How to Design and Implement A Local Landing Page SEO Program
14 minute read
Published on July 3, 2018
How often do you go to Google to search for something like “auto mechanic in Seattle” or “pharmacy in 10019?” If you’re like most people, the answer is probably quite often; 89 percent of people do local searches at least once a week, with 58 percent searching locally once a day on average.
Local searches also drive sales: 50 percent of smartphone users and 34 percent of computer or tablet users who perform local searches make a purchase within a day.
The bottom line is — local traffic is significant and valuable. Many businesses are taking advantage of this through local SEO, which most often revolves around creating and managing their Google My Business (GMB) profile and local citation building. That’s important, but it does miss a couple things:
- A lot of organic traffic goes to search results beneath the “local pack” — the local results and map section pictured below. The amount of traffic going to the local pack varies a lot by industry with some industries like restaurants seeing most traffic going to the local pack, whereas rehabilitation centers see significantly less.2. If you don’t have a physical location for each location you service, you can’t create a GMB account for that location — and that means missing out on local traffic
This represents a huge lost opportunity — for you and your potential customers.
To capitalize on this opportunity, many businesses create local landing pages (often called city or state pages) to rank for these local searches and connect with customers in those markets.
Why Local Landing Pages Matter
Local landing pages can benefit your business in multiple ways, but the biggest benefits are:
- Search traffic: Ranking for keywords with local intent so your pages show up directly beneath the local pack
- Better engagement: Connect with your local customers by sharing information relevant to their area
- More leads: Companies with more landing pages get a higher number of leads than those with fewer landing pages
- Competitive advantage: In many industries, creating local landing pages is not a widely used tactic or it’s done poorly, which means you can leapfrog your competition
Increased Search Traffic
There’s a huge amount of search traffic with local intent on the major search engines, predominantly Google. Capturing that local traffic can prove challenging, especially for businesses that don’t take advantage of all local SEO opportunities available to them.
Google My Business, for example, only allows address listings for the area where a business has a physical location, leaving your brand out in the cold if you don’t have multiple brick-and-mortars but you do service multiple areas.
The inability to create a Google My Business page for other relevant areas only means you won’t appear in the local pack.
While many searchers will click on a result in the map, many folks searching for “mechanic in Seattle” are still going to scroll down to see the traditional search results.
If you can’t be in the local pack, creating content that ranks for these traditional search results is your best shot at capturing local intent traffic. And, if you are in the local pack, you can still benefit from increased exposure.
Local landing pages provide an easy way to communicate location-specific information and target regional trends, landmarks, neighborhoods and characteristics that may be the tipping point for a shopper on the fence or those customers not in your immediate location.
For many customers, knowing that a business has a strong connection to their community can make a world of difference to their decision-making process and who they actually end up working with.
Take our example of someone looking for a mechanic in Seattle. If that person landed on the homepage of a large auto service business with a long list of locations and only found contact info for the their nearest branch, how strong of a local connection has been made?
On the other hand, if they find information such as:
- How long that branch has been active
- Info about the staff, such as a message from the manager
- Examples of community involvement
- Reviews from local clients
- Photos of the shop and some of the staff
- Information unique to the area, such as how you need to have the right tires to drive in Seattle’s rainy weather
These are just a few examples, but this type of content can make visitors feel like a business has a strong connection their city and make them more likely to do business with them. It drives an emotional connection, and that’s powerful when marketing your business.
This type of content also usually contains relevant LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing) — keywords that are related to the primary keywords of your page. For example, if your primary keyword is “dog parks,” LSI keywords that your writers might naturally work into the text could be “canine parks” or “parks for dogs.”
Google tends to reward pages that have covered a topic in depth, and good use of LSI keywords is a great way to do that. So, while you’re delivering a better experience to visitors, you’re also keeping Google happy.
Finally, customers who visit your site often look for information on how you operate in their area. Having these types of pages built into your site’s navigation can help you easily deliver what they’re looking for, which also provides a better user experience.
A recent HubSpot study indicated a 55 percent boost in leads for companies that increase their number of landing pages from 10 to 15, and companies with 40 or more landing pages get 12 times the leads of those with five or fewer pages. This happens for several reasons, but a primary cause is that these companies tend to have landing pages that are highly targeted and relevant for their audience.
While this is a great stat, marketers often struggle with how to get to a point where they have more than 40 landing pages. Given each landing page should serve a single purpose and provide unique value to visitors, it can be a challenge to justify getting that many landers up.
Creating local landing pages (or city pages) is a great way to get your site’s landing page count up because the local information you provide can be very valuable to your visitors from that area. Even if the conversion goal is similar, the focus of each page is sufficiently unique. And, each page will be highly targeted to the intended audience which should give it a strong conversion rate.
By creating your local landing pages, you’re very likely to see your site’s overall number of leads generated significantly increase.
Finally, local landing pages can offer competitive advantages as well, keeping you ahead of your regional competitors.
In many industries, creating local landers is not a widespread tactic, and in many more, companies have created very low-quality, generic pages. In either case, you have a great opportunity to get a leg up on your competitors by creating high quality local landers.
That leg up can manifest in several ways:
- Bigger share of local search traffic
- More awareness of your offerings in the area versus competitors’
- A stronger sentiment that your company is connected to the community
These are all big wins for any company serving multiple markets.
What Makes a Great Local Landing Page?
As effective local SEO tools, local landing pages are most often created to drive local traffic. They also help convert local traffic into leads, because they offer more personalized and relevant content to visitors.
