At my recent presentation for Networking on Sea in Southend, one of the attendees asked a question about their Google Map Listing. It's an area that confuses a lot of Managing Directors and Marketing Managers.
Assent Risk Management are a consultancy firm providing ISO consultancy for Information Security
Kathy told me:
"We are concerned that if we put our company / head office address on the Google Map listing it will put potential clients off as they will be looking for consultants in their area (e.g. Manchester). We don't want them finding us, then looking into us more and seeing 'Benfleet' and thinking "oh they actually aren't local to me, never mind" and discarding us!"
What are Google Map Listings?
Google Map Listings are local listings designed to help searchers on PCs and, more particularly, on mobile phones to find the nearest local supplier. Google currently calls these Google My Business (GMB) Listings.
You complete a GMB Listing for your business and it then appears as one of three map results for local searches on PCs and on mobile phones - for those categories which trigger the map listings.
However, it will only show for searches relating to your service in the town where you are located. In this case, Benfleet. In some circumstances, Assent might also show for another local town - but only if Google does not have any better contenders who are based in that town.
Google Map Listings vs Knowledge Panel
Currently Assent are the only local option that Google recognises as offering Risk Management in Benfleet so, instead of the three map listings in the main search results, you just get the view shown below.
Their website is top of the organic searches on the left but there is no map listing section in the left hand column. Instead, viewers just see what is known as the Knowledge Panel on the right hand side. This shows all the information about Assent that Google has gathered from across the internet.
Will my Benfleet Google Map Listing Put Off National Visitors?
If someone was searching in Manchester for a local business who does Risk Management, they would only see potential suppliers who were 'near them'. They would not see the Assent map listing because it is hundreds of miles away. It doesn't matter that Assent is a nationwide consultancy, Google uses its map listings to help searchers to find the nearest local supplier.
Service Area Business option?
Assent could list themselves as a Service Area Business and indicate that they visit customers at their premises rather than having a head office of their own. However, whilst this would mean that their listing would not display their full address, it would still show their main town for human viewers. And it would have no bearing on how Google ranked their business for a local search. Their map listing would still only be shown to people local to Benfleet UNLESS they specifically searched for Assent - in which case they would get the Knowledge Panel as explained above.
Satellite Office in Manchester
If Manchester is an important location for this type of business, Assent could consider opening a satellite office there with its own GMB page so that it can rank for those searches. NB This does not require a new website.
If you've got a problem with Google Maps or a Google My Business listing, click here
Help Customers To Find You
Your Google My Business map listing is only one way to get customers to find your business. For a website with TLC, you should be aiming to direct multiple streams of traffic to your website. Learn how by clicking on the image below.