It’s hard work running a tax and accounting practice. On top of all the actual work you do for your clients, you have to constantly be thinking about how to increase your client base if you want to grow.
But what happens if potential clients physically can’t find you?
Talk about a nightmare. If prospects aren’t able to track down the location of your practice, then you could be missing out on major business.
Think through the steps you would take when looking for the location of a business. Most likely, you’d pull out your smartphone or computer and do a search for the address on some sort of mapping application or website.
Considering Google Maps is six times more popular than other navigation apps among smartphone users, this is one place your practice absolutely must be visible.
If your tax and accounting practice isn’t showing up in Google Maps–whether via the app or through web search results–one of the first potential issues you should check on is your address.
Why Can’t People Find My Business on Google Maps?
Not showing up in Google My Business (GMB) or Google Maps is a common issue with a variety of causes, but we’re going to focus today on address problems. If prospects can’t find you when they search for you in Google or the Maps app, check to see if one of the following situations applies to you.
Your address is invalid, formatted incorrectly, or missing information.
If your GMB listing doesn’t include your full address with proper formatting (and including any suite or room numbers), then your business could potentially get flagged. Make sure to specify the exact location of your practice if your office space is located within a larger building.
You’re using a PO box or remote mailing address like a UPS store.
For this one, let’s take a look at the rules found on the “Guidelines for representing your business on Google” support page:
“Use a precise, accurate address and/or service area to describe your business location. P.O. boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable.”
Often, tax and accounting pros who operate cloud-based practices from home may want to use something like a P.O. box as their address in Google My Business rather than listing a personal address (i.e. due to privacy concerns). However, as we can see this is explicitly forbidden by Google, so setting up a service area in place of an address may be a better option.
You’re using the address of your coworking space or virtual office.
For starters, virtual offices and coworking spaces are very different, and while Google does allow you to use the address of your coworking space in your GMB listing, they do not permit businesses to use virtual office addresses. Here’s the difference between the two:
A coworking office is “a space physically occupied by practitioners during stated business hours.” They often provide rooms/suites, desks, private calling areas, a centralized reception desk, and other amenities. Additionally, they often “promote collaboration between tenants” and may even host educational, social, or networking events.
Google guidelines state that “Properly utilized coworking spaces can be eligible for Google My Business inclusion.” So, as long as you meet the other requirements, using your coworking space address should not create issues for your practice on Google Maps.
On the other side, a virtual office (like Regus) “offers a mailing address that is not physically occupied by the purchaser.” This does not generally mean P.O. boxes. Rather, it usually involves some means of communication through a receptionist, call center, or voicemail.
Virtual offices fail to meet several Google guidelines, including:
Both coworking spaces and virtual offices are fairly common options for businesses these days, but if you want your practice to show up in Google Maps, it’s important to consider which choices could disallow you from the platform.
Your Google My Business listing is not claimed.
This is probably the biggest cause of Google Maps issues that we see among accounting and tax practice owners. If you haven’t claimed your GMB listing, then there is always the potential that someone else could–or at the very least they could claim your address. If this has happened, don’t worry: Google has options for fixing the issue and requesting ownership.
If you aren’t sure whether you’ve claimed your GMB listing, follow these steps on the Google My Business Help Center.
Your Google My Business listing has been suspended.
Still not seeing your business in Google Maps? Check your GMB account–it’s possible your listing may have been suspended. Again, if this happens, don’t panic. There are many reasons why listings get suspended, but if you own a legitimate business with a real address, you should be able to get the problem resolved.
Showing up in Google Maps is hugely important to local businesses. It can mean the difference between major growth for your tax and accounting practice and hitting a plateau with your client base–and no practice owner wants that. If you have any questions regarding Google My Business listings, or are facing issues with your practice’s address in Google Maps, contact us today at 1-800-442-2477 x3 or set up some time to speak with one of our digital marketing experts.
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