Most companies that serve a specific area include the service area on their site. After all, it is important for customers to know if you provide services in their town or neighborhood. However, from our experience, going a step further and creating dedicated pages for each town can really magnify organic results. Therefore, we recommend these town pages as part of the core local SEO efforts for all relevant companies.
What are town pages?
Town pages or city pages are as straightforward as they seem. These are the landing pages that are dedicated to a company’s service area. Town pages provide valuable information, such as the name of the town you serve and the services you offer. All sites can display the service area differently, but this information is incredibly helpful to potential customers. For example, some sites include a simple link in the footer, while others add a link in the main navigation. It likely depends on the importance to your specific company. However, to generate SEO benefits, each and every town page must be internally linked in a site. If not, then these become orphan pages and create a drag on SEO performance. As a result, most sites leverage the service area page as a hub for town pages.
Add internal links to your town pages
For reference, one client, Ranch Roofing offers roofing services to parts of Massachusetts. While they serve a large area, they have a handful of core towns. As a result, they include the main towns in the footer, but created a link to the larger service area in the header and in the Quick Links section.
Alternatively, another client, Aqua Pump Company created a service area hub with a map of the towns they serve in a given region. The page includes a link to each individual town page as well.
Ultimately, how these pages are internally linked is not as important as the fact that they are internally linked.
Avoid duplicate content when creating town pages
Additionally, and another equally important note, is that town pages are incredibly manual. The same duplicate content best practices apply to town pages as every other page on the site. So, while the information is largely the same (assuming your company offers the same services to each town), the content must change on each page.
What does this mean?
Creative writing! The SEO and content team must rewrite each page to create enough differentiation that Google will not ding the site for duplicate content. After all, the benefits of town pages are only realized when they follow all SEO best practices.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is simply the subsection of standard search engine optimization that helps sites show up in geographic focused search inquiries. Yoast provides some context behind the importance of local SEO initiatives.
“While SEO focuses on getting higher rankings for your website’s pages for searches without a local component, local SEO aims for higher rankings in specific areas, such as towns or regions. A local audience often performs these searches. Just by the query, Google can understand to some degree whether a searcher is looking for a local “solution” for his problem. These search queries are particularly interesting for small businesses, as they mostly provide services or products for a local audience.”
Essentially, local SEO activities focus on your site showing up in search results (like on the MAP pack) when someone makes a relevant search into your company. For the most part, Google reviews remain the main driver of local SEO success. However, other activities, such as listing your company in directories to generate awareness and backlinks also make a difference in local SEO results. In particular, ensuring your name, address and phone number remain constant (and exactly the same) helps inform Google that your site and company are legitimate.
Additionally, town pages impact local SEO because your site must contain relevant keywords for Google to know that you provide services in a certain area. For example, if you service town X, but there is no content on your site to indicate you provide services in town X, then Google will not show your company in search results. As a result, the creation of town pages allow a simple and straightforward way to include relevant keywords on your site. And, most importantly, now Google knows that your company provides services in town X!
What is the impact of town pages on local SEO?
Done correctly, town pages can have a dramatic impact on local SEO results. Of course, town pages are part of the overall SEO strategy, but as we implement this strategy for our clients, we have seen significant increases in organic traffic to these pages. For reference, the following screenshot from a DataStudio report pulling in Google Analytics data shows the results of this strategy in delivering sustained growth YoY.
Like all SEO initiatives, town pages take time to resonate and appear in search results. For example, the year over year results, while tremendous, really reflect work started in 2019. For companies that service a large area (like an entire state), the town page process can be very time consuming. Conversely, companies that only target a handful of towns can view the town page initiatives as a much smaller activity.
Additionally, part of the success of town pages derives from following and implementing standard SEO best practices. For example, ensure that enough content changes for each page, but equally important, each page requires its own keyword research. The difference between town X services and services in town X seem insignificant to most business owners, but potentially make a big difference. Related, some companies may find that a competing brand “owns” a relevant search term. In this case, attempt to avoid using this term in your language to avoid unintentionally providing branded traffic to the competition. Finally, although content is king, schema is the queen that drives results! Applying local schema to your site is vital to great local SEO performance, so don’t forget to add town page schema to the pages as well.
What are some local SEO best practices?
Town pages are part of the local SEO playbook. Generally, our team recommends the following as the main local SEO plays.
- Town Pages
For any questions or to learn more about how All Points Digital can help your local SEO, drop us a line today!