to remove the physical address list, and leave it as only a service based business (even though he still has a shop).

The verification that I'm looking for is that even if we kill the address listing, that wouldn't give him a boost to the service area that was already defined.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Conor,

Happy New Year!

Show address or not.
Service area or not.
Change service area radius.

Unless something has changed recently I don't know about, none of those things really affect ranking. Google is still going by the address in the dash whether it shows live to the public or not. And she'll rank where she thinks you should rank based on all the other factors regardless of service area radius settings.

So you are correct. If they don't rank in city A now, changing any of the service area settings or hiding address should not make a difference in ranking.

BUT if it's a shop, then hiding address could negatively impact calls and visits.
 

Conor Treacy

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Feb 25, 2014
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Thanks Linda! Happy New Year to you also!

I was fairly certain this was still the case, but it's been a year and so much has changed with the local pack ;)

I appreciate you jumping in on this posting!
 

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