Part of building a website that works for you is making sure it reaches your entire customer base. SEO is a wonderful tool to help you do that. Using local SEO keywords to target your customer base is where to start, but there are many more steps to ensure you are getting the most out of searchers near you. If your business operates within a region spanning multiple cities or municipalities, it may have occurred to you that potential customers are conducting web searches for services in their city specifically. You want to optimize your core pages for these various cities, but this raises an issue. You don’t want to alienate members of one city by focusing on another. You want all of your site’s content to reach your entire customer base. How can you optimize your site for the multiple cities within your region? We are going to walk through three total tactics which all build on one another to help push your rankings up in your main location, or outside if you are looking to expand.
CREATE INDIVIDUAL LOCATION PAGES
These pages, sometimes referred to as areas of service pages, present great opportunity to include target keywords with city locations included. If we wanted to tap into more of the cities we could apply our services to locally, we could look at building out individual location pages for Boulder, Golden, Stapleton, and so on. This strategy lets you curate the content around each city to apply to those who may visit the page. Leaving the individual pages optimized for your main location makes more sense than trying to stuff cities in on your title and into the content. It would be much harder to write a page that encompasses all of those different cities and converts the traffic well. As someone in Golden, I would rather not read a bunch of content about Denver or Boulder, and vice versa. A few unique ways to make the content on each city page can be found here:
- Cultural Touchstones – Reference something everyone in town knows about, like a local sports team or a popular museum. It doesn’t need to be relevant to the product you’re selling. It’s just a good way of letting the city’s residents know that you really did create this page with them in mind; that it’s not just a copy/paste job.
- City History – Go back to the founding of the town. Even a casual reference to this can let page readers know you really are writing for them.
- Common Problems – What issues do residents of the city face? Is it cold there? Is it hard to grow plants? Is there something your company can do to help?
- Find the Way You Relate – No matter what else there is to say about the town, there’s a reason your business serves them so successfully. Even if that reason isn’t unique to them, you can build on it and use it to explore things that are. For example, Firestarter SEO helps companies build a successful online presence. We might choose to use a city landing page to congratulate residents on the number of successful small businesses in their town before moving on to what we can offer.
Building out each location individually, with its own unique content, provides proof to Google and other search engines you take your responsibilities in each city seriously, but you may not have a physical location with an address in said city. This presents another opportunity for success on a local level.
PHYSICAL BUSINESS LOCATIONS
Apart from building out the content within your website, Google My Business presents an excellent opportunity to rank on a local level. Since so many people are using their mobile devices and apps to search for information these days, having a physical location near searchers increases the odds of you coming up in a search. Using the Denver/Boulder example, if our content was centered around Denver and someone in Boulder searched for “SEO Company” it would be nearly impossible for us to rank. On the flip side, if we had a satellite office in downtown Boulder, our Boulder SEO page (as described in the paragraph above) interlinked to the Google My Business profile, and had some decent reviews for the location, we pose a much better chance to rank for the search.
These types of listings do require a bit of legwork from either the company or their SEO provider. Google wants to verify you are a real business and there are a few steps to take to verify. The first is to submit your information and build out your profile for Google’s approval. In the meantime you will either receive a phone call to your location for verification or a postcard with a code to verify, depending on your type of business. While we have gone over this in a previous blog, here is an example of what a Google My Business listing looks like on a search engine results page (SERP):
LINKING TO YOUR LANDING PAGES
Once you have your areas of service pages built out along with your Google My Business profiles, it is time to start interlinking these pages. Interlinking ensures all of the traffic who comes across these listings, local or organic, ends up where they need to be. You should be intentional with interlinking these pages with other local and relevant websites as well as any relevant pages within your own domain.
Your landing pages should also be developed with informative and concise anchor text. Anchor text gives users a preview of what they can expect when they click on a link. Therefore, it’s important to include the target keyword you want to rank and the location you’re trying to target in the anchor text. Implementing your links with intention creates a cohesive feel within your website where your visitors can easily navigate to the topics they would like to dig deeper into.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR LOCAL SEO TARGETING
If your business does not have a brick and mortar location, it’s worth considering registering an address in a city or town you wish to rank for so that Google and other search engines will spot your business name in association with that location. This might be a good strategy if you live adjacent to a large city. However, use caution. If you register multiple addresses, Google could decide you’re misrepresenting your business and penalize your SEO.
Another handy little trick is geotargeting every piece of content you post. When you upload a photo to your homepage, tag it with the name of the city as well as a description of what it shows. When you geotag each piece of content, your city name is suddenly layered much more densely throughout your website.
Targeting multiple cities on your website is an important and delicate part of your SEO strategy. If you’re giving local SEO a try and want the benefit of years of experience at your back, contact Firestarter SEO today.