Your local SEO efforts can change soon. Word has reported that Google has revised its Google My Company Guidelines to state that virtual offices are not considered service-area businesses and that they must have their virtual office staffed during business hours, according to Search Engine Land. In effect, the service-area enterprises must provide a single page for the central office and identify a service area from there. To recap, a service-area company can't list a virtual office unless it is staffed 9 to 5.
Google My Business, a free and easy-to-use app, is designed for companies, brands and organizations to control their online presence through Google, including Search and Maps. Through checking and editing your company records, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business, says Google. This is a great resource, particularly for home care companies looking to gain exposure in the community, but it comes with a lot of laws. Google isn't a dummy. It's always about maximizing, clarifying, avoiding, and strategizing the offerings. It also tries to block anyone from complying with the rules it sets out or attempting to get away with the loopholes.
Your home health care business may fall under the hybrid category, just like a pizza joint that serves customers in its dining rooms and delivers pizzas to customers in their homes. Under Google's new guidelines, these types of businesses will view their store front address and set up a service area in Google My Company. As a home care company looking to support clients and patients at your address as well as a virtual service area, your team will have to work with you during normal business hours. If your home care company is fully virtual, you won't be able to mention your virtual office address as a business-based service.
This move may have been the result of posters in the Google My Company forum that questioned whether or not a virtual address should be used for a business service area while using a virtual office address as the primary address for a business card.
Challenges of Local SEO
This can be a confusing area for businesses that do not actually have a physical place for clients to visit, as is often the case with home care companies, particularly small start-ups. Unlike the brick-and-mortar storefront, service-area companies go out to reach their customers rather than the other way around which means they end up serving several towns. This can be troublesome, as Moz says, the #1 ranking factor in the local SEO is the physical address of the company. The professional should consider these local SEO issues and come up with workable solutions.
Are You Ready to Find Your New Virtual Office?
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