Local businesses such as plumbers, electricians, painters & decorators and Landscape gardeners face a number of online challenges when it comes to positioning themselves in the right places to get recognised by prospective customers. It goes without saying that SEO is the best long term strategy for local businesses, but it is a solution that must be approached methodically.
The main challenge for local businesses is to rank for their specific search terms in their ‘local’ area. So for example, if you’re a plumber in Leicester, you want to appear for terms such as ‘plumbers in Leicester’ or ‘new boilers in Leicester’.
If you’re a plumber based in Leicester, with:
- Leicester Postcode
- Leicester Specific Telephone Number
it is likely that you are going to rank between positions 1 to 12 so long as your on-page SEO is written in a way that is compelling for website visitors and calculated enough to attract search engines including Google and Bing.
What Happens When You Want To Rank For More Than One Area?
If you’re a local business, it is likely that you will want to rank for multiple locations set within a certain radius. So to continue our example of a plumber in Leicester, you will most likely want to provide your services to other areas within the county such as the below examples.
- Coalville | Plumbers in Coalville
- Loughborough | Plumbers in Loughborough
- Hinckley | Plumbers in Hinckley
- Market Harborough | Plumbers in Market Harborough
The main question is how can you do this? Well, one method that has been used throughout search marketing’s short history is location pages for SEO.
What Are Location Pages for SEO?
Location Pages for SEO are web pages that are specifically designed to target a certain keyword in a specific area. So If you’re a plumber in Leicester that also wants to appear for searches in Hinckley, you will create a specific page that is designed to rank for plumbers in Hinckley. You have most likely come across these pages whilst searching the web, but never really understood their purpose. They are usually categories on the navigation bar under ‘areas we cover’.
Are Service in Location Pages Still Relevant?
The big question is whether service in location pages are still relevant and in all honesty, the quick and simple answer to this question is yes. Whilst some sources claim that service in location pages are doorway pages and could potentially hinder your SEO in the long run, this simply is not the case and is an SEO myth. If the content is relevant and is written in a way that is useful for both the search engines and the website visitor, local city pages are an asset that you should consider adding to your website. The pages are as much a benefit to website visitors as they are search engines. They quickly highlight where the local business provides its service and also gives potential customers an idea of the scale of the business they’ll be potentially purchasing from.
Do Local SEO City Landing Pages Rank?
Local SEO city landing pages do rank, and they rank well. Unfortunately, they do take longer to rank compared to the area your business is registered in. This is partially down to NAP:
As your business will be officially listed as operating in your primary area you will have a much better chance of ranking for that area. However, with plenty of persistence, matched with patience and good quality content it can happen. It is important that you work towards increasing your Domain Authority as well. Domain Authority is very important for organic listings and will help with service areas that have a high number of other companies that are competing for positions for areas you are chasing.
Domain authority is the score you gain when you acquire quality links to your website. The more quality, relevant links you gain, the better chance your website has of ranking. It is always best to try and gain backlinks from websites that are relevant to your website. So if you’re a plumber in Leicester, it is best to search for backlinks from a site that is specific to your sector, and if possible local to your area.
Should The Content For Service In Location Pages Be Unique?
As a rule of thumb, all webpages on a website should have its own unique content. This can include
It is highly recommended that you use unique content for your service in location pages. By using unique content, rather than copy and pasting from one service in location page to another, you boost your chances of being ranked by search engines.
Whilst duplicate content won’t negatively affect your SEO strategy, it is always best to write unique compelling content that is designed for readers. As Bill Gates famously said “content is king” and if you can make your content highly relevant and engaging for your website visitors, you will improve SEO metrics such as dwell time and reduced bounce rate which will positively affect your organic rankings.
What Types of Areas Should I Target?
When adding service in location pages, you want to think about the population of the area. If an area only has a population of around 1000-2000 people, it is likely that there will only be a small volume of searches for your location-based keywords. With this in mind, you want your service in location pages to be targeted towards larger areas with a big enough population to make an impact. There is no harm in mentioning smaller areas inside your service in the location page, but it is always best to target the larger locations for the best results. Remember that the larger the area, the more monthly search volume there will be. With larger search volumes comes more competition, so it is highly important to ensure your on-page and off-page SEO is at peak performance to guarantee you rank for your desired local search terms.
How Many Local SEO Landing Pages Should I have?
There isn’t a definitive number of local SEO landing pages you should have, but it is best to keep the number lower and more relevant. If you aim to target a large number of areas there is still a chance that you will rank for most, but this also creates more pages for Google to crawl, which could potentially harm your overall SEO strategy in the long run. It is best to be realistic about the number of local SEO city landing pages you publish.
What About Multiple Offices?
Of course, if you have multiple offices, your service radius will increase so it is likely you will require more service in locations spread across a wider perimeter. Nevertheless, it is still best to be realistic and keep the number of pages manageable. So if you have offices in Coventry, Leicester, and Birmingham, it would be best to target those three areas plus an extra three supplementary areas per office that have a high search volume. Once these are ranking, you may wish to expand the number of SEO location pages you have.
Will I Appear on Google My Business for Multiple Locations?
If you have multiple offices located in different locations, yes you will appear on Google My Business for more than one location. Unfortunately, Google My Business requires a physical location for you to rank in the Google My Business search panel, therefore service in locations will not have an impact on your rankings on Google My Business.
Overall SEO Location Pages are Still Relevant
It is our advice that any local business that is looking to gain more business in key areas surrounding their primary location opts to add SEO location pages to their website. It is best to create these pages in a way that integrates with the rest of your website to make them appear as natural as possible, ensuring they adhere to UX (User Experience). As mentioned before, unique content such as imagery really does help. It is better for the website visitor and therefore will potentially trigger key metrics that improve search rankings.
Do Pod Digital Use Local SEO Landing Pages?
Yes, where relevant we will use location pages for SEO. Whenever adding these to a website we consider how the page will work for a business’s complete marketing plan. We will use unique content and style the page so that it fits in perfectly with all other pages on the website. We are happy to add these types of pages as part of a new website or create new local SEO landing pages that can be added to your current website. We have been able to improve the SEO footprint for many local customers by simply considering the locations the business serves. We even use SEO location pages on our own website and they perform very well.
Can Pod Digital Add SEO Location Pages to My Site?
We are more than happy to add new SEO location pages to your website and are happy to discuss your business requirements with you. Feel free to contact us today. You are free to send us a message directly through the website or call us on 01455 564 564 for a no obligations discussion. We are so confident in our ability to create locations pages for SEO that we offer a free money-back guarantee.