How to Leverage SEO When Your Practice is Outside of Google’s City Limits (a.k.a. “the red lines”)

Title: Leveraging SEO When Your Business Lies Outside Google Maps’ Red Lines

Understanding the Scenario:

Google Maps demarcates specific regions using “Red Lines,” effectively determining the businesses and locations that are prominently displayed to users searching within that area. When your business is outside these lines, it’s crucial to understand the implications it can have on your visibility and digital presence. However, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. SEO can be strategically leveraged to amplify your business’s online visibility and drive organic traffic to your website.

1. Understand the Implications:
When your business is outside the Red Lines, it may not appear in localized searches or ‘near me’ or ‘Dentist [Town]’ queries, potentially resulting in decreased online visibility and lost business opportunities. Understanding this disadvantage is the first step in developing an SEO strategy that compensates for this lack of local visibility and helps to boost your online presence. Our team will recommend a keyword focus that is not impacted by this obstacles, that will allow you to get the best possible results within Google’s parameters set for a business outside of the city’s boundary lines, as determined by Google (not your city’s ordinance or address).

2. Devise a Robust Keyword Strategy:
To enhance visibility, it’s essential to pick an appropriate keyword strategy. Incorporate keywords relevant to your location, nearby neighborhoods, and zip codes, optimizing your content and website metadata with these localized terms. Moreover, thoroughly researching your competition level in surrounding areas is crucial. Use SEO tools to identify the keywords your competitors are ranking for and then incorporate them strategically to compete effectively. An optimized keyword strategy, tailored to your geographical context, can drive relevant traffic and elevate your search engine rankings. It’s also recommended to have a stronger ad spend if you’re located in an area outside of Google’s city boundary lines (red lines).

3. Work within Google’s Framework:
While the Red Lines drawn by Google may seem limiting, it is crucial to understand that manipulating or altering these lines is not possible. Instead, focus on optimizing your Google My Business listing, ensuring that all information is accurate, complete, and optimized for your target keywords. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, and regularly update your listing with new photos and posts. These actions can enhance your business’s credibility and visibility, even if it is located outside the preferred zones.

4. Skepticism about Competitor Claims:
Some competitors may claim to have the ability to modify Google’s Red Lines or make promises about guaranteeing local visibility. However, it is crucial to approach such claims with skepticism. Instead of focusing on unrealistic and unattainable promises, prioritize genuine and ethical SEO strategies that comply with Google’s guidelines and enhance your digital presence over time.


While being located outside of Google Maps’ Red Lines can pose challenges, it’s far from being a death sentence for your online visibility. By understanding the implications and working within the constraints, implementing a location-specific keyword strategy, maintaining an optimized and active Google My Business listing, and avoiding the lure of competitors’ unrealistic promises, businesses can effectively leverage SEO to enhance their online presence and visibility. Always remember, a well-planned and executed SEO strategy can have long-lasting benefits and can help in building a sustainable online presence regardless of the geographical limitations imposed by online mapping services.

It’s best to have a realistic idea as to how SEO can work for you based on your exact location, than to have unrealistic expectations set by a salesperson more interested in earning revenue, than being honest and transparent about real obstacles related to your business location. In a perfect world a buyer would know about their location marketing restrictions before even purchasing a location, which is why we recommend a consultation with our team as soon as possible, perhaps even before purchasing or starting up a practice.

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