This blog post will cover the preparations that are necessary when your client opens a new office or location. It’s not a long audit. There are only two important steps. If there’s any bad news, it’s that you may need to have an awkward talk with your client. The good news will outweigh that though because you’re in a great position to set your client up for success.
The first step for any new Google My Business location is to make sure that it is within the boundaries of whatever city is being targeted by the business. For example, if your client is opening a new law firm branch that is meant to serve Chicago, you want to be certain that it is physically located within the city limits. Sometimes buildings can have mailing addresses that associate them with a city even though the building is actually outside those city limits. That won’t fly with Google Maps.
To be clear, it is possible to get a business to rank in a city that it isn’t located in. It’s a whole lot harder though. There’s no reason for your client’s business to be handicapped with an uphill battle that could be otherwise avoided by selecting a location within the boundaries of the city (or county, or whatever geographic designations may exist around the world) that will be the focus of the new location.
The next thing you need to be aware of is something called the possum effect. There’s an article about it in the Local Viking knowledge base. On a basic level, the phenomenon you need to be on the lookout for here is that a Google My Business listing isn’t in a building with another business that does the same thing or something fairly similar. Here’s why. Google My Business has a peculiarity that only allows for one business at any given street address to rank.
Here’s the nightmare scenario. Let’s say your client is a bankruptcy lawyer who moves into a building that also houses the firm that ranks second for “bankruptcy attorney” in the city where they mutually practice. Your client will never rank for that term until they’re able to overtake the firm that has an existing, entrenched position. Depending on the size of the city, that can be practically impossible. If your client remains invisible until it displaces the number two business in its category, there’s no realistic path to climb the rankings. What’s the solution? Make sure you don’t have competition within the building where your client will open up shop.
If you are in a position to discuss where you client should open a new location, the two things to keep in mind are that your client’s life will be considerably easier if they’re able to establish themselves within the boundaries of the geographic region they’re targeting and that they don’t have any competition located inside the building where the new location will be. These are both easy guidelines to follow. If your client doesn’t understand the rationale behind the advice you give, we have a video on the Local Viking YouTube Channel you can watch to brush up on why this advice makes sense. You could also send the link directly to your client.
As always, we hope you’re able to make the most of this information to improve your business and to help your clients understand the value you bring them. We’ll be back next week with another blog post. Take care.