More threads by Dan H - RuggedSEO

Nov 10, 2015
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Hey Guys,

Is it possible to rank in google local across multiple cities? I'm just starting up a small home biz (SEO) on the side and would like my site to rank not only in my hometown but a couple other cities which I want to focus on as well. I take it I need to create a page which has my home address in order to get into the local search results for my hometown (instead of creating a brand business page)? But then, how would I be listed in other towns or is that just not possible?

For example, say I live in and my home (online) business is based out of Seattle. I'd want to be found in Google Local for something like "seo seattle wa". But I also provide local seo services in Bellingham and Vancouver. How would I be found in Google local search results for " seo bellingham wa" and seo vancouver wa"?

Hi there and welcome to the forum and the business. :)

One of the 1st things to learn about local is how the local algo works. Typically you can only rank in local in the city you are actually located in. (Depending on competition, size of city, etc.)

So a business in a non-competitive industry in one of those tiny east coast towns that are all clustered together, could possibly rank in the nearby cities, providing the business has more going for it and is better optimized than the businesses that ARE really in that city.

But if you are in Seattle "seo bellingham wa" and seo vancouver wa" are too competitive AND especially too far away for you to ever even have a chance.

Think of it the way the Google algo thinks. If you were in Bellingham searching for a dry cleaners or restaurant, would you think Google was delivering good results if it showed you listings way down in Seattle? Would you drive that far???

I know SEO is different and you don't need to be close by but the algo paints with a broad brush that favors local brick and mortar businesses you would drive to.

You can test yourself. Google "seo bellingham wa" and seo vancouver wa" and see how deep you have to go before you find a Seattle listing. 30 pages? 50?

Adwords is the easiest way to rank in other cities. But you have to pay to play.

Hope this helps and best of luck in your new business.

Oh and FYI, you do know you need to do the setting right so your address is hidden on your listing right? It's a violation if your address is showing.
Thanks Linda.

What do you mean by making sure my address is hidden on my listing? My GMB page you mean?

Yes, I understand that Google would show only local listings if someone's looking to physically drive to a brick and mortar storefront.

I just ran another search for fun of "victoria bc seo agency". One of the listings which appears above many local results is for a Tampa, Florida based SEO agency. They do not have a street address mentioned in the local search results and they still appear in Victoria which is as far away as you can get on the north american continent from where it's truly located. The Florida company is Developing Designs.

That's exactly what I'm asking about here. How a company based in Florida with no address in Victoria BC can rank in the local search results.
Can you share a screenshot of the Florida based business ranking? I can't seem to replicate it.

Linda is right, best bet is to run some AdWords campaigns and optimize for Organic rankings.
Sure thing. Attached is the screenshot.


That would be an example of what not to do. It's spam.

My guess is that you are looking at an Adwords Ad from a Florida company. Google has done a great job of making ads at the top of mobile search results appear to be organic. If not, then Colan is correct about it being a spam issue.

The question you may want to consider is if a searcher using the phrase "seo vancouver wa" wants to work with an seo firm outside of Vancouver. I would guess that a large percentage don't. I would guess that a search for "seo" would be more open to outside firms. But when someone adds the geo modifier they usually intend to work with a business in that geographical area.

I will be bold and say that you are wasting your time trying to organically optimize for "SEO" in cities that are outside of your geograhical location. Sure it happens from time to time but it won't last long and is usually an anomaly. And it will be years before you rank organically on a national level like Andrew Shortland at I would also save your adwords budget for targeting your geographical area before spending on another city. The only exception to that would be if the outside area has little to no competition.

I have aquired clients from California to Massachusettes but my retention in Salt Lake City and Austin are much better. I find that clients really appreciate being able to meet us face to face.

Portent (12) Google reviews, Seattle SEO (12) Google reviews, and Premium SEO (15) Google reviews. I would consider taking on clients for less pay initially and earning reviews strong and fast out the gate. Your conversion efforts will get a lot easier when you have as many or more reviews than the local competition.

I'm not trying to pop any ballons. I just want you to channel efforts/spend towards activities that will pay off for you.

Good luck on the new venture!
Thanks Cody (and others).

It wasn't a paid ad. I just scrolled so it's easier to see that local listing on the top. So I guess it was just a spammy anomaly.

Personally and I'm sure many others feel this way, if I was needing a service done and that related to something online (web design or seo), I wouldn't care if the company was in town or out of town. But yes, I do see how some people would still prefer to meet face to face.

I see you managed to acquire clients in various cities and States. I assume you were not found in any local search results for the cities/states you mentioned? Instead, you probably either paid for adwords or optimized specific pages on your site so you could be found organically?

Great tips on adwords and taking on clients for less pay initially.
I think you are correct in that SEO and web design inquiries are more interested in quality of service over location. But I believe over time these services will become more and more of a commodity. I also believe that it is cheaper to acquire and maintian clients close to home regardless of the vertical. Why go "regional" or "national" before you have learned to dominate your local market? But yeah, if you can pick up business outside of your city - why not.

PS My clients from out of state came from referrals - not organic placement or paid placement. But then again I haven't tried to market organically or paid outside of my areas. I have also acquired clients outside of my geographical area because of content they read here on the search forum, localu, or when I was mentioned on articles or blog posts.
On the flip side, I never optimized for local at all.

Used to optimize for Google Places Optimization and ranked #1 organic for a long time. Now I'm just lower on page one because not as many search for Places any more and I've changed focus so my site is suffering from cobblers shoes.

Cody made some really good points about local clients in your area being easier to convert and easier to keep as clients. Even if you never meet face to face, I think there is a trust issue too.

But additionally, again the local algo is set up to rank businesses locally regardless if it's a bakery, you need to find close by or an SEO you could work with from anywhere. The algo does not change on an industry basis like that.

Google knows and tracks how far customers will drive for various primary industries. To a very small degree that could be baked into the algo for the big main local categories like restaurants, etc. But for a couple years SEO and web design would not show up in the local pack at all period. So we don't rank very high on the totem pole. ;)

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