SEO's have been using location pages for quite some time. They can be an effective tactic to help your local business rank for location searches beyond your physical store location.
If you want to increase your local search rankings, location pages are definitely something to consider.
Let me begin this article by defining what location pages are first.
What Are Location Pages?
Location pages are also known as local landing pages, or as Google likes to call it - doorway pages. They are used to target long-tail, location-specific terms.
In other words, location pages are optimized landing pages created to generate highly specialized location terms that don't have much outside competition for your site SEO.
Location pages are perfect for these types of businesses:
- Businesses with multiple locations brick-and-mortar who want to advertise their various locations.
- Businesses with services in several cities who want to advertise to customers in and around the city.
But how does Google see and treat local landing or doorway pages? Do local landing pages hurt rankings? Let's find out next.
Location Pages According To Google
Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries.
That all sounds fine (after all, aren't all pages designed to rank highly for keywords?). The problem is that doorway pages can lead to multiple similar pages in search results, and all of them lead the user to the same place.
Here are some examples of doorway pages according to the same statement by Google:
- Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page
- Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)
- Substantially similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browseable hierarchy
Watch the video below to learn more about what Google thinks about doorway pages and what actions they could take if they detect violations.
Google also released a series of questions to help users figure out whether they're looking at a doorway page:
- Is the purpose of optimizing for search engines and funneling visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site? Are they an essential part of your website's user experience?
- Is the content presented on site precise? Is the purpose of the pages to rank on the generic term?
- Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that's already on the site for the purpose to capture more search traffic?
- Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic? Are they sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
- Do these pages stand for themselves? How hard are they to navigate to from different parts of your site? Are links to those pages created just to conquer search engines?
So, are landing or doorway pages good for websites? Well, YES and NO.
Yes, if you only have one main location page, which includes details about your business location or cities you cover within that location page.
No, if you have multiple location pages for different locations and they include similar information.
Location Pages And Local SEO
For the record, location pages are NOT local SEO. However, location pages can be a tactic to use in your local SEO plan.
Local SEO is geographically-specific SEO designed to ensure that your customers can find your location in real life. And since almost half of all Google searches have local intent, it's a valuable market to target. The easiest way to remember it is geographic markers.
For example, if you own a restaurant in different locations in Jefferson County, Colorado, the customers you really must target should be in Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. Why? Because the possibility of these customers visiting your restaurant is very high.
Let's jump into the vital elements of an excellent location page.
Key Elements Of An Effective Location Page
A useful location page is composed of elements that match the rules of SEO in general.
In this section, you will learn that a location page is more than just a page. It's more than just advertising multiple locations.
Let's hop to it!
Name, Address, Phone Number
If you have a physical location in the city, your NAP or Name, Address, Phone Number should be an exact match copy on your location page as your Google My Business or GMB profile, and other online citations and directories. If not, you need to learn how to manage it to make sure your NAP is consistent on all online platforms.
It is advisable to include the hours of operations on your location page, especially if you have multiple locations. Consider the specific time zone, holiday hours, and other special occasions when adding business hours.
When creating location pages, don't shy away from adding photos. We all know that pictures are an excellent type of content. A lot of marketers omit this element, thinking they'd create a useful location page without a single photo.
Include both interior and exterior photos to give users a more realistic expectation before they step inside your store.
Description Of Business Location
Always keep in mind to uniquely describe each location according to:
- Services offered
- Products and brands
- Nearby locations
- USP or Unique Selling Proposition
NEVER apply the same business description on all location pages and replace the location name.
Calls-to-action or CTAs are perfect for lead generation and other digital marketing functions. If you want your visitors to get directions to your business, reserve an appointment, or buy now on your location page, then add a CTA.
Directions To Business
Adding directions on how to find your business can help target geo-specific keywords. It also focuses on your copy. Plus, customers love it when they can find your location quickly.
Here are some tips on how to include directions to business in your location page:
- Add instructions on how to get to your business location from two directions (East/West or North/South) from main highways.
- Always mention nearby local businesses in your directions for easy landmark tracking.
Use Google Maps API to create a map that shows nearby local businesses to you. Doing so helps customers find your exact location from where they are.
Finding the most relevant and specific local business type could help customers understand what your business does. It sets proper expectations and eliminates confusion.
Use Schema Markup to find informative, descriptive, and intelligent local business types.
Title And Meta Description
This is SEO 101! A useful location page has a highly optimized meta description and title tag.
Your title and meta description must always include a brand name, geo-specific keyword, and keyword.
Your location page can use internal links that will help visitors navigate your site content easily. You can link to nearby locations, service pages, social media profiles, the company about page, and recently published blogs. All of which can bring more value to your visitors.
Local SEO lives and breathes on fast page speed. A fast loading page provides a high-quality user experience, which Google likes.
Use Google's PageSpeed Insights to test the speed of your location page. It's a free tool.
Monitor And Manage Your Reviews
Online users read reviews before they transact with a business. Including online reviews on your location page is a good practice.
Remember that reviews, both positive and negative, say a lot about your business. If you're a local business, it will be a massive help if you manage your local business reviews properly.
And that's a wrap!
Creating location pages is not easy, at least the first time. With the right amount of time and practice, you will get the hang of it.
I collected a list of resources to help you more with local landing pages. Also, don't be shy to TALK TO US if you want to learn more.
Recommended Location Pages Resources
The Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Local Landing Pages That Convert
Overcoming Your Fear of Local Landing Pages
Local SEO Strategy for Multiple Locations: Everything You Need to Know
So what do you think about this one? Is it helpful in creating your first location page?
Leave a comment below and let's discuss.
Also, if you think this article is worthy of SHARE, it would be a great honor! Thanks for the time, and I will talk to you in the next one.
Need more local SEO tips? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Local SEO.
Header image courtesy of JumpStory.