For businesses with two or more locations which they service or have store fronts in promoting these different locations can present a challenge when it comes to search engines. Search Engines want to know where your business is located and they use various factors such as directory listings as well as on-page information in order to “feel comfortable” about where you are located. Consistent location information is a big factor in algorithmic filtering these days.
It is easy to understand that placing multiple addresses on a website page can lead to confusion at the search engine level resulting in lower rankings and worse. There are three approaches to dealing with this which a small business might undertake.
First, there is work at the Google My Business level and directory level which can help provide a clearer multi-location profile. Second option is to simply build a different website for each location. These two options are fodder for future articles so we will set them aside for now and focus on the third option, location specific landing pages.
Creating location specific landing pages is a relatively easy and highly effective way to promote multiple locations in organic search. Location specific landing pages are pages designed specifically to appeal to an audience interested in that location, they are optimized for that location – including NAP, and they have unique content at all levels which reinforces the location.
Clients are sometimes confused by how to make a landing page unique other than by using a different location in the heading of the page. So let’s cover some steps you might take to create a location specific landing page.
Content – location specific copy, unique from any other page is a must. You can talk about the products and services and how they are specific to the location, you can write your copy for the audience in that area, you can use pictures and special offers targeted to that area.
Title tag – These are the two very important tags found in the header (unseen) portion of your web page. The Title tag should always begin with the main keyword you want that page found for. Adding a second, related keyword is OK but the advantage here is to end the Title with the City. You don’t need City & State like you used to, now just the city is enough.
Description tag – If you can insert the city into the Description tag so much the better. Not as critical as the Title though.
URL – The page URL should be unique and should include the city if possible. Recent thinking among the midnight SEO forums is that the state is not needed in the URL and may actually be a detriment. Not sure why they think that but I am ok with just having the city. If your URL already has the state too, don’t sweat it.
H1 & H2 – The location name should be easy to fit into the Heading or Sub-Heading and lends weight to the page being location specific.
Backlinks w/city in Anchor Text – If you can get a few links pointing to your location specific landing page, which include mention of the city/location in the anchor text….do it.
Physical Address in City of Search – Having your physical address in the location actually on the page is going to be a big help. UPS stores and PO Boxes don’t count, sorry.
NAP – Name, Address, Phone…. If your business can be branded with the location name, great, do it. If the address can be included, do it. If you have a unique phone number for that location, include it. Sorry, toll-free numbers don’t count.
Images – an easy solution here is an image of your store front or of a service being performed in that area and then you amend the alt tag for the image with “our store in (location)” or “John providing our service in (location)”.
Map- dropping a Google map(or similar) to your location is a great way to send a strong signal to the search engines.
Lastly, it should go without saying but say it I must…..if you think that simply copying a page and pasting it multiple times while only changing the name of the page to the new location is good enough…you will almost certainly see those pages vanish from the search engines and a penalty on your site occur. And, the lack of location specific content will be apparent to all who view it. Don’t bother doing it. Build proper location-specific pages with unique content and you will be miles ahead of your competition.
You can find lots more tips and advice at ProClassWebDesign.com under Resources. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter while you are there, link is in the sidebar.