A great local landing page goes beyond the basics, delving into the features and factors that define areas, cities, towns or counties, and highlighting the things that will make consumers purchase from you rather than from the business down the street. As mentioned earlier, this often results in pages that naturally make good use of LSI keywords.
When creating a local landing page, consider including:
- Unique, relevant content customized to regional information, including sites of interest, colloquial language, city or town nicknames, neighborhood information and any other community-specific selling points
- Strong use of location-based keywords
- LSI keywords (cover the topics they suggest)
- Unique and location-specific metadata
- Internal links to other relevant areas of your site
- External links to trusted sources with info your visitors would find useful
- Business reviews
- Staff quotes
- Local images and videos
- Service area maps
- A place within the main navigation of your site
These are just a few of many elements you could include on your city pages. Fundamentally, you just want to include content that connects your business to the community you serve and convince local visitors that your solution can help them.
An effective local landing page can take many forms, and how you choose to make a point can vary greatly from one business or purpose to another. Just be sure the location you’re using plays a leading role.
Note: this largely covers what you can do on-page to make your local landing pages great. There are a number of other things you can do off-page such as link building, soliciting reviews, and encouraging social updates about your pages. Check out this great resource from Moz for more info.
The Logistics of Landing Page Creation
If you’re reading this shaking your head and thinking, “My business serves multiple counties full of small towns. How can I possibly make a landing page for every one?” — you’re not alone.
The process of creating a large number of landing pages can be daunting — and some marketers ignore the process entirely in fear of the workload. However, mass-producing city pages isn’t quite as labor-intensive as it sounds.
Here’s a proven process that can help you manage a large local landing page creation project.
1. Develop a Template
Before you get started with content creation, you need a template that defines which parts of your pages will remain constant and which elements will update with every geographic area. For example, the headline, intro and photos may be region-specific, while the core call to action is more general. Be sure to set specific guidelines for each section to make sure all relevant information is captured.
Most companies will create a keyword strategy that supports each page’s SEO. If you’re creating a small number of local landing pages, you might just use a tool like SEMrush, Moz or Ahrefs to find targeted keywords in each area.
If you’re producing a large number of pages, you might consider creating a formula for your keywords. This most often involves finding your top-level keywords and then adding the location you’re targeting.
For example, “auto mechanic” + “Seattle” gives you “auto mechanic Seattle.”
2. Create a Style Guide
Like most brands, your business likely has its own style and corporate identity. This can vary from professional and polished to fun and casual, depending on the persona you want to share with customers. Your local landing pages should utilize this same tone, highlighting who you are and what you do.
To ensure all content meets your expectations, create a style guide providing an overview into language preferences, writing style, tone and voice. If you don’t do your own writing, this can guide your content creation team or freelancers in the right direction.
3. Assemble Resources
Once you know the kind of information you need, start pulling together resources to use when writing. These can range from Wikipedia pages to town or community websites; if it’s legitimate and it provides a well-rounded and authentic impression, it’s a potential source.
Common sources include Yelp! and TripAdvisor reviews, city hall and Chamber of Commerce sites, Zillow and Trulia for real estate information and even financial metrics from Nerd Wallet and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. You can also pull from your own experiences, using turns of phrase and colloquialisms that you’re familiar with.
If you have access to internal resources such as customer reviews, staff interviews or quotes and local pictures, it’s also great to collect those to use for your pages.
4. Create Content
If writing is in your wheelhouse and you have time to take on a large-scale project, it’s certainly possible to create content yourself. However, if you have dozens of pages and not enough internal resources, a professional hand will help.
Crowd Content’s team of talented writers can tackle content projects for you, utilizing a deep knowledge of language and SEO expertise to create local landing pages that convert.
With writers and editors across Canada, the US, the UK and Australia, it’s possible to put together a team for virtually any location, giving you instant access to experts in your region. Your team of writers can work with any format or style of your choice, ensuring a finished project that pleases.
Crowd Content will take your template and map each unique section to a field that your team of writers will complete. By doing this, you can provide writers with specific instructions for each field as well as minimum or maximum word counts. This ensures consistency and quality of your content which makes creating the actual pages much easier.
If you’d like to get Crowd Content’s help building out your content, please get in touch with us to get started.
5. Export Your Content
As writers finish each city page using your custom template, Crowd Content will export the finished content into a CSV file that will have each city page’s content one row. Each field you’ve mapped will live in a cell within that row.
This makes it possible to collect data for hundreds of landing pages in one concise document that’s ready to upload and publish.
6. Publish Your Pages
If the thought of manually publishing page after page sounds a little unpleasant, you’ll love what RallyMind can do.
Instead of building each page manually, RallyMind uses Google Sheets to collect data from properly-formatted CSV files to automatically populate and publish hundreds of landing pages at once.
Note: you’ll need to import your CSV file into Google Sheets and use the Google Sheet for this process.
Getting this set up is quick and easy:
- Create your RallyMind account
- Build a master template design using the site builder. Use the drag and drop tool to create your template, and specify which fields you want to include. This will be the base for all of your local landing pages and should include all fields you wish to populate from the Google Sheet you’ve created.
- Make sure that all fields are mapped exactly as how they are set up in your Crowd Content template. This ensures each city page will be properly filled out and formatted.
When you’re ready to go with your landing pages, you can then sync your Google Sheet with your Rally Mind project and template. In minutes this will auto-create a new landing page for each row of data in the Google Sheet based on your template.
If you love the idea of local landing pages but have been hesitant to make the leap, the partnership between RallyMind and Crowd Content is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Give it a try yourself, or drop us a line to help you get this process set up for your company.