Google has made some important changes to their “Google My Business” listings that can dramatically impact how your company connects with local customers.
If you’re in the contracting business, Google now classifies you as a “Service Area Business” (SAB). This means you perform work at the location of your customers within a general service area, rather than having customers come to your office.
Google is changing how they rank SAB businesses in Google map listings. In the past, your map ranking for “Sprinkler Contractor Chicago” was determined by your business addresses location to the centerpoint of the city. Some clever contractors were renting an office suite in downtown buildings to rank first!
Now your business will be asked to designate a “Service Area” by region, city, or ZIP code. (This will no longer be a radius around a physical address either.)
The implications are significant:
- You must edit your Google My Business listing to define your service area.
- Your ranking in Google Map searches likely will be influenced more heavily by factors like your reviews scores, the number of reviews and the overall thoroughness of your company profile.
- Businesses based in far suburbs may see their results change, as service areas now overtake geographic proximity.
None of these changes are fully set in stone, so you should work closely with your on-line marketing experts this winter to optimize your results.