One question we get a lot is whether you should hide your address in Google My Business or not. When you are setting up your Google My Business listing, you will have to provide your address so that Google can verify you are in fact a real business (they often do this by sending a postcard with a verification code to your address). However, once your address is verified, you have the option to hide your address and set up a service area business instead. For service area businesses, Google shows the area you serve instead of the exact location of your business. Service area businesses are designed for businesses who visit customers at their location, instead of the other way around.
Example of a business with their address showing
Example of a service area business with their address hidden
There are many rumors going around that hiding or showing your address will cause your business to rank better. However, this isn’t the case. Both businesses with an address showing and hidden can rank in Google Maps.
This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter what you choose, though. Instead of asking what will rank better, you should ask what is better for your specific business.
The obvious question you need to ask yourself is: do you serve customers at your business address? If you do, then you should display your address so that these customers can find you. If you serve customers at their location, then you should set up a service area showing what areas you serve.
It gets a little trickier if you do both. For example, maybe you are a carpet cleaning company that visits customers at their homes, but you also have a facility where you clean rugs and where customers can pick them up. Or maybe you are a restaurant, but you also deliver food to customers. In instances like this, you should consider what your primary function is. For the carpet cleaner, it’s probably cleaning at customer’s homes, so you should set a service area. For a restaurant, you want customers to be able to find your restaurant and walk in, so you should leave your address displayed.
Something important to note is that if you display your address, it must be a commercial building or otherwise have signs denoting that it is your place of business. You cannot show your address on Google My Business if it is your home address, even if you occasionally meet customers there. Residential addresses will get suspended and removed by Google, so if your business address is residential, you must hide it. If you do really do business out of your home, you should have a separate entrance and signage clearly denoting your business name, and you should be prepared to submit proof of these to Google if they do suspend your listing for using a residential address.
In the end, you shouldn’t worry about trends or what will rank you the best when deciding whether or not to hide or show your address. Instead, consider what will serve your customers that best. If they will want to visit you at your location, show your address. If they will want you to come to them, hide your address show them the area you serve. Either option is perfectly valid.
If you need help managing your Google My Business listing or getting your listing ranking well, the SEO experts at Kite Media can help! Give us a call at 435-753-7553 or fill out a contact form today and we can discuss how we can help!