Do you work from home?
Not keen on having your home address splashed across the front of Google?
But still want to have a Google+ Local page?
It’s a problem isn’t it – you work from home, and naturally don’t allow customers to visit there.
But because you do leave home occasionally to meet customers in-person, you’re eligible for a Google+ Local page rather than a Brand page.
But that means showing your full address on the Google+ Local page along with a map directly to your house…right? Wrong!
It is actually very easy to hide your home address on a Google+ Local page.
If you are creating the page from scratch then make sure you select “Service Area” – this tells Google that you go to customers rather than them coming to you, and it will automatically hide your address from the public.
You will still see the full address in the dashboard, but only your suburb (or city) and the state will be shown on the Google+ page like in the example below.
If you have already created a Google+ Local page and you’d like to hide your address, go to the dashboard (select My Business from the left hand side menu) and then click on the red Edit button.
Scroll down and click on the pencil icon next to ‘Address’.
Select ‘I deliver goods and services to customers at their location’
De-select ‘I also serve customers at my business location’
But what about the Service Area?
Many people mistakenly think that putting lots of postcodes or a large number of cities into the Service Area will help with their ranking.
The Service Area doesn’t help in ranking – all it does is show Map users the area your business services. And if you’re not careful with how you set your Service Area, you can end up with your business ‘located’ in the middle of a park or even an ocean!
Google itself uses distance, relevance, and prominence as part of its factors in producing local search results. This article provides a bit more information on ranking in local search.
So what next?
Well that’s it really. Set your address up correctly and leave it, secure that your full address is not being shown in Google+ Local.
And if you do change your business model – if you move to an office where you meet customers for example, then it is simple enough to change the settings to show your full address again.
Oh, one last thing – if you have your home address shown in other directories then Google may show the address in regular Google search results.
To avoid having your address show up at all, you either need to remove yourself from all online directories or see whether those directories allow you to hide your address in some way.