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PO Box and executive suite address issues.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
 
I work for a small remodeling company. We are a service based business that doesn't require a brick and mortar building. Since the start of the business we have used a post office address for our main business address.
We have worked with a couple of local SEO companies, one of them quite large. We have since parted ways with both companies. The problem we have is that we were advised by the first company to get a separate executive suite address in a large city in our service area for better rankings. They set it up and when we went with the larger SEO company they said we should keep both addresses so our rankings wouldn't drop. Since leaving them the executive suite address has moved locations.

We now have three addresses listed in multiple places on the internet. We have been told that this could be a major problem and if left alone could damage our rankings. We would like to play by the rules. Everything we have done until now has been because our local "experts" advised us to do so. We were told everything was completely white hat SEO.
 
As far as Google is concerned should we consolidate to one address? If so, can we still use an office suite/post office box for our main address?
 
We have reached out locally and have received contradicting answers. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: PO Box and executive suite address issues.

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Jonathon,

Unfortunately your experts have given you quite bad advice. Google's guidelines state quite clearly that
"Service-area businesses--business that serve customers at their locations--should have one page for the central office or location and designate a service area from that point. If you wish to display your complete business address while setting your service area(s), your business location should be staffed and able to receive customers during its stated hours. Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your business information as well as information from other sources. "

They also state "PO Boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable."

By setting up an address separate to your real location and using a PO box, you've effectively broken two of the most powerful guidelines out there!

So yes, you need to consolidate your addresses. What you'll need to do (and I'm assuming here that all three pages are verified) is contact GMB support (via https://support.google.com/business/contactflow) and ask them to remove the two executive locations from the local database as they were set up in error.

You'll also need to remove any reference to those locations from other online directories.

Then, with the original page (the one that had the PO box on it) - change the address to the actual physical location of your business (in your case is this probably your home address) and set the address settings to say that you serve customers at their location only.

This will probably trigger the need for another postcard verification but that's fine. Now you've set up your business as a service-area business in accordance with Google's rules and you'll have a better chance of ranking for business in your local area.

Priya Chandra, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: PO Box and executive suite address issues.

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey J...

I don't quite agree you were given "Bad Advice"... Google is an ever-evolving issue on its own. As much of the greatness associated with Google, they are like doctors - continually "practicing" the online landscape. They have changed stuff around so often, it is mind blowing. Your agency isn't completely wrong with your executive suite option. If there is a staff member available during your office hours, you are ok for the most part. But there is a bit more to the story - the issue with the executive suite is that the address you submit can coincide with everyone else. You want to make sure you have a suite number. There are executive suite options where you can rent out an actual office with suite number. That would help you out tremendously. Many executive suites now offer "virtual addresses" and can answer the phone for you. Ask them if they can assign you an actual office suite number - even if you don't rent a physical office. That separates you for the most part from the heard. In the search results however, it can jumble up with the other businesses. Secondly - the more places you can get your address out there and done correctly the better. Directories are good for this. Citations (business mentions). Social Media. Your website, etc... Making sure your NAP (name, address and phone number) shows up correctly across the board is huge. Lastly, its not just address that helps you online: it needs to be coming from all angles - NAP, Directories, Reviews, Mentions, Blog, Content, Web SEO, etc. edited by a Community Manager as noted below>

 

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