Google Local useless for statewide reach?


BobV

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My market is statewide (Georgia) and I have not done much with developing a "Local" presence because so little of my client base is in Atlanta where I live. Is there a way to use Local business pages, Plus, etc to penetrate statewide?

This is probably sacrilege in this forum, but Facebook advertising allows me to target statewide, or even specific cities within the state so I have relied mostly on that to drive traffic. I can also advertise via FB at a much lower cost per lead (and conversions to client are better) than anything I have done via the Google outlets.

Should I stick with what is (mostly) working or try to capture more G traffic through Local, Plus or other G resources?
 
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Linda Buquet

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Google Local is not useless for Statewide, it's not even intended for that.

Google Local is for local, nearby, so usually will only show results for the city the searched is in.

If you were searching from Altanta for a dry cleaner, how good would you think the local results were, if they showed you listings from Macon and Rome and other cities?

So with Google Local, you only have a chance of ranking in your own city, at least for competitive terms like yours.

This is probably sacrilege in this forum, but Facebook advertising allows me to target statewide, or even specific cities within the state so I have relied mostly on that to drive traffic.
No not sacrilege, we talk about FB here. It's part of local search.

But Facebook advertising is paid advertising, so not accurate to compare to Google Local.

Google Adwords lets you target by state so that would be one way to use Google. I'm sure would be more expensive. BUT I bet you'd get a lot more leads than you could with FB too.

The other way to try to rank in Google Local is with pure organic, which again would be hard in your competitive market. Might try video SEO. Videos are a little easier to rank than web sites if you know how.
 
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You need to get more city-specific if you want to do statewide. Basically, think about getting an address in the major metros of Georgia so you can compete in them locally.
 

Dave

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Google local shows and has effect in smaller states, Rhode Island, Delaware, NJ, sometimes Md. It may work in New Hampshire; dont know. Haven't tried it.

Assume a fairly regional service and a large state and then local loses its impact. So you have to look at different methodologies, including organic, FB, other sources across the board.

If its a larger state, but a service with relatively fewer competitors you could see a larger geographic reach for local...but its still diminished in effectiveness.
 
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I guess it's a matter of whether or not the map pack is showing for the queries you would want to rank for? Last I checked any state-wide things none of the map stuff was showing, so most of the local-specific SEO stuff wouldn't help.
 

mborgelt

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Utilizing White hat Tactics, I would say in a competitive market like the Atlanta area, chances are you will not even be able to get your listing to rank outside of the town you are physically in.

As stated by Dave, in less competitive areas, Google will pull the nearest business that fits the search query in the search results.

For example, Google Local wants to help you find the nearest gas station to you, instead of making you drive a couple towns over for gas!

While i recommend that every business has a local presence, you should utilize a mixed marketing strategy to target your service areas!
 

Laustin1878

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Whole-heatedly agree about utilizing a mixed marketing strategy. As much as we preach about Google, they aren't the only game in town. Have you tried creating some geo-targeted pages for a cluster of cities or communities? Organic may be the most affordable way to stretch your reach a little further.
 

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