As long as there has been SEO, there have been shortcuts created with the express purpose of getting around best practices. As a rule, these shortcuts are ineffective. One common “shortcut” we see is a business attempting to implement an SEO campaign in a target region without having a physical location in it.

Bad idea.

Search engines (Google in particular) want to display accurate information about where businesses are located in reference to those searching for them. Achieving Google My Business (GMB) local pack results without having an actual physical address is impossible – without completely disregarding Google’s guidelines, that is. A business needs local citations to make their GMB page more visible (rank higher), and a verified address is necessary to receive local citations.

Here are some snippets of Google’s guidelines that apply to this situation:

“To qualify for a GMB listing, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours.”

With respect to the address:

“The GMB page must be your actual, real-world location.”

“If your business rents a temporary “virtual” office at a different address from your primary business, do not create a page for that location unless it is staffed during your normal business hours.”

“For service businesses that serve customers at their locations (e.g., HVAC, landscapers), one page should be created for the central office or location, and designate a service area from that point. Service-area businesses can’t list a virtual office unless it is staffed during business hours.”

You can develop and implement a standard SEO campaign, even if your business does not meet Google’s location guidelines. You can use a title tag and content that target the specific geographic region with location/city keywords that link back to your website.

Having a physical address lends immediate credibility to your business, and gives your company the opportunity to create local company profiles on relevant local commerce sites, directories, websites, or blogs. Though this may not be the most efficient strategy, a standard SEO approach is guaranteed to be more effective than ignoring SEO methods entirely and eliminates any risk of violating Google’s guidelines (or the consequences for it!)

AdInfusion has a talented team adept and experienced with SEO that will manage your campaigns effectively for you. By incorporating these efforts, we’re able to provide measurable results quickly, and consistently, for the lifetime of your business. Contact us today to discover how quality SEO can benefit your business.