For some businesses, ranking for a larger region may make more sense than optimising for a hyperlocal approach. This is especially true for service area businesses that offer services in various areas and may not get in-office foot traffic.
Implementing a well-orchestrated regional SEO strategy can help extend your impression reach without breaking the bank for physical offices in every city. If done correctly, you can still rank in the SERP for the coveted “near me” searches that have become commonplace for users.
To reduce any decline in organic visibility and business from your SEO efforts, we recommend following these five tips to optimise your regional SEO strategy.
1. Research Your Area
We may think we know the areas we serve, but hard data can always prove us wrong. Before you start chucking away with the next steps, make sure you know which cities are generating the most organic search interest for your goods/services.
Conduct Local Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research by adding geo modifiers to your phrases. Compare that with your geography report in Google Analytics to see if there are any similar trends. Once you have your list of cities, rank them from highest search interest to lowest.
Group Your Cities:
Next, we want to see which of these cities can be grouped together in single regions. Our goal is to reduce the number of regional pages we’ll be creating in step three.
2. Limit Doorway Pages
Google defines doorway pages as “… sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries.”
They go on to elaborate that doorway pages are essentially a set of duplicate or similar pages that all lead to the same destination and may harm the user experience. Creating doorway pages often takes the form of duplicate local landing pages, which is a trend that really needs to stop.
The unfortunate truth is that sometimes they actually work.
3. Create Better Regional Pages
There are several elements that should be included on both a location page and a regional page, but regional location pages require a little extra to ensure they provide a meaningful user experience.
Include an area-specific description. The description should be 100% unique on your site. This can be what separates a well-crafted region page and a doorway page.
Some things to include in your business description to help improve the value of your region page include:
- History of business in the region.
- Why your services are especially relevant to consumers or businesses in that area.
- Any notable projects in the area (include photos).
- Services or goods offered that may be popular in the area.
- Unique selling proposition.
- Describe the actual service area, using major highway cross-sections or notable landmarks.
- Add internal linking to other nearby region pages.
- Mention local clients & testimonials.
If you’re a B2B company, include any notable clients in the area that may be recognisable to users. Discuss the work you did for those clients and include relevant photos of your services.
If photos are not available, include logos. If possible, include testimonials from those clients.
Want to take it up a notch? Make video testimonials in that region.
Include Photos! This is where you can separate yourself from your competitors. Your competition may be using this same tactic and add general stock photography to the region page.
Take it up a notch and take your own high-quality photos in the area.
Here are some tips on photos:
- Feature your logo prominently in some of the first appearing photos.
- Optimise your image name and alt text.
- Show images of your goods or services in action.
- Include recognisable landmarks from that region.
- Include service-area map
- Create a customized map of the region with a highlighted section showing your service area.
This can accompany the section of your description that mentions your service area. Work with a good digital partner – actually, us! – to create an interactive map to improve the user experience.
Get a physical office location, if applicable. Getting a local office in every region can be expensive. It may also not be necessary for every business. However, having at least one physical office in the heart of your region can significantly help boost your local rankings.
4. GMB Local Office vs. Service Area Business
If you can afford a physical office, even if it’s just for answering calls and dispatching service members, setting up a Google My Business profile is a no-brainer. However, some businesses may not be able to afford several offices and may not make sense for their strategy.
In those cases, we recommend setting up a service area business in GMB and cast a wide net.
5. Develop a Niche Link Building Strategy
Local link building strategies come in all shapes and sizes. However, the best strategy is an integrated one that is customized to achieve your goal.
Some ideas on gaining new links to your region pages include:
- Participate in local charities and events (and run some PR about it).
- Submit your region page to industry-specific directories.
- Take advantage of reviews and testimonials.
- Write guest posts for your client’s websites about your work.
Are you ready to start your own regional SEO strategy? Contact us now.
Font: Search Engine Journal