Service Areas and Physical Address

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,065
Yes to both. I'm not saying that "car accident lawyer" isn't a popular term - that one is super hard to rank for. I'm saying that "cumming car accident lawyer" is not one many people are trying to rank for based on the search result I linked to above that shows only 45 results, the majority of which are directory listings for this attorney which have that keyword added to his business name.
 

keyserholiday

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
155
I well versed in the Atlanta region. I have a client with 37 location in and around Atlanta. There are zero searches for Cumming lawyer, cumming attorney. It's lawyer or attorney that is being searched for sans the geo-modifier. Cumming has a population of 5,400.

A buddy of mine has a client that is outside of Atlanta and they are ranking in Atlanta bc they are in a non-competitive market.

To quote a great friend of mine and a mentor:
"Anything works in a non-competitive market."

 
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
380
My brain is hurting from reading all this.

1) We know you have increased the ranking radius of your client. Awesome. That's the goal. You did it with good local seo work.

2) I know you're saying you need to do both. You need to increase authority AND set the service areas in GMB.

3) We don't think that setting the service areas in GMB had ANY impact on that. We think it was ONLY because of the other work you did.

4) We can test whether or not the service areas had an impact simply by taking them out. If they are contributing in any way, then we would expect to see rankings drop a little by taking them out. To test this, we just need to set up rank tracking before and after you update the service area settings. Please email me the client domain/ & GMB, keywords, and a series of zip codes/locations that correspond to your service area settings and I'll set up the rank tracking.

Thanks!
 

jonathon

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
1
What is the point for a SAB that also has brick and mortars to list service area then? If not to be relevant to people searching for the service, then what? VERY few people know that the service area view is even a thing, much less use it.

Also - for a service area business, doesn't it stand to reason that Google takes your service area into account when delivering results to a searcher (even if it is the smallest amount)?

We have a home and commercial services business with 18 locations across six states. Each has a physical office and surrounding service area. I've noticed Google repeatedly reducing our service area settings back to only the city our address is in for several locations. The problem is I can't really glean much from our bookings in those areas as they are new locations for our business and are still building trust. The older, more established pages never have their service area challenged but they have a lot of reviews built up.

I'm considering an experiment where we change a couple of our GMBs to Service Area Only to see if the number of leads sees a significant change.

Overall I agree with Joy - it's nearly impossible to isolate a single ranking factor unless your online presence is in a vacuum.
 

keyserholiday

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
155
If you update a brick and mortar to a SAB, it may cause the listing(s) to become suspended. The listing will not show up until the listing is reinstated. I am all for test everything, but this would be the equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
142
@whitespark -- I appreciate that.

@jonathon - 100% agree with your statement (I think... if you are saying what I think you are)... why would Google allow you to specify service areas if there was absolutely no value in doing so?

@JoyHawkins -- my point in bringing up the car accident lawyer example was to specifically show how authority can influence a location that's at the peripheral of a proper city radius... i.e. this location is 10 miles north of the center of the city where all of their competitors are gathered.

I'm NOT trying to generate a cheerleading squad to celebrate a #1 ranking for this car accident lawyer.. my intent was to present another perspective on the impact that authority plays in creating presence and productivity for locations.

Which (sorry @whitespark but you have to hear it again) was also the founding premise of why I completely disagree with everyone who's saying that adding service areas / zip codes has zero impact on rankings in those areas.... from my perspective and experience this is false.

Not only do I think that's false, but I'm confident I have data to prove otherwise... just not all nice, neat, and clean the way everyone would like to see it right now.

*** I'm literally going to get in my car and drive out to these surrounding zip codes and search keyword phrases related to my client's business... and when I see them in the 3 pack -- probably at #1 -- I'll share it back on this forum.

@keyserholiday --- our client has increased personal injury case count by 50% year over year... not leads, but cases... since their presence and rankings have increased to this level (based on the last update they shared with me) --- and 99% of those cases were leads that came from phone calls where people found them in Google....

So if... as you said... there are zero searches happening, then what exactly would you propose these people are searching when they find my client and become a personal injury / car accident client? (I'm very confused with your absolute, definitive statements about the personal injury / car accident lawyer search market in Cumming, Ga.)

@keyserholiday -- also, if you strip away the city name (cumming) from the search terms, you are left with general / category level searches... of which our client also carries the same ranking and presence from within the geographic area. something I also feel would reinforce my perspective on the impact of the authority of the GMB.

