How to Create a Google My Business With a Virtual OfficeJul 20, 2023
Table of Contents
What is meant with a Google My Business virtual office?
Why would you want to use a virtual office in Google My Business?
Can you use a virtual office for Google My Business?
How to create a GMB listing with a virtual office
Virtual offices for service area businesses
You can't overlook the significance of Google My Business.
By listing your company on Google My Business, you can improve your search visibility and make it easier for customers to locate you.
However, what if your business operates remotely or doesn't have a physical address? Can you still set up a Google My Business listing?
The answer is yes, and in this article, we'll show you how to create a Google My Business listing using a virtual office.
What is Meant With a Google My Business Virtual Office?
A virtual office is a service that provides businesses with a physical mailing address, phone number, and other facilities without requiring a physical office space.
It is important to note that the virtual office provider must meet specific requirements in order for the address to be considered valid for use on Google My Business.
According to Google, “Businesses can't list a "virtual" office unless that office is staffed during business hours.”
So if you’re making use of a virtual office provider or a co-working space, you need to ensure that there’s someone at that location during business hours in order to be eligible for a GMB listing using that address.
Why Would You Want to Use a Virtual Office in Google My Business?
There are several reasons why you may want to use a virtual office for your Google My Business listing.
Firstly, if your business is entirely online or operates remotely, a physical office may not be necessary, and a virtual office can help create legitimacy for the business.
Additionally, using a virtual office can help you establish a presence in a specific location.
This can be particularly beneficial if you're looking to target customers in a specific geographic area.
Finally, virtual offices can offer other features such as mail forwarding and call answering services, which can be helpful for businesses that are just starting out and would like to keep costs low.
Can You Use a Virtual Office for Google My Business?
Yes, you can indeed use a virtual office for Google My Business as long as it meets Google’s criteria of having staff at the location during business hours.
How to Create a GMB Listing with a Virtual Office
Creating a Google My Business listing using a virtual office involves a straightforward process.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to establish a strong online presence for your business:
- Sign in to Your Google Account: Ensure you have a Google Account associated with your business. If not, create one to get started with the GMB setup.
- Access Google My Business: Visit the Google My Business website (https://www.google.com/business/) and sign in using your Google account credentials.
- Enter Your Business Name: Provide your business name exactly as it appears in the real world. Avoid adding any extra keywords or irrelevant information.
- Specify Your Business Category: Choose the appropriate category that best represents your business. This helps Google understand the nature of your enterprise and display it to relevant users.
- In the next step Google will ask you if you want to add a location that customers can visit, like a store or an office. Choose “Yes” and continue.
- Add Your Virtual Office Address: Enter your virtual office address as the business location. When prompted, select the option that states, "I deliver goods and services to my customers."
- Set Service Areas (if applicable): For businesses that offer products or services in specific regions, you can define your service areas or delivery areas to target the right audience.
- Provide Contact Details: Add your business phone number and website URL, ensuring that customers can easily reach out to you and explore your offerings.
- Verify Your Business: To claim and verify your GMB listing, Google may send you a postcard with a verification code to your virtual office address. Follow the instructions to complete the verification process.
- Optimize Your Listing: Enhance your GMB listing with eye-catching visuals, compelling descriptions, and relevant keywords. Utilize Google Posts to share updates and engage with your audience.
- Monitor and Update: Regularly monitor your GMB listing, respond to customer reviews and inquiries, and keep your business information up to date. This active engagement fosters trust and confidence among potential customers.
By following these instructions, your business can successfully create a Google My Business listing using a virtual office.
Virtual Offices for Service Area Businesses
Service Area Businesses (SABs) play a vital role in various industries, offering on-location services that cater directly to their customers' needs.
Common examples include plumbers, electricians, landscaping companies, and mobile pet groomers. For these businesses, operating from a traditional brick-and-mortar location may not be necessary or practical.
Instead, they primarily serve customers at their respective locations.
Given this unique nature of SABs, the question arises: can service area businesses set up a virtual office on Google My Business?
The answer is no, unless that office is staffed during business hours and customers can visit the location.
Google gives a good example of a service-based business that goes out to customers and also has a storefront that customers can visit.
In this case it would be better to set the storefront as the actual address on your GMB listing and add the different service areas during the account creation process.
But, what if you don’t have a storefront that customers can visit? If this is the case, you’re probably better off hiding the address on GMB or using the address of your offices.
For instance, a plumbing business might not have a storefront that customers can visit, but they might have a head office where all their administrative and management staff work, as well as where their equipment and vehicles are stored.
It is essential for Service Area Businesses to comply with Google's guidelines when using virtual office addresses on GMB. Attempting to manipulate or misuse this feature may lead to potential penalties or listing suspensions.
A virtual office can be a convenient way for businesses to list themselves on Google My Business, especially if they operate remotely or as a service area business.
However, it is important to ensure that the virtual office provider meets specific requirements and that Google's guidelines are followed to avoid any issues with the listing.
By setting up a Google My Business listing using a virtual office, businesses can increase their search visibility and make it easier for customers to find them.