Are you a local business that provides services to multiple locations?
If so, then you already know how optimizing your website for SEO can be quite tricky. To improve local search results, most companies set up supplementary webpages for each location they serve.
Unfortunately, the practice of creating multiple webpages for the same services in different locations can lead to duplicate content. It’s hard to say the same thing over and over again in a unique way. This common practice used by multi-location businesses can be dangerous because Google penalizes websites that publish duplicate content.
Keep in mind that when targeting multiple cities, you don’t have to create a single page for every city that you serve; instead, choose only those that are in close proximity to your headquarters and will offer the best return for your business.
Once you have chosen the cities you are going to target, you can implement the following tips in order to prevent duplicate content:
1. Add Photos
Use real photos on your website and don’t depend on stock photos. Even though they are more affordable, stock photos could seriously undermine the credibility of your visual branding. Ask your staff—or if you can afford it, hire a professional photographer—to take photos of jobs in real life. Add photos of your office and your staff as well because these will make your business more relatable to customers.
Include geo tags when uploading these photos to your gallery or location webpages. Using custom photography ensures that your photos are consistent with your website and with the branding of your business.
2. Customer Reviews
Next up, you can place customer reviews on your local pages.
Ask satisfied customers to post reviews of your products or services. Most customers consider online reviews to be a credible source of information and are more likely to believe them over your own promotional copy.
Having published reviews builds credibility for your business and establishes trust between you and potential customers. It also improves your local SEO efforts because these reviews are indexed by the search engine bots. Every customer is unique which means their review will be too!
3. Customer Testimonials
Testimonials and reviews are two different things.
The former contains a positive message, while the latter is objective and impartial. Testimonials can work great on location pages too.
Be smart when choosing which testimonial to post on your website. If you can, avoid testimonies that are over-promotional in tone. Instead, find testimonials that explain how your product satisfied a customer or how it resolved a customer problem. Testimonials that highlight benefits instead of listing features are more likely to induce sales.
**Note: Use real testimonies from real customers. Don’t fake testimonials because these can put your reputation on the line, and may create unrealistic expectations about what you have to offer.
4. Write Out Driving Directions
Most businesses simply embed Google Maps into their websites. Aside from doing this, you can also provide specific driving directions to each location in order to create unique web content copy. This will also make it easier for customers to find you.
5. Local News
Next up is sharing local news that is relevant to your niche.
Are there any goings-on that will be a point of interest to your target audience?
The more local news you publish on your blog, the more likely they will show up in the search engines. These will garner more clicks from your target audience because they are something that concerns the locals.
6. Share Employee Bios
People are more emotionally invested in a relationship if they know something about who they are working with. This also applies to a business relationship. Take advantage of this fact by including a short bio of your employees on your local pages. These staff bios will make your pages more relatable to website visitors and potential customers. They also provide plenty of opportunities to incorporate keywords into your copy for SEO purposes.
Online consumers are known for very short attention spans.
The good news is, posting videos allows the information to be broken up into easily digestible chunks, and has the capability to quickly deliver your message in a way that no other medium can.
If you feel that you have already mentioned your services frequently on your other webpages and have nothing new to say, you can create a video for each location and geo-tag it. Create your own YouTube channel and add these on-location videos. Also, ask your most satisfied customers if they can provide testimonials over video instead of putting them into writing.
8. Case Studies
Instead of simply listing the features and benefits of your product, provide a case study of how they helped a customer. Case studies explain how problems are resolved, demonstrate success in a non-promotional way, and provide social proof. They are effective because the focus is on the customer, and on the story they are telling, and not on you.
You may be putting your website—and your business—at risk by having duplicate content on your website. Writing location-specific pages need not be complicated with the help of these 8 tips. Good luck!