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Virtual Office

What is Your SEO Location Strategy?

Generally when you think of a location strategy it is for a bricks and mortar business. The bricks and mortar location strategy is a plan to determine the best location for a business based on its needs and objectives. Depending on the business their SEO location strategy could be far more important than the physical location especially if lead generation or sales is dependent on the web.

Local SEO and Location

The most important component of any local SEO campaign is the NAP (Name, Address and Phone) that is listed on GoogleMyBusiness (GMB), local directories and elsewhere. Google search uses these citations to associate an entity with a website and business. There are many scenarios where a business might change its address to accommodate growth or a more professional appearance.

Managing NAP’s with Citation Services

Managing the elements of the NAP is not always easy. Consider that with every change of address there could be several hundred entries of that address. Some of the listings can be managed and listed through a service with varying degrees of disruption if you discontinue the services. Generally these services only cover the big citation services because they manage the listing by having agreements with the provider. Whitespark.ca would be the only tool and citation services provider I’d recommend because the service does a legit submission on your behalf.

A virtual office or address gives your business the best protection for your NAP because no matter where you go your virtual office address and phone number never need to change. You could move to Tahiti and your client would never know. In fact if they phoned and you had a VoIP account Telsec Business Centres could connect you in real time!

Why is Using a Business Centre the Best SEO Location Strategy?

Not all coworking centres can provide an “address” that will never change. Most business centres provide virtual offices and virtual addresses. I can already hear all the Sabres rattling in the “Google doesn’t allow virtual offices!” camp. Google allows virtual offices or address if there is staff present during business hours. I would suggest that you are covered best if you also have your business registration and website address at the same address.

Google was correct in changing the guideline because a virtual office and in some cases a virtual address service is in a better position to serve a customer/client at the address than someone working from their home. Google also wants to see that the business registration is at the same address as the GMB listing. If that is the address of the business centre than Google does allow virtual offices for sure and in some cases I would assume some virtual addresses as well.

A business centre or flexible workspace provider enables a business owner to not only save money on office rental, business machines and support staff it gives them the ability to tailor the term and type of service they are using to the actual sales. For instance if a business has a lot of feast and famine periods the flexibility to reduce and expand their office space or even leave the office space altogether and go to a virtual office and still maintain the same address and phone number.

Consider the freelance digital marketer who doesn’t really need an office in order to carry out their business. If they are in a Local Pack then their listing is on a map. A customer could easily with 1 click see their location is their home. For many businesses those enquiries would not be insurmountable, however, if it was a big brand they would likely move on believing the firm incapable of handling the account.

A potential client buying services on the internet often has 1000’s of options to consider so they are making quick assessments of your business based on first impressions. Do you really want a potential client’s first impressions to be that your business is in your home? On their first call do you want them to hear your dog or child crying in the background? That is a real possibility and could cost you new business!

Conclusions:

The differences between a business location strategy for a brick and mortar business and an online business is that the online business location strategy also affects their search engine rankings especially if that business is a local service. Changes in address and to a lesser extent the phone number can affect rankings. The solution is to have a fixed address and phone number that doesn’t change regardless of the business’s physical location.

About Ian Payton

Responsibilities: Social Media Coordination and content creation for companies like the Toronto International Bicycle Show. Outside of work for primary clients,work was done for smaller clients like branches of the Royal Canadian Legion designing and revitalizing web sites. Conceptualizing strategies for online and offline marketing as well as promotional activities for other companies.

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