Can I use a P.O. Box or Regus for Google Maps?
Want to learn how to rank in the Top 3 for Google Maps?
We often get asked if you can use a P.O. Box or a Regus Virtual Office to set up additional locations for a law firm, and use those addresses to rank in Google Maps.
The answer is NO!
You can’t use a P.O. Box or Virtual Office like Regus for a Google Listing.
The first reason is that Google Maps was created for people to navigate to a location using their cell phone and your address. If they follow Google Maps to a Post office or a virtual office with no law firm staff present they will be disappointed and they might make a negative note in Google Maps.
If you want to use Google Maps as an SEO tool to appear in searches, you must have what Google calls a “staffed location” – and plenty of reviews for that location as well, so putting up a virtual location will not get ranked in Google Maps search results over the long term.
What should you do?
The ultimate solution is to get a small location where you can have a few staff work and/or a receptionist in this location. Often this can work for employees who have a long commute to the main office and they can work from the new location 3-4 days per week.
Ideally, this new location will have exterior signage and you will be able to post pictures to your Google Maps – Google Business Profile.
A second option is to rent space in another company’s office. It is best to find a non-legal firm such as an accountant or other referring partner. In this location you want to be able to have your own signage, and the ultimate win is if you can have your own address on a cross street. For example, if your accounting partners have an address at 100 Main Street, and the cross street is 1st Avenue, you may be able to get the 1st Avenue address and wall or door signage. In this case, you can have a unique address, door signage, a local phone number, and one or more offices to meet prospects and clients.
Ultimately, in the case of Google and SEO, you can’t fool Google with a P.O. Box or Virtual Office location. If you’re caught trying to do so, you may find all of your listings suspended (yes, this is a real problem that we’ve helped firms overcome in the past).
There’s no getting around this one: you need a physical location if you want real and valuable Maps SEO results.