Building quality citations for your service area business will help boost your business in search rankings when you’re just starting out. They’ll also help if you’re established in the real world, but your online presence is a bit weak. It’s important to create listings for your business in the top directories to get a good foundation of citations.
Once you get your citations built, that’s a good time to focus on really fine-tuning your Google Business Profile and getting lots of reviews.
But, not all directories accept service area businesses.
That’s okay because you can use this list of the best directories that DO accept service area businesses.
There are more intricacies in service area businesses and how directories handle them than you might think. So we’re on the same page while going through the directories, make sure you understand what a service area business is and how directories work with them.
What Is A Service Area Business
There are two types of local businesses. The first type is the traditional type that has a physical storefront that customers walk into. Customers go to the physical location only. A good example of this would be your local grocery store.
Then there is the second type of local business, which is the service area business. That’s when the business comes to the customer. A good example of a service area business is HVAC contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.
You can’t exactly bring the plumbing of your house to a store. If you figure out how to do that, let me know.
So, service area businesses go to their customers to fix things, install things, or even sell then install things. There are also combination businesses that might have a physical location but also go to customer locations.
That plumber that fixes stuff might also have a store with plumbing supplies. The combo businesses that have a physical location and serve an area have the fewest restrictions in directories.
How directories handle each type of business varies from directory to directory. Before we get to the directories, brush up on the different ways directories treat service area businesses.
There are a few different ways directories work with service area businesses.
How Directories Work With Service Area Businesses
Every directory is different, but there are typically a few different ways they work. Get to know how directories treat service area businesses, so you know the best way to approach listing your business information.
Skip or Hide Address
When setting up your business information in directories, you can either skip entering an address altogether or you have to enter it but can hide it. That means you can use your home address for a business address but then hide it. If this is the case, then the directory will typically use your business city when ranking your business.
A good example of a business that lets you hide your address is Google. They’ll make you enter it, and they’ll use your city for ranking, but you can at least not show your home address. Yelp, on the other hand, lets you skip entering your address entirely. The most you have to enter in Yelp is your city and state.
Next up for how you can set up your business service area is the service area itself.
Setting The Service Area
The weird thing is, even for service area only businesses, some directories don’t let you enter the service area. And I’m sure every directory treats the service area differently when they don’t let you enter it.
What does that mean?
It could mean that one directory uses the zip code you enter as the service area and another uses the city center for the city you use. The unfortunate part is that you, as the business owner, may never know. But, one thing’s for sure, if you’re a service area business then it’s much more difficult for the directory to rank your business in search results.
Google lets you set the service area, so you can usually enter where you provide your service. You can even find specific information about how to best use a service area for your business on Google.
If you can set the service area of your business, put as many cities as possible around your location. Don’t try to venture out too far because you’re going to ultimately harm your rank this way.
Now that you know what a service area business is and the options for being listed in directories, on with the best US directories for service area businesses.
The Top 20 US Directories For Service Area Business
There are dozens of directories that allow service area businesses. Some are industry-specific while others are general directories. Instead of listing all the directories and overwhelming you, these are the top directories you should focus on if you’re in the right industry.
If you’re pressed for time, stick to the first 10. If you’re too pressed for time for even those, make your life easier with local marketing automation which will list your service area business in the most important directories for you. That will save you time and give you the tools to do a lot more than just list your business.
These are the directories and how they let you input your business information.
|Directory||Hide Address||Set Service Area|
|AboutUs (search business name to add)||Yes (skip)||No|
|Chamber of Commerce||Yes||No|
Once you list your service area business in all these directories, you’ll have a great foundation for ranking your business and website higher in search results. Not one single marketing activity will get you to the top of search results, but everything you do will get your business closer.
These directories will help your website rank better and each one will contribute to each other. Yes, having more citations will contribute to your Google search ranking, so they are each important. It all starts with an amazing custom website and a well optimized Google Business Profile.
Service area businesses have a bit more of a challenge when trying to get listed in online directories. Though it’s more difficult and there are more limitations, there are still opportunities.
Many of the top directories online allow service area businesses to list their business and some even allow for service areas. The most important directory on the internet, Google, lets you hide your address, so service area businesses can use their home, and they also let you choose your service area. With the top directory allowing so much flexibility, there are lots of opportunities for service area businesses.
So, go out there and start ranking your service area business. Take the time to put in the work or use Loclmark, an awesome local marketing automation tool that will save you tons of time and also help you with important local marketing tasks.