Strategies to expand geographic coverage of my Google local search (3 pack)


David Wu

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Dear experts,

I need some advice on how I can increase the geographic coverage of my Google local listing.

My business is Value Currency Exchange in Brisbane. Currently based on my estimate my business only shows up on Google local search within a 5 km radius. Outside of this radius, I'm not in the local 3 pack.

Brisbane is a pretty big city geographically. Boundary of this city extends out for about 25km each side from city centre.

As I sometimes have customers travelling in from the outer suburbs, I would love more people to see my business come up as a local result when they Google 'currency exchange Brisbane'.

I'd really hate to create 4 dummy Google My Business accounts (one covering Brisbane East, one Brisbane West, one Brisbane South and one Brisbane North). Although I couldn't think of another viable strategy to achieve this.

Can the panel of experts here give me some tips on how I can achieve this? Currently I'm hiring a local seo company to do my local SEO. But it's been 5 months and the result isn't as good as I wanted it to be, so I sort of want to take some of the work in my own hands to speed things up a little bit.

Any help would be really appreciated. Thanks so much.
 

Tim Colling

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Sometimes it just takes time to get some traction and momentum, with SEO. However, there ARE things that you can do in order to get there faster.

One of the first things I would recommend is to figure out why the companies that ARE in the 3-pack are getting in there instead of you.

Sometimes you can knock them out of the three-pack if they are spamming the results, which may move you into, or closer to being in, the three-pack.

Otherwise, you can compare what they are doing to what you are doing and see where you can improve your own work to catch up to them.

One of the really great tools for doing this is a new one called LocalFalcon. Here's a link to a video that explains how to use it to see what the competition is doing:

Another tool to consider is SerpWorx, a Chrome extension that quickly summarizes some of the important SEO metrics for any website that your're currently viewing. Here is a link to it: SerpWorx


For example:
I took a look at your site and Travel Money Oz Toombul | Travel Money Oz, one of the ones above you in the three-pack,using these two tools .

One difference that stands out is in the number of backlinks that you have compared to the competitor.
 

Tim Colling

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I'd really hate to create 4 dummy Google My Business accounts (one covering Brisbane East, one Brisbane West, one Brisbane South and one Brisbane North). Although I couldn't think of another viable strategy to achieve this.
I would not recommend that you create dummy GMB accounts like that. When (not if) one of your competitors eventually finds out and reports them to Google, you may risk getting spanked by Google pretty hard for doing things like that.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hey David,

I agree with Tim you definitely don't want to be creating listings that are technically ineligible. It will ultimately be a waste of time and effort when they get taken down.

One of the things we always recommend even if your local SEO is going well is to set up some Google Ads and enable location extensions so that you can show up in the three pack and in the local finder as an ad. This will give you some traction while you're working on your local SEO.

Make sure that your website has content related to the different parts of Brisbane that you want to show up in. Use hyperlocal type language to describe things.

And Tim's suggestion about analyzing the competitors that do seem to show up across Brisbane is a great idea.
 

Phil Rozek

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@David Wu, the general steps I've found to be the most important in a case like yours:

1. Describe your service area in detail on the homepage. Don't relegate that info to a "service areas" or other subpages.

2. Describe your service are briefly in the footer.

3. Work long-term on earning links, particularly from sites that are relevant to Brisbane.

4. Pile up the reviews, particularly on Google. Encourage customers to go into detail.

5. Keep competitors' Mapspam in check. There is a ton of Google Maps spam in Australia (I speak from first-hand experience), but you can take a bite out of it if you are persistent.
 

David Wu

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Nov 11, 2018
Messages
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Sometimes it just takes time to get some traction and momentum, with SEO. However, there ARE things that you can do in order to get there faster.

One of the first things I would recommend is to figure out why the companies that ARE in the 3-pack are getting in there instead of you.

Sometimes you can knock them out of the three-pack if they are spamming the results, which may move you into, or closer to being in, the three-pack.

Otherwise, you can compare what they are doing to what you are doing and see where you can improve your own work to catch up to them.

One of the really great tools for doing this is a new one called LocalFalcon. Here's a link to a video that explains how to use it to see what the competition is doing:

Another tool to consider is SerpWorx, a Chrome extension that quickly summarizes some of the important SEO metrics for any website that your're currently viewing. Here is a link to it: SerpWorx


For example:
I took a look at your site and Travel Money Oz Toombul | Travel Money Oz, one of the ones above you in the three-pack,using these two tools .

One difference that stands out is in the number of backlinks that you have compared to the competitor.
Tim thanks so much for your insight. I am going to give LocalFalcon a try now and see how far behind I am in terms of links.
 

David Wu

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Messages
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Hey David,

I agree with Tim you definitely don't want to be creating listings that are technically ineligible. It will ultimately be a waste of time and effort when they get taken down.

One of the things we always recommend even if your local SEO is going well is to set up some Google Ads and enable location extensions so that you can show up in the three pack and in the local finder as an ad. This will give you some traction while you're working on your local SEO.

