The first piece of advice many experts give to small businesses looking to improve their search engine ranking is to set up a Google My Business listing.

Google My Business is Google’s listing service. It allows companies to verify their name, address and phone number, get listed on Google Maps and manage Google reviews. Many companies find this has a positive impact on their search engine optimization (SEO).

But what if you don’t have a storefront? Can you still claim your Google My Business profile?

Yes, you can! Many business owners may not be aware of it, but Google offers the option of setting a service area on your company profile. So, if you own a home-based business, you can still list your company on Google and gain the same SEO benefits.

Follow these steps to take advantage of this option:

  1. Sign into your profile and click “manage location.”
  2. Go to “info” at the top of the page, and click the address section.
  3. In the address window, check yes on “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations.”
  4. You’ll then be prompted to enter your service area, and your street address will be hidden from the public.

One note: Do NOT select the ““I serve customers at my business address” option if you want to keep your address private.