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the site structure of your local site can make or break your SEO
Carlton Clark

Carlton Clark

Table of Contents

A well planned out site structure is critical towards making your local site easy for search engines to understand and helping users have the best experience possible.

In this article, we’re going to discuss:

  • What is site structure?
  • Why is it important for my local business?
  • And lastly, how do I create it?

What Is Site Structure

Site structure refers to the URLs of each page on a website, the navigation/menu system, how pages link to each other, and the path the consumer is led through as they go from a website visitor -> lead -> customer.

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Why Is Site Structure Important?

Site structure is how SEO and website design can work together to create the best user experience for your website visitors. Your site structure is like the chassis of a car in that it will facilitate the growth of your site. In this analogy, your engine would be the quality of the content you put within that site structure.

I big mistake I see almost every local business make is skipping out on properly planning their site structure. What eventually happens is their website limits the growth potential of their business.

What happens when your business expands to a different location?
When you add a few more services to your offering?

These are questions you need to ask on day 1.

Local Business Site Structure Template

Now that you understand what site structure is, let’s dive deeper into the optimal site structure for local businesses.

After building dozens of local sites from scratch and doing SEO on countless more, we’ve discovered that there are 10 pages that a local business may utilize on their site.

You can see what they are in tabs below.

Your Homepage’s main goals are to:

  1. Rank for your money keyword
  2. Pass link juice to your location hub & service hub pages
  3. Display social proof like testimonials, work photos, and case studies
  4. Move “not” ready-to-go leads through the customer journey
  5. Convert ready to go leads
 
This is easily the most powerful page on your site, meaning best practice is to pass of “link juice” to as many of your other pages on your site.

This process of internal linking will also provide the best user experience. People come to your homepage to find the page with the solution they need.

As an example, we’re going to create a fake company so you can see an example of what site structure should look like.

I want you to meet, Bob, he runs a painting company located in Miami.

His homepage URL is:

Bobspainting.com

Info pages are designed to move site visitors through the customer journey on your site by passing along vital information about your company and what you can do for them.

Your info pages are NOT designed to drive significant traffic from Google (and some may be no-indexed), however they’re still important for SEO and user experience.

Examples of info pages include:

  • Contact page
  • About us page
  • FAQ page
  • Team/staff page
  • Portfolio page
  • Testimonial page
 

With the expection of the contact page, these pages are designed to do one thing.

Build comfort with the end user.

It will accomplish this by answering questions like:

  •  Can I trust this company?
  • Do they have what I’m looking for?
  • Have they helped people like me?
 
It would be pointless to do the tenious SEO work, wait 6 months for traffic, just for your site to fail at turning visitors into customers.

Location Hub page are designed to nest all of your location pages and provide a quick snapshot of your service area to customers.

We suggest you use this URL structure for your location hub page:

Site.com/locations/

Bob would use:

Bobspainting.com/locations/

We’ve seen sites use URL’s like:

“Site.com/areas-we-serve/” and “site.com/where-we-work/”, but your best keeping this as short as possible (in length & # of words)

  • Location pages are designed to nest your Location pages, location + service pages & location + service + sub pages.

Did that just confuse the heck out of you?

Don’t worry…

Chances are your local site will not need to go any deeper than just location pages.

Here’s an example of what we’d recommend Bob do.

Bobspainting.com/locations

  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Hialeah
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Doral
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Coral-Gables
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Miami-Gardens
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Homestead
 
A couple of key points:
  • Again, we’re following the theme of keeping these URLs as short as possible. There’s no need to include anything other than location/city. Google is smart enough to know that Bob’s a painter, so there’s no need to get cute by adding extra keywords.
  • There is no need to create a city page for your money keyword. In Bob’s case, the money keyword would be “Painters Miami”. His homepage will be designed to rank for this keyword.

Your service hub page is designed to nest all of your service pages.

This is pretty simple.

Bobspaining.com/services/

Again, keep this short and avoid using URL’s with more than one word like:

  • Bobspaining.com/our-services/
  • Bobspaining.com/painting-services/
  • Bobspaining.com/what-we-do/
 
 

Your service pages are designed to rank your main services in your main or “money-maker” location.

Since Bob’s business is located in Miami and naturally makes the majority of its money from customers in Miami, it would make sense for his homepage and services pages to rank in Miami.

Here’s how Bob would do it:

Bobspainting.com/services

  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior
  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior
  • Bobspainting.com/services/residential
  • Bobspainting.com/services/commercial


A question you may have is, “What happens if my business is located outside of Miami, but I do the majority of my business in Miami?”

Good question.

