Yes, many National business directories, shopping comparison engines, marketplace websites, lead aggregators, etc rank quite well for city-based non-local intent keyword terms. However, local intent searches (i.e. Los Angeles Attorney) will trigger Google’s local algorithm which means local businesses will rank within a pack, carousel, or on a map (depending on the keyword being searched and the physical location of where you are searching).
Local search packs do not include the lead aggregators, business directories, etc. In addition, it’s important to emphasize here that Google’s local search results favor Google’s ecosystem, which is why I (and other Local SEO’s) put such important on local businesses optimizing a Google My Business page. If you are a National business and want to rank for geographic terms understand that you’ll be competing against Google’s local search results and your website is most likely to fall under those results if you are successful.
There is a way to create a Google My Business page and rank in the local map pack even though you don’t own a physical address. All you have to do is request Google send you an address verification and after 2 weeks call them saying you did not receive the post card. On the phone they will ask you come questions and verify your page without you having to own a physical location.
Based on my last 15 years helping businesses rank higher on search engines I believe there are two distinct types of small and medium-sized businesses in need of some type of help with search engine optimization. The first type of business is determined to learn SEO and do it on their own. These folks rarely find success as they just don’t have enough time to dedicate to SEO.
The second type of business doesn’t have the time but nonetheless knows they need to take action to improve their ranking on Google. For these folks they can request local SEO services from a company like Pace SEM, LLC.