With Google’s ever increasing favour of localised results, the pressure to optimise your site based on locations has never been so great. Fortunately here at Unity Media Eastern we are experienced in helping local businesses get more out of their websites.
In this article I’m going to be talking about the benefits of localised landing pages.
As humans we are lazy, we like to know the answer to our questions yesterday. So when a searcher is looking for services or businesses, they want to know straight away if the site they have found operates within their area. A well constructed landing page does exactly that. If a user knows they have found a business in their area they are more likely to engage with the site and stick around while they investigate your services or products further.
In addition to this user experience benefit there are, of course, SEO benefits too. As previously mentioned, Google continues to develop and push out local optimised results. There are several different signals that Google and other search engines look at to determine the local relevancy of a site. One of those signals is localised landing pages. By optimising pages to highlight your presence and services in specific area you will be sending town / city focused signals to search engines.
There are some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to local landing pages to ensure you stay within the Google webmaster guidelines.
Don’t Duplicate Content
It can be very tempting to change one or two keywords to focus the content for each area, after all these pages serve the same purpose right? – Wrong! Each of these pages will appear to search engines as a separate page and if you duplicate the content you are likely to trigger a duplication penalty. This is counterproductive and would prevent you from ranking instead of helping you. In addition to this the content will be very generic and uninspiring to locals. There are many things you can do to create unique content for each area, here are some ideas;
Case studies of work completed, with text and images.
Talk about events you take part in or sponsor in the area. Show case local testimonials with local schema mark up.
Don’t Use Virtual Premises
Not only is it against Googles webmaster guidelines, it is also very misleading to users. Unless you have an actual bricks-and-mortar presence in a town or city do not say you have.
Do Link From The Navigation
Linking from the main navigation makes these pages easy to find for users and sends relevancy signals to search engines. It’s important to use a bit of common sense here, if you only have a handful off target areas linking these pages from the main navigation makes sense. However if you have 50 different target areas this wouldn’t make much sense to a user. If this is the case for you, think about which towns or cities are the main targetted areas and link to these from the navigation.
Do Put NAP Details In Footer
Again this rule comes with a common sense cavat. If you have multiple stores all over the country, putting all of the store details in the footer will not only look odd to a user, it will look spammy to search engines. I would say not to put more than 5 physical locations in the footer. If you have lots of locations, then create a store finder page with a map locator and link to that from the footer in addition to the main location listings.
Local landing pages will help you demonstrate your local relevancy to both users and search engines. It’s worth taking the time and effort to get these pages right to ensure you get the maximum results from them. If you need help with creating local landing pages, or developing a local presence online, why not get in touch today or call us on 01473350485