Senior SEO Consultant

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Businesses in the service industry may think they are at a disadvantage because Google wants most of them to hide their address. For home-based businesses, the opposite is often true: many owners of these types of businesses want to keep their address private and not get confused customers who show up at their door expecting to find a public place.

However, not all home businesses are the same in terms of what they need and what they can do. Choose which of the following best describes your home-based business:

I work with people in person at my home, I want people to know my address

In this case, it could be a child care center or an animal groomer. It could be a horse stable, a private tutor, or something else in that vein. This is an example of a business that should pay for street-level signs and use them to show that they are a real business. This business plan can’t fail.

If your business is only open by appointment, Google prefers that you don’t put any hours of business on your listing, the company says. However, based on the GMB categories you have chosen, you may be able to use Google’s booking tools. As an extra option, you can say in the business description section that only people who make an appointment can get in.

I work with people in person at my home, and I don’t want people to know my address upfront

In this case, Google doesn’t have special tools for this kind of model. You’ll treat it the same way you would treat a SAB that needs to hide its address from the public, though. If you’ve put your address in the Info section of the Google Business Profile dashboard, Google wants you to take it out of there and not put it back in. You can choose to add a service area.

It’s important to know that, if Google has any record of your home address, flaws or policy changes could one day make it public.

I work from home and go to customers’ places to help them.

In this case, the company is based out of the owner’s house, but they go to different places in a service area to do their work. For example, a standard SAB is the same as this one. Google prefers that the address be hidden and that a service area be chosen for the listing.

It is important to point out that home-based SABs are not allowed to be included on Google Maps. Google’s workaround for this is to allow them to be listed on Google Business Profile by hiding their physical addresses. The listing could be suspended or removed entirely if the address is not hidden.

On top of that, you can choose to show your address on your listings if you want. You can also list on directories that let you hide your address if that’s important to you. As with other SABs, think about whether your operations make it possible to make high-quality, interesting landing pages to show off the many cities in your service area, as in the previous section.

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