@AndySimpson -- thank you, I appreciate that... I'm always looking to learn more and get better at local SEO -- would you mind sharing with me your experience of how you easily ranked a personal injury / car accident lawyer who shares similar characteristics? (video, podcast, blog posts, FB group... anything? I searched and tried to find something... but couldn't)
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
179
@AndySimpson -- thank you, I appreciate that... I'm always looking to learn more and get better at local SEO -- would you mind sharing with me your experience of how you easily ranked a personal injury / car accident lawyer who shares similar characteristics? (video, podcast, blog posts, FB group... anything? I searched and tried to find something... but couldn't)
Anytime Bobby, just "hit me up" on Twitter (as they say) and we'll have a coffee...just give me a couple of weeks as I'm heading up to Boston for a small bike ride next weekend...cheers

update: btw, it's never easy, just a challenge! 🧐
 
Last edited:

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
179
@keyserholiday --- our client has increased personal injury case count by 50% year over year... not leads, but cases... since their presence and rankings have increased to this level (based on the last update they shared with me) --- and 99% of those cases were leads that came from phone calls where people found them in Google....
Just reading though this more, what does it say in the clients Insights GMB data for "Queries used to find your business", cheers

btw I don't have a client in the area, but "we" do have a client in Atlanta.
 

Mindquest

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
43
Which (sorry @whitespark but you have to hear it again) was also the founding premise of why I completely disagree with everyone who's saying that adding service areas / zip codes has zero impact on rankings in those areas.... from my perspective and experience this is false.

Not only do I think that's false, but I'm confident I have data to prove otherwise... just not all nice, neat, and clean the way everyone would like to see it right now.

*** I'm literally going to get in my car and drive out to these surrounding zip codes and search keyword phrases related to my client's business... and when I see them in the 3 pack -- probably at #1 -- I'll share it back on this forum.
The way to prove this point is clear and has been already laid out by @whitespark generous offer. If you do this test we will know what if any effect this one factor (service area zip code insertion) has on ranking. That is the only question this thread is asking.

Would really appreciate your help in proving this one point. In respect of your time if this test isn't something you can do then it becomes more of a "in my experience" conversation on this thread.

And there is nothing wrong with great debate, but in the end without data it is just one persons experience vs anothers.
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
142
@JoyHawkins -- this will be my last post here in this discussion... so if you decide to remove it, so be it.

@keyserholiday -- I'm assuming your comments were removed - probably for good reason...

For some reason I'm taking heat because I simply disagreed with people who you call "local SEO experts".

Just because you think someone is a "local SEO expert", does that mean that everyone in this forum should be like... "oh, [local SEO expert] spoke... so that's it - nothing more needs to be said, and definitely don't disagree... because [local SEO expert] already gave the final word"?

First of all, this discussion somehow morphed into focusing on our car accident lawyer client.

I never intended for this to be the focus -- as I said multiple times, I brought that example up as evidence to show the impact of location authority, and how prominence can in fact influence and improve rankings for a location that's further out on the radius spectrum / outer regions of a city.

This client / this location proves this theory to be true (in my opinion anyway).

Two years ago this client was sitting around #5 in maps -- and yes, that's because there's not a lot of lawyers in this market.

But going from #5 to #1 in this market was no small feat -- regardless of how easy you think it is, or could be, to pull that off. Even though there aren't a lot of competitors, there are very well funded competitors... and maybe I'm just not as advanced of an SEO as you... but it took me 2 years and a lot of experimentation, failures, adjustments... not to mention a lot of patience and confidence from the client.

The original point -- my original post 127 comments ago -- was to say that I simply disagree with the premise that "there's no value / zero value in adding zip codes as service areas".

I completely disagreed with this statement... I have clients that prove my position... and I believe there is in fact a reason why the service areas exists in GMB, and if you aren't seeing any value from them then its because your client (or your location) simply lacks the location authority to drive rankings in those outer areas.

So you all can go on discrediting service areas... we (and our clients) will continue on with leveraging service areas... and we will all agree to disagree.

Perhaps it was my comments that created this environment of taking an aggressive position toward my views... this certainly wasn't my intention -- again, I simply disagreed.

I respect this forum - I respect and follow all of the heavy hitters in this forum who are leaders in the local SEO space - and I wish you all the best of luck!

Bobby
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,065
Bobby,

Just clarifying - I have no need to remove this post and I didn't remove Jason's post either. People are welcome to disagree with each other on the forum.

The way to prove this point is clear and has been already laid out by @whitespark generous offer. If you do this test we will know what if any effect this one factor (service area zip code insertion) has on ranking. That is the only question this thread is asking.
^^ Couldn't agree more.
 

BipperMedia

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
142
My brain is hurting from reading all this.

1) We know you have increased the ranking radius of your client. Awesome. That's the goal. You did it with good local seo work.

2) I know you're saying you need to do both. You need to increase authority AND set the service areas in GMB.

3) We don't think that setting the service areas in GMB had ANY impact on that. We think it was ONLY because of the other work you did.

4) We can test whether or not the service areas had an impact simply by taking them out. If they are contributing in any way, then we would expect to see rankings drop a little by taking them out. To test this, we just need to set up rank tracking before and after you update the service area settings. Please email me the client domain/ & GMB, keywords, and a series of zip codes/locations that correspond to your service area settings and I'll set up the rank tracking.

Thanks!
Hi @whitespark --- what's your email address?

I'll go ahead and proceed with sending you what you need so we can get this test underway.
 

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