studentoflife

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I am a small electrical contractor, my service area is a bunch of small suburban towns. We are near a city, but we are not considered suburbs of that city. The town that my business is based in (hidden because I am a SAB) and most of the towns in my service area are in a completely different county as that city.

Lately I have been getting a lot of calls from that city, way more than we ever received before. I used to get maybe five calls per month from that city, now I’m getting five calls per day. And when we tell the potential customers that we don’t service that city, they tell us that we came up first on Google. When I looked in the MobileMoxie SERPerator using that city for the location and “electrician” as the keyword, I come up first in the 3-pack.

I assume this is because my listing has gained more authority over the years, which is making it do better in outside areas. I’ve been getting a lot of good reviews lately and I changed some things on my website.

Either way, is there a way to exclude my listing from coming up when people in this city search for me? I refuse to work there, and I hate having to take so many calls and turn people away. Soon I’m going to end up getting bad reviews from some of them because I could tell that some of them have a bit of an attitude when I tell them I don’t service their city.
 

Professor M

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Did you have your business in that city before?
If yes, did you change the verification address?
 

studentoflife

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Did you have your business in that city before?
If yes, did you change the verification address?
No, I never had my business there, I’ve never been associated with that city in any way.

My business has always been in the same spot, never moved or re-verified the address

I have had my Google listing for almost a decade, it’s only within the last few months that I started ranking for that city.
 

Professor M

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ok, that means Google really likes your listing, in your case, is not a "good thing"

There is no way to exclude "service areas" and it is difficult to "remove" a listing from an unwanted local pack.

But you can perhaps give stronger signals of the service areas you serve through your website:
service areas specific pages, inbound/outbound links from those areas, blog posts, etc
 

studentoflife

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Currently I have town-based landing pages which have always helped get me calls from the towns in my service area. Those each have an outbound link (although I’ve read recently that really doesn’t help at all).
I have very few good inbound links to my website. Getting good links has always been the holy grail for a non-SEO Pro like me. As far as this issue of ranking in an unwanted city because Google likes my listing, wouldn’t getting good links actually make that worse?
 

Professor M

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The links and content in your case have to be hyperlocal, even outbound links help "showing" Google Algorithm the towns you service.

Local SEO is not only about ranking, one of the key components is placing your site/listing in front of the right audience.

Inbound links can be from sponsoring local Events/fundraisers/Charities, local newspapers
Content about the local area, testimonials from local businesses that are customers, etc.

There are many things you can do
 

studentoflife

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But are doing those things going to help stop me ranking in a city that I don’t want to service?

Bear with me, I am trying to wrap my head around this. If the work that I did to rank so well in the towns that I serve also caused me to rank first in this city that I don't serve... won't additional work for those towns I serve also further help me rank high in the city?

If I am currently ranking first in that city (which is consistently confirmed by the 5-6 callers I am getting from there each day), won't I have to do something drastic to change it?

People say how smart Google is becoming, will they understand if I put a disclaimer on my website saying that I don't serve that city?
 
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Professor M

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Local SEO is all about testing, Google's Algorithm moves in "mysterious ways".
You should try what you think is best and track rankings (local pack and organic)
 

dgrunited

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But are doing those things going to help stop me ranking in a city that I don’t want to service?

Bear with me, I am trying to wrap my head around this. If the work that I did to rank so well in the towns that I serve also caused me to rank first in this city that I don't serve... won't additional work for those towns I serve also further help me rank high in the city?

If I am currently ranking first in that city (which is consistently confirmed by the 5-6 callers I am getting from there each day), won't I have to do something drastic to change it?

People say how smart Google is becoming, will they understand if I put a disclaimer on my website saying that I don't serve that city?
Try editing the schema of your website especially:
"geoRadius": "???",
"description": "We serve only this city!!!",

Also try adding a .kml sitemap & edit the following:
<snippet>We serve only this city!!!</snippet>
 

JoyHawkins

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Unfortunately, there isn't a way to make your listing not rank in that city. A lot of ranking is based on proximity and it works like a radius so the farther you get from the middle (where your address is), the lower you rank. I would suggest you contact an electrician who does service that city and see if you can set up a referral deal with them. That way the leads aren't going to waste :)
 

studentoflife

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Thanks Joy, that is a good idea. I could find a company and then tell callers "My partner company handles work in your city, here is their number....".
 

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