How can an out-of-town company compete with local competition?

Published by Jan Heaney on

How can an out-of-town company compete with local competition?


Today’s question
comes from Bryant D. in Lansing, Michigan. Bryant asks, In a search
environment where local is becoming increasingly important
and more full on the SERP, how can an out-of-town company
compete with the local-based and locally housed competition
without lying to show up in these local results? Well, Bryant, I mean the entire
page of web rankings is there that out-of-town people
can compete on. So the idea of the local
universal results is to show local businesses. So in some sense there’s not
really a way where if you’re out of town you can sort of
show up within our guidelines and show up as a
local business. Now if you are a mobile
business, so, for example, maybe you’re a plumber and you
get into your pick-up truck and you drive around in
a particular area. So if you’re a mobile business,
then in Google Places you can specify a service area which is
roughly 50 miles around where you’re based. But that’s only if you
actually have some base of operations there. You can’t be based in Topeka
and claim that you have a service area in Wyoming if
you have no physical presence there. I think that that’s
a good idea. You do want to have local
businesses show up, and I know that the team has been really
paying a lot of attention to trying to improve Maps quality,
make it more robust, check on the authenticity of businesses,
and that will only continue. So if you’re an out-of-town
company and you’re looking for a way to show up locally and
you don’t really have any presence there, there’s not
really a way to do that. But if you are a mobile
business than you can use that 50 mile sort of service area
around where you’re based within Google Places. So that’s one option
to know about.


8 Comments

FRN Garcia · January 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

What about digital services such as web design firms an etc?

Mel Karlik · January 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hi Matt,
If you are genuinely local, what are the physical location indicators?
You mentioned contact info, google places inclusion…

Anything else a local business should be doing to ensure their website comes up in local search?

MrKappaBeta · January 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm

@xrambojrx – There are so many design firms in local areas, like print shops, graphic designers, ect… it is probably better for someone who wants local to find it, right?

I mean there are those paid spots that are on the top of the results for the more generic, quicky design services.

I don't know about you, but I am just so reluctant to trust solicitations for services out of town, whether it be through email or on the search results. Maybe that is just me.

Dave · January 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

@xrambojrx What about digital services? If you have a local presence then you can show up locally, if not, then you don't. It doesn't matter that the service is digital or not.

You still get to show up in general search results, just not *local* search results.

Cyril Grisvard · January 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

Matt, can you tell us what will be Google strategy if you have to promote worldwide all Google online products on Google Local Search ?

FRN Garcia · January 21, 2011 at 2:42 am

@hireahitCA I understand that but what if we want to show up in several locations that because we have different guys in different states and cities?

kahlusha · January 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm

i work from home and use my cell phone as my business phone… I communicate primarily through emails and would rather not use my home address and personal phone number for my google places listing … any way i can still list with my service area?

Darvys · April 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

What if I'm a photographer and my web page server is on the different city/country than my actual working place?
Ex. I live in Europe and Americas hosting services seems more to give more trust for me?

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