Local SEO is extremely competitive and it becomes an even greater challenge to compete with other businesses when yours has no physical address.
Sam Nemzer from Distilled has shared some useful tips on how a business with no local pack can use local SEO.
Sam Nemzer suggests the following 5 tactics:

Local SEO Tip: Put user-focused content on your category pages

 

A category page should focus on content and the more you add, the better for the SERPs. In order to add content, you can:

  • Pull in any third party data in order to immediately gain access to relevant
    Local SEO

    Third Party Applications

    and useful content (Google Maps, Wikipedia, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, TripAdvisor, etc.).

  • Use proprietary data that could be helpful to your business (this will also make it easier to obtain featured snippets).
  • Be sure to find questions to answers. Sam Nemzer suggested the tool “Answer the Public”, a free keyword research that gives you the ability to find the right questions for the specific keywords you wish to use.

By the time you have found the answers from your chosen keywords, it is time to answer different questions by yourself:

How can you use this particular content on your website?
Is the content relevant to your business?
Have you relied on auto-generated content too much?

For good Local SEO, keep in mind that Google does not like pages that focus on auto-generated content, so be sure to not overuse it.

Local SEO Tip: Get the correct level of granularity

It is very important that you start by researching your analytics data in order to understand what earns traffic and how you will be able to increase the content on your website.
Have a close look at the keywords and see what people in your industry search.
Different websites request different information. For instance, property listings will require extensive location related information, such as country, province, city/town, and postal code – whilst a job site will merely request your city/town.
Finally, it could be useful to analyse your keyword data and then ask yourself if you need location pages at all.
How will your business benefit from them? By the time you are able to answer this question, you are ready to move forward to more practical Local SEO tips.

Local SEO Tip: Sidestep local packs by targeting high in the funnel

To avoid the high competition, you should consider to avoid focusing on the most popular local packs and rather find the right content gaps to exploit.
You could benefit from aiming for different targeting where there is less competition and more opportunities to stand out and prosper.
Re-targeting could be useful to reduce Costs Per Click, but it also means that the conversion may not be instant, however it you will be able to build recognition and serve as a knowledge provider within your industry.

Local SEO Tip: Use structured data in order to stand out

Structured data is the type of data that provides information through a database and structured data mark-up may associate a description with its property.
Whether it is an article, recipe, video, or event, mark-ups help search engines crawl the content in order to display it appropriately for users.
This may improve the ranking in SERPs greatly and you will be able to test your structured data with Google’s Data Structure Testing Tool.

Local SEO Tip: Be sure to use Intelligent Personal Assistants

If local packs do not seem to be effective for your business, there is always the option of having people come directly to your app and in this case personal assistants can be really useful.
Siri, Google Now and Cortana are changing the way people search through their mobile devices, which is why this might be the right time to focus on this particular field and to beat the competition in the most relevant context.
Google Now, for example, allows any app to be integrated and Apple has also announced that it will follow in Google’s footsteps, which brings an exciting opportunity for a business that is looking to be displayed in the right search results.