Posted by Clayton Johnson | December 11, 2014
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On-Site Optimization, Local Landing Page Creation, & Google Plus+ Page
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What We’re Covering Today
- Setting up your local site, structure, content, & optimization
- Setting up your Google Local page to prepare for domination
What We’re NOT Covering
- Every single boring detail that has been covered 3000x
- Bunch of useless suggestions that make no difference to 99% of people
- How to live in a magical fairy land of unicorns where local plumbers create amazing content instead of plumbing!!!!
Setting Up Your Main Local Website
Local Site Checklists
We’re not covering everything in super fine detail, but if you want a big awesome checklist, see the Local SEO Checklist here. This has pretty much everything in one nice place!
Now let’s get into the main elements and important factors:
Perfect Local Site Structure
What do you do if you don’t have an office or building in every city, but you still want to rank everywhere in your service area?
We see a lot of people that have the idea to set up fake offices / phone numbers to get Google Local listings in different cities. The problem is that it requires verification (They usually send you a postcard or call you) and it’s a pain in the ass.
So instead, we suggest that you just build out landing pages on your site for the areas that you want to rank for. Your main website is your chance to rank in any city / suburb / area that you want!
All you need to do is get out your keyword research and build out pages for each area that you want, like this:
Now that we have the pages built, let’s talk about how to optimize them for search.
Local Site On-Site Optimization
First, we’re going to take our local keyword research report which most likely has a lot of similar terms in it and we’re going to start combing them naturally into longer phrases so that we can rank for more long tails and variations, while at the same time avoiding over-optimization penalties.
Combine Terms To Make Variations / Long Tails & Avoid Over Optimization
Instead of repeating your same keywords in your title, h1, meta etc, use the synonyms or the variations that we came up with. You can combine the phrases to create longer / more complete phrases.
For instance if we have a list like this:
- roofing contractor
- Chicago roofing contractor
- roofing repair
We can turn it into a title tag like “The Best Roofing Repair Contractor in Chicago”
Then instead of repeating the same thing in our h1s, description, etc, we can combine other phrases that we have.
- residential roof repair
- roof company
- gutter contractor
Turns into “Need a residential roof repair company or gutter contractor? Call us today at XXX-XXXX.
See how we combined the terms into one sentence and we don’t repeat the exact same words? This will help us rank for more long-tail terms and help avoid over optimization. Now you want to try to do this as naturally as possible and don’t just keep jamming these everywhere. Try and mix it up + include lots of other text on the page.
Then, add in terms that will help users to click on search results like best, top, reviews, etc.
“The Best Roofing Repair Contractor in Chicago”
Add Non-Geo-Modified Phrases from KW Planner Local Search
Also use non-geo modified terms / phrases we got from Google KW Planner local search. Here’s how:
1. Go into Google Keyword Planner
2. Select “search for new keywords and adgroup ideas”
3. Under targeting choose the areas that you want.
You’ll find a bunch of terms / ideas that you can use on the page. These are non-geo modified terms that may not be obvious, but are being searched by people in your target area. You might find terms or phrases like “dentist near me” or “invisalign cost” or “how much do braces cost” (for a Dentist).
6 Easy Ways To Get Original Content On Local Pages
On of the main problems of building out local landing pages is that many times, especially for service based businesses, you don’t have much to say differently about your services in these different areas, so it’s hard to create original content.
In Google’s current search algo, some websites are getting away with just generating the same content on each page and changing the title tags and h1s to the city name / location and still ranking. The duplicate content penalty doesn’t apply to local the same way as it does to other search results. But with that said, I don’t suggest just copying the same content for each landing page, because we don’t believe it’s going to work forever.
However, if you want to try it, just buy another domain for $10 and go for it! (more properties the better baby!).
Here’s 6 easy ways to create custom content for local landing pages:
1. Local Relevant Info
Information about the area that relates to your service.
2. Info about your service specifically in that area
Your business’s history in the area, why you like the area, what services your provide at that location.
3. Info about the office, building, management team
You can include employee bios etc.
4. Location specific rich media
Pictures, videos, descriptions of office there, work that you’ve done in the area, or about the suburb in general that pertains to your work
Get reviews from customers in that area, or reviews of work you’ve done in that area
6. Maps & Directions
Maps of the area, directions to your office etc.
8 Key Elements Of Your Local Landing Page
Here are all the main elements that you ever local landing page should contain:
1. Keywords in main elements
Variations of your keywords / longtails not repeating in your title, h1s, etc + location
Have your name, address, phone number in schema markup
Map of your location (google map embed)
Including service information, staff info, building info, service in that area + pictures of everything.
5. Trust symbols
Trust symbols of organizations your a part of, BBB accreditation, etc.
6. Contact Form
HUGE Contact Form on right hand side.
7. Big CTA
Tell people what to do – call you, email you, fill out a form, print your coupon, etc.
8. Links to directories for that specific location
Review links or links to local specific pages.
5 Top Elements To Google Local Optimization
Complete everything, as much as possible with tons of info, pictures, etc.
2. Business Name
Use your real business name… not the localized version, no keywords, etc. This will not mess up NAP consistency.
Google is cracking down on non-relevant categories. You should still pick as many that are relevant to you and definitely use all 5 slots.
You can get these by “competitor jacking” – Search for your main keywords, go to competitions local page, jack the competitions categories or using Blumenthal’s local category tool.
If you have a choice, make your address close to the top ranking competitors or center of the area
Get some reviews down asap. Make sure the reviews have your keywords naturally in them.
Whew! Ok, that’s it for today, quick shout outs go to our homies for the information contained in this post:
Adam Steele @ HOTH Local SEO
Our HOTH in-house local SEO machine
Jason Fischer @ SearchRankings.com
Genius technical SEO
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Clayton Johnson is the CMO of The HOTH SEO company. He has over 8+ years experience in the SEO industry and has spoken at events like SEJ Summit. The HOTH has been featured in Inc 5000, Forbes, SMX, Pubcon, Content Marketing World, Affiliate Summit, Brighton and more.