Today, let’s talk service-area businesses (SABs) and local SEO. Because every time I talk to an SAB, the first thing — and pretty much the only thing — they want to know is how to rank in the Local Pack in cities where they don’t have a physical location.
I am sure I don’t need to tell you how, over the years, Google has made it much harder for these businesses to rank outside of their home cities. And since the advent of Google’s Home Services ads, it has been getting even harder.
Digital marketing TED-talking hipster types have been predicting the demise of the print yellow pages for years, but you know what? A regional print yellow pages publisher in Texas told me he shows potential SAB advertisers a picture like this drawn on a napkin:
He tells them something like, “Use SEO for your market, but use our books for the surrounding markets.” And I guess it works — he claims his sales have been up lately (although I suspect he was also spending some of his budget on AdWords).
For those of you who are new here, Google’s Local Pack algorithm is a “trimodal” algorithm primarily based on the following three factors:
- Relevance (Are you a roofer?).
- Prominence (Are you a notable roofer?).
- Proximity (Is your business’s physical location near the searcher?).
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