Google Business gives you the tools to specify a service area, and you can let the public know if you make deliveries.

How hard is it to get on the local SEO map without an address? For businesses without a brick and mortar, getting a prime listing can feel harder than digging a tunnel with a teaspoon.

Let’s say you’re a local dog groomer. You did your research and know your town is sprawling with devoted pet lovers so rather than opening a traditional mom & paw shop, you have a mobile service that lets you preen and primp four-legged fur balls right in their own home. It’s vital you get your business listed online so customers can find you easily and quickly, as well as help you attract new clientele. In fact, by the time people search “best dog groomer near me” they’re usually already very close to purchasing the service so it’s important the information about your business that shows up when people search is as accurate, complete, and optimized as possible.

Fortunately for these companies, commonly known as “Service Area Businesses” (SABs), we make navigating the ins and outs of publishing online listings a cinch. Here are the best ways to get your SAB seen by your soon-to-be new customers on the proper platforms.

Properly Define a Service Area Business

An SAB is a service provider that goes to their customer rather than serving them from a brick and mortar location. Rather, an owner might use his or her home address as the business’ base and deliver services to wherever they’re needed (e.g. pet groomers, carpet cleaners, plumbers, etc.), or it might function entirely as a mobile unit (e.g. food trucks, locksmiths, etc.).

If you operate an SAB, getting your business listed online is the most vital step required to help you attract potential customers. However, there’s a reasonable chance you don’t want your personal (and private) home address floating out there for all the world to see. Yet seeing as how the number one performance factor in local SEO is based on an actual business address, this can be problematic. {Spoiler} this is where things can get a bit complicated”¦

Reach More People In Your Local Market

As someone who grooms dogs all day (or unclogs sinks or serves tacos from a food truck) you’ve got way more to do than to deepdive into the complexities and nuances of local listings. But one of the keys to successfully listing an SAB is being aware that different directories use different approaches, and knowing what these distinctions are.

Here are a few of the top directories and the steps you’ll need to take in order to optimize them:

Google My Business: This is far and away the most supportive directory you’ll find for SABs, as it allows you the most control over defining your area. (From here on out, other directories, though important to use, are more limited in how specific an area you can define.)

GMB gives you three main options:

  1. Selecting a service area radius (either in miles or kilometres) that will be displayed on Google Maps as a circle.
  2. Entering the cities that your business serves.
  3. Submitting a list of postal codes that your business serves.

When it comes to Local Search performance, option #3 is the best place to start. Setting your service area by postal codes can assist you specifically in terms of where you perform in local searches, whereas when you set a radius by distance, all search results within the circle are weighted equally. Also, using postal codes sets your service area as a group of polygons located around each postal code, which can positively influence local searches within the specific sector. Keep in mind though that the downside is this may affect your visibility on local searches outside of these polygons. The real key with Google My Business is to try out each of these options for awhile, and based on the results, determine which one garners the most success for your SAB.

Facebook: Here, only the city and state/province in which you operate will be displayed, along with a zoomed-out map.

Foursquare: Same as Facebook. City, state/province, map.

Bing: Similar to Facebook and Foursquare, minus the map and your state/province. Only your city and postal code are displayed.

Yelp: Here, you have the ability to enter up to six major cities that your business serves. Any cities included within the boundary of locations you’ve defined will also be included in your service area. Keep in mind that these are limited to a 100-mile radius.

Let Us List Your Service Area Business Properly

Aside from helping you implement the proper tactics to publish your SAB listings with other directories, we can help you manage and optimize them to ensure that they’re clean, consistent and showing up in the right places. Partner with LOCALiQ to get more customers for your Service Area Business.

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