What Value Does The Service Area Radius Provide?

Johnston's wine press, South Australia, 1920 / Samuel Ware
(Photo courtesy of National Library of Australia)

Do you run a service area business? You know, one where you visit the customer in their location – like a plumber or an electrician.

Maybe you provide professional services, like a consultant, and so you visit clients in their office, or a coffee shop or somewhere other than your home based office.

If so, then I’m sure you’ve at some stage wondered just what value the service area radius provides and just how big you should set it…

Hang On, What’s A Service Area?

For those of you who haven’t had the joy of setting up a service area business allow me to explain what I mean. Google offers two types of business models for its Google Local listings: Shopfronts (traditional bricks and mortar businesses) and Service Area Business (people who provide services/products to customers/clients at their location).

When you choose the second option, you are given the opportunity to hide your address (since you don’t want people coming to your business address) and to set a service area radius either by post code or kms.

Service Area Radius in Google Local Listing

So setting a really large service area radius will help me out right?

Actually no.

Some business owners think, or are told by their local search specialists, that setting a larger service area radius will help them out with ranking, particularly in areas outside of their actual physical location.

Sadly this is not the case. Setting a service area radius does nothing other than show a circle like this on Maps:

Screen Shot Of Service Area Radius in Google Maps

Which will tell a Maps searcher that you service a particular area – in this case anywhere from Collector in the north to Captains Flat in the south – but it’s unlikely to help you rank any better for those areas.

Google’s ranking factors are based heavily on Relevance, Distance and Prominence particularly as they relate to the individual searching for a business. Is your business’ physical location near to where the individual is currently searching?

If yes, then it’s likely your business will come up as a result, but as the individual moves away from your physical location then it’s less and less likely you’ll show up for them.

So, what should a Service Area business do to rank better outside of their immediate vicinity?

That’s a great question! And one I’ll cover in a later article. For now, just remember that a larger service area does not necessarily correlate to better rankings, so don’t worry too much about the size of it. Set a reasonable distance – 20kms is a good rule of thumb – and forget about it.

Got questions about this or anything else to do with Local Rankings? Feel free to drop me a line anytime.

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter

Get easy to understand articles on getting your local business found online - straight to your in-box.


  1. says

    You say above, “Sowhat should a Service Area business do to rank better outside of their immediate vicinity? That’s a great question! And one I’ll cover in a later article.”


Leave a Reply to Gary Sands Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *