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Hey, guys. This is Joe Burnich with bigwestmarketing.com. In this video, we’re going to talk about how to hide or change your address with your Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, or GMB. Let’s get started right now.
We’re going to talk about the right way to hide a residential address. We’re going to talk about changing from a residential address to another residential address and we’re going to talk about changing from a residential address and you’re moving over to a commercial address. And at the end, please stay until the end, I’m going to show you some troubleshooting tips and get yourself out of trouble if things just aren’t working right. Now, I need to mention that we work with home service businesses.
If you are currently a SEO client of Big West Marketing and you’re looking to do something with your address, whether it’s hide it or change it, then please let us do that for you. That’s what you’re paying us to do, is to handle all your SEO stuff. This is considered an S, a big SEO change, so we need to do that for you. Okay, so I’m going to use my business as an example so you can see what it looks like on the inside. First, to change anything on your Google Business Profile or your Google My Business account, you’re going to go to business.google.com. Here is the dashboard that you can use to make all these changes.
This little link over here that says Info along the left hand side, you want to click that. This is where you can do edits on the main business information. Right here, you’re going to see I have my address showing because it is a commercial address. Now, why would you not want to show this address? Well, most people that have home-based businesses do not want to show their address. Google actually even says that you should hide that address when you set it up to begin with. Now, if you already have a residential address and it is showing publicly and you don’t care, you’re fine with that, and everything’s ranking and everything’s good, then don’t touch it.
Don’t do anything. Do not think that you have to hide that address. This is only in the case where when you first set it up, you didn’t hide it because it’s confusing the way Google does it, then you want to go back and you want to hide it later on. That’s what this little demonstration is about right here. So let’s pretend this is a residential address and I want to hide it. I’m going to hit this little pencil icon right here next to the address. Now it says, “Let customers see your business location on Google by adding a street address. You can leave this empty if you don’t have a location such as a storefront or office.”
So I want to get rid of this. If I did want to get rid of this, all we do is go down here and click Clear Address. Now, I want to show my address, so I’m not going to clear this at this point. But if I was to have a residential address, then I probably would want to clear that if I didn’t want people knowing where I lived. So I’m not going to actually click that there, but I want you to see that, Clear Address. That’s the key right there. Now, the second scenario is you’ve got a residential address in there, but you’re going to move to a different residential address. So here’s the key.
If you’re moving from residential to residential and you’re staying in the same city, then you do not need to worry about changing this address unless you want it visible. If you want a new visible address on there, then go ahead and click the little edit, put the new address there, and then click Apply. Google will send you out a new verification postcard most likely and then you’ll be good to go. But like I said, you don’t have to if you’re moving just down the street or somewhere within the same city.
Now, let’s say you’re moving to a different city. Let’s say you’re in a smaller town, you want to move to a bigger city. Use that because you know you’re going to get more work from a bigger city if you rank your Google Business Profile in a bigger city. What you want to do is first before you change anything here, you want to go to your Secretary of State website and change it there first. You want to register with the Secretary of State because Google is looking at these more and more. I’ve got a whole video on ranking on Google using the Secretary of State.
So you got to re-register your business and make sure you have the same address that you’re going to change to here. That’s if you’re moving to a different city. Like I said, if it’s the same city, you don’t need to worry about it. But if you’re moving to a different city, you need to first register with the Secretary of State. Then after that’s complete, you’re sure it’s complete, and you can go onto the Secretary of State website and view the address that’s associated with your business, then and only then do you come back here and change it on in this section.
Now, like I said, we’re going to have some trouble shooting at the end so you can fix some stuff if you’ve already gone in and done this. But I just want to make sure that that is clear. Now, the third situation I want to talk about is you’re moving from a residential home address. Let’s say you’re growing and you want to get over to a commercial location or you want to get into a commercial location because commercial addresses rank better on Google. They just do. I’m not saying it’s fair, I’m just saying they do.
If you’re in a competitive area, I highly recommend you go and spend the money on at least a small office somewhere in the city that you want to rank. That’s key. A lot of people will move from their home address over to an office or to a commercial space. Not talking about PO boxes, not talking about mailbox, et cetera, or UPS boxes or virtual addresses or coworking spaces, none of that stuff. Doesn’t like any of that. It violates Google’s guidelines. Google wants you to have a place that has signs on it where people can actually come and visit.
Sometimes they even have you grab your cell phone and do a video walkthrough to prove that you actually do have a legitimate commercial location. That’s how important this can be. But it’s very simple. You’re basically going to go back in here and either you’re going to have your residential address in here, or you’ve already cleared it at some point, or it never went in in the beginning, and then you’re just going to put the new commercial address here. Now, just like in the last video, make sure you register this new address with the Secretary of State where you have your business officially and legally registered with the state.
