If you work for or operate a service area business (SAB), odds are high that you work and operate in more areas than just where your business is located. The battle then becomes making sure Google finds your website relevant for all those areas. There are numerous ways to optimize your site for local search so that you can be found in multiple locations. For the time being, one of which is creating location pages.
What Are Location Pages?
In its simplest definition, location pages for SEO (or sometimes called geo pages) are pages on a website that indicate cities/areas that you either have a physical address for, or that you serve your clients in.
When looking at location pages for brick-and-mortar businesses – think offices, stores, restaurants, or any other physical location – the creation of a service page is used to note any of the cities/areas you operate a location. For example, if you have a small restaurant chain that operates in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary, then you may create geo pages for each city, making sure each page has the correct name, address, and phone number of the location present.
On the flip side, if you’re a service-area business and offer services to clients in different areas, it might be helpful to create location pages for SEO for cities or areas even if you don’t have a physical office there. For example, if you are a roofer serving clients throughout the greater Raleigh-Durham area, these geo pages might be a great choice in targeting all the areas in the area.
How to Write Location Pages for SEO
To write out strong location pages for SEO, you need to take into consideration a few important aspects that are different from standard service pages.
Emily Brady from Moz puts forth this mindset when developing pages. She states, “the question isn’t, ‘How should I go about creating an awesome location page?’, but rather, ‘Am I giving customers enough unique value to even justify this page in the first place?’”
When developing geo pages for SEO it is important to be mindful of writing these pages with the user in mind and not the search engine. Google released helpful content and spam updates from late August to October of 2022. As part of these updates, Schieler Mew, admin of the Facebook group Google SEO Mastermind posted a video showing what they saw with hundreds of service-area businesses. These SABs noticed the wide-scale deindexing of “duplicate content.” Many saw jumps in dozens of pages deindexed because of this update, focused mostly on location pages with low quality content. Inversely, it was noted that sites with location pages that used unique content weren’t deindexed.
To avoid similar deindexing issues, writing out new location pages for SEO should avoid using the same content for each page only, where the only changes made are the target location and keywords. Instead, SABs should focus on writing out pages that provide unique value which only applies to the location the page is about. This type of content takes more work to create, but as seen after Google’s most recent updates, it is worth the additional time to avoid potential deindexing.
What Should a Location Page Include?
To make sure the content created for SAB location pages provide unique value, there are a few items to consider when developing geo pages for SEO.
Write localized content in paragraph-form content: When writing this content, it is important to understand what questions people want answered about the location page. Adding an FAQ section may help answer questions about cost, the process, local examples of work, etc.
Content here should also focus on how services could vary depending on the location. For example:
- Consider listing out offers and specials for the area. While offers and specials don’t need to be specific for each target location, providing some that are geographically relevant may be an opportunity to help build value for local customers.
- Include strong call to actions (CTAs) for conversion best practice. While it is important to try and get a page ranking, it is just as important to remember that once someone lands on the page, the goal is for them to act via calls, forms submitted, etc.
Location pages for SEO can be utilized by both brick-and-mortar and service-area businesses to different lengths to help with online visibility. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, it may be helpful to add location pages for SEO for each of your physical locations to help with local rankings. Service-area businesses can utilize them as well, but need to be more careful about the language used since they don’t have “physical” offices in said locations. As of now, writing location pages with unique content, that focuses on the searcher over the search engine, can be an effective way to helping generate local rankings for those targeted geo pages. There is talk amongst SEOs on sites like Search Engine Land that Google will eventually fade this tactic out of SEO practices; treating all location pages the same, no matter the content quality, and deindexing them.
There are alternatives to take to future proof your SEO efforts:
- Targeting your primary service area in your h-tags and page titles
- Adding a general service area page to showcase your entire service radius
- Adding project pages. These can act like blogs with both SEO friendly content & photos of the work done
- Work with local news organizations to garner high quality backlinks
Townsquare Interactive Can Help You Expand Your Local Visibility
The team at Townsquare Interactive specializes in creating marketing campaigns for service-area businesses with the goal of expanding and targeting multiple locations with a service area. Our marketing specialists and teams of subject matter experts can provide personalized suggestions for how to take your marketing campaign to the next level.
Fill out the form below to learn more about our packages and jumpstart your SEO campaign.
About the Author | Eric Reeder
Eric Reeder is a Team Lead and Sr. SEO Analyst at Townsquare Interactive. He started in 2018 in as an onboarding specialist before moving to the SEO team to better pursue his career goals. He is passionate about using SEO to help local businesses grow and succeed. In his free time, Eric can be found building LEGO kits, playing the guitar, or enjoying a hazy IPA around town.