More threads by Craig Smith

Oct 11, 2013
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I have a client who want to target and rank for the city of "Ottawa" keyword service phrases.

However, his store is located in a suburb/town called "Orleans" but it's still inside the city of Ottawa.

As you can see here,+Ontario,+Canada&t=m&z=9&iwloc=A

His Local+ listing page is using Orleans as city name, but some other businesses in the area and on same road have Ottawa as the city.

Example here:,0.01929&hq=auto+repair&t=m&z=16

As this client wants to target Ottawa phrases, would I be ok and better off changing city to Ottawa and also editing NAP on site and citations etc?

Do you think this will raise flags or cause problems?

Would citations that I can't edit become worthless as the city name would be different or do you think Google understands it's the same address?

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Hi Craig,

The address needs to be whatever the correct address is.

Changing anything in NAP especially city if it's not the correct city can mess you up several ways. Could cause lost reviews and could start over in the ranking cycle and not rank at all for weeks.

I see what you mean though and ran some of the addresses through Google maps to see if it would say "did you mean?..." the other city. It seems like this is one of those cases where Google understands either city and either could be correct. But I always caution against NAP changes.

But additionally check this. NONE of those listings that show city as Ottawa rank anyway.

Check this search:

Check the map and see where the cluster of ranking listings are. None are out as far as Orleans so I don't think he'd have a chance of ranking even with city changed.

Best to optimize and try to rank for Ottawa in organic I think.
Hi Linda,
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Sorry, I used auto repair just as an example, the client runs a Piano store.

After the listing was claimed the city name was changed from Ottawa to Orleans, maybe this was a mistake and something we'll learn from.

The reason it was changed back then is because the client had given us the business details, plus the website address also used Orleans and we wanted everything to match up.

Zooming in on Google map in the area showed businesses about 50/50 using Ottawa and Orleans.

We haven't really done much at this point, so we'll just keep it as and work on other areas unless you recommend reverting back.

Hey Craig,

I run into this problem all of the time, and it can be particularly frustrating when your client is just over that line to be in the suburbs. In a competitive town, chances are that Google will prefer any other listing within the city limits. My advice is to target Orleans with your Local campaign, and go after Ottawa with an Organic or paid search strategy.

Its just becoming increasingly hard to rank outside your town. My recommendation is to change your address back to Orleans as well.

Hope this helps!

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