Showing in Maps Where You AREN'T Physically Located

Jun 24, 2016
Hey, everyone. I'm a coach for independently owned and operated carpet cleaning franchise owners across the country. I'm trying to help them optimize their online listings and being findable in Google (which is a VERY large task). A few in particular have expressed frustration that they can't seem to gain a foothold in a territory where they are not physically located, but is one of their main service areas.

They currently have 52 Google reviews averaging 4.9 stars. Their site is ranking fairly well for most of their key search phrases, but they are really struggling to show up for the larger metropolitan area they WANT to service. I suggested removing the "we service customers at our location" option in their Google Business settings, but they didn't want to do that.

Any suggestions? Please feel free to respond with threads that may be useful as well.



Jul 18, 2012
Hey Scott,

I hear this question a lot but the truth is it's almost impossible to rank outside your city in the 3-pack. I do see it a for small cities because if Google doesn't have a lot of businesses to pull from in that small city, they pull in listings from surrounding cities. I spoke to a carpet cleaning company yesterday that ranks in several towns, but they are all small and have few competitors.

Usually it's the case where an SAB wants to rank in a big city and they are actually in the suburb. I have seen a couple examples in the last year and both times the 3-pack didn't stick around that way long so even if you do manage to achieve ranking in a large, neighboring city, you are even less likely to keep that spot.

My suggestion would be to completely dominate the city you are located in for every keyword possibility you can think of (think long-tail).

It's still possible to rank organically in surrounding towns but again, I have found this strategy to really only be effective if the surrounding city is not massive and there isn't loads of competition.

The service area you set in the GMB dashboard has no impact on ranking as far as I know.
Jun 24, 2016
Thanks, Joy!

My understanding is that one good way to boost your ranking is by requesting reviews from people in those areas, but I don't know how proven that is.

Any thoughts?

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