Make sure that your website has content related to the different parts of Brisbane that you want to show up in. Use hyperlocal type language to describe things.

And Tim's suggestion about analyzing the competitors that do seem to show up across Brisbane is a great idea.
Colan thanks so much for your advice mate. I'm going to start trying inserting hyperlocal text into my content in order to achieve this.
 

David Wu

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Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
17
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@David Wu, the general steps I've found to be the most important in a case like yours:

1. Describe your service area in detail on the homepage. Don't relegate that info to a "service areas" or other subpages.

2. Describe your service are briefly in the footer.

3. Work long-term on earning links, particularly from sites that are relevant to Brisbane.

4. Pile up the reviews, particularly on Google. Encourage customers to go into detail.

5. Keep competitors' Mapspam in check. There is a ton of Google Maps spam in Australia (I speak from first-hand experience), but you can take a bite out of it if you are persistent.
Hi Phil thanks so much for your insight. I am particularly interested in your comments 3 and 4.

With earning 5 star reviews I think I am leading the area. However the 2nd half of comment 3 is the hardest bit. Do you think I can pay someone to earn these? or briefly how do I go about it myself? Thanks so much and sorry for all the questions
 

Tim Colling

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No, it worked for me just now. I tried it in an incognito, in Chrome, without using my paid account.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Phil thanks so much for your insight. I am particularly interested in your comments 3 and 4.

With earning 5 star reviews I think I am leading the area. However the 2nd half of comment 3 is the hardest bit. Do you think I can pay someone to earn these? or briefly how do I go about it myself? Thanks so much and sorry for all the questions
Hey David, check this thread out regarding link building. Long Term Local Link Building | Local Search Forum
 

Phil Rozek

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@David Wu, yes and no. A third party can help you, but can't earn ("build") good links for you, without your involvement.

I hesitate to drop the link in here (ironic, huh?), but you might check out my post called "11 No-Outreach, No-Content Ways Local SEOs Can Help Businesses Rustle up Good Links."

Then there are the outreach-based methods. Creating the super-duper post or infographic doesn't work well, in my experience, but I do help clients with HARO outreach, which is a good back-burner method to get a few good links over time. Relevant post: https://whitespark.ca/blog/need-local-links-try-10-haro-outreach-tips/
 

JoshuaMackens

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I echo what the others have said about backlinks and website optimization.

On top of that I would encourage you to continue to collect Google reviews. It will only grow your area of influence in my opinion. Just because you have more than the other guys doesn't mean there's not more rankings to be had via reviews. Especially as you start to get more and more reviews with keywords in them.

I'm going to respectfully dissent here: I wouldn't put your keywords and services in the footer as that content would be on every page of your website. That's just me. It could (may or may not) end up being seen as spammy by Google.
 

David Wu

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I echo what the others have said about backlinks and website optimization.

On top of that I would encourage you to continue to collect Google reviews. It will only grow your area of influence in my opinion. Just because you have more than the other guys doesn't mean there's not more rankings to be had via reviews. Especially as you start to get more and more reviews with keywords in them.

I'm going to respectfully dissent here: I wouldn't put your keywords and services in the footer as that content would be on every page of your website. That's just me. It could (may or may not) end up being seen as spammy by Google.
Joshua thanks for your input! That is such an ingeneous idea putting my keyword in the review! LOL. I better start asking my good customers to do this.
 

David Wu

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@David Wu, yes and no. A third party can help you, but can't earn ("build") good links for you, without your involvement.

I hesitate to drop the link in here (ironic, huh?), but you might check out my post called "11 No-Outreach, No-Content Ways Local SEOs Can Help Businesses Rustle up Good Links."

Then there are the outreach-based methods. Creating the super-duper post or infographic doesn't work well, in my experience, but I do help clients with HARO outreach, which is a good back-burner method to get a few good links over time. Relevant post: https://whitespark.ca/blog/need-local-links-try-10-haro-outreach-tips/
Thanks so much Phil. Undertand the HARO method is a backburner method. Is there an immediately actionable method where I could get started and get results right away? I could either do it myself or get somebody else to do it. As a local currency exchange business based in Brisbane Australia, I struggle to think of something interesting to submit to the reporters even if they are willing to help me out.
 

David Wu

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@David Wu, no. It's one of those "dig the well before you're thirsty" matters.
Hi Phil do you do consulting? ie help small business owners do their own link building? I currently use a local SEO business in Brisbane, but I want to get involved in building the links myself, too in order to speed things up. I use Wordpress for my site and I'm OK with managing onsite SEO. My business is Value Currency Exchange in Brisbane. My goals are to cover 20km radius within Brisbane CBD with the following keywords for both local SEO and organic listing (and variations). I have money to pay you of course.

Currency Exchange
Money Exchange
Foreign Exchange
Currency Exchange Brisbane
Money Exchange Brisbane
Foreign Exchange Brisbane
 

Phil Rozek

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I sure do, @David Wu.

It's rarely easy and sometimes not even possible to get visible within a specific radius. The idea is to do everything in your power, hope for the best, and be willing to adjust the strategy if you're disappointed.
 

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