How To Make Local Service Pages More Helpful (And Less Mundane)
During our Local U event in November, I shared tips and tactics for creating local content that provides unique value to your target audience.
My presentation covered a few types of content local businesses should create and publish to drive traffic and conversions. One of the most important and common types of pages every local website needs are Service Pages.
We all know how to write boring copy about the services our business offers. I want to do away with the old notion that service pages have to be repetitive dribble you can find on a Wikipedia page and explain the true value service pages can provide to potential customers.
What Services Pages Do You Need to Create?
How do you determine what service pages you need? Think about your core services first and make sure you have a page for each. A good rule of thumb is if you want more leads for it and it’s a distinct service, make a page for it. However, you need to avoid keyword cannibalization with existing services pages and new ones you create.
This example below shows a dermatology site that had a few separate pages all talking about different types of treatment for acne scars. Instead of having multiple pages on similar services that all treat acne scars, we combined them into one comprehensive “acne scar treatment” service page which continues to perform well to this day.
Do You Need a Separate Service Page in Each City in Your Service Area?
Do you need a page for every city? Typically no, but it depends. It’s important to avoid proliