Kansas City, Kansas vs Kansas City, Missouri


raylaminac

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Hello,
I have a flooring contractor in Kansas City, Kansas that is working with me. He has been very patient and is ranking if the search term is long tailed to include the state or state code. His conversion and even traffic numbers are really low however. If the state code is dropped from the search almost everything converts to search for Missouri.

He has been really patient and just wants something to work for him. My only thoughts at the moment would to try and target another city, I do not know how content would benefit him, or if there is any way to put more focus on Kansas rather than Missouri.

If anyone has faced a similar challenge what actions have you taken to help your clients?
 

Dave

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My experience is that those are generally tricky. I call them border cities where the service is aligned with a city or just outside of a city that is on a border of two states. Now I haven't dealt with Kansas City and the two cities named the same in two different states. That could well be trickier.

Other examples could be around Washington DC with 3 major jurisdictions, DC, Maryland and Virginia; Philadelphia with the city and two states, PA and NJ, or Cincinnati, with the city Ohio, and Kentucky.

I've seen that google+local generally favors one state over the other. So in the local serps all the services in one state will be favored over the others.

To the extent that I've gotten strong local visibility I have some of the following characteristics:

1. Super strong citation references going way beyond normal efforts.
2. Very strong organic references to some specific effort at referencing the service and the location making sure that I've got killer titles and links of some strong level that give that page organic strength.
3. Then the third thing are pages that reference the service and the base town or other towns/city that can also show organically.

But...I haven't done anything in Kansas City on either side of the border. I'd study a ton of examples of different types of businesses in those markets and find the smbs that have a presence that transcends the state borders either organically, or in google+ local or both. On the google+ local side it is difficult to beat the natural tendency of google + local to list everything on one side of the state border.

Its a tough nut.
 

Dave

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Here is a second way to try and beat this. I don't know what the categories are for flooring contractor, but consider the following:

Suppose there is one category for the industry and its flooring contractor. Regardless there are secondary phrases that will generate a lot of searches in google.

Choose the major category, but title your pages for the secondary service phrase. Then use a meta title for the secondary longer tail phrase and use the title Kansas City with the secondary phrase. Add a lot of citations that use the secondary industry phrase.

If all the other contractors or most of them are focused on the major phrase (assuming its flooring contractor).....your client might soar to the top for searches that have the secondary phrase.

By example. Nursing school might be the #1 phrase for nursing schools in the area...but nursing classes might be an acceptable secondary phrase. So I'd create page titles around "nursing classes" and then get the city name there.

I've done stuff like that...and basically "beaten" the systemic and rigid border that google creates in these border cities....thereby getting a high ranking pac serp for searches for or in Pennsylvania even though my client is located in NJ. It appears that all the competition on both sides of the border focuses on nursing school...and my client is the only one focusing on "classes".
 

raylaminac

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I did not have everything setup to ask this in your conference call but, would you consider a subdomain for a situation such as this?
 

Dave

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@Ray:

I didn't bother going to a keyword tool or google adwords to look for secondary terms for flooring contractor. I did try the search phrase "flooring contractor" for two regions,

at the bottom of the first page for google I found related searches: You could do the same thing in bing and find related search phrases:

Searches related to flooring contractors
commercial flooring contractors
home depot contractors
concrete flooring contractors
laminate flooring contractors

flooring contractors association
flooring contractors license
flooring installation contractors
angie's list



I suppose commercial flooring contractor(s) might be a reasonable 2ndary phrase or flooring installation contractors.

I'd suggest pages with either in the meta tag with kansas city in there also. Those might beat the natural inclination of google to list all the flooring contractors from the more populous and other state.

That kind of thing has worked for me as a partial strategy to beat the inclination of google maps and organic to show the smb's on the other side of the state border.

 

Dave

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I'm curious if others have dealt with this and found ways to overcome it. Its an issue I've faced for a number of years.

From our observations the biggest issue is that Google currently and with more emphasis on both the Maps/Pac and organic side sets borders between the states.

Searchers from the Kansas side will likely see smbs located in the Kansas side before those on the Missouri side and vice versa. The PAC will have a limited number of smb's and if there are more than 7 on either side of the border, right there one hits a limit that is difficult to overcome. Organicially Venice has a similar impact.

For long term smb's in those areas on border states, they may have a history for attracting business from people on either side of the state borders, but google's current algo's make visibility challenging.

Any other comments?
 

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