Small businesses often start with basic set up. With just a handful of staff, businesses still feel the need for an office space but shun away from pricey rented properties that eat into their investment even before they’ve started making money.
To avoid the overheads that come with a rented space, many businesses choose a co-working space. Co-working spaces are increasing in popularity with many businesses choosing it over creating their own set up from scratch. These co-working spaces offer a unique set of advantages to startups. It helps startups to not get caught in their own bubble and instead work with other companies, get opinions, access to shared resources, networks and collaboration opportunities.
A lot of small business first start by serving customers locally. Starting local gives them the edge to test out with a small but real market, validate their concept and products before expanding into the world. Small businesses also crave for quick marketing solutions that can give them more visibility to test out their products. This visibility can come for free if they have a good local business listing on Google. But can being in a co-working space make it dicey to get listed on Google?
Are co-working spaces eligible for a local business listing on Google?
The short answer is Yes. Co-working spaces are eligible to get a listing on Google as long as they follow certain guidelines. Getting a Google My Business listing becomes a breeze if you have your own space. But when it comes to co-working spaces, the same address is shared by numerous businesses including the owner of the co-working space. In addition to this, many startups also take up the convenience of keeping the co-working space’s reception number as their own.
This shared phone number and address for multiple businesses will either confuse Google and prevent it from ranking the local business or make it merge it all into one. In either case, it is a problem for everyone involved.
To resolve this problem, Google asks businesses in co-working spaces to use different phone numbers. Entrepreneurs can use their own mobile number as a primary number for contact.
Do virtual offices also get a listing?
Virtual offices aren’t physically occupied by the business. They offer a way to communicate either via call centres, receptionist services or voice mail. Virtual offices don’t meet several of Google’s guidelines for local listings. They don’t have a real-world location. They may not have a phone number for a particular location. They may or may not have specific hours of operation either. All this makes them ineligible to have a Google My Business listings
Are you a Service Area Business (SAB)?
Some businesses do not accept walk in clients without appointment. Others offer to meet / service the clients at their location and not in the office. Such businesses are listed as Service Area Business on Google. It is mandatory for such businesses to hide their address in the listing.
Optimizing your listing is the next big job at hand. Once you have all the information in, be sure to add photos of your co-working space. Photos are proof of your business really being there, so make sure you add all the photos that Google has asked for.
What can set you a class apart is if you get help from a professional business photographer to take the photos. You can even rally with all the other businesses in the co-working space and get a joint deal from the photographer which may cost less. These photos can go on your listing, website and social channels to increase credibility overall.
Ratings and reviews
Next comes review and rating management. As a startup, make sure you ask your first customers to rate and review you on Google. Once they do, these starts appearing with your listing profile. If you get good quality and quantity of reviews and ratings, you’ll soon become a local business star.
Co-working places are great to get your energy up as an entrepreneur and allow you to work in a charged-up environment. Need help with local SEO for your office? Get in touch with us.