Local Search Marketing Secrets Revealed, part 1
Some job titles are funnier than others. We once thought Potato Purchaser, Campbell Soup Company, Creamy Soup Division was hilarious. Today, public relations pros are called Brand Warriors or Evangelists. Managers are Thought Leaders. The HR person is Chief People Herder.
While these digital age designations sound silly, they are, of course, bestowed sparingly on some of the most talented, technically astute professionals commanding the web. So who better to consult than the Local SEOers in compiling a guide to putting together the best Local Search Landing Pages. It’s a real title with real expertise: helping businesses gain an edge over the local competition.
Local Landing Pages. The Name Says It All
There are two situations that require and benefit from local landing pages. The first is if your business has multiple locations in the same city or somewhere else. The other is if you’re an SAB (Service Area Business) with one home office serving a number of areas surrounding the city.
Local landing pages, also known as city landing pages, are designed specifically to help companies gain organic seo rankings for each of the towns they service, with or without a brick-and-mortar location. Linking back to the website and tailored to promote a specific geographic area within the company’s scope, these carefully crafted pages can satisfy the Google algorithm and increase the chance of ranking against competition based in the area.
In the example below, the home page for Capital Senior Living gets right to the point. As an aggregator of senior centers all over the country it has just one goal: to redirect the visitor to a center in their desired state, city and perhaps zip code. So there are two convenient ways to search immediately. Each local landing page (second photo) features the address top left and city-specific feature below.
Google My Business Page
When starting out on designing a local landing page to add to a website, the first task is to get your Google My Business page in order. For multiple offices to rank in the local “snack packs,” each office address links from the Google My Business listing to its respective local landing page on the company’s website. Do not publish fake addresses on city landing pages as a way to appear more local. Post office boxes and virtual offices are considered ineligible in Google local search marketing.
It’s essential to differentiate one landing page from another. That’s the whole purpose of having them. It’s also the best way to please the search engines. As with any site content, creativity is key. Research and generate enough new information about the business to avoid recycling weak or repetitive content. Don’t just substitute the city names in a block of common copy. Take the time to develop some hook that anchors the business to select locales.
There’s always an abundance of services, tips, news or advice you can offer that is unique to each city (such as groundbreakings, code compliance laws, personnel changes, sales results, etc.). Make use of all of them to appeal to the community.
Below you have the main landing page for Atmos Energy. On both local landing pages, the news about upgrading pipelines is repeated. But each page has a unique discussion of various locations around that state. For Colorado, a sidebar features an update on pipeline replacement, but for Kansas, the sidebar discusses what’s happening on the Kansas/Colorado border.
Use the Navigation Bar
It’s important to make your local landing pages an integral part of the website. Don’t hide them so they are hard to get to and never seen. Position them in the navigation bar linked to a pull down menu.
Ebby Halliday Realtors offers a map followed by photos of each location. Click through for a unique storefront shot, location description, video and list of agents for each satellite office.
Add Appropriate Visuals
To instantly anchor your business to a place, take pictures of recognizable landmarks– a bridge, statue, even a street corner can be a signpost. Imagine your branded vehicle or uniformed employee in front of icons from five different cities. For authenticity, tag and label photos and mention the target city in video scripts.
Testimonials from local customers hold much credence as well. Additionally, brick-and-mortar businesses can link to Yelp and other ratings providers.
If you have well-known clients, get permission to tout it! You can say, “We installed the stained-glass windows at the Santa Fe Opera,” “We catered the opening of the Philadelphia Film Festival,” or “We supplied 800 tons of sand for the new water park in Knoxville, Tennessee.”
Videos of people who either staff each brick-and-mortar office or go out and serve the SAB’s customers can localize your company, too.
If there is some aspect that changes from one location to another or from city to city , illustrate it on the page. For example, chart a class schedule for a community college that’s unique to each campus, or show a roofing company’s recommended list of materials for hurricane zones versus snow centers.
In the example below, the boutique hotel chain NYLO uses photography, illustration and descriptions about the neighborhoods to distinguish its different locations.
Assess your own and your competition’s local landing pages for quality of content, usefulness and usability. Do they employ welcome texts distinguishing the features and services in each city? Is there at least one unique review, reference or graphic per page? Are there tips and solutions pertinent to that particular city? If you’d like to work with a local search company, please feel free to contact us. We handle local search marketing for many of our clients.