More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Service area businesses pose unique challenges when setting up on Google. There are a lot of guidelines many small Service Area Businesses (SABs) are not aware of. And they usually want to rank for multiple cities they serve which layers more issues on top of that.

Joy Hawkins, one of our Top Contributors here at the forum and fellow Google Top Contributor, just did an excellent and quite detailed start-up guide for SABs over at Moz, so I wanted to share with our members here.

<a href="">Getting on the Map: The Intro to Local SEO for SABs - Moz</a>

She covers issues like what address to use and whether you should hide your address (per Google guidelines, with few exceptions.). And how to set up service areas, check for dupes, check and report spammy competitors, expanding hours, content strategy and more.

Head over to Moz to read the rest!

This is good enough that I'm making it a sticky, here in our Service Area Business Issues forum.

Thanks for sharing Linda :)
Well done @joyhawkins! Solid, no nonsense advice.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
I have a client, Presto Pest Control (working on building their new website now so this one doesn't work), they have a physical office in Telford, PA but they also have partners who work for them in other cities so they can also service Baltimore and Washington DC (no physical offices in those cities).

For their Google listing, should I set up a local page for Telford and SAB pages for the branch locations? Or just one SAB page that says we service Telford, Baltimore and Washington DC?

Also, if I set up SAB's for the branch locations should I use the partners local home address in that area? And would I need to create unique phone numbers for each listing?
Make sure you review the guidelines for clients like this -

"Service-area businesses--business that serve customers at their locations--should have one page for the central office or location and designate a service area from that point. If you wish to display your complete business address while setting your service area(s), your business location should be staffed and able to receive customers during its stated hours. Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your business information as well as information from other sources. Learn more about service-area businesses."

You will only be allowed to create a page for their corporate address, and set a service area. If there are no offices located in the other cities, then I would advise them on a non-maps strategy. If there is not a physical location for each branch (Baltimore/DC), they can't have a page for those cities.

You may also find it impossible to rank with that service area outside of Telford, since the page will be 100+ miles away from your next closest city (Baltimore).

Are the "partners" other businesses that contract for them? How does that work? It might change the answer if I'm missing something from the scenario.
Hi, I have a question that may have already been answered a lot but I can't seem to find it in the forums or articles I find that answers this specific question.

So I do business for a moving company in Washington. They are obviously more of a service area business. They do have a business address but they don't service people there. On GMB they are currently showing the business address and have 8-5 hours. They are ranking ok (not top 3) in local pack for "city name moving company".

Should I hide the address which I believe removes the hours? They are only available to answer the phones from 8-5 though and not 24 hours. Would removing their address strip them of the local pack rankings?

Should I remove the address from the website etc?

They want to rank for their city but also surrounding cities and areas. Would best practice in 2018 still be to create organic landing pages? Is placing text in the footer with "surrounding areas" still bad practice?

Thank you.

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