- By Nick Frost
It’s not always a given that a customer will be able to go somewhere to find the service they seek — sometimes, it’s the service that needs to come to them. For local businesses that operate in a manner such as this, getting listed can, at first, feel like hell on wheels.
Fortunately for these companies, known colloquially as “Service Area Businesses” (SABs), we can help you make navigating the ins and outs of publishing your information.
Here’s a basic primer on how to quickly get your SAB onto the proper channels:
First Off, What Exactly Defines a Service Area Business?
An SAB is a service provider that goes to their customer rather than serving them from a brick and mortar location.
Rather, the owner might use his or her home address as the business’ base and deliver services to wherever they’re needed (e.g. pet groomers, carpet cleaners, plumbers, etc.), or it might function entirely as a mobile unit (e.g. food trucks, locksmiths, etc.).
If you operate an SAB, getting your business listed online is the most vital stepif you want to attract potential customers. However, There’s a pretty decent chance you won’t want your home address just floating out there in the ether for all the world to see. This is where things can get a bit complicated…
What’s the Correct Way to List? And How Do I Go About Doing it?
One of the keys to successfully listing an SAB is being aware that different directories use different approaches, and knowing what these distinctions are.
We’ve pulled a few of the top directories, in order to give you an idea of how your listing should appear, if done correctly:
Google My Business: This is far and away the most supportive directory you’ll find for SABs, as it allows you the most control over defining your area. (From here on out, other directories, though important to use, are more limited in how specific an area you can define.)
GMB gives you three main options:
1) Selecting a service area radius (either in miles or kilometres) that will be displayed on Google Maps as a circle.
2) Entering the cities that your business serves.
3) Submitting a list of postal codes that your business serves.
When it comes to Local Search ranking, option #3 is the best place to start. Setting your service area by postal codes can assist you specifically in terms of where you rank in local searches, whereas when you set a radius by distance, all search results within the circle are ranked equally. Also, using postal codes sets your service area as a group of polygons located around each postal code, which can positively influence local searches within the specific polygons. The downside to that, however, is that this may affect your rank on local searches outside of these polygons.
The real key with Google My Business is to try out each of these options and determine which one garners the most success for your SAB.
Facebook: Here, only the city and state/province in which you operate will be displayed, along with a zoomed-out map.
Foursquare: Same as Facebook. City, state/province, map.
Bing: Similar to Facebook and Foursquare, minus the map and your state/province. Only your city and postal code are displayed.
Yelp: Here, you have the ability to enter up to six major cities that your business serves. Any cities included within the boundary of locations you’ve defined will also be included in your service area. These are limited, however, to a 100-mile radius.
How Can SweetIQ Help Me List My Service Area Business?
Aside from helping you figure out the right ways to list your SAB with other directories, we can help you manage and optimize your listings to ensure they’re clean, and showing up in the right places.