If you own a business of any kind, you’ll inevitably be faced with the ever important question: should your business be on Google? Now, we’re not just talking about showing up in Google search results, because every business should be doing that, but rather, we’re talking about creating a Google My Business listing. While the answer may seem simple enough, depending on the type of business you have, the decision may not even be in your hands. This is because Google is very particular about the types of businesses that can be listed, ultimately aiming to keep search results limited to local brands that customers can physically visit. To help you figure out whether or not your company can reap the benefits of a Google My Business listing, in this article, we’re going to be dissecting the various guidelines Google has put in place.
What is Google My Business?
Before we dive into the types of businesses that can and can’t create a listing, it’s important you first understand what Google My Business is and how you can benefit from it. Google My Business is a free tool created to help businesses manage their online presence across the Google platform. Not only will this increase the likelihood of your business showing up in search results, but, more importantly, it can provide a dramatic boost to your local rankings.
Another major benefit of Google My Business is being able to build instant credibility with potential customers that interact with your listing. Through Google My Business, you can share important details about your business, help customers learn about your brand, and even communicate directly with them. Lastly, GMB is a powerful tool for learning about how your business is being found, what your target consumers are looking for, and how you can increase visibility.
Who Can Have a Google My Business Listing?
In order to have a Google My Business listing, Google makes it fairly straightforward by setting the requirement that businesses must be able to operate face-to-face with customers. To give you a better idea as well as some examples of the types of businesses that meet this easy-going criterion, we’ve created a general outline below.
These are easily the most popular kind of Google My Business listings because so many different types of businesses can fall into this category. Physical location businesses include restaurants, stores, salons, and so much more. In a nutshell, physical location businesses are those that customers must visit in person to make a purchase.
Companies that conduct business by visiting the physical locations of their customers fall under this category—though they still have to have an office location that customers can go to if need be. These include businesses such as handymen, delivery services, exterminators, cleaners, or anything else where you travel directly to the client.
If you have a professional business, such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, for example, you’d fall under the category of individual practitioners. This even includes real estate agents, with the exception of those that only have a virtual website and no office. So long as you have a physical location that customers can go to, Google will allow you to create a listing for your practice.
Service Area Businesses
Expanding a bit more on the mobile businesses we covered above, you may be wondering, how can you show customers that you service their area on Google? Luckily, Google has implemented “service areas” for brands that travel directly to their customers rather than conducting business in-store so long as you have staff at the physical location during the listed hours of operation.
The service area business feature allows you to create a presence in all of the cities that you offer services in, increasing your reach while still allowing you to show up for location-specific Google searches. An example of a service area business would be a restaurant that offers on-site seating for customers that want the traditional dining experience, while also having drivers that deliver food to customers who want to enjoy at home.
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