Yes, your business can rank in search results in cities where you don’t have a physical address. How? By using tools like Google My Business (GMB), by creating content related to the city you want to target, by adding reviews or testimonials from clients in the city you’re targeting, and more.
Ranking in a city where you have no physical address is possible. Just ask Amanda Jordan (a.k.a. AJ), LOCOMOTIVE Agency’s Director of Local Search. In a recent session of Turn Digi from SEO Jo Blogs, AJ laid out some of her best strategies for businesses without physical addresses to compete for local SEO.
AJ geared her presentation specifically toward businesses that serve multiple cities but lack physical locations in each city. Among the strategies she recommends:
- Using a service area Google My Business (GMB) listing if possible
- Ensuring there’s content on your website related to the cities you are targeting
- Adding testimonials and/or reviews to your website from the city or cities you are trying to rank in
- Creating content that highlights any involvement, memberships, and/or sponsorships from organizations located within target cities
What is a service areas listing?
Google My Business offers multiple options for business owners to list how they reach customers in each city. Service area business listings allow you to list your business’s local service area without needing to publish the physical address. So even if you aren’t technically a local business, if you offer local business services, a service area listing will likely work for you. This is a great option for delivery companies or home services. A service area listing can work for a wide variety of business types, from plumbers to home-based freelance marketers to in-home nursing care providers.
When setting up your Google My Business account, be sure to list the city you’re targeting as part of your service area. Keep in mind that service area listings are limited just like regular GMB listings. Your business will only show up in SERPs for your business’s service area for most non-branded keywords.
Does my site content really matter?
Yes! The content on your website matters a lot! And not just for Google’s local search algorithm. If you’re not able to add a Google My Business listing for a location, your next best bet is to try to rank in the normal organic search results section with high quality content that is relevant to the city or cities you want to rank for on your site.
A content strategy for local search
AJ recommends a digital marketing strategy that includes creating city-specific landing pages on your website. Each landing page should contain content specific to that city. Be sure you don’t go overboard though. If you create more than 10 local landing pages, you will begin to lose credibility, and you certainly don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of Google’s guidelines. In addition to local landing pages, create blogs for all the cities you want to rank for. You can then link that content back to your city-specific landing pages for added search engine optimization.
Next, add reviews or testimonials to your website from clients in the cities you’re targeting for local search. When you do, make sure to include both the city and the state. Also list any community involvement your business has with the places you’re trying to rank for. Awards, sponsorships, news stories, partnerships, memberships — anything that will improve your odds in organic results. If your business doesn’t have any associations, sponsorships, or memberships in the city or area you’d like to rank in Google search for, it’s time to change that.
These are just a few simple strategies, but they will help your business rank on Google without a physical address.