Best Way to Rank for Nearby City

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
Working for an established dentist in Dunedin, FL, and they recently asked if I could try to rank them for nearby Clearwater, FL also. So for the nav tab 'Location' on the website I changed the url to be: name-of-site/contact/dunedin/. On that page, below their address, phone & google map, I added this verbiage:
'Did You Know?
Our location in Dunedin is near Clearwater. View map here.
We are just 10 minutes, 5.1 miles from Clearwater.'
So the 'View map here' link takes you to a new page with the url: name-of-site/contact/clearwater
On this page is the same verbiage about how near Clearwater is to Dunedin, with another google map showing the route from Dunedin to Clearwater in minutes & miles.
You can only get to the 'Clearwater' page from the link on the Dunedin location page.
Since then Search Console has flagged some problems:
• update your robots.txt file to unblock your page
• The URL was indexed. It has duplicate URLs, but we consider this one to be canonical. It is not explicitly marked as canonical, and so we recommend explicitly marking it as canonical
I am now questioning if I created these pages correctly at all, and what is the proper way to straighten this out!
I probably should have checked here first. It's just that an SEO friend's advice was to 'just create another page'.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

adammaxum

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2013
Messages
73
you're never going to be able to rank for 'dentist clearwater' without a location in Clearwater...the dentist niche is incredibly difficult to rank even with a location. (I'm referring to maps and organic)

If you do a lot of link building and SEO to the clearwater page you could possibly rank organically on the 1st page, but it's probably not worth the effort and it's going to take time.

If a dentist wants to rank in nearby cities - I would tell them they need to run paid strategies to reach that audience unless they plan to open a location in that city in the future.
 

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
65
Create a service page that talks about Clearwater. Whatever your target keyword is, let's say it's "dentist Clearwater", should be represented in the title tag, h1, and the url (domain.com/dentist-clearwater). The copy doesn't need to be spammy, just mention the target keyword once or twice. Make sure your content is as good or better than the other pages ranking on page 1. If you don't make it, your next step is link building. Tie into brand building activities in the Clearwater area.

Good luck!
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
64
Hi Elaine, greetings from a neighbor. I live in Safety Harbor.

If you want to rank better in Google Maps and the local 3 pack, I would focus on getting more reviews on the Google My Business listing.

If you want to rank better in the general/organic results for Clearwater keywords, use "Clearwater" on your homepage (title tag, meta description tag, text of the page) in addition to Dunedin. And get more links to the site.
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
If a dentist wants to rank in nearby cities - I would tell them they need to run paid strategies to reach that audience unless they plan to open a location in that city in the future.
Great idea adammaxum!
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
Create a service page that talks about Clearwater. Whatever your target keyword is, let's say it's "dentist Clearwater", should be represented in the title tag, h1, and the url (domain.com/dentist-clearwater). The copy doesn't need to be spammy, just mention the target keyword once or twice. Make sure your content is as good or better than the other pages ranking on page 1. If you don't make it, your next step is link building. Tie into brand building activities in the Clearwater area.
Wow, great ideas brettmandoes! Thanks for the direction.
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
Hi Elaine, greetings from a neighbor. I live in Safety Harbor.
If you want to rank better in Google Maps and the local 3 pack, I would focus on getting more reviews on the Google My Business listing.
If you want to rank better in the general/organic results for Clearwater keywords, use "Clearwater" on your homepage (title tag, meta description tag, text of the page) in addition to Dunedin. And get more links to the site.
To PaulSteinbrueck, Howdy neighbor! Thanks so much for the great advice!
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
If you want to rank better in Google Maps and the local 3 pack, I would focus on getting more reviews on the Google My Business listing.
Actually PaulSteinbrueck, I am having trouble reclaiming this dentist's GMB listing. I do have access to Google Analytics & Search Console for them. But not their YouTube account or GMB. Any advice on reclaiming would be appreciated!
On the GMB 'Locations' page it lists this business twice:
-The first says 'Verification Required' - I have tried to verify at least 4 times, it is the same loop over & over, Google sends a postcard out, the client follows the instructions, Google does not call, etc.
- The second says 'Duplicate' - this was as a result of one of my attempts to reclaim the GMB page.
Thanks PaulSteinbrueck!
 

boydlake

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
6
I would second what brettmandoes said about creating a page just for the target market area and optimizing the page for services to serve that area. I think the instinct you had to add the info about the proximity to your nearby office is a good one and would still work on the page.
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
I would second what brettmandoes said about creating a page just for the target market area and optimizing the page for services to serve that area. I think the instinct you had to add the info about the proximity to your nearby office is a good one and would still work on the page.
OK, thanks for that feedback! I have my work cut out for me.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,833
Unfortunately, if they want to rank in Clearwater, their only way through is organic. And that will be a tough uphill climb. You've got dentists in Clearwater focusing their full efforts on ranking in Clearwater vs this dentist who only is dedicating one page to it. It is possible but the linkbuilding would have to be out of this world.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,833
I've got a 30-50% success rate with the method I described above.
It's a great method, a standard SEO practice in fact, but in Clearwater FL the competition is somewhat high. So someone doing that to one of their pages (an inner page, not the homepage) vs a practice who did that to their homepage, the dentist optimizing the inner page will not outrank the dentist with the homepage optimized for Clearwater, not to mention the rest of their website mentioning Clearwater as well for more relevance. The only way would to do this would be to build a significant number of backlinks to the inner page.

