One of the local search headaches for many businesses, and especially service area businesses, is the importance Google still gives to the address for ranking. A recent post came out from Sterling Sky outlining the importance of having a physical address in a city that you want rank highly in. For example, if you want to rank highly for “Electrician Edison NJ” in the local maps, it is pretty critical that you have a physical address within the official Edison city, according to Google. The post goes into some of the details, but this is a question I hear quite often.
With SEO and Local Search, All is Relative
Of course, everything depends on the level of competition and there are other factors involved, but physical location is still the dominant and critical ranking factor. For example, if you are outside a smaller town with no competitors actually sitting inside, you can probably rank quite easily, but as the competition grows, your ability to appear in the maps drops. You will need to come up with other methods to make yourself relevant and push for more standard organic rankings. Of course, getting an address in your main target city would be very helpful, it is not always an option. Also, unless you are in a very big city, you are likely targeting more than one city, especially if you are a service area business, so this will always come into play. Some other options that are mentioned in the article, and ways to make it clear you are relevant to that city.
- External Links from clearly local relevant sites like Chambers of Commerce
- Internal Linking and content related to the target city
- GMB content mentioning the target city, including reviewers mentioning that you serviced them in that town
There is work to do, but it can be done. Location isn’t the only factor, but you are dealing with an algorithm that makes it a very important piece of the puzzle, no matter what you list as your service area.