Local Landing Pages: Ranking Local Search Terms Should each location have its own landing page? Know this. Landing pages are underrated. Name, address, phone number, and hours are entered. You might embed a Google Map for driving directions. If you have numerous locations, you may create material no one will read and repeat
on each page with a different location name. If you’re cocky, you might call to action. Set and forget. What else? Local SEO benefits from that. What else does a location page need to attract customers? Appointment scheduler? Who cares about customers? SEO snobs know Google is our biggest client. Google wants what from location pages? First things first.
Location Pages: Why? PAA FTW ChatGPT will not train itself. It probably won’t. Retailers have four location page types:
Location Details Example: SideTrack Bar & Grill at 30 W. Angela St. Pleasanton, CA 94566.
Site Service/Department Example: SideTrack Bar & Grill Catering.
City Page This usually represents the city (#duh) where various physical sites exist (e.g., Pleasanton, CA),
State Page California is an example of this. County Pages (or Boroughs, Provinces, Prefectures, or whatever your country uses) may be appropriate for your industry. Set up a county page for attorneys who specialize in that county’s laws. 99% of location-based firms should examine these possibilities. Service area businesses (SABs) will need to develop City Pages for each city they serve (e.g., Plumber in Livermore, CA, Plumber in San Ramon, CA, etc.). This can help you target these keywords in Local Organic search engine results pages (SERPs)—those results that normally appear below/above Local Packs—and make your Google Business Profile (GBP) more relevant for such queries.
Location Pages and SEO: Why? Location pages can boost brand SEO despite their simplicity. These pages are optimized for two search queries: Brand Queries. These Google queries are crucial. When someone searches for “Starbucks,” “Starbucks near me,” or “Starbucks Pleasanton,” Google usually returns a location page. If you don’t have a location page, Google may show your homepage, a nearby City Page, or a third-party site like a local business directory that uses your brand name and location for SEO. Of course, “Starbucks hours,” “Starbucks address,” etc. are connected questions. Local Queries. You can attract new consumers with these money queries. Pizza, pizza near me, the finest Pleasanton pizza, etc. Single-location firms can rank for these queries with their homepage, which acts like a location page. Multi-location firms need a page for each location to rank these high-value inquiries in organic results. Location pages have the most external links outside of the homepage. These get backlinks from local media and business directories (called “local citations”). They can distribute link mojo over the site.
Location Pages and Local Pack Rankings: How? Quite simple. Linking your Google Business Profile (GBP) to a location page for your target area is a crucial Local Pack ranking component. I’ve done many tests where we moved the connection to a page that didn’t target the city we wanted to rank in, and Local Pack ranks fell. Rankings improved after switching it back. Your homepage may have more location mojo than your location page for a given place, so try which one works better for GBP. As discussed above, having a service area page can help you rank for certain queries.
What Makes a Good Location Page? NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Business name, address, phone number, and hours. This page’s name and other information should match your business’s GBP. Last year, we examined 100,000 SERPs and discovered that local directory site pages that closely match the business name and other information of relevant GBPs outperformed those that did not. Organize Data LocalBusiness-markup all NAP components. If your firm has a more precise structure, utilize it. Organization schema will assist our robot overlords organize brands like IHG, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, etc. Breadcrumbs to parent City/State URLs with Breadcrumb structure are also important. Target Metadata “Starbucks Pleasanton, CA” should be the title tag and H1 of the page. You can test further targeting (e.g., “Starbucks Coffee in Pleasanton, CA,” “Starbucks Coffee Near Pleasanton, CA”) to see how it affects performance. For “near me” searches, the city is the most crucial factor in the title tag, followed by the state. “Near” helps marginally. An extra 1-2% clicks wouldn’t hurt, right?
Engagement Intangibles Engagement is one of SEO‘s hazy elements. Consider what else a potential consumer could require to find a location page useful. Calls-to-action (CTAs) like online appointment booking, ordering, etc. may indicate to Google that the location page is valuable.
Advanced Local SEO Advanced SEO strategies for someone who somehow obtained buy-in from the rest of the org to prioritize updates to location pages that everyone forgot we even had aren’t rocket science. These have worked for us. It depends: Optimized Copy Start with a simple copy block with a find and replace it with the location name/city that describes your business. It’s cheap and easy to update the copy later. Before investing more, see what that yields. However, tailored copy outperforms page-wide copy. A client site didn’t rank for six months until we changed the location page copy to be distinctive. As with any SEO, test this first. Using phrases related to your topic in your content shouldn’t hurt. Add “Points of Interest” (POIs) to the copy for some businesses. Hotel searches commonly include “near the airport.” Adding those terms and POIs to your location pages can improve relevance for these queries and the target city “entity.” Google may assume you’re relevant to Queens, NY if you mention JFK Airport and the neighbourhoods you service. Multi-location firms should connect to adjacent locations on their location pages. This is for two reasons:
Googlebot has a harder time finding more places, so connecting to them from these pages gives it more reasons to crawl them.