You don't need to build backlinks in low competition areas because those people have done little to no SEO so onsite only will work just fine. Those areas will have a high success rate with the method without backlinks.
 

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
65
It's a great method, a standard SEO practice in fact, but in Clearwater FL the competition is somewhat high. So someone doing that to one of their pages (an inner page, not the homepage) vs a practice who did that to their homepage, the dentist optimizing the inner page will not outrank the dentist with the homepage optimized for Clearwater, not to mention the rest of their website mentioning Clearwater as well for more relevance. The only way would to do this would be to build a significant number of backlinks to the inner page.

You don't need to build backlinks in low competition areas because those people have done little to no SEO so onsite only will work just fine. Those areas will have a high success rate with the method without backlinks.
Completely agree. Higher competition areas need backlinks to be competitive.
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
It's a great method, a standard SEO practice in fact, but in Clearwater FL the competition is somewhat high. So someone doing that to one of their pages (an inner page, not the homepage) vs a practice who did that to their homepage, the dentist optimizing the inner page will not outrank the dentist with the homepage optimized for Clearwater, not to mention the rest of their website mentioning Clearwater as well for more relevance. The only way would to do this would be to build a significant number of backlinks to the inner page.

You don't need to build backlinks in low competition areas because those people have done little to no SEO so onsite only will work just fine. Those areas will have a high success rate with the method without backlinks.
Interesting for sure. Turns out it is quite competitive for dentists in Dunedin, Clearwater. Who knew?
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
Should I post this query somewhere else on localsearchforum?

I am having trouble reclaiming this dentist's GMB listing. I do have access to Google Analytics & Search Console for them. But not their YouTube account or GMB. Any advice on reclaiming would be appreciated!
On the GMB 'Locations' page it lists this business twice:
-The first says 'Verification Required' - I have tried to verify at least 4 times, it is the same loop over & over, Google sends a postcard out, the client follows the instructions, Google does not call, etc.
- The second says 'Duplicate' - this was as a result of one of my attempts to reclaim the GMB page.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,833
Interesting for sure. Turns out it is quite competitive for dentists in Dunedin, Clearwater. Who knew?
Dunedin may not be as competitive but Clearwater is somewhat competitive. Enough to where I wouldn't think onpage optimization would be enough. However, it still needs to be done, as mentioned by brettmandoes.

Should I post this query somewhere else on localsearchforum?

I am having trouble reclaiming this dentist's GMB listing. I do have access to Google Analytics & Search Console for them. But not their YouTube account or GMB. Any advice on reclaiming would be appreciated!
On the GMB 'Locations' page it lists this business twice:
-The first says 'Verification Required' - I have tried to verify at least 4 times, it is the same loop over & over, Google sends a postcard out, the client follows the instructions, Google does not call, etc.
- The second says 'Duplicate' - this was as a result of one of my attempts to reclaim the GMB page.
I'm not sure how you can get YouTube back but I imagine it's under the same email as GMB. So I would go here https://business.google.com and type in the dentist's info. When you do, a box will pop us saying it's already claimed by an email. Look at the email hint it gives you. That's probably the email that has YouTube as well. Get access to that email.

Also, I would not request access to the listing as it asks you to do. I would just get access to the email it hints at.

I would not continue to pursue the "Verification Required" listing. It sounds like you're about to create an extra listing.

I would not continue to pursue the duplicate either.

You can probably delete both of those.

Just get access to that email. You will then have access to the GMB page and possibly the YouTube account. Unless I've misunderstood something, that should solve both your GMB and YouTube (hopefully) issues.
 

ElaineSi

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
13
You can probably delete both of those.

Just get access to that email. You will then have access to the GMB page and possibly the YouTube account. Unless I've misunderstood something, that should solve both your GMB and YouTube (hopefully) issues.
That's a lot of great information JoshuaMackens. I appreciate your instructions!
OK, it worked! I tried a couple likely gmail addresses, and one worked!!! Yay! Can't tell you how difficult and long a journey this has been. I now have access to the GMB and YouTube account. Wow!! Can't get over it! Really appreciate you taking the time.
OK, now as to deleting both of my verification & duplicate location attempts in GMB, that does not seem easy. Google gives no less than about 16 options once I choose the items to delete. The options all seem scary. Maybe I will look in the gmail I just reclaimed to see if there is a request I can approve from that end, no matter how long ago that was.
 

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