To market local business, it is always a good option to have a number of location-based pages, and supplementary pages that target surrounding cities and regions. Unfortunately, this approach has been abused by nefarious SEO practices to get a little bit more that what they really deserve.
This is the reason why Google’s Doorway Page algorithm has been released which may cause trouble for somewhat innocent businesses in the process. This post is about creating location pages according to the requirements of Google.
Some common examples of doorway pages highlighted by Google include:
- Multiple pages or domain names for specific regions, used to direct users on one page,
- Pages that are directing visitors to specific location on your site
- Similar pages made without browsable hierarchy, to increase search rankings
Combination of organic and local SEO works best if you have a physical location, but due to low-quality, they collide with Google’s Doorway quality checklist. The task can be quite complicated so, you may want to hire best SEO company Toronto to do it.
Understand the Possibilities
To deal with ranking issue, you have to understand what Google doesn’t want, by going through doorway page guidelines and then figure out the opposite things in your page.
- Don’t target multiple cities
This is a challenge as business want to target surrounding regions and cities and that’s only possible if you avoid being aggressive. Picking up important ones will do. If you have to choose among many cities that are in close proximity, pay attention to cities with high returns.
- Avoid low-quality content on landing page
The page must have value, unlike template elements. It must provide answers to the queries asked by visitors. Your search for SEO Toronto service must have become a little bit more complicated now.
- Avoid substantially similar pages
Avoid using cookie cutter text to swap out locations. Use area-covered drop down in navigation menu, so that your page can be found easily. For big sites, use sub-navigation along with areas-covered navigation.
Now, let’s go back to the topic
Creating Quality Landing Pages
By understanding what you shouldn’t do, creating unique, high-quality landing pages will be much easier.
- What Should Be Done?
If you’re one of those who thinks Google speaks in riddles, telling what not to do instead of showing the right way to do it, refer to Google’s Webmaster guide on creating local-business landing pages. See! it really exists.
These guidelines are instrumental for both; single location businesses and multiple location businesses. But some of the points apply specifically for the latter. For example:
- Each location page must have unique URL; and should be indexable
- Use of schema markup is important on these pages so that Google understand them
According to the webinar conducted by Inside Local that also covered a topic of, “How to rank outside your location”, you should:
- Not build too many pages
- Build them unique and useful
- Include them in your navigation
- Use location-specific content
- Structural SEO Settings
Take a look at your SEO settings before jumping into the content.
- URL: hierarchy must be maintained and indicates towards parent-child relationship.
- Internal Linking & Navigation: Link various locations with sub locations together naturally. Link location to service pages and link cities to nearest location page or branch for better association.
- Keyword Targeting: Describe your product/services and locations clearly. Identify all keyword variations and spread them throughout the landing page. Only the best SEO company Toronto will tell you not to over-optimize these pages.
- Structured Markup: with the help of schema, you can describe your content more accurately to Google algorithms so that they can understand and use it.
- Complete Google My Business Listings: Google My Business Listings must be 100% complete. This is actually the information source for Google so it must be filled properly.
- Ideas for Unique Content
For most of us, and many other SEO experts Toronto, this is the ending part. Unique, relevant and high-quality content is all what user wants and Google considers. But this is also the point where we end up creating substantially similar pages. And that’s what Google is after.
So, here are some quick tips for content creation:
- Write unique description of services
- Get customer reviews with proper markups
- Add testimonials
- Make sure case studies exist as part of service page
- Use Maps to show service area
- Snaps can be geo-tagged
- Geo-tag videos according to the location
- Add directions where necessary
- Highlight good clients
- How To Build Your Location Page
In the lights of the lessons learnt above, you can put the pages together in the following manner:
- Above-the-fold content must be conversion-led. It must have clear heading; high quality images; small description about your service, clear and visually appealing call-to-action. Include local elements here, but keep your focus on conversion.
- Below-the-fold content is where you add detail, such as customer reviews and testimonials, case studies, map and directions, gallery and other content. If you intend to add all the elements, use sub-navigation to each page.
- Build Organic Rank
Pages that target surrounding cities and regions do not have local signals. Therefore you need to work harder to improve their organic raking. A better option would be to work on them with “service area” mentality.
Unlike old days of web, you need to decorate your website and demonstrate that you’re the best in the business. Although, location pages get good ranking because of the maps and local signals, city pages need your efforts and time to show up in organic searches. In short, you need to invest time to make them sell your products better.