How to build citations and keep your address hidden

The way companies operate and market their products and services has significantly changed with the advent of the Internet. Accordingly, many companies are paying more attention to local online marketing. So, many people are wondering how to build citations and keep your address hidden. If you also encountered this dilemma, this is the right article for you.

Some businesses cannot be categorized as physical, local businesses. This means they face a serious setback in terms of publishing their address to potential customers. We will discuss how to remedy this difficulty. Be sure to find out more about the importance of an accurate NAP (name, address, phone number) for the development of your business.

Why would a company hide its address in the first place?

When you run a business with a ‘physical’ address – an office, shop, or any other actual location – you can freely display your address to your customers. So, in this case, you have nothing to worry about – you can rely both on citations and links to promote your local online visibility.

However, many companies and businesses are no longer based in the ‘physical world’. Rather, reducing the costs of renting office space has sparked massive interest in exclusively online-based businesses. Some people prefer to operate their business from home 0r by relying on e-commerce without the need to organize a brick-and-mortar shop. At times, it happens that the owners of the business do not feel comfortable with disclosing the address of their premises or their home office.

a woman trying to find out on the laptop how to build citations and keep your address hidden
Some people simply do not want to disclose the address of their home office.

Let us take a look at all the reasons that might instigate you to build citations and keep your address hidden:

  1. You do not want to communicate with customers at a physical location
  2. The field you work in is of sensitive nature, such as mental health advisors and counselors
  3. You work from your home office and you do not want to sound unprofessional
  4. Your premises are located at a certain address but you actually operate in a different region
  5. Your business is not really local, but you want the benefits that come with local search visibility
  6. You have a virtual office, so you cannot actually meet with customers

How does hiding your address impact your local ranking?

Hiding your address does influence your local ranking. However, you can still have a decent ranking. It is still possible for you to optimize other signals if your business operations are not part of a highly competitive sector or market.

Basically, local online searches target local businesses in a particular service area. This means that in cases when you need, for example, an accountant that is located in your area, your Google search will focus on accounting services in your particular area. So, if you are located in Tampa, FA, you are not interested in accountants that are based in Miami or Pompano Beach. On the other hand, if you are looking for a great citation service, you can retrieve websites such as anywhere in the world. So, you can access these kinds of websites regardless of the location where you instigate your search.

Google search parameters are optimized to give precedence to local businesses if the service you are looking for is of the brick-and-mortar type. So, Google algorithms then prefer high quality, local business. In light of this, hiding your address is not beneficial – but there are ways to work around this problem.

google home page on a mac laptop
Google search engine shows a local business with a real address.

How to build citations and keep your address hidden easily?

So, it is possible to rank yourself in Google’s blended search results. With a well-optimized website, it is even possible to appear in Google maps.

The real issue is whether hiding your address increases your chances of targeting more customers on Google. Hiding your address might hinder your chances of being visible to your customers. Accordingly, you might want to consider some of the following strategies to create a ‘virtual address’.

Creating the so-called virtual office is one way to work around this problem. However, Google improves its algorithms on a daily basis, thus rendering this practice less effective. Another method is to actually rent an office so that you can list a legitimate address. This, of course, is can be more costly at first. Yet, this approach is potentially beneficial in terms of the number of customers your business ultimately attracts.

a modern open plan office space
Renting office space with an address can be expensive, but beneficial in the long run.

If you are still adamant about keeping your address private for whatever reason, then you might want to stick with citations. There are several strategies to build citations and keep your address hidden:

Hide your address on websites when this is possible

So, you can hide your address on websites that require you to provide it. However, you should simultaneously work on providing your address within citations on other websites. These websites should be websites in which the customers are highly unlikely to see your address, such as unpopular sites that appear in Google searches. Also, most people prefer to use Google as their search engine. By hiding your address on popular search engines, but keeping it on those that are used less often, you are able to improve your local SEO ranking while avoiding Google’s caveat according to which you need to list the address.

Other ways to build citations and keep your address hidden

Aggregators allow you to provide an address but mark your location as a home company in order to keep the address private.

Our suggestion is to use the direct-to-site submission strategy as it is the most flexible way to build citations and keep your address hidden. You can opt for particular websites in which your address is supplied, and ban other websites from displaying your address. Most of these websites are directories, online review websites, etc.

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