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SEO Local Ranking without a physical address ?

Discussion in 'Local SEO' started by eck340, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. eck340

    eck340 Registered Member

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    Hi guys,

    I currently have a home based business (Web Development and Graphic Design Services). I dont have any customer coming to my home address, we meet in a public location or I join them at their office.

    What I would like to know is if I am located in New York (this is just an example) do I have any chance against the competition to rank for : Web development in New York ; Graphic Design in New York (Local niche keywords) .


    Even if I dont have any physical address on my website (I just put some like this : Company Name, New York, United-States. ) and even if I dont have a Google Place ?

    On google place I cant show my address publicly because it's my home address and I can't submit it to google either and hide it because it's not even in the location I want to rank for, I live in a near suburb and I offer my service in New York (for example).


    So what are my chance to rank ? is it possible only with On-Page optimization, Contents and backlinkg/anchor text targeting the local city I want to rank ? Or a physical address is a must-have and required to rank for local seo ?


    Thank You.
     
  2. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    You can rank without a physical address but you will not get in the maps box. You will have to rank with the organic algorithm as opposed to the local algo.

    Ranking in a large market of web design is going to be difficult no matter how you go about it.

    You will be much better off getting a virtual mailbox or virtual office that gives you an actual street address for your business. It is a necessary expense as far as I am concerned, for local businesses.

    Even if you are not in NY, but in a large market, the local algo will be a huge advantage.

    "On-Page optimization, Contents and backlinking/anchor text targeting the local city I want to rank" will work (that is standard SEO), but your site will be subject to Google updates that generally do not affect local SEO. Link buiilding penalties especially.

    In addition, the local algorithm will give local businesses a boost over your site if they are targeting the same keywords and all other things are equal (they never are).

    If you were my customer, I would insist on a virtual mailbox, and concentrate on long tails for SEO. You are not going to go head to head with the big players on the main keywords and win. Look for community themed long tails, too.

    If you can afford it, PPC might be an option for immediate customer acquisition.
     
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  3. eck340

    eck340 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Thank you for your amazing and helpfull reply but a Virtual Mailbox or Virtual Office isnt agaisnt google terms and conditions ?

    I think they penalized website with Virtual Address...
     
  4. kevinmax

    kevinmax Newbie

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    I don't think Google against this, there are tons of freelancers on-line targeting to Geo-graphical based keywords. It will be a minor/major loss to Google - If they kick all the virtual users.

    (Don't know exactly whether Google loves it, but I can confirm Google doesn't hates virtual mailbox and address completely)
    For Ex: You might see the same address ranking twice with different company name in Google places.

    To achieve results:
    You need to have a good quality content - Develop the content with location based keywords. (Your content must have the ability to generate organic leads)
    Anchor the word: Graphic Design in New York to some other pages (Internal linking is also important as back-links)
    Back-links - Target the keyword anchor a little to improve the authority of that niche

    You can achieve the results faster when you localize more, Target the best cities in New York. For Ex: Graphic Design in Brooklyn.
    Good Luck buddy!
     
  5. lostinseo99

    lostinseo99 Newbie

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    surely it would be better to go for an area of say new york, easier to rank for
     
  6. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    Many, many legitimate businesses use virtual mailboxes and offices. You can even get conference rooms when you need and a shared secretary. This is just business.

    Google does not want to display an address unless the address is where customers are served.

    If you use a post office box, Google knows what it is and will not accept it. If you use a virtual mailbox with an actual street address, it looks legitimate, and if someone searches online it will usually turn up the commercial building that the virtual mailbox company is in.

    There is the possibility that a competitor might turn you in, but usually when you have an actual street address, Google looks no further.

    You also have to remember that Google, or the googlebot, is a computer not a person. It can't see that "St" and "Street" are the same because they aren't. It will either match, or not. A subroutine will have to figure it out.

    The goglebot will seek out matching data points. To google "2175 oak street" and "2175 oak street suite 1" and "2175 oak street dept:a" are 3 different places. These are normal formatting for many business addresses, and appears to be office numbers in a building.

    This is also why your citations have to be exact. If Google sees your phone number as (XXX) XXX-XXXX in some places and as XXX XXX-XXXX in others, when the googlebot hits the page it does not get a datapoint match. An anomaly occurs, and the google bot will lower the trust for that citation, and pass the figuring out the anomaly to a subroutine, and carry on. The more miss-matched data points the more times the trust gets lowered. This trust is not fully restored, even when the subroutines finish (after all, there is that nagging data mismatch, and to a computer that is like a thorn in your ass) The more data points that match the less lowering, and the easier the it is for the subroutines to figure out the anomaly. These anomalies will occur naturally because different sites display things differently. There is no sense adding to them by not being consistent in your citations.

    You can also help yourself by putting pictures that on your citations that support your existence as a business in that area too. Photoshop a picture of your office door with your name and office hours and put it there, put in a pic of your "office" with you at the desk if possible. If you have equipment, make an equipment spread photo, add staff photos. Act like a real business. If you put out local flyers or banner ads, put one of them on this page. It helps prove that you really are a business in that area.
     
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  7. AutoSeoPro

    AutoSeoPro Regular Member

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    You can either find virtual address service or check not to show your address in results and use your home address. You can surely bypass the competition with quality backlinks.
     
  8. SEO_Alchemy

    SEO_Alchemy Senior Member

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    LOL, best thing I've read on this forum in a long time. Thank you sir!
     
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  9. dbk03

    dbk03 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  10. travanx

    travanx Regular Member

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    I have a business that I use my home address for. Typically my type of business normally has an office. We are based in one City but have done work in about 20 cities so far. We were recently were asked about doing out of State work. Its more common than you think to run a business out of a house, and not looked as a negative. As long as you mention something like you are going lean as you build up your reputation, or something like that. So why do I mention this? All checks and signed contracts are sent to my house. And eventually if you do it this way, you are going to want an address for physical things to go to. Our clients like that we can take on larger projects and trying to keep overhead costs down as much as possible. We charge a small fraction, but the projects built out can be in the $50+ mil range. To give an idea of how much this doesn't matter if you approach it a certain way.

    Meetings? Local Starbucks is easy. Their own office is even easier.

    When I tried this for an apartment I just said we were in a live/work loft. I try to stay as open as possible.