Service areas differ per business, with the owner of the landscape company or electrician working in a specific area. And while it is challenging to help potential and existing customers identify the locations the business serves, Google has made updates to Google My Business that allow business owners to share the service areas and information in Google Maps and Search.
The change enables business owners to use cities, postal codes or other data as their location markers to identify service areas.
Business owners signing up for the first time will see a guide to help them through the setup process. Prompts will help them identify local service areas, beginning with the question “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?"
When the answer is “no” -- which is likely because the business provides a mobile service -- the setup process jumps to a different setup mode. This path enables business owners to add areas of coverage rather than a physical address.
An existing Google My Business user can edit business information from the Google My Business dashboard. In the menu, “service area” and “storefront address” can be edited separately. If an address isn’t applicable to the business, no need to enter the information.
When asked whether Google Maps will eventually have the ability to highlight the area in a designated color, a Google spokesperson said it is not available at this time. Nor does the new Google My Business provide online scheduling.
Google Maps, however, has begun to roll out to Android users a navigation feature that allows Maps users to set the departure time. It then estimates the time of arrival based on the departure time and traffic.
As for future features, it only makes sense for Google My Business to offer potential customers the ability to schedule a future appointment in the platform. With an integration into Waze and Google Maps, algorithms could base the appointment on the required work, location and estimated travel time to arrive at the location.