While a strong Google Places listing can be a great way to rank your business for local searches on the search engine results pages (SERPS), what happens if you want to be found in other locations as well?
Google is pretty strict about listings that are unverifiable and even if you set up an actual PO Box in other locations, it does not mean a “real” address to Google. You cannot stick one of those little red pins on a PO Box on a map! The end result is that those listings are pretty much ignored.
So what can you do if you are a painter in Boston who also wants to be found in Cambridge? There a several approaches you can try.
Service Area Pages are one way to get your business name associated with other towns or cities. Build separate pages for your site that highlight different locations and the services you offer in those locations. Add actual job info and photos if possible and be sure to link to and from these pages on your web site to build some Google credibility. To strengthen them even more, you can add directions on how to get to you from each of the chosen service areas and testimonials from locals in those areas can only help to build the reliability of the page even more.
Use the service area on the actual Google Places listing wisely. Rather than specifying a service are radius on the map, choose some distinct locations you want to target when completing the listing. In a case like this, being more specific could be more helpful when the searcher is doing a targeted local search for a business in their location.
Of course, you can always add other real locations if you can afford it. Even small satellite locations where you may meet with clients occasionally or set actual business hours so that Google sees it as a legitimate location. Of course, if your business sends you to the consumer, this isn’t really an option for you.
By Don MacMelville