As Google continues to update its algorithms to provide users with the most relevant results, factors such as Google My Business pages and local search have become increasingly important. Simultaneously, many businesses serve clients across the country or region and are looking for ways to rank high in searches outside their cities. One of the most common questions we get as an SEO firm is, “How do we rank beyond the city where our headquarters is located?”
Of course, one way to solve the problem is to open up a location or get a P.O. Box in the city you want to reach—that way, you can leverage local SEO tactics. Unfortunately, most businesses can’t consider getting a real address to have an office in each city where you want to rank. So, how do you rank in searches outside of your location? Consider these tips:
How to Rank High in Searches Outside of Your Location
If you want to rank high in areas outside your physical location, organic SEO is your best option. Rather than relying on local search results, it’s important to optimize your website around organic SEO best practices.
Here are a few specific tips to consider if you’re looking to rank high in the searches being conducted by potential customers outside your area:
1. Focus on Key Cities or Regions You Want to Target
We often work with businesses who search an entire region (e.g., the southeast United States) or provide a service that is targeted in cities where they have connections (e.g., Nashville, Minneapolis, and Colorado Springs).
The reality is that you probably can’t rank high in every city in the nation. While this may be possible for a business with overwhelming authority and brand recognition (think Amazon), most small businesses need to start with a more reasonable goal.
Rather than trying to rank higher across the entire country, start by analyzing a handful of major cities to see what it would take to get in the running with entrenched local and digital brands.
2. Create Content Around Important Keywords & Phrases
The best thing you can do to optimize your SEO efforts to reach potential customers across the country is to create content around the phrases they search on a regular basis. The more you can write about your offerings with keywords being used in your industry, the more of an authoritative resource you will become.
If you’re looking to target customers in a specific city or state, creating highly-focused content can be one way to rank higher on searches in that area. For example, if we wanted to reach customers in Cincinnati, we might create a specific page on our site targeting the query, “Local SEO Firm in Cincinnati,” in which we could link to from other pages on our site. Taking this approach allows you to build up the authority of your site with quality external links, and you could increase your search rankings for location-specific keywords.
3. Audit Your Competitors to Discover Low-Hanging Fruit
The real goal of SEO is to out-rank other businesses who are competing for the attention of potential customers. If you want to rank higher in searches being conducted outside your area, it’s important to be aware of your competitors at a local and regional level.
Which keywords have the greatest potential to improve your ranking quickly? Which links are helping competitors to rank highly in the organic results for your desired terms? What specific keywords do you need to focus on in order to improve your visibility against competitors in other areas?
Knowing where you rank compared to competitors is important for competing with them in the organic SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages.
Let The SEO Silo Increase Your Searchability
There are many factors that go into improving your organic search efforts than we couldn’t possibly cover in one blog post. If your business has a single physical headquarters, but you’re interested in improving rankings in other markets, then content, social media, and paid advertising will be the tools at your disposal to compete as best you can.
If you’re still trying to unlock the value that SEO can bring to your business, or you simply aren’t sure where to start, our team is here to help. We’d love to connect and help you drive more visitors to your website—and, ultimately, more customers to your business.