You need to go in there and change the address there first, then come back and do it here, get the postcard sent out to your commercial address, the verification postcard, get the pin, put it back in, and you’ll be good to go. Now let’s talk about troubleshooting. What if things go wrong? What if you enter an address or clear an address, change an address, whatever, and all of a sudden the account says “Pending” or it says “Suspended” and you just don’t know what you did wrong? There could be all kinds of things. Google’s very temperamental.
Even if you do everything right, sometimes Google will still throw your account into suspension. So don’t do this unless you absolutely have to. Don’t mess around with the address unless it’s absolutely necessary. Now, what do we do if we do run into trouble? What you can do is you can go down here on the left-hand side and you can click on Support. Then there’s two different things. You can Ask the Help Community. Look for a thread that’s already started that has your same problem and then start chiming in there.
You’re going to get a lot better results if you chime in on a thread that’s currently going than if you start a brand new one. But if you want to contact Google directly, you hit the Contact Us button, go down to Contact Options at the bottom. Here you’re going to select your business if it’s not already in there. Talk about what you can help with. Google’s going to give you some resources and then contact options. Most likely, you’re going to end up filling out a form telling Google what’s going on.
Now, what you can do is actually… and this is a little secret that we learned that has gotten us so many results as far as fixing these types of problems, suspension problems, et cetera, is to go to the Secretary of State, which I’ve already talked about. So let’s just do it for my business. So sec of state, Montana. It’s going to be different for your state obviously. Now, what I want to look for is something to do with the business stuff right here. Search for your business. This is for Montana, this is where I live.
It’s going to be different for yours, but most states have something similar to this. Some are more complicated than others. I’m going to search my business name because I got it all set up at the beginning, it’s all legal. Okay, Big West Marketing, active, good standing. That’s good. I click on here and you see over here it matches my address that I have on Google. This is all public information and this is what Google looks at. So what I can do actually is grab this website URL here. I’m going to highlight that, I’m going to copy it.
Now, when I go over here to talk to Google, I’m going to tell them my situation, tell them everything I did, plead my case very respectfully. There’s going to be no anger involved. I’m going to be very patient, I’m going to be respectful, I’m going to be professional. Then I’m going to include that link. I’m going to paste that link in there and say, “Hey, go check this out. It’s all legit. You can check with state website that my business is legit. This is a legit address.” Then most likely they’re going to handle it. Now, sometimes it can take a few weeks depending on what’s going on.
COVID set it back a few months. Right now we’re seeing a few weeks though. It used to be a few days when Google gets back to you. They’ll email you back and they’ll say, “Okay, you’re in good standing.” Or they’ll say, “Hey, we need some more information.” There’s different things they can say. My main piece of advice though is to be respectful. Be patient and do not open up multiple tickets. Keep one ticket going. If you open up multiple tickets, it can delay it even farther. If you are disrespectful, if you get angry and emotional and start saying things to Google… This is a free service they offer.
They don’t have to even respond to you at all. We had two clients that were in this situation. One of them was very respectful when they put all their information in and it came back in a couple of weeks, everything was fixed. The other one, it took, I think, three or four months, but they were opening up multiple support tickets and they were just like going off on Google. And I understand it’s emotional. I understand your business is down, you’re losing money every day that this is not up. Every day that you’re suspended or pending or whatever, you’re losing money and I get that.
But if you start railing on Google and telling Google how it is, you’re probably going to get ignored or it’s just going to take 10 times longer. So, like I said, you got to be kind, you got to be respectful, and you got to just play the game. I know it’s frustrating, but you got to do it. Another thing I want to say real quick is never try to mark that business as closed and start from scratch. Don’t try to start from scratch. If you do that or if you open up a new Google Business Profile, you’re going to run into problems.
Now you’re going to have duplicates and you’re going to have ranking issues and it’s a whole big mess that needs to be cleaned up. Sometimes you can even get yourself into more trouble by opening up multiple accounts. Then if you mark something as closed and somebody types in your business name and they come up to your profile that’s marked as closed, they’re going to think your business is closed because you cannot delete that account. I have a whole nother video that talks about how you cannot delete a Google Business Profile. You can only market it as closed which can hurt you. So don’t do that. That is a big one.
Now, I know a lot of this can be confusing. If you have any more questions or if you’re looking to get some stuff going as far as SEO or address changing, you’re just trying to get up and running on Google and do it the right way, we offer a free consultation at Big West Marketing. All you need to do is call 406-493-1881, or you can just go to our website, bigwestmarketing.com, and you can apply for a consultation there. We also have a little chat widget and we have all the contact information ready to go. So I highly recommend you take advantage of that. Once again, my name is Joe Burnich with bigwestmarketing.com and I’ll see you in the next video.