You have three options:

  1. Move your business to Miami
  2. Stay and create a kick*** Miami location page
  3. Stay and attempt to rank your homepage and service page in Miami


I sincerely wish I could give one good answer to this question, but you’ll have to just use your intuition on this one. If your still not sure, consider reaching out to an SEO professional like your friends at Flying Lobo!

Your Service + Sub pages are designed to rank your main sub-services in your main or “money-maker” location.

Similar to location + service + sub service pages, you probably won’t need to dive this deep into your site structure.

Not sure?

I suggest you create amazing service pages with tons of authoratative content. If after 6 months you’re not ranking for all of the long tail keywords surrounding each service, starting pumping out service + sub pages.

Here’s how Bob would do it.

Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/

  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/aluminum
  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/brick
  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/vinyl

Bobspainting.com/services/interior/

  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior/walls
  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior/ceilings
  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior/trim


At Flying Lobo, we’re big fans of not doing extra work for minimal return. Even if it means we could squeeze a few extra pennies out of a client and they want us to do this, we’re honest and care enough to advise against it in most situations.

 

Your Blog Hub page is designed to nest your blog posts and categories so site visitors looking for info can find what they want and stay on your site.

If you check out our blog, you’ll notice that it’s categorized by topic making it super easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

For Bob, this would look like:

Bobspainting.com/blog

Your Blog Posts are designed to:

  1. Rank your site for as many high-value keywords as possible
  2. Move leads through the customer journey

Believe it or not, blogging is important for local SEO.

You may ask, “Why do I need to blog if 99% of traffic I’m going to acquire is just going to be from people outside of my service area.”

Good question with a simple answer.

Just like your homepage can pass on link juice to the rest of your pages on your site, your blog posts can do the same.

When you write an awesome blog post that ranks for a few valuable keywords, over time, people are going to start linking to your blog post.

This is going to increase the authority of your blog post AND the pages it links to. Since it’s your blog post, you can link to whatever page on your site you please (homepage, a specific location page, service page, etc.)

 

Lead generation pages are designed to do one thing and one thing only – collect leads.

These pages are not designed to rank on Google. In fact, we’ll no-index these pages to assure searches can’t find them on Google.

Now you may be wondering, “Carlton, if these pages don’t rank on Google, how are people going to find them?”

Simple, from other traffic sources like:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Social Media Posts
  • Email Campaigns
  • Etc.


Basically, you’ll send traffic to a lead generation page directly after pitching them an offer to buy your services. The only two options they’ll have on this page is to take the next step (call, fill out a form, put in their credit card) or leave the page.

Your Homepage’s main goals are to:

  1. Rank for your money keyword
  2. Pass link juice to your location hub & service hub pages
  3. Display social proof like testimonials, work photos, and case studies
  4. Move “not” ready-to-go leads through the customer journey
  5. Convert ready to go leads
 
This is easily the most powerful page on your site, meaning best practice is to pass of “link juice” to as many of your other pages on your site.

This process of internal linking will also provide the best user experience. People come to your homepage to find the page with the solution they need.

As an example, we’re going to create a fake company so you can see an example of what site structure should look like.

I want you to meet, Bob, he runs a painting company located in Miami.

His homepage URL is:

Bobspainting.com

Info pages are designed to move site visitors through the customer journey on your site by passing along vital information about your company and what you can do for them.

Your info pages are NOT designed to drive significant traffic from Google (and some may be no-indexed), however they’re still important for SEO and user experience.

Examples of info pages include:

  • Contact page
  • About us page
  • FAQ page
  • Team/staff page
  • Portfolio page
  • Testimonial page
 

With the expection of the contact page, these pages are designed to do one thing.

Build comfort with the end user.

It will accomplish this by answering questions like:

  •  Can I trust this company?
  • Do they have what I’m looking for?
  • Have they helped people like me?
 
It would be pointless to do the tenious SEO work, wait 6 months for traffic, just for your site to fail at turning visitors into customers.

Location Hub page are designed to nest all of your location pages and provide a quick snapshot of your service area to customers.

We suggest you use this URL structure for your location hub page:

Site.com/locations/

Bob would use:

Bobspainting.com/locations/

We’ve seen sites use URL’s like:

“Site.com/areas-we-serve/” and “site.com/where-we-work/”, but your best keeping this as short as possible (in length & # of words)

You’ll see why in a second…

  • Location pages are designed to nest your Location pages, location + service pages & location + service + sub pages.

Did that just confuse the heck out of you?

Don’t worry…

Chances are your local site will not need to go any deeper than just location pages.

Here’s an example of what we’d recommend Bob do.

Bobspainting.com/locations

  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Hialeah
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Doral
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Coral-Gables
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Miami-Gardens
  • Bobspainting.com/locations/Homestead
 
A couple of key points:
  • Again, we’re following the theme of keeping these URLs as short as possible. There’s no need to include anything other than location/city. Google is smart enough to know that Bob’s a painter, so there’s no need to get cute by adding extra keywords.
  • There is no need to create a city page for your money keyword. In Bob’s case, the money keyword would be “Painters Miami”. His homepage will be designed to rank for this keyword.

Your service hub page is designed to nest all of your service pages.

This is pretty simple.

Bobspaining.com/services/

Again, keep this short and avoid using URL’s with more than one word like:

  • Bobspaining.com/our-services/
  • Bobspaining.com/painting-services/
  • Bobspaining.com/what-we-do/
 
 

Your service pages are designed to rank your main services in your main or “money-maker” location.

Since Bob’s business is located in Miami and naturally makes the majority of its money from customers in Miami, it would make sense for his homepage and services pages to rank in Miami.

Here’s how Bob would do it:

Bobspainting.com/services

  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior
  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior
  • Bobspainting.com/services/residential
  • Bobspainting.com/services/commercial


A question you may have is, “What happens if my business is located outside of Miami, but I do the majority of my business in Miami?”

Good question.

You have three options:

  1. Move your business to Miami
  2. Stay and create a kick*** Miami location page
  3. Stay and attempt to rank your homepage and service page in Miami


I sincerely wish I could give one good answer to this question, but you’ll have to just use your intuition on this one. If your still not sure, consider reaching out to an SEO professional like your friends at Flying Lobo!

Your Service + Sub pages are designed to rank your main sub-services in your main or “money-maker” location.

Similar to location + service + sub service pages, you probably won’t need to dive this deep into your site structure.

Not sure?

I suggest you create amazing service pages with tons of authoratative content. If after 6 months you’re not ranking for all of the long tail keywords surrounding each service, starting pumping out service + sub pages.

Here’s how Bob would do it.

Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/

  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/aluminum
  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/brick
  • Bobspainting.com/services/exterior/vinyl

Bobspainting.com/services/interior/

  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior/walls
  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior/ceilings
  • Bobspainting.com/services/interior/trim


At Flying Lobo, we’re big fans of not doing extra work for minimal return. Even if it means we could squeeze a few extra pennies out of a client and they want us to do this, we’re honest and care enough to advise against it in most situations.

 

Your Blog Hub page is designed to nest your blog posts and categories so site visitors looking for info can find what they want and stay on your site.

If you check out our blog, you’ll notice that it’s categorized by topic making it super easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

For Bob, this would look like:

Bobspainting.com/blog

Your Blog Posts are designed to:

  1. Rank your site for as many high-value keywords as possible
  2. Move leads through the customer journey

Believe it or not, blogging is important for local SEO.

You may ask, “Why do I need to blog if 99% of traffic I’m going to acquire is just going to be from people outside of my service area.”

Good question with a simple answer.

Just like your homepage can pass on link juice to the rest of your pages on your site, your blog posts can do the same.

When you write an awesome blog post that ranks for a few valuable keywords, over time, people are going to start linking to your blog post.

This is going to increase the authority of your blog post AND the pages it links to. Since it’s your blog post, you can link to whatever page on your site you please (homepage, a specific location page, service page, etc.)

 

Lead generation pages are designed to do one thing and one thing only – collect leads.

These pages are not designed to rank on Google. In fact, we’ll no-index these pages to assure searches can’t find them on Google.

Now you may be wondering, “Carlton, if these pages don’t rank on Google, how are people going to find them?”

Simple, from other traffic sources like:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Social Media Posts
  • Email Campaigns
  • Etc.


Basically, you’ll send traffic to a lead generation page directly after pitching them an offer to buy your services. The only two options they’ll have on this page is to take the next step (call, fill out a form, put in their credit card) or leave the page.

The "Essential" Local Site Pages

Most businesses don’t need to utilize all 10 of the local SEO pages.

However, we still believe there are four essential page types that every local site must have.

Here they are:

  1. Homepage (duh!)
  2. Two info pages (about and contact)
  3. Service hub
  4. Service pages

We’ve pumped out dozens of 5-10 page sites that dominate their local market and send our clients more than enough leads to grow their business.

Final Thoughts

As SEO professionals, we put a lot of time and effort into the site structure of our client’s sites. We want to set them up for long-term growth, even if we may not be included in that in the future. If you have big plans for your local business, make sure to hit the drawing board and plan out a proper site structure.

Check Out The Rest Of Our Local SEO Guide

Chapter 3:
How To Rank On Google Maps

Chapter 5:
Local On-Page Optimization

Dominate Your Local Market & Explode Your Lead Generation