Where to put your virtual business address and why
There are many benefits of a virtual business address. One of the most important is credibility. As a small business owner, it can take time to establish your brand and build a reputation.
A virtual business address can be used as part of your marketing strategy from the outset to build your brand and reputation. But only if it is used correctly.
Even before the pandemic, working from home was the norm for many entrepreneurs and freelancers. They saw no point in spending money on swanky business premises that didn’t warrant the cost and even less reason to choose low rent offices that would be detrimental to their image.
Virtual offices offer the best of both worlds – inexpensive but in a strategically advantageous business location. To maximise return on the cost of your virtual office, it’s important to use the location as a key part of your brand identity.
There are many more benefits that can be gained from displaying your business address. Here are some of the places you should put your virtual office address:
Firstly, if you are a limited company, you are legally obliged to display your registered company address on your website. But there are many more reasons why you should put your address on your website.
A proper business address will help boost credibility. Building brand awareness is all about consistency. No doubt your logo, tone, colour scheme are clearly displayed on your website. Adding your virtual business address can act as a regular reminder of your location – whether that be in the heart of the financial district or a trendy suburb.
Despite the way we have all embraced the digital transformation, there is still something to be said for being local to the customers you serve. It gives people confidence that you are local and understand their needs.
A local telephone number reinforces that your virtual office is your physical address – even if, in reality, you’re working from home.
For many people, the first thing they do when discovering a new business is carry out an internet search. If the results reveal your location along with your website, it’s best to show a professional office block rather than a mid-terrace property.
A lot of effort goes into driving traffic to your website and attention to little details like this can have a huge impact on conversions.
Your business address needs to be displayed using text and not as part of an image. This allows the ‘search bots’ to crawl and index your web pages and improves the chances of ranking higher.
Business listings and directories
Whether produced online or in physical form, business directories are a common way for consumers to find companies providing the goods and services they are looking for.
Nearly half of all internet searches are for local services. Search engines, like Google and Bing, are aware of this intent.
They are always keen to provide users with relevant pages and so will often suggest local businesses that may meet the searcher’s needs.
For your business to be shown you need to give search engines the signals of your relevance to the search intent.
Your business address shown on your website needs to appear on online directories with your contact details and organisation’s name and a link to your website.
If your address is inaccurate, you send the search engines mixed messages. This can mean you are less likely to show at the top of local search queries. And the lower you appear on these result pages will the fewer people will click through to your website.
As a small business, it’s almost impossible to rank highly in search engine results globally as the big corporations have many of those sewn up with their own SEO strategies.
But local SEO activities, like building business listings, help you place above these large national and international companies. The pool of local competitors is much smaller so it can be easier to rank higher for some keywords.
For example, you may not be able to rank on the first page for ‘estate agents’ but you could get yourself at the top of the results page for ‘estate agents in St Albans’.
Having consistent NAPs (name, address, phone) throughout the internet has been shown to impact site performance by up to 16%
It’s important you keep a record of all the business listings that your company appears in. If you change your business address or any other details at a later date, you’ll then know which sites you need to update. Keeping on top of your listings is also a great way to monitor reviews and respond to feedback to help maintain a good reputation.
Also, it’s worth spending some time placing yourself in your customers’ shoes and searching for your site online. If there are anomalies or inconsistencies in your business address and contact details, fixing them will improve SEO on your site and help you get noticed.
An impressive virtual address consistently shared across your website, directories and online listings will enhance your business and support your sales and growth.
Your Invoices and Emails
When a client wants to get in contact or send you something through the post, don’t make them search for your details.
With your virtual office address, virtual phone number and name clearly displayed on your invoices, letters or emails, they can get in touch while working through the document rather than having to switch to a search engine and then locate your ‘Contact Us’ page.
When you make it easy for clients and customers to get in touch, you make it easy on yourself too. By including your business address and phone number on invoices you can increase your chances of getting paid on time.
If they need to call you to discuss it and the number is in front of them it’s highly likely they will pick up the phone and fix the issue. Without those details being easily accessible your invoice may well go into the pile to be sorted ‘later’.
If yours is a limited company, you are required by law to include your full business address on your invoices.
Headed paper and compliment slips are also ways to add a touch of professionalism to your business. They are the sort of thing that only really get noticed when they are not used but can quickly change the recipient’s perception of your company.
A virtual business address can be a powerful marketing tool. Costs are minimal but it helps to add a veneer of credibility to even the smallest business that entices customers, making the ROI very attractive indeed.