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I'm a Service Area Business, but do not show up in all areas I service

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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Business name: The Academic Hound
Address: hidden
Phone: 512-999-1121
I'm a dog trainer and travel to people's homes in order to do business. My "business address" is my home, and since people do not come to me I have my address hidden.

I live in a small town (Kyle, TX) right on the outskirt of a larger city (Austin, TX). Most of my business comes from Austin. In my google+ account, have listed all of the city names that I travel to in my settings, including Austin.

This said, if someone were to look up "dog trainer Austin, Tx", I do not appear whatsoever, even though I have Austin listed as part of my service area. The thing that is strange about this... is that there are other dog trainers that appear that are not located in Austin. Some have addresses listed, others do not. Some of these other businesses that appear don't even have Google + accounts, yet they are still listed while I am not. This is what has gotten me very confused. How are they showing up when they are even further from Austin than I am?

I have tried all sorts of different things in my settings, including setting my service area to a 30 mile radius, listing all of the zip codes that I service, and now I have switched to listing my city names. Nothing has worked.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, this is really taking a toll on my business because no one can tell that I exist. My google + page is

I do show up if you type in "dog trainer Kyle, Tx" but that doesn't really help me. I need to show up where the majority of my clients are.

Thank you.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: I'm a Service Area Business, but do not show up in all areas I ser

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# 2
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You're not alone, same thing is happening to me in the UK. I do appear in position 14 for by business sector in my town but there are other companies ranking higher than me who haven't even claimed their Google+ account. My investigation suggests it could be to do with the address and the distance from the centre of the town/city/place, but if you are located towards the outskirts of your area no matter what you do you're never going to rank higher.

Hope someone comes along and suggests something.

Re: I'm a Service Area Business, but do not show up in all areas I ser

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

@Shay E I actually just wrote an article about this that should be publishing next week and the short summary is yes, you will probably never rank in the 3-pack for "dog trainer austin" if your address is in Kyle. This is because when someone actually includes the city-name in the query, it's almost like a requirement that you must have an address in that city to rank well in the 3-pack. 


This does not mean your ability to gain ranking all together in Austin is toast or your ability to get traffic to your site from there. The best approaches for businesses in this situation are:


  • You can still rank for queries like "dog trainer" for people searching from within the Austin area in the 3-pack. I have worked with tons of businesses who are in that boat.
  • If you focus on gaining organic ranking for "dog trainer austin" you can get a ton of traffic from being in that position. I have a business I work with that has a click-through-rate of over 8% who does not rank in the 3-pack (because he's outside the city) but has the first organic ranking and it drives a ton of traffic to his site.


All is not lost - you just need to be aware of what's possible and what's not and focus on the items that you have the greatest probability of achieving :)



Joy Hawkins, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: I'm a Service Area Business, but do not show up in all areas I ser

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# 4
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I look forward to that blog post, I bookmarked the page so I can see it when it's published!


Disappointing how my options are limited, but at least I know I'm not the only one having this problem. I guess short of opening an actual location in Austin (which I'm half-tempted to do), I guess I'll just need to focus on the organic stuff.


I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question, thank you!