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Hi!

My partner runs surf lessons and kayak tours. On his Google My Business profile, he has "Canoe & kayak tour agency" as main category. He is ranking #1 for his keywords related to kayak tours! He has "surf school" as a secondary category, but for some reason, he is not showing up AT ALL on Google Maps for surf lessons keywords... We've optimised the profile as much as we can, and we are using the keyword in the description, services and in review replies. We also receive a few reviews talking about our surf lessons, but Google is still not recognising us as a surf school in Google Maps! In the organic search results we are ranking #4 for surf lessons, so that's ok! But why not in Google Maps...???? We don't have a fixed location, just service area, could that be the problem???

Any help would be appreciated :)
 
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Hi Joy,
Thank you so much for getting back to me. The business is called Epic Ocean Adventures. We are located in Sunshine Beach, Australia (located right next to Noosa, we pick up our clients in Noosa). The keyword we are trying to rank for is "surf lessons Noosa". For "kayak tour Noosa" we rank #1, but for "surf lessons Noosa" we are nowhere to be seen... So strange!
 

JoyHawkins

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Based on what I'm seeing here, I would try switching the order of your categories to make surf school the primary category. Also, where is your location in reference to the 4 that Google is showing? I couldn't tell as it's hidden but if it's really far away from these guys that is also likely an issue.

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We are a SAB without a location in this region, but our "home office" and address we are using in the listing is in Sunshine Beach. So not far...
The problem with switching surfing to the main category is that we are afraid we will then disappear for kayak tour Noosa, which is our biggest / main product!
Would it work to set up a completely separate GMB account, one for just kayaking and one for just surfing?
 

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It's very difficult to rank outside of the area that your address is in so I'm not sure focusing on getting into the 3-pack is a good strategy. I'd work on organic ranking & Google Ads instead. The only thing I've really seen that gets businesses to rank in areas outside their immediate area is links (good ones).

If kayak tours is your main product, I agree that switching the categories is a bad idea.

The business wouldn't qualify for two listings so I wouldn't suggest setting up a second one as it could likely result in both being suspended.
 
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Thank you so much Joy! That's very helpful... It's a shame it's so hard to rank in Noosa, being located in Sunshine Beach. It's so close and even the same postcode! I wonder if we are penalised or filtered out though.. Because even if I zoom into Sunshine Beach where our address is, it's still not coming up... So strange.

For surf lessons Sunshine Beach we are showing up, but rank #8, and with the canoe tours as main category showing up. Keeps being a mystery for me!
 
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