Geotargeted Landing Pages for Location-Based SEO
For local businesses, geotargeted landing pages are every bit as valuable as optimizing your Google My Business profile. Many SEO teams, however, make the mistake of spending their time on national keywords rather than investing in truly personalized location-based landing pages that have the potential to rank above the local search results. Because you’re on this page, you likely understand the gold mine that these pages can be.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to create geotargeted landing pages that both rank highly and convert prospects into customers. We’ll explore:
- What are Geotargeted Landing Pages?
- The Core Value of Location-Based Content
- How to Create Geotargeted Landing Pages
What are Geotargeted Landing Pages?
Geotargeted landing pages are informative, conversion-focused pages tailored to prospects seeking a local solution. They’re clearly valuable for super-local industries like HVAC or pest control, but also provide significant lead generation benefits for industries like software development or consulting, in which some clients prefer to meet their vendor in person.
To better understand geotargeted landing pages, let’s take a look at what local Google searches look like. Here is a search for “dog toy store boston”:
As you can see, when a searcher demonstrates a localized intent through their search term, Google serves up pages that are targeted to that area—in this case, their results include only dog toy boutiques within Boston.
As with other types of searches, Google would also like to provide as much value as possible to the searcher, and will include ratings, reviews, points of differentiation, and expert commentary. If you do create content that includes these elements and provides genuine value to searchers, Google will promote your content, giving your website a higher search ranking. The better job you do satisfying the searcher’s intent, the higher your content will rank, benefitting both your firm and Google.
|Determining Search Intent
The key to creating high-ranking pages, geotargeted or not, is deeply understanding your searcher’s intent when creating the page. To do so, consider who is searching the keyword, what information they’re really looking for, and the most succinct, skimmable format for that information (e.g. a table instead of a paragraph).
To learn more about search intent, read our article on Search Intent for SEO.
The Core Value of Location-Based Content
The key to creating geotargeted landing pages is the same as with all high quality SEO content: being the most useful answer to your audience member’s inquiry. Simply put, if you publish the best response to the search query your audience is typing in, and place the exact phrasing of their search query into your page’s meta title tag, it will rank highly. We’ll cover how to do this in the next section, but it is important to address some common mistakes first.
Many SEO marketers believe that the proper way to create a geotargeted page is to write the keyword they’re targeting over and over again on the page. This is commonly referred to as “keyword stuffing.” It is a suboptimal way to create content, as it resembles spam. Marketers frequently make the mistake of believing there is a trick to writing for SEO as opposed to just writing the most satisfying possible page for the visitor.
Think of it this way: If you were with a friend, and she asked you what the best dog toy stores you know of in Boston are, it wouldn’t sound very natural to respond:
“Boston dog toy stores specialize in a wide variety of toys and accessories, from squeaky balls to collars. The best Boston dog toy stores also carry flea-resistant shampoos and conditioners. Dog toy stores in Boston may be found in many different neighborhoods, including Beacon Hill, Hyde Park, and Cambridge.”
Your friend would likely be put off and/or confused by the delivery, and frustrated that they had to get through all of that just to still be left with the same question. Searchers feel exactly the same way. The tone a visitor expects from a geotargeted page is that of an experienced tour guide.
When your geotargeted page gets to the point quickly and shares genuinely useful information, it leads to rankings and sales. Content optimization is far more important than getting a high volume of keyword instances into the page.
How to Create Geotargeted Landing Pages
When considering what kind of page will best satisfy a local searcher’s curiosity, you need a feel for what you would find most useful if you were that searcher. It takes a bit of practice, and careful attention to the intention behind each keyword you’re targeting. To demonstrate, let’s say you run marketing for a legal practice that specializes in marriage & family law, serving all of Southern California. Your list of keyword phrases would probably include: “family law firm la” “family law firms la” and “divorce lawyer la”. While these keywords may sound similar, the search intents behind them are actually quite different:
- The searcher typing in “family law firm la” is a prospect: they’re simply looking for a law firm specializing in family law;
- The searcher typing in “family law firms in la” is a researcher: they’re looking to compare multiple firms and make a decision after further research;
- The searcher typing in “divorce lawyer la” is a consumer as well, but a slightly more serious and intentional one than our “family law firm la” searcher. This is because they more carefully defined what they were looking for — a divorce lawyer as opposed to a family lawyer — and also because they specified the name of a practitioner (“lawyer”) rather than a company (“law firm”).
The only perfect similarity between these 3 searchers is a desire to find counsel in Los Angeles.
Now, given the difference in these searchers’ intentions, let’s explore the type of content we’d want to create for each one.
“family law firm la” – For a general keyword like this, we should create a landing page that serves as more of an educational guide, with a title like “Finding A Family Law Firm in LA: Your 2021 Guide”. Note that, besides the keyword phrase, there are only five other words in the title, making for a tight, focused title. As far as the content of this page, like every piece of thought leadership, it should be authoritative.
It might include one of the following:
- A background on the LA family law market and culture, including the types of firms available, perhaps labeled and illustrated
- A list of the factors that a person seeking a family law firm need to consider, depending on their specific purpose, possibly in the form of a neat chart
- A set of recommendations of which firm to go to in each common use case, with one recommendation being your own firm.
“family law firms la” – Given the pluralization of this phrase, indicating a desire to compare firms, the best possible page for this searcher is likely a list or comparison chart. To create the best possible page responding to this term, the ideal strategy would be to put both on the page. At the top, you can add a list of the top 8 or so family law firms in LA (ranked by a criterion that your own firm can excel in so it is in the top 3). Below, you can put a comparison chart of those 8 firms based on more criteria that ultimately make your own firm look the best when a logical person puts all the data together.
“divorce lawyer la” – Taking into account the more specific keyword “lawyer” — as opposed to the more general and impersonal term “law firm,” this searcher is probably looking for an individual they can form a trusting relationship with. For that reason, it would be a good idea to create an authoritative guide like in the first example of “family law firm la”; however, it would be important to emphasize the qualities that make a lawyer especially great when it comes to divorce in this case, and also have a special focus on how to find a lawyer you can develop a real relationship with — once again, emphasizing that you and/or your firm is the premiere option.
Where to Publish Geotargeted Landing Pages On Your Website
It’s an achievement to write the best page responding to a local search, but it is vital to know where to publish it. The most common home for geotargeted landing pages is on an “Areas We Serve” page within a sub-menu under “Resources” or “About Us” in your header navigation. Like so:
However, sometimes the answer depends on the scope of your company’s services. To illustrate this concept, let’s refer back to one of our keywords from the SoCal-based marriage & family law firm: “family law firm la”.
Assigning this keyword to a “Los Angeles” page listed under “Areas We Serve” on the top navigation menu, as in the screenshot above, would still be a solid strategy. (As a reminder, “assigning” a keyword phrase to a page refers to deciding that a particular page will contain that keyword in its meta title tag; it is not usually good practice to assign the same keyword to multiple pages.) However, given the generality and substantiality of the term, you could also consider assigning it to the home page of your company’s website. Although, it may be a great fit for a geotargeted landing page, this keyword could possibly be so important that we want to assign it to the highest-authority page on our website.
Now let’s look at another case, one in which your SoCal-based firm practices several areas of law, not just family law. In that case, you’d want to make sure each area of law has its own dedicated page, and place “family law firm la” into the title tag of the Family Law page.
A third scenario is that your firm practices throughout the entire state of California AND has multiple practice areas. In that case, putting “family law” in a geotargeted landing page linked off an Areas We Serve category wouldn’t make sense, because you could just as easily choose another area of law, such as “business law” or “estate law”, to target on that page. Therefore, the best page to target “family law firm la” on may in fact be a blog entry, possibly called “How to Find the Best Family Law Firm in LA”.
As you can see, deciding upon the home for each geotargeted home is a thought-provoking matter, but once you can differentiate the various “homes” for your keywords, your website becomes a well-organized machine for attracting sales leads.
Competing with Google Local / Google My Business Results
Before we wrap up, just a word on the interaction between geotargeted pages and Google My Business (GMB) search results. Because the keywords we target on geotargeted pages include a location, they will inevitably appear on search result pages that include Google’s local listings above the organic search results. While GMB results will absolutely divert some potential customers to your pages, many searchers, especially researchers, are seeking more information than the local results provide, so a top 5 placement in the organic results will still earn you traffic. If your industry is one in which people want to do a good amount of research before calling a company — as opposed to one where they just want the first name off a list — geotargeted landing pages remain a great investment.
I hope this guide has been useful to you. It’s the product of years of publishing geotargeted landing pages for clients, long conversations amongst our team, and hundreds of traffic charts analyzed. If you have any questions or would like our team to create geotargeted content for your company, contact us.