Google wants to know if they are legitimate locations with a door and all.
This past month I’ve been going through a location verification process with a client for 26 offices. We want to make sure that he appears correctly in all directories with a local, VERIFIED location. You would think this would be easy. He has a lease at all locations. There is an address, a suite number, a local phone. But not so fast.
When companies utilize shared office spaces, such as Regus and their smaller, less competent competitors, it can raise concern for Google. They want to make sure it is a TRUE office location and not a glorified PO Box aka “Suite” managed by UPS. This requires some understanding of your rental or lease contract.
1. Does your contact include your name and logo on the directory signage in the lobby? For a real estate agent and other licensed professionals answering to higher authorities, there must be a listing for your company on the directory.
2. Do you have a DOOR with a suite number that corresponds with the directory listing with your logo/signage? It doesn’t cost much to set these signs on doors – even a quick print shop can help you with this. It can even be done remotely. But you need to check your contract to see what is allowed. It may be an additional charge to permit the sign and to be added to the directory in the lobby.
These two items seem like a no-brainer to me. But these virtual or shared office situations seize this as an opportunity to upsell you. Verifying with Google to get added to their maps, business listings and more as a VERIFIED business may require photos both of these.
3. Another reminder, you need a LOCAL phone number. Not all directory listings require it, but Yahoo does, and Yahoo feeds into other directories such as Yelp and more. You can have an alternative 800 number, you can have your “local” number set up to forward to a central line, but someone will need to answer from that “local” office when the question is asked, “This is Google, what is the address of your business?” You want to make sure you are answering with the correct location if you have given that local number.