How to Rank in Nearby Cities Where You Don’t Have an Address
- Do We Need to Create Service Area Pages?
- Why Use Location-Specific Pages in Your SEO Strategy?
- How Are Local Landing Pages Different for Brick-And-Mortar and Service-Area Businesses?
- When to Create Service Area Pages?
- How to Create the Perfect Service Area Page
- What to Avoid When Creating Service Area Pages?
- How to Rank and Get More Traffic Locally?
- The Wrap
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If your business has invested in SEO, you’ve probably seen the results it can generate. Your site has more traffic, more page visits per session, and increased conversions.
But while general SEO helps your business rank for keywords on a national/global scale, it attracts all web traffic, regardless of geographical relevance.
Global visibility is important, but it doesn’t always increase foot traffic to help your bottom line. For that, you need local SEO. Optimizing your website for local SEO allows you to better target people in your neighborhood, town, or city.
But why go through all the trouble?
Consider this: approximately 46% of all Google searches have local intent. Local queries account for 50% of Google’s two trillion annual searches. Moreover, 93% of consumers use online searches to find local businesses. Given these statistics, it only makes sense for you to step up your local SEO game pronto.
That said, scoring a spot in local search results is easier said than done. One of the most popular (and effective) ways to do this is by adding service area pages to your website.
Do We Need to Create Service Area Pages?
Here’s the million-dollar question: does your business actually need service area pages?
Well, the answer is both yes and no, depending on your specific requirements. Your business can benefit from service pages if:
1. You are targeting long-tail and geo-targeted keywords found on tools like Ahrefs.
2. Your site has no mentions of areas served within its general service pages, and is not ranking for geo-targeted keywords.
Fortunately, service area pages can help with this. Based on the data we gathered, it’s possible for service area pages to rank and generate organic traffic. Some even showed goal completions in Google Analytics.
3. Your target location has a population of more than 10k.
However, you don’t need service pages if:
- You want to get more direct traffic from local-intent/high-intent keywords. For this, you’ll have to optimize your GBP listing and use Google Ads/local ads.
- You don’t have enough capital or resources to build service area pages.
- You’re stationed too far away from the target location.
Why Use Location-Specific Pages in Your SEO Strategy?
Service area pages – also known as city landing pages, county pages, or geo-targeted pages – are website pages optimized for a particular area. They work best for:
- Service-Area businesses catering to various locations.
- Hybrid businesses that serve customers at their business address, as well as provide services to different areas.
If a Plumbing company based in one town also serves seven other regions, it can customize eight landing pages, one for each of the eight areas it services.
So even if you only have one business address, service area pages can help you show up for searches in your specific area. Think of them as digital signposts for each location where your business operates.
That’s not all. An additional upside of including service area pages on your website is that these local landing pages help generate qualified leads, the very things that result in higher conversion rates.
How Are Local Landing Pages Different for Brick-And-Mortar and Service-Area Businesses?
The purpose of creating a landing page for a brick-and-mortar business is to make it easier for potential customers to find you.
Landing pages for physical locations must highlight your name, address, phone number, and directions. You can also include other relevant information, such as products/services available and customer reviews. Each page should represent one location in the real world and allow clients to find the nearest physical address.
Landing pages for service-area businesses are slightly different. They aren’t made to draw visitors to a particular location, even if you have an office or operations center there. Instead, service area pages look to boost your business’s visibility on SERPs by providing customers with more information about your services.
That’s not all. For businesses that have several physical locations, linking a location page to its corresponding Google Business Profile (GBP) can help search engines verify if your business is legitimate, if it’s located where you say it is, and if you offer the same products/services as listed on the GBP. This, in turn, can help improve site authority.
When to Create Service Area Pages?
As a rule of thumb, you should always create local landing pages if your service-area/hybrid business has a physical address of a single or multiple locations, as well as a separate Google Business Profile for each locations. For service area/hybrid business that has no physical address in their target locations, they can create service area pages.
Usually, businesses may use city, county, or state-specific landing pages, depending on their requirements.
When to Create City Pages
Getting your main storefront to Google’s first page can be difficult enough. But if your business serves locations across different cities, you’ll need to target each region’s local search results through city-specific pages.
City pages are the generally most valuable type of local landing page, largely due to the huge search volume available for city-based services. They are also a great way to include location-specific keywords in your content. Remember, you need to also check if the city you are targeting has enough population so you don’t waste your time creating the city landing page.
Take this for example. If your Spring Valley-based cleaning company also serves San Diego, you can create a landing page with around the keyword “San Diego cleaning services”. Likewise, a Saint Petersburg legal office that has an address in Tampa can customize a landing page for “Tampa personal injury law firm”.
When to Create County Pages
While county pages operate on the same principle as city pages, they are more suited to businesses serving large areas with smaller neighboring towns (usually towns of 10K people or fewer). Since these small towns are unlikely to have high search volumes for services, you can develop county pages that cover the entire service location, instead of allotting separate landing pages to each region.
How to Create the Perfect Service Area Page
Now that you know the benefits of adding service area pages to your website, it’s time to create yours. Remember, designing a landing page is both a science and an art. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s a list of tips to help you get the ball rolling.
Let’s dive in!
Create Area-Specific Content
You already know that content is king. But for service area pages, local content takes the cake. Rather than focusing on generic information, try to publish high-quality content that’s unique to your area and relevant to your target audience.
