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I'm trying to help a friend get his small business ranked higher in local results, and it seems like his business' structure is somewhat atypical, which brings up questions about how to proceed.

Situation

  • He has his official business name (we'll call it UmbrellaCorp) that does not have a physical address or phone number, other than the owner's mobile
  • He has 2 business locations, each with their own names that are different from UmbrellaCorp (we'll call them AlphaCorp & BetaCorp), with their own address and phone number
  • The website URL is UmbrellaCorp.com (which contains main keyword), and each location has a dedicated page (UmbrellaCorp.com/AlphaCorp & Umbrella.com/BetaCorp)
  • He also has a branded service (we'll call it MobileCorp), that serves the local area by him coming to his customers, so would be nice for its page to rank for local search as well, but it also doesn't have a physical location or landline other than the owner's mobile

Issues

  • There are currently some conflicting citations where the same address is listed under UmbrellaCorp and either AlphaCorp or BetaCorp that I plan to correct to remove UmbrellaCorp from (since it has no physical location).
  • Also, all of the citations just link to UmbrellaCorp.com and I plan to change them to each individual location page (UmbrellaCorp.com/AlphaCorp or UmbrellaCorp.com/BetaCorp).

Questions

  • My plan is to optimize the individual pages like normal, but what should be done in regards to local optimization of UmbrellaCorp / UmbrellaCorp.com / homepage and UmbrellaCorp.com/MobileCorp, given neither one has a unique physical address?
  • Would it just be best to optimize for the 2 location pages and funnel visitors to the MobileCorp and home / UmbrellaCorp.com pages from them? Or should I just optimize UmbrellaCorp and MobileCorp for local results in other ways than building citations?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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It sounds like a job for Google My Business. AlphaCorp and BetaCorp are storefront businesses, and can be listed in Google My Business in the usual way.

MobileCorp serves customers at their location, which in Google My Business parlance is a service-area business. There, you list the business as normal, but instead of giving a store address you specify the names or postal codes of areas served.

It sounds like the main UmbrellaCorp is neither storefront nor service-area. Consequently I'm not clear what function it serves from a local search perspective. It sounds like a general homepage for his business, that should be optimised for brand and generic searches without local intent.

In that scenario, he'll likely benefit from merging all this under one brand:

umbrellacorp.com
umbrellacorp.com/location-1/
umbrellacorp.com/location-2/
umbrellacorp.com/mobile-service/
  • As a business owner myself, I understand not wanting to tie a business to a specific address online, I get it. However, when it becomes important that the business rank, then it is important to list an address. The truth is that the mail for the business is going somewhere even if it is one or two here or there. But what if you do not want to give out that address? Just use the address of another business. That should not be a burden. I made up a unit number G for my business and put a mail box by the garage. ;-) Done! Easy peasy!! – closetnoc Jul 30 '17 at 19:23
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    Sounds like good advice and a solid way to go. Thank you for your response. – Joe Aug 1 '17 at 4:09

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