Brian Pasch | automotiveseo

Expand Your Google Places Service Radius

Jan 9th 2011 at 7:48 PM

Did you know that by default, Google Places is setup to market your business only within a 20 mile radius of your physical location?  Do you sell and deliver services to consumers more than 20 miles away?  Well of course you do!

However, many of the Google Places listing that I check for business owners are NOT setup properly for their business. This impacts the number of times a Business Listing will appear in search results.

For some businesses in metro areas, their Google Places listing will show over 15,000 a month. With this in mind, anything that could increase the visibility of your local business listing should be embraced.

As I stated above, Google Places service area DEFAULTS to a 20 mile service radius around the business address. This is one of the most important setting on your Google Places listing because it sets the geographic positioning of the consumers you serve.

For example, car dealers routinely deliver cars to customers that are outside of a 20 mile radius of their business. With this is mind, car dealers should inspect their service area settings in Google Places.

Customized Service Areas

Business owners that have physical locations near bodies of water will find that a simple radius setting is not the most accurate map of their service area. In the screen shot below, Harris Auto Group in Canada is located on Victoria Island.

If they left their Google Maps service area radius set at 20 miles, which is the default, they would not cover Victoria which is a major market for the island.

Google Maps Service Area Settings

Fortunately, Google Places will allow you to enter in specific town names to create a polygon that covers the areas that the business serves. In the photo above, you can see that the shaded area was created by inputting the towns in the "List of Areas Served".

Don't Expand The Radius Too Wide

I encourage business owners NOT to abuse this setting and show unrealistic service coverage maps. I have a feeling that Google may penalize anything that would be contrived as scamming the system.

For a car dealer, I would say that a 50 mile radius is reasonable. So take a minute and look into your Google Places service area setting and see if it has been set too conservatively.

While I'm on the topic of car dealers, while you are looking at your Google Places listing, make sure that it has:

  • Five great photos of customers taking delivery of cars or your work in the community. Kill the building photos.
  • Five great videos. Three customer testimonial videos, one welcome video, and one service video.
  • Proper categories that describe your business. There is a category for every OEM brand
  • Make sure one category you select is "Used Car Dealer"

If you have any questions on Google Places, just type in your question below.

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