Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Jamie Rose Santos Ayque on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, June 27, 2019).

Increasing visibility in another location

Hi everyone! My SEO concern is related with Google My Business. I inherited a client who is in the business of home repairs and they have 3 physical offices in different locations. They want to increase their visibility in another location. But upon accessing their account, I saw that they have about 32 locations pointing to big areas and not an exact address. These locations are their service areas. I`m guessing this is their previous SEO provider`s strategy to increase their visibility in Google maps

I`m torn between following the same practice (as I`m not quite sure this is allowed) and using their office address in the maps. Should I create fake locations as well?.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Tim Capper: No Fake Locations - After the recent news and press around fake / spam businesses around GMB is pushing hard to get all the spam removed.

    If their main business is going out to people, then use SAB if most customers come to them - then have them as local.

    Equally it makes no flipping sense to create dozens of SAB listings because they obviously have a limit as to where they can serve and there is no point having a customer call up that they cant provide a service to.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: The Service Area, from my experience, is helpful for slight deviations from what Google finds to be the "norm" in your region and niche.

    Get rid of the fake service area stuff and make sure each branch has its own listing - if they don`t exist, create them and make sure someone at each new location is ready to receive the verification mail.

    The key here is on the web site itself, make sure you have structured data for your LocalBusiness and overall "Organization" which makes use of the "branchOf" schema to indicate the relationship between them all.

    The main company is an "Organization" with each location being a localBusiness that is a branchOf the organization. From here, if you wish, you can define a service area for each branch - though it`s not really necessary unless there is a deviation from the norm. (Home repairs niche tends to be normalized at around 90 minutes driving distance, give or take - at least the last time I checked. The number of miles that includes depends upon where you are - 90 minutes in the NYC area is a lot shorter distance than 90 minutes in Utah, for example).

    Keep in mind that you can define any area you want - but Google may or may not use it. In areas where there is low competition, we have seen businesses getting referrals from people they can`t possibly serve, but they are closest to the customer in question. If you are in a super competitive and dense area, your effective range may only be a handful of miles in each area unless you start doing some service differentiation strategies or similar ways to expand the search terms you`re going to hit on.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, June 27, 2019).

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