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How to rank well for local company offering national service?

11:50 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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We're a "local" company offering a national service to hire widgets from a single location. We currently rank top 3 for our main keyphrase (widget hire) on both Google and Bing.

However, when the search is localised (ie widget hire [placename]), we drop to pages 5 - 10 of the serps. Aside from the old-school method of stuffing a list of place names in the footer (something I've never liked) and localised Adwords, what steps can I take to rank well for "national" placenames?

12:34 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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welcome to WebmasterWorld, jamesMP!

google uses signals of local presence to rank for localised search.
if there's any competition, place names in the footer probably won't do much for you.
1:03 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi phranque, thanks!

That's what I'm finding - as an example, we're located in a small town a few miles outside a large city. If you search for [widget hire town-name] we're top of the results, however searching for [widget hire city-name] we're not even in the top 200. Our service area is pretty much national, but with more and more local searches being performed (last figure I saw was that 43% of Google searches are localised), we're losing a lot of potential traffic.

Could you recommend any strategies to rank for any random placename? I've thought about creating a set of landing pages for the 10 or so largest cities, but that would lead to a lot of (almost) identical content.
11:49 pm on June 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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You should gradually build testimonial pages for cities where you have had happy clients. Ask for a photo as well to add some variety (and an entry in Google Images fwiw). Give it some thought as to their WIIFM factor, e.g. mentioning their business gives them exposure (don't offer a link).

It's not possible to rank for any random place name. I see a similar situation with SEOs who want to offer global services. They put some city names in the title tag, but you can't fit more than 3-4 names there, but I have seen some success for them in the regular Google SERPs, but not for Google+ Local.