Display Completed Projects in the Area
A portfolio of completed projects can help showcase your services to potential customers. For service area pages, you can use high-quality text and images to call attention to your work around the city. Doing this can help build trust with both users and search engines.
Provide Testimonials of Local Consumers
Customer reviews are touted as one of the most effective ways to increase site traffic. 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
Consider furnishing a few of your best reviews from local customers to establish social proof in the area. If you do not have many reviews or are struggling to bounce back from negative feedback, devise an online reputation management strategy to generate more quality customer testimonials.
Try to Offer City-Specific Coupons
You’d think providing coupons to your customers would send your profits for a toss – but that’s not the case. In fact:
- Coupons encourage customers to try new product lines/services
- They can raise brand awareness
- You get free word-of-mouth promotion
- The upfront cost is manageable
- You can target a specific audience
Location-specific coupons allow you to target your promotions to regional customers alone. This can do a lot to help boost sales and establish a local presence.
Highlight Local Knowledge
Writing generic content for city-specific landing pages is a strict no-no. Instead, you should try to align yourself directly with your target market – and prove you have area-specific experience on the ground level. For example, you can include local awards/recognition, laws, codes, climates, staff, or any information important to the community and relevant to your niche.
Discuss Local Events
Local events matter for businesses in numerous ways. The more you participate in these events, the better known you become within the community. Remember to discuss these occasions on your local landing page – why you engaged in the event, how you performed, and what you took away.
Provide Logos of the Local Chamber of Commerce
If you are a member of the city’s local Chamber of Commerce, be sure to include its logo and link on your local landing page. The logo can act as a trust signal and help establish credibility with new customers.
Use a Local Rank Tracker to Gauge Performance
Developing local landing pages isn’t enough, you’ll also have to track their performance.
Use trackers like BrightLocal to determine where you stand on local searches. The system’s local rank tracker also offers valuable insight into your site’s current ranking, with SERP screenshots, local keyword counts, customizable reports, and more.
What to Avoid When Creating Service Area Pages?
Creating service area pages may sound easy on paper, but even the savviest experts make mistakes along the way. Here are a few things to avoid when developing or optimizing your local landing pages.
Adding an Excessive Amount of Local Keywords
Keyword stuffing is a huge dealbreaker for search engines, mainly because it creates a poor user experience. We strongly advise against recklessly repeating words or phrases in your location page or service area page content. If the term doesn’t sound natural within the page, don’t use it.
Using Duplicate Content
Google tends to crack down on anything that doesn’t provide value to searchers, and repetitive content is no different. Duplicate content across multiple landing pages can get your site in trouble with search engines. Be sure to put ample thought into each local landing page and make it as unique as possible.
Targeting Too Many Locations
In a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout, John Mueller stated that building individual city pages for multi-state businesses isn’t the best idea. However, you can have local landing pages for each state as a whole.
Being too ambitious with your city pages can make it difficult to produce quality content for them. A better strategy would be to limit the number of pages to fifteen (give or take). This way, you’ll be able to pay adequate attention to each one.
How to Rank and Get More Traffic Locally?
Run Google Ads for High-Intent Keywords
Who said Google Ads is only fit for large corporations? In reality, Google Ads has plenty of features to help local businesses target customers near them.
However, every keyword you choose to target on Google Ads will cost you marketing dollars. To make the most of your paid advertising spend, it’s best if you focus on high-intent keywords with enough search volume. This way, you’ll get in front of users who are actively looking for the services you offer.
For long-term organic results, you’ll need to optimize your service area pages using the same high-intent keywords. Doing this can help attract potential buyers to your site.
Run Local Service Ads
If your local and organic efforts are failing to get you the visibility you need throughout your service area, Google’s Local Services Ads can come to your aid.
Local Service Ads (LSAs) are similar to Google Ads, but instead of bidding on keywords, you bid on services within a zip code. For example, HVAC companies can run LSAs for AC repair, AC replacement, and so on.
LSAs come with several perks. To begin with, they show up at the top of Google’s search results, even above traditional ads. Plus, your listing is labeled with a ‘Google guarantee’ (after one or multiple background checks), which might help win a client’s trust.
As we said, paid Google ads (both the traditional kind and LSAs) require an investment. But remember that you will be paying for visibility you can’t earn any other way. If it creates a positive ROI for your brand, then it should be worth the money.
Schedule Regular Posts for GBP and Social Media
GBP posts are updates, mostly created and controlled by the business, that contain an image/video, text, and link. Usually, they’re used to promote deals, call attention to products and events, and so on.
Besides offering a great opportunity to attract and convert customers, GBP posts provide Google with a lot of information about your business as an entity. Consider publishing one post per week for each of your locations to gain views, clicks, and customers!
Also, be sure to update the social media pages for each of your service locations as regularly as possible. Staying active on social media gives you credibility, builds awareness, and opens new avenues for consumer engagement.
As you can see, city and county pages can be a powerful tool for businesses that want to be found by local customers. They’re not easy to build, but certainly worth the effort. So, what are you waiting for? Use these tips and tricks to start creating highly optimized service area pages and location pages today!
Do you have more queries about local landing pages? The team at Foxxr will be happy to help you. As a leading digital marketing agency, we use an arsenal of advanced technologies to keep your business ahead of the curve. Contact us today to know more!