Is a SBB targeting a town 20 miles away realistic?


May 15, 2019
Hi all, thanks for accepting my registration.

I run a small health sector enterprise business in the UK. My listing is new, very new.

I offer a service to patients homes. Currently, my address is not listed as I fear it would put people off when they check plus I don't actually serve customers here.

It's not a huge turnover affair, in fact, it's rather a niche with relatively few competitors with either no websites and no or little reviews. I've been experimenting with the new "locale specify" function and been having some odd results. I was happy to see my listing included in a small town 8 or so miles away earlier, and for adjoining villages in the next valleys of similar distance.

Yet there is a more affluent town 20 miles away from me that has my ideal customer demograph. Yet despite having reviews, a website (which the competitors don't) I haven't come up there yet in the local pack, despite someone from even further than that away appearing.

I appreciate a lot of you guys are SEO pro's, and I don't expect to be spoonfed without paying, but is me achieving essentially "long distance" listing realistic and something I can work towards?

I have replied to the reviews, made a single post and added some info to the "Services" section...would I need to do onsite SEO to enhance the GMB listing in the local pack?

Many thanks!

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Jan 30, 2018
Without being able to look at the area, website, etc, all I can say is that it is possible for a SAB to rank that far away. However, it's more difficult, and I'm guessing that the area is a bit more competitive than the others.

I would say that patience is going to be your friend here. Brand new listings take time to rank well in the best of situations. Use that time to focus on doing things to strengthen your listing, as well as your website and your business reputation. Continue to build citations and earn reviews (on multiple websites where possible for a SAB), respond to them, utilize Google posts, add photos, etc.

Regarding your website, yes, it would be helpful to optimize the site for the areas you service as well as your primary area. If competition isn't huge, then mentioning those areas on the HP and other main pages on the site, might be enough. If not, you may need to be a bit more aggressive with that targeting by creating location pages, etc - though you need to be careful with that. You don't want doorway pages, and you want the content to be useful.

Another thing I would work on is PR in that area. Get your business name known, run some specials and advertise them, partner with charities, etc, and try to earn some local backlinks from those establishments and other related businesses in the areas you wish to service.

I hope this helps!


Nov 2, 2018
We mapped out rankings by distance at one point and found that it's largely irrelevant, which was surprising.

We had some companies ranking over 70 miles away, while some had difficulty ranking in the next town over, just a mile or two. What we decided was that it probably came down to competitiveness of the market.

Ranking within the town you are physically located does seem to give you a boost.

Create a landing page for that specific town you want to target. Include your target keyword in the title, H1, body copy, and URL. Write comprehensively and well. Make sure it's unique copy. Your target keyword should include the geo. For example if you are a fence company then "fencing London" is your target.

Some may label these as doorway pages but they work and they are useful to users. If you have one of those pages then users are positive, without a doubt, that you service their market. Seems like a small thing, but it's surprisingly appreciated by users. We got a lot of good feedback on those pages.


Apr 14, 2019
Brett and Cherie are both right. You need to create quality city pages with backlinks and geo-local backlinks. Here's a tip to writing a good city page. Go to Wikipedia and put in the location you want to takeover. You will find all sorts of local Points of interest, longitude-latitudes, semantic key phrases written throughout the articles. Copy these semantic keywords/phrases. These terms are what Google uses for their semantic algorithm. Find the plus codes for the POI's. Use geo-tagged images on the page. Create a YT video titled "London Fencing | Local Fences in London" have it on the page with backlinks in the description. Announce you have expanded your service area in a Press Release and in a GMB post. Put an ad in Craig's list and buy some reviews from that area. No, don't do that... lol However, local G reviews are important.

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