Ranking Outside Your City
First let’s look at the importance of local rankings:
- All of the search engines are now using some form of geo-location to determine the results they display to the user
- Users tend to use a geographic modifier when they are searching for a service. Most of the time they want to physically go to that location or need a service performed in that area.
For example, if you decided that you wanted to try out for the NFL. The first thing you are going to need to do is find an NFL Combine Training Facility. We are HUGE Kansas City Chiefs fans, so just for fun lets use KC as our example location. If you just do a raw search for “NFL Combine Training” you get a search page that looks like this.Lot’s of big name, national brands and some online course offerings. Not anything I’m diving over my desk to grab the phone and call. One is a news listing and isn’t really relevant to what we were search for. Nice job Google. j/k
Now, if we perform the same search for “NFL Combine Training Kansas City” you’ll see results like this:
Let’s take a closer look at one result in particular. The Athletic Strength Institute result that is the 4th listing down. Notice that they have the words “kansas-city” as part of their URL slug. This means they are more than likely located in Kansas City or they serve the KC area. Click here to visit the full listing and check it out for yourself. There are really only 2 viable options here. One is the ASI listing and the other is the Athletes Performance Listing. I’m not clicking on a site that has a page called 7.html.
- Finally, customers are starting to place more of their trust in local businesses with real people running them. People would rather be able to pick up the phone and talk to the owner than try and wade through the customer service jungle of a big name site like Wal Mart or Amazon.
Seriously, do you want to wade through all this and wait 3-5 business days to get an email back that may not solve the problem or call Chris, the owner and have him fix it the 1st time?
ON TO THE MULTIPLE LOCATIONS QUANDARY
Occasionally we have clients that ask us if we can help rank them outside of their initial or “home” location. It’s not something we run across very often, but it is something that is doable.
Here is our some tips when it comes to ranking a company in other areas.
- On Page The search engines aren’t going to rank you very well in your own area if your on page is not in tip top shape, let alone rank you in an additional area.
- Google Map Configuration: This is a bit of a “grey” area *wink wink* but if you have a GMB account, you can go into your maps and change the settings to a service area rather than serving your customers at your location
- Additional Physical Location: If you have one, you need to set up a brand new GMB account for each branch of your company. For example, if you had Larry’s Chicken Shack as the main location and then another location that was further south, you would need to have a separate, stand alone set up for Larry’s Chicken Shack South
- An already ranking site: 1st you are going to have to rank your main site and have it well positioned before you dive into trying to rank the 2nd or 3rd locations. Remember, just like everything in ranking, a good foundation and base is paramount to your success.
- Mobile Friendly: In 2016 your site absolutely, positively has to pass Googles Mobile Friendly Test of you have no shot at ranking in multiple locations.
- Schema and Structured Data: We aren’t going to divulge much here, so you’ll have to do your own homework here, but there is a wealth of information available on schema.org and Google Structured Data Tools. on how to set up your listings and structure them so Google knows what you are trying to do and can understand it.Ok, we’ll give you one freebie 🙂 http://schema-creator.org/
Ok, that’s pretty much it. Let us know in the comments if you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share.