Do you need a physical location for your Google My Business listing, or can you use a virtual office space?

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Feb 16, 2023

This is a ques­tion I hear all the time as a mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant for home improve­ment con­trac­tors, and it’s a good one! The stakes are even high­er if you’re expand­ing your ter­ri­to­ry and want to have a local­ized Google My Busi­ness list­ing in your new ser­vice area. 

So, is it worth the cost to have a phys­i­cal loca­tion, or is a vir­tu­al space suf­fi­cient? Will you be penal­ized by Google and hurt your over­all SEO?

The short answer is that I do think it’s worth­while to invest in a phys­i­cal office space over a cost-effec­tive vir­tu­al office. In fact, hav­ing the space can pos­i­tive­ly impact your busi­ness and help improve your local SEO and Google Busi­ness search results. 

Let’s take a clos­er look at why.

 Do you need a physical location for your Google My Business listing, or can you use a virtual office space?

5 rea­sons why get­ting a phys­i­cal office space is worthwhile

1. Cred­i­bil­i­ty
Hav­ing a phys­i­cal loca­tion helps estab­lish your busi­ness as both cred­i­ble and trust­wor­thy, espe­cial­ly in an indus­try where you need to show that you’re not a fly-by-night oper­a­tion. It also gives poten­tial cus­tomers a place to vis­it if they have ques­tions or con­cerns, and pro­vides assur­ance that you’re a legit­i­mate busi­ness. A vir­tu­al office, on the oth­er hand, may not fos­ter the same lev­el of cred­i­bil­i­ty, while also mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for cus­tomers to find and con­tact you. You’d be sur­prised by how many peo­ple are doing a lit­tle bit of home­work these days and gath­er­ing info about your com­pa­ny before they call.

2. Increased Vis­i­bil­i­ty
A phys­i­cal loca­tion pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty for your busi­ness to be more vis­i­ble to poten­tial cus­tomers. With a brick and mor­tar loca­tion, you can use signs, win­dow dis­plays, and oth­er adver­tis­ing meth­ods to attract cus­tomers and increase brand aware­ness. A vir­tu­al office, on the oth­er hand, def­i­nite­ly doesn’t strength­en your local presence.

3. Bet­ter Local SEO
Hav­ing a phys­i­cal loca­tion is an impor­tant fac­tor in local search engine opti­miza­tion too (that all-impor­tant SEO). Google and oth­er search engines give pri­or­i­ty to busi­ness­es that have a phys­i­cal loca­tion in their search results, espe­cial­ly when peo­ple are search­ing for ser­vices in a spe­cif­ic area. In turn, a phys­i­cal loca­tion makes it eas­i­er for your busi­ness to show up in local search results, which can help dri­ve more traf­fic to your web­site and increase your cus­tomer base. I have per­son­al­ly test­ed this the­o­ry out many times.

4. Improved Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence
A phys­i­cal loca­tion pro­vides a more per­son­al­ized and immer­sive cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. Cus­tomers can sched­ule a vis­it with a sales asso­ciate to view prod­ucts and ser­vices, stop by and say hi, or pay a bill in per­son! This can help build trust and increase the like­li­hood of them choos­ing your busi­ness for their home improve­ment needs. 

5. Get­ting Reviews and a Bet­ter ROI
While a vir­tu­al office may seem like a more cost-effec­tive option, hav­ing a phys­i­cal loca­tion can pro­vide a bet­ter return on invest­ment in the long run. If you begin to treat each loca­tion as unique (pic­tures, reviews, product/​service updates, chat, hours of oper­a­tion, etc.) I 100% guar­an­tee that the ROI will great­ly increase. You will begin to see more local search results and con­ver­sions in your market. 

A final takeaway…

But the cost is prohibitive…”

This is by far the most com­mon con­cern and push­back I hear when I encour­age clients to find a brick and mor­tar solu­tion. And hon­est­ly, I get it!

But this is where you can get cre­ative. I know the real estate mar­ket varies tremen­dous­ly around the U.S., mak­ing it a chal­lenge to find a rental for a good rate, but it’s all part of your busi­ness plan and strat­e­gy. If you are try­ing to open up a mar­ket, let’s say in a metro area like Los Ange­les, NYC, Hous­ton — you will have to con­sid­er what you will charge for your ser­vices in each mar­ket. You will prob­a­bly find that you will have to adjust your mar­ket­ing dol­lars and sales price a bit as well!

Don’t let the price stop you. If you want to be known in a tar­get­ed area, get a brick and mor­tar place. It does not have to be large. It just needs to be good enough for some­one to be able to dri­ve by and vis­it you-maybe that’s only 100 sq ft!

Have more ques­tions about con­trac­tor marketing?

I spe­cial­ize in help­ing con­trac­tors find cre­ative mar­ket­ing solu­tions, devel­op clear plans, and then run them as the mar­ket­ing quar­ter­back. And I love talk­ing shop! Feel free to con­tact me for a con­sul­ta­tion, if you’d like, or just to drop a more spe­cif­ic question.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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