Google may find the location page more relevant if it includes other location names. Since Livermore is next door, a link to “Starbucks Livermore” on the “Starbucks Pleasanton” website may give Google more confidence in the Pleasanton location. Use Topical Images and Videos Location pages are often launched with copy only because they are ignored. However, adding relevant photos to pages can increase rankings in specific sectors. If you run a truck driver school, including a truck driver photo (#duh3). Add photos of recent projects if you remodel. Look at the top-ranking Local Pack pages for your query and make sure your location page has as good or better images and videos. Make sure Google Vision API recognizes your image. Category Pages Last year, we examined Local Packs for 10,000,000 keywords in 40 e-commerce categories in 5,000 U.S. markets. Location pages that linked to category pages (like Target.com’s Dublin, CA page linking to its Video Games Category Page) outranked those that didn’t. This simple strategy can make a difference. Prioritize categories and links. Local Ratings Customer evaluations, especially from the page’s target area, can increase performance. I think a frequently updated review feed provides Google with an incentive to come and prioritize the page. Before implementing this, read Google’s user review guide and its standards for designating “self-serving” reviews. Note: I’ve rarely seen a site penalized for violating these regulations, but don’t be Patient Zero. The Staff! We recently worked with a moving firm and found that many of their top-ranking sites contained local team photos. My Sterling Sky buddy Carrie Hill says, “I recommend putting employee faces on websites, confirmations, and reminders whenever someone enters a client’s house, car, or business.” Kitchen Sink Other features that may enhance interest in location pages include: Community and philanthropy. Local sponsors. Careers and hiring. Pricing information (with Price schema, of course).
BBB accreditation for each store and “Voted Best Boba Shop in Pleasanton!” Google Merchant Center Data Increases Conversions Google Merchant Center has a lot of data about product listing advertising (PLAs) that can help you boost location page conversions. The TL;DR: Check your Google Merchant Center (GMC) to check which products have the highest impressions and CTR in the SERPs when connected to your GBP. Local Surfaces report. Location pages should feature these products. Google indicates interest. Google Merchant Centre: A Local SEO Goldmine for Retailers explains this bizarre trick.
Should I Avoid Location Pages? We’ve tried everything with these over the past decade or two. Avoid these: Unneeded Location+Service Pages Many brands link location detail pages to service/department pages. Home Depot offers pages for Home Services, Truck Rental, and Garden Centres. These pages have many non-SEO benefits. A city-specific truck rental page may help you rent a truck. However, this traffic play is rarely fresh. Why say this? We found that 90% of organic traffic to tens of thousands of location + service sites is brand traffic, which may be cannibalizing your searches. These may be worth doing to boost conversions in some cases. However, the increase in “thin” URLs, may hurt organic traffic and SEO. One client with 100,000 URLs launched these sites, creating 1,000,000 new URLs. That went well. If a department or service gets a GBP, it may be useful developing a local page for SEO. Not all cases apply. Location-less Pages A store site we worked on generated pages for cities around their locations but without locations. The sites looked like other location pages but connected to neighbouring locations instead of NAP details. Over 130,000 were at this national site. Naturally, organic traffic was almost nonexistent. SABs need this strategy to rank outside their physical location (more on that later). Google seems to avoid showing no-location sites for queries that hint a searcher is looking for a real location. Don’t make local pages for every brand (e.g., /ca/Pleasanton/flaming-hot-cheetahs). This customer had 500,000 and almost no organic traffic. Thin Location Pages SABs often develop many location pages for their service areas. They may even create exclusive material. The problem is that thin plays are getting manual actions. Google doesn’t seem to do this anywhere. Many queries have “thin” location pages. Now what? Every SEO faces it. Improve a page by studying what content performs well for a query type. Location pages have low standards. Only Create Pages With Local Intent We completed a job for a 30-city attorney. 54 practice areas have location + practice pages. Google must decipher 1,620+ pages. We initially measured “local intent” for search results in each practice area. Local intent can be detected by what percentage of a SERP comprises “local” material (e.g., Local Packs, cities or states in titles, suggested or related searches). Low-local intent queries don’t need location pages. This attorney has 300+ location pages for non-local queries. For SEO, redirect these pages to a single “national” service page. Check local purpose before investing much in location pages. It could save time and money. I could continue. If you made it this far, you probably have plenty of JIRA tickets to prioritize, but these deceptively simple pages have near-infinite SEO opportunities. Gunga galunga. Special thanks to Carrie Hill, Amy Toman, Mike Blumenthal, Joy Hawkins, Brandon Schmidt, and Will Scott for their input. When I was procrastinating, the LSG team yelled at me like my mother.