More threads by Larry Linson

Jan 9, 2018
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I am moving my law office from a fixed lease to a virtual office arrangement. Since I will be going into this office 1-2 days a week, I could pick a location that is further from my home but more closely located to my prime clients. I am wondering, however, how much that would matter. My target client tends to be older and lower on the socio economical ladder. So taking a virtual address in a blue collar area might make more sense than picking a wealthy suburb. In terms of miles, we are only taking about 10-15 miles difference, so I am simply wondering if there is any sense that this is going to matter to google in the serps,
Hey Larry! The very short answer is absolutely YES, location is one of the most significant factors for Local Pack especially if you are talking 10 to 15 miles away. Not knowing the size of the city you are targeting, or if that mileage puts you in a different neighborhood entirely, it could be a game changer in regards to whether your business appears, or not, on the Local Pack. For many of our clients, depending on population and competition, the difference of three to four miles can determine whether they appear on the local pack or not. In regards to the SERPs, it does play less of a role. However, Google has increasingly been focused on proximity and having an address that is closer to your prospective audience might be the difference in ranking above the fold, especially for "near me" related searches.
I guess I could test by doing a search and adding a zip code for the area I am contemplating and seeing if I appear in the Google Pack. Thanks Jeff for your response!
Hey Larry, I'd suggest using the Google Anonymous AdWord tool. This allows you to more precisely select the location of the search by specifying the city or zip code: Anonymous Ad Preview Tool
Not only will it provide you fairly accurate SERP but also Local Pack.

If you want to get very precise on the Local Pack, I'd suggest giving BrightLocal's Local Grid report a try. I'm tagging @Jenny_BrightLocal who might want to chime in :)

They have a free trial: Local Search Grid - Track Business Rankings on a Map

The Local Pack rankings may vary significantly even by fractions of a mile, and the Grid report will allow you to specify varying grid sizes in increments, for example 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 1 mile, etc.
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Ideally, you want your location to be in the city/suburb that your clients are in.

Think about this very objectively, search on google for your target city / zipcode and go into the mpas from the knowledge card in the SERP - google will literally outline the geographic area that it defines as the specific city/suburb.

If you are outside of googles geographic lines for your target city, you will have a very difficult time ranking higher than anyone who is actually geographically located in your target city.

Google wants to show top results that are convenient for the user.

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