The Merits of Using City Pages on Your Site
If you’re a performance home services business, you probably have a set service area that encompasses a few (or maybe many) towns and cities. When it comes to the web, the perpetual challenge of SABs (service area businesses) is how to show up in search for multiple geographies. In an ideal world, any person who searches for your services should be able to find you, whether they are right next to your office or on the periphery of how far your team will travel for a service.
Enter city pages, a highly effective tactic for meeting this local SEO (search engine optimization) challenge.
Why make a city page?
City pages are specific types of landing pages, usually not linked within your site’s main menu structure. As their name implies, these pages are created specifically for a certain city (though you could also target a town or province or county or township or neighborhood...you get the picture).
These pages provide keyword-rich, localized, custom copy for your customers in a certain area. They’re great for driving user engagement and giving potential customers clear information telling them that your services extend to their area. Most importantly, a well-written city page increases organic search rankings for queries that include a certain geographical term, like “energy audit Yarmouth, ME” or “AC tune-up Bangor, ME.” These higher rankings increase the likelihood that people will find your site and, in turn (provided the pages are done well), will sign up for a service or call you for more information.
Note: Don’t “Mad Lib” it!
When I say “Mad Libbed” pages, I’m talking about pages that use duplicate copy while swapping out the city name on a per-page basis. Mad Libs are joyful and hilarious word games that were especially popular in the 90s, but Mad Libbing is not an appropriate approach to city pages. Pages that swap out tiny phrases and otherwise use the same copy as other pages are damaging to SEO and can significantly hurt your site’s quality in the eyes of Google. For a city page to be effective, it needs to have unique and specific content (so keep reading!).
Key city page components
High-quality city pages should include the following:
Specific location details and media
Think of some genuine, specific information about the city that will distinguish this city page from others. Poll your team for some of their favorite features of the location, or, as a secondary option, do some research and talk about top features of the town (important monuments, sports teams, events, points of interest etc). These types of keywords, when added into the copy, will help let search engines know that the page contains information unique to the actual city (versus filler copy). Also add in a local picture (one from a job you’ve done is best) and a map.
Description of local experience
Describe the type of clients, services or buildings you typically work with in this locality. Is this a residential area with strong solar interest? Are your jobs in this city mostly light commercial HVAC retrofits? Including this type of information provides some context for your services and gives users good information about the work you’re usually doing in their area.
Example of work offered in that area
This is an important one: If you have the information, describe a specific past job you worked on in the area. Be sure to maximize SEO and keyword goodness by including geographic details, links to your service pages etc. Including customer testimonials that are specific to the area is also a great way to enhance the page’s local SEO value.
Energy Circle’s platform allows specifically selected case studies, testimonials and other related content items to be pulled in and displayed on the city page. This allows the page to display a wealth of geography-specific information about your work in the area.
Strong call to action (CTA)
As with any strong piece of content, ending with a next step for users is crucial. The call to action you choose on this page should be customized to the audience (for example, don’t tell a predominantly multifamily customer base to sign up for drought-tolerant landscaping). Consider also offering a promotion or enticing offer specific to potential customers in that city to increase chances they’ll pick up the phone or fill out a form.
Note: Don’t set up a satellite office!
Our team has seen a lot of strange and not-so-honest marketing tactics used by other companies. We’ve come across instances in which businesses (or the former marketing company working for that business) set up satellite or virtual office in an attempt to rank for cities where the business wasn’t actually located. On the surface, this seems like a good idea for boosting local SEO in multiple cities In reality, though, the idea both sucks AND is dangerous. Virtual offices were a common practice in the less-patrolled SEO days of the past, which led to tons and tons of fake Google My Business pages and a wealth of misinformation about address information. Since then, Google has made it very clear that satellite offices do not meet the criteria for a Google My Business listing. Creating false address listings for the sake of rankings is a sure-fire way to get penalized and will definitely not improve local SEO.
Ready to enhance your local SEO with city pages, but unsure where to start? Worry not. Contact our team to learn more about building high-ranking city pages for your site.