[intro]Is your local business visible when people search online for goods or services “near me”? It had better be. According to Google, there are 34X more local searches today than in 2011. Here’s how to create local SEO optimized landing pages that will (A) enable your neighbors to find your business, and (B) convince them to go there.[/intro]
What Are Local Landing Pages?
Local landing pages are geared toward the business’s physical location. This is usually the city and state, but multi-branch operations can also have a separate page for each street address. The Anthropologie chain of retail stores is one example of this practice. Search “Anthropologie Washington DC” and you’ll get a list of its locations within the city. Click on the location of your choice and you’ll be taken to the landing page for that branch.
In addition to organic search results such as the Anthropolgie example above, the local landing page can receive click-throughs from your online ads, marketing emails, social media pages and any other inbound links on websites, blogs, etc.
Local SEO Optimization of Your Landing Pages
In order to be displayed in local search results, your landing pages must contain specific elements that Google and other search engines look for. Most of them are a matter of common sense and paying attention to details, yet it’s surprising how many businesses miss a step — and make themselves invisible as a result.
- Include your location in SEO-critical places. This includes the landing page title, URL, meta tags and descriptions. It is especially critical that the local landing page have its own discoverable URL, not one that’s only available through a search or branch finder within your site. If Google can’t see it, Google won’t display it.
- Include main keyword(s) in page title and/or meta data. What words will searchers use to find your products or services? Those words should be strategically placed alongside your business name and location.
- Check consistency of usage. Is your address listed EXACTLY the same way everywhere, down to the last dot and space? Or is it S.E. 10th St. on your Google Local Business page, South East 10 Street on your Facebook page and Southeast 10th Street in your HTML coding? This one factor can make the difference between top 3 Google ranking and zero. The same goes for all the other elements such as phone number, keywords and Google Local Business page categories.
- Check all inbound links. From Twitter to industry forum citations, a link that claims to take users to your local landing page had better really do that, and not throw them over to the main website homepage. Believe us, Google is keeping track.
- Populate the entire site with location info. Every page on your business website should have a link to the location pages. This makes finding you easier for both the search engine and the people looking to do business with you.
- Check the entire site for SEO quality. Since poor overall quality can drag down landing page performance, it’s time for a review. Does the site load quickly? Does it have responsive display for mobile devices? Is it easy to navigate? Is the content relevant and unique? Are the keywords consistent throughout? Do you know of any Google penalties in effect, such as for using black hat links?
- Don’t over-optimize. There’s a temptation to get greedy and create a separate landing page for every neighborhood you service, thus hogging the entire search results page. To prevent this, Google’s Doorway Pages algorithm looks for certain behaviors, including a large number of domain names, funneling users to one page, or pages that are “substantially similar” and outside of the “browsable hierarchy”.
- Provide good landing page content. As with every other page that Google crawls, relevancy and uniqueness are the major determining factors in Local SEO ranking. This is where good marketing technique comes in; and that’s what we’ll discuss next.
What Should Be on Local Landing Pages?
Here you will tell prospective customers everything they need to know to find and visit your local business. And you will give them some great reasons for doing so. As an added bonus, a quality crafted landing page will be rewarded by the search engines with higher placement in their results.
- Location information. Your street address, phone number and hours of operation must all be there, naturally. A street map and “get directions” function are also pretty much standard nowadays. Depending on the nature of your local business, the email address of your sales or customer service team might be helpful.
- Features and benefits of your business. Who are you, what do you do, why are you better than your competition? This is your brand’s Unique Selling Proposition, which should be consistent with your other marketing materials. Start at the top with a strong, benefit-oriented headline and you’ll be a giant step ahead of 90% of the landing pages out there.
- Special offers. Local SEO landing pages are the ideal place to advertise a great deal that’s only available at a specific location. For example, a restaurant chain might feature different pricing at each branch. Of course, it’s also a terrific incentive for people to take the next step.
- Credentials. Show that you are trustworthy and competent by displaying your official accreditations (i.e. Better Business Bureau), licenses, awards, customer testimonials or links to online reviews (i.e. Yelp).
- Call to action. Tell viewers what you want them to do next — loud, clear and several times. You can have them click over to your website home or contact page, call you, email you, or get in their car and visit you in person. If your landing page is long enough to require scrolling down, make sure there’s at least one call to action visible at all times. Put the biggest one at the very bottom, where it’s the last thing they’ll see.
A successful local SEO optimized landing page brings together SEO and marketing knowhow so that each supports the other and delivers maximum results. That’s exactly what we do at ACS Creative. Call us today and find out how our teams of experts can create a powerful landing page for your business.