During LocalU virtual in November 2022, I presented ways to create local content that’s valuable to local audiences. Service Area pages are something every local SEO is intimately familiar with. Often, they are the bane of our strategy. Repetitive, boring, and not a unique thought to be read anywhere. Despite all that, they can work when it comes to organic ranking, as highlighted in a study Sterling Sky conducted Can Service Area Pages With Duplicate or Similar Content Increase Traffic?
Or listen to Joy say it here:
If this is working for you, great. But as Joy notes in the video, this cannot be blanket applied to every industry. If you have trouble getting traffic to service area pages or looking to make them rank higher for location-specific searches, this guide is for you. Service area pages can be a valuable resource for quality leads across any size service area and getting more traffic to them can be extremely lucrative.
If you’re looking to grow your local visibility across any size service area, take these tips and apply them to your most important service area pages first and test the impact.
What Kind of Content Should Go on Service Area Pages?
Writing content focused on the same services for multiple cities can get repetitive really quickly. You need to talk about the services you offer on these pages but make it as unique as possible. You need to do a rundown of all the services you offer in the area, use bullet points and make sure to link to service pages to give users and Googlebot an avenue to find more detailed information.
If you’re not talking in detail about services on all your city pages, what are you going to talk about? Here are some tips to share to make the city pages unique and helpful for your customers.
Highlight Local Landmarks
Write about local landmarks in the area like parks, lakes, and popular neighborhoods, and try to relate them back to your services as best you can. Include other unique aspects of the city users can connect with like city nicknames, demographic information, or events that happen annually, especially ones your company participates in, and bonus points for photos.
Talk About Your Company’s Connection to the Area
Moreover, talk about your company’s connection with the area as well. Are you part of the Chamber of Commerce? Do you donate to a charity or non-profit in the city? Do you sponsor any events in the city? Brag about it and add external links to all of the local websites you can.
Also, talk about your employees and their connections to the area. Do you have employees who live in the area? Do they frequent the area in their free time? Do they go to a local university? Talk about it on these pages to not only connect with potential customers but also help show Google the people who work at your company. It’s helpful if you can link out to employee pages on your site, or profiles on other, industry-relevant sites.
List of Related Businesses
Highlight related businesses in the city that your customers may be interested in. If you’re a garage door repair company, mention local landscapers, driveway contractors, or anything a homeowner may need. Make sure to do your research on which businesses you should be recommending to make sure they are well-rated in the community, and that they actually exist. Recently, Sterling Sky did a study to see if Chat GPT could help write hyper-local content and it failed pretty epically so be wary.
Bonus: If you link to these other local businesses, they might even be inclined to return the favor, which is a great way to build links to these city pages.
Don’t Ignore Internal Linking
You never want to create a service area page and then hide it from users and Googlebot because it’s not linked anywhere on your site. Beyond linking to it in the main navigation, you also want to link to it on all relevant pages of your site; think the homepage, service pages, and even relevant blog pages.
How Many Service Area Pages Do Multi-Location Businesses Need?
This is a question I often hear from large businesses operating in multiple service areas and/or states. My recommendation is to pick the cities in each service area that generate the most revenue according to your records and make sure you have a page for each of those cities. If you operate in multiple states, it may be a good idea to have state-level pages as well to optimize for state keywords. Businesses are often surprised by how many people search for “service in state” so this can be a major opportunity if the competition is not optimizing for state keywords.
Optimize for Possible GBP Landing Pages in the Future
All these elements are ways to add unique content and most importantly value for the users that land on this page. It’s important to remember that these pages will only be shown organically for now, but if you ever open a physical location in that city and verify a Google Business Profile (GBP), then this could very well be a GBP landing page in the future. So having it rank organically NOW can save you a ton of time and work in the future to get that new GBP to rank in the maps.
- Always use data to determine if similar content on service area pages is working for you, and invest in service area optimization for top areas that are underperforming.
- Add local information to service area pages to add locally relevant, unique content and connect with the community in that area.
- local businesses
- local landmarks, neighborhoods, parks, and lakes
- sponsorships, charity, events
- bio of employees from the area
- Use internal linking to funnel local users to the appropriate service area page.
- Optimize service area pages now if you plan on opening a location and getting a GBP there in the future.