Ranking for a City When You're in the City But Not Really


JoshuaMackens

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I've got a chiropractor in Minneapolis who wants to rank in Minneapolis. No problem. His office is located in what Google calls Minneapolis (even though it's technically a city called Plymouth just outside of Minneapolis). But when you Google his address? Google says it's in Minneapolis. When you try to change his GMB page to Plymouth? It readjusts him to Minneapolis.

However, when you actually Google "Minneapolis MN" and look at the boundaries Google draws for Minneapolis his address falls outside of those boundaries:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/M...39fc9842f7aee07!8m2!3d44.977753!4d-93.2650108

And if you notice when you Google "chiropractors minneapolis mn" all of those chiropractors ranking on the 1st page of Local Finder (20 results) are actually inside of those boundaries, even though there are tons of chiropractors just outside of those boundaries that I'm sure are optimized well and technically have a Minneapolis address. They're getting boxed out (pun intended).

If you go to the 2nd page of the Local Finder (#21 - #40) I found one guy outside of the boundary Google draws.

#41 - #60 shows, again, just one guy outside of that boundary.

So, this chiropractor is technically in Minneapolis according to Google but is outside of the boundary they draw for Minneapolis. This makes me think he is going to have a awful time ranking for Minneapolis if only 2 out of 60 chiropractors in search results for "chiropractors minneapolis mn" show up in the first 60 spots of the Local Finder but are also outside of Google's Minneapolis boundary.

Who agrees/disagrees?

If you agree that ranking him in Minneapolis is going to be an uphill battle, what would your SEO strategy be for him? Can't rank in Plymouth because he doesn't have a Plymouth address but can't rank in Minneapolis either because he's outside of Google's boundary box. What would you do?

P.S. I know Joy has talked about this before but didn't know if this case might be different and also wanted to have her weigh in again. So, Joy, if you're reading this, let us know if there are any updates to this!
 

Scott Rawlins

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I actually just got a client today in this same situation. G Maps, Map Maker and USPS see them in Sacramento and not Elk Grove, but like you, when Maps shows Sacramento, they're just outside of it. And they're barely just inside Elk Grove according to Maps. I'll be interested to hear what others in this situation have done as well.
 

CodyBaird

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Too far from the centroid. Your best bet is a strong link building campaign. You need to be more prominent.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Any other advice from others?

Cody, are you saying with a linkbuilding campaign we can show up in the maps or are you saying forget the maps, go with organic?
 

mborgelt

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I had a similar situation with a client and I think Cody is on the right track with link building. In my case it was a dentist so we went the barnacle route and found every relevant directory to his market/location and submitted to them. We hit link building hard and heavy simultaneously and in about a month and some change we had him popped in the pack.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I had a similar situation with a client and I think Cody is on the right track with link building. In my case it was a dentist so we went the barnacle route and found every relevant directory to his market/location and submitted to them. We hit link building hard and heavy simultaneously and in about a month and some change we had him popped in the pack.
This was a client outside of the map allocation for his city but with a city address? It sounds like just taking care of Local SEO as usual (backlinks being a part of Local SEO) should do the trick?
 

CodyBaird

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In 2011 I use to force blended results with link building when PAC was full of close to centroid listings.

And the same holds true today with the exception of blended results being populated. Bottom line you need to be more prominent the further you lie from the centroid. It has always been that way.

Links, links, links. Regular citation work won't cut it. You can also slip by with high authority unstructured citations. For example, the Austin Statesman has a DA of 80+. Link or citation there would be awesome. Going rate for native ad $1500. So, my link & citation will run $1500. Austin Business Journal has a DA 91. Austin360 DA 80+. All offer banner ads, native ads, and author outreach.

Or pay downtown lease rates.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Joshua, so it is an uphill battle but doable. The handyman I wrote about in this scenario moved up to 4th from like 10th after Possum so it's a bit easier than it used to be but in comparison to what you would need to do if you were inside city limits it's way harder. This guy should be first when you compare him to the competitors but he's 4th because of his location. We have been working on it for over 3 years. What I suggest doing is tracking a variety of keywords. Make him dominate Plymouth first. Track the keywords when searched from Plymouth and he will rank way higher. Track "chiropractor" or "chiropractor near me" (again when searched from Plymouth). Get him a city-page for Minneapolis and have it rank organically and get the gold stars on it and he will get a ton of traffic. This is what we did for my guy and he still gets a ton of traffic from "handyman Tampa" even though he's not in the 3-pack, yet...
 

theitsage

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I'm familiar with the area and he got the wrong target. Plymouth is a 20-30 minute drive from Minneapolis. The population is much younger and less well-off than Plymouth.

I'd ask him why people in Minneapolis would want to make the drive to his office. In my opinion, Plymouth and the surrounding areas such as Maple Grove, Wayzata, and Minnetonka are much better to target. This west metro area of the Twin Cities is the wealthiest region in the state.
 

Yourname

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In 2011 I use to force blended results with link building when PAC was full of close to centroid listings.

And the same holds true today with the exception of blended results being populated. Bottom line you need to be more prominent the further you lie from the centroid. It has always been that way.

Links, links, links. Regular citation work won't cut it. You can also slip by with high authority unstructured citations. For example, the Austin Statesman has a DA of 80+. Link or citation there would be awesome. Going rate for native ad $1500. So, my link & citation will run $1500. Austin Business Journal has a DA 91. Austin360 DA 80+. All offer banner ads, native ads, and author outreach.

Or pay downtown lease rates.
Hey Cody,

So if getting an organic link at these high DA sites won't be an easy task, a native ad should do the trick?
 

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