By John Eberhard

I came across a really interesting issue this week in regards to how you present the street address of your company on a web site.

A prospect, located in a large suburban city of Los Angeles, was concerned that when searching for their category of business, along with “Los Angeles” in the search field, that their business did not come up at all. In other words, and I’ll change the category to keep things discreet, if you searched for “copper containers Los Angeles” a company whose business is located in Glendale, CA would not come up.

Now Glendale is a major suburb of L.A. and is definitely part of the L.A. metro area and is actually not far from downtown L.A.

In this case we were looking into how to specifically improve the position of this company’s Google Maps/Places listing, which as I mentioned did not come up at all when searching for this category with “Los Angeles” included. Their listing came up first when you searched for their category with the word “Glendale” included. But the thing is that hardly anyone would search for this category of thing with the word “Glendale” included. This particular business is not a neighborhood thing like a dentist. If someone was going to search for them with a city name attached, it would be the name of the metro area, in this case Los Angeles.

In searching myself for this category with the words “Los Angeles” in the search field, I reviewed all the other Google Maps listings of other companies in this category. And I noticed a very interesting thing. Every one of them listed their city as “Los Angeles.” And in going to several of their web sites, they listed their city name on the web site as “Los Angeles,” regardless of whether they were in a suburb of L.A.

This may seem like a stupid minor detail. But consider that handling this one minor point right could mean the difference between your listing coming up and not coming up at all.

So here’s how you decide how to handle this. If your company is a local business that handles customers only from a small part of town, such as in a cluster of 4-5 suburbs (like a health care practice or a retail store), then you should leave your address as the exact suburb that you are in.

But if your business handles customers for an entire metro area, or if your business is regional or national, you should list your company address on your web site, wherever it appears on the site, as the metro city, i.e. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, etc. And your Google Maps listing and all other local listings on other sites should list the metro city too.

Doing this one simple action will significantly improve your online visibility and website marketing.