If you work from home you might be wondering if you should hide your address on your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). You might be so concerned about your privacy and security that you may have decided to not set up a listing at all, or you may have deleted it.
A Google Business Profile (GBP) is crucial if you run a business and want to attract clients through local search. There are many benefits of having a GBP listing and these cannot be understated. The majority of clicks go to businesses in the map pack so it stands to reason that you’d want to do everything possible to get there by keeping it updated and regularly asking for reviews.
What are the rules?
Firstly, if you run an online-only business you aren’t eligible for a GBP listing. However, if you have a shop or you provide a service where you meet your clients at their home then you are eligible.
Secondly, according to Google’s rules, if you display your address, it must be a commercial building or otherwise have signs denoting that it is your place of business. It is against the rules to show your address if it is your home address, even if you occasionally meet customers there. Residential addresses can get suspended and removed by Google.
So, should you hide your address on Google My Business?
If your business address is residential, you must hide it. If you really do business out of your home, you should have a separate entrance and signage clearly showing your business name. If Google suspends your listing for using a residential address you’ll have to show proof of signage to get the suspension lifted. Getting your listing suspended is a headache and getting Google to lift the suspension is a hassle no one needs.
The bottom line is, if you serve customers at your address, then you should display your address so customers can find you. But if you serve customers at their location, then you should remove your address. So, hide your address if you work from home and if your customers don’t visit you there.
Will removing the address affect your ability to rank in the map pack?
This is a question that gets asked a lot.
When you initially set up your listing, you had to verify your location using the code you received on a postcard or through the GBP app. A verified listing means that Google knows where you are.
Let’s say you are a copywriter. When someone searches for “copywriter” or even “copywriter near me”, Google knows where you are. Google also knows where the searcher is located.
So while your address is not displayed to the public, Google will still display your listing. Businesses with and without an address can rank in Google Maps.
How well your listing ranks is another matter. Making sure your business listing is updated with relevant and accurate information and recent reviews will help to get your business displayed in the map pack.
How to remove your address from your GMB listing?
This part is super simple. You’ll need to log into your GBP listing for this.
- Click on Info on the left-hand side.
- Click on the pencil icon next to the address field.
- Click “Clear Address”.
Keep your Google Business Profile listing updated regularly with pictures and posts. Use the listing to promote your business and don’t forget to keep track of visits to your website from the listing using a UTM code.