Our line of work, here at Comit, gives us access to valuable insight into the inner workings of Google. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help your service area business.

Google is constantly updating its search algorithms and techniques.
This is a given. Anyone who knows or has worked with Google knows how often they are updating their search algorithms. We’ve also noted that Google updated its techniques for displaying information. For example, over the past month, we’ve seen the carousel appear and disappear a few times.

Keyword descriptions are important.
Google places descriptions are incredibly important, because you can actually use keywords within them. Write a heavy description that is keyword rich and useful to consumers and Google. Also, DO NOT copy a blurb from your website into Google. That’s a big no-no because it’s considered duplicate content.

Google considers the city that you are stationed in a part of your service area.
Google considers your home city to be a part of your service area. Therefore, if your service area business address is stationed in Happyville, even if your address is hidden, you don’t need to put Happyville in the service area. It’s considered duplication and is a no-no. This also applies to zip codes.

Update your information semi-regularly
Many times, people will put their Google service area business live, and then never touch it again. This is not good. It’s good practice to update the information on your business page every once in a while. You’re primarily going to be updating your business description, but it helps. You wouldn’t want to change your address, number, or business hours, unless one of them actually changes.

Service area markers are centered in your service area
Whether you set up your service area through zip codes or city-names, the letter/marker will always be placed that the center of your service area. Here is the important part to keep in mind, that dot does NOT affect where you will land in search results. So, if you think that your marker is not in a good location, keep in mind that it doesn’t affect your search results, but is just in the center of your service area. With that being said, you are allowed to move the dot in your settings, but we have yet to hear if you can be penalized for doing so. Our suggestion is to leave it be.

Ask for reviews
Google does not penalize people for asking for reviews, therefore you should be asking for reviews left and right. If you think you provided someone with good service and think that they wouldn’t mind leaving a review, then ask them. Reviews go a long way, and once you get five reviews on Google, you get the star counter.

Do not use virtual or UPS Store addresses
If you have the option to use a real address, whether that’s a home or storefront, use it. Google frowns upon using virtual addresses or P.O. Boxes, whether in UPS Stores or not. Some people can get away with using virtual addresses, but most of the time, Google will penalize you for it.

New accounts for each location
If you happen to have multiple locations for your business, then we suggest getting new accounts for each one. Basically, you might want to create separate email address for each location and then create a new account for each location.

Fix bad reviews
If you happen to be having a bad day, and you don’t provide the best service to someone, they might actually go and leave a bad review. The worst thing you could do is leave it alone and let it sit there. Did you know that users can actually delete reviews after posting them? Therefore, if someone leaves a bad review, get on your Google page and respond to that review as the business owner. Ask them what went wrong, why are they upset, and how can you fix it. If you make things right, they might remove the review.

These tips and tricks have been learned over time after watching our service area businesses flourish. We’re happy to lend a hand with your business. If you have any questions, email us at [email protected] or call at 337-326-5479.