This post describes how you can use city-specific landing pages to improve your search engine positioning. City-specific landing pages are used to promote your business for each city/town that you serve. This is an important part of your SEO strategy.
The recent emphasis by Google and the other search engines on delivering local search results is somewhat of a double-edged sword. If you own a small business that serves a single town or city, their focus on local businesses is a real boon for you.
However, if your small business serves several towns and cities, you are likely to find yourself shut out of the local search results in most of the cities you serve. This is because Google Places, Yahoo Local and the others list businesses by the city in which they are located. That sure doesn’t help you if you serve several cities.
So how do you get your business to show up in the search results for all of the markets you serve?
Search engine advertising is one solution and it’s actually a pretty good way to go – usually very inexpensive, you can target the cities you want and you have full control over how much you spend for each market.
However, our recommendation here is to use a separate city-specific landing page to promote your business for each city you serve.
These pages are what we call “off menu” pages as they are not included in your site’s navigation menu. They will, however, include all of your site’s navigation and should have the same look and feel as the rest of your site.
Easy Way To Create City-Specific Landing Pages
Make a copy of your home page for each city and then customize it for the city you want to promote in the search engines. Here are some important things to know;
- Adjust the page <title> and Meta tags to match the city. The keywords should highlight the city and your type of business. You should probably use two or three keyword phrase variations, such as San Ramon Landscaping, San Ramon Landscapers, San Ramon Gardeners. Don’t overdo it. The search engines only pay attention to the first few keywords.
- Change the content of the page to highlight your keyword phrase several times. Include your primary keyword phrase phrase in the page heading and in bold several times on the page.
- It is important that your city-specific landing page has some content that is different from your home page. Google will actually penalize you for using identical content. You can overcome this easily by adding some content that is specific to the city you are promoting. This can be virtually anything and can appear at the bottom of the page.
That’s pretty much it for creating the city-specific pages landing pages except to make sure you name the file so that it matches your keyword phrase. For instance, if your keyword phrase is San Ramon Landscaping, you would name the file sanramonlandscaping.xxx. Don’t separate the words with spaces or underscores. You can use hyphens but they aren’t necessary.
Promote Your Landing Pages
Once you have created your city-specific landing pages and uploaded them to your web server, you should let the search engines know they exist.
The best way to do this is to create a new XML Sitemap for your website. There are several websites where you can do this online for free. We have had good results at http://xml-sitempas.com
Save the XML Sitemap to your hard drive and then upload it to your website. The search engines will find it the next time they crawl your site but you can speed things up a lot by submitting your sitemap directly to the search engines. They will crawl your website immediately.
Google even offers a service that will create your sitemap in the format they want and upload it for you. For info on submitting your sitemap to Google, check out https://support.google.com/sites/answer/100283?hl=en
Need Some Help?
If you are unfamiliar with creating and editing web pages, you may prefer to hire a professional to help you. It should be fairly inexpensive to do this for your site and the potential for growing your business will outweigh the cost many times.