If you services customers in multiple locations or have multiple physical locations for a brick and mortar business, then you’ll want to pay close attention to this article teaching your how to design location pages.
We’re going to show you a strategy that few of your competitors are implementing, and even fewer are implementing correctly. If you want to rank your in multiple cities outside of your main city, then buckle up and grab a pen.
Let’s get into it…
What Is A Location Page?
A location page is a page designed to rank for one specific location.
A common question we get is, “why can’t I just rank my homepage for all of our locations?”
In a few cases depending on the competition of these markets, you may be able to rank your homepage in multiple markets, but when you start venturing into more competitive keywords (high-ticket services and/or more populated locations), you run into one BIG problem.
Your homepage simply won’t have the juice to rank in multiple locations…
This is where creating pages hyper targeted to specific locations/cities comes in.
Don't Skip This Step: Create A Location Hub Page
Before you start hammering away at city pages, you’ll want to create a location hub page, where you’ll nest all of your location pages. Depending on how many city pages you plan on creating, you can also link to them within your homepage.
The ideal url for this page is site.com/locations/
In the menu, it will look something like this:
For the design of your location page, you don’t need to get too fancy. Just make sure if someone lands on this page they can quickly grab the information they need.
What To Include In A Location Page
It’s important that all of your location pages have unique content if you want them to rank. Right now, there’s an endless abyss of city pages on Google that won’t ever break into the 1st page, let alone the top spot. With the recommendations below, your city page should be able to reach a MINIMUM of 500 words.
We like to add 1,500 words of relevant and useful information to make sure we really knock it out of the park. Your city pages may be competing on the 1st page with the homepages of competitors who are targeting their entire site for that specific area.
Include your name, address, and phone number.
2. Connection To The City
It’s helpful if you have a connection to the city you’re writing the city page about.
Here are some examples of what we mean when we say “connection to the city”:
- If you grew up in the city.
- If your business has supported local events and charities.
- An employee grow up there.
- You know of any current events in the city that may or may not relate to your industry.
- This city has specific regulations, laws, or guidelines regarding doing work their.
- If you have a memorable story about a job or client you have in this city.
If you can’t come up with an angle to connect your business to the city, then maybe you probably shouldn’t have a city page for it.
3. Description Of Your Services
I get it… Writing about the same service over and over again takes a lot of time and resources, but it’s important you write 100% original content for each location page. Describing your services, what makes you different, and your process is where the majority of your word count will come from.
Post photos of your work in the specific area. Again, don’t just post the same photos over and over again. Go the extra mile and find photos of your work in a specific area. This will help with rankings and user experience.
5. Description Of Business Location
If you run a brick and mortar business, customers will be driving to your location after reading your city page. It would be helpful if you include driving instructions to your location.
When designing pages, you always have to put yourself in the shoes of the end user. When you do that, you realize that they have no idea who you are and if your business is “legit” or not. Searchers are going to make a buying decision within a couple of minutes, and a great way to stack the cards in your favor is to build trust with them as quickly as possible.
Now, you can do that by talking about how great you are, or…
Let other people talk about how great you are.
Which one do you think is better?
7. Multiple CTA's
A fully optimized city page will tend to run a bit long. We recommend about 1,000+ words in a location page along with photos.
This will create a lot of scrolling for the end user and the last thing you’ll want to do is take a hot lead and turn them cold because they have to scroll a quarter mile to find your phone number.
We like to tastefully sprinkle three or so CTA’s on a location page.
One on the above the fold section, one about halfway down the page, and one at the bottom.
Another tip (which you should apple to every page on your site) is to mix up the CTA’s. Meaning, instead of just putting your phone number, test adding contact forms or even direct links to your scheduling software. Some people will want to pick up the phone and talk to a real person, some will just want to fill out a form, and some wanted to schedule an estimate yesterday.
City Page Example
The Do's Of Location Pages
Write Unique Content For Each Page
I know this can be a drag, but it will pay off big time when your site is ranking on the first page in cities that you never go to outside of to do business. Unique content is important because it 100% improves the user experience and it makes the Google overlords happy.
Google’s Doorway Update started a crackdown effort on duplicate content, with the biggest culprits being city pages. If I was a betting man, I’d put a penny on Google continuing to roll out updates that penalieze sites with tons of city pages repeating the same content over and over again.
In the game of SEO, doing the extra work to write out unique content, improve the user experience, and just not do fishy stuff will always be rewarded over the long term.
Make Them Easy To Find/Crawl
Staying on the theme of low-quality pages, Google has a bone to pick with pages that are called “doorway” pages (hence the name doorway update).
According to Brafton, doorway pages are defined as, “low-quality pages (or groups of pages, or entire websites) optimized to rank well for specific keywords that act as a door between users and content. Characteristically, they offer little value to visitors and serve the sole purpose of boosting SEO value.”
To make sure you DON’T do this, make your pages easy to find in your navigation and even place a link to each one on your homepage under an “areas we serve” section.
The Dont's Of Location Pages
Be Reasonable About How Many You Create
Before you start popping out city pages, do a bit of in-depth research into the market to see if it’s even justified to create a city page for a specific location.
Ask questions like:
- Does this area have a big enough population?
- Do we actually service this location often?
- Do we have a physical location here or do we have crews that make it out here?
Asking these questions allows us to take a step back and make sure we’re not just filling up Google with low-quality pages. Not only does Google hate that, but their Doorway Update attempted to take steps towards combating search results being stuffed with overambitious city page campaigns.
Do NOT Create A City Page For Your Main Location
This is a common mistake we see a lot of local businesses make when they attempt to optimize their site by creating city pages. As we discussed in our local site structure article, one of your homepages main functions is to rank for your main service in your main city.
If you create a city page for this same location, you risk can cannibalizing the keyword. This will “confuse” Google and force it to decide which page actually should rank on the top of the first page. Unfortunately, Google will pick neither and stuff both pages on the 2nd page.
Do NOT Create A City Page For Each City + Service
It may be tempting to create a city page for every city and service, but trust me when I say this will become a hot mess FAST.
Not only will you bore the crap out of readers, but search engines will sniff this out like a pack of wolves.
Location pages are one of the top “hacks” for ranking your business in multiple locations. We’ve seen clients location pages collectivly outperform their homepage.
How does this happen? Because they serve so many locations that the total population and search traffic adds up to be higher than that of their hub location.
Imagine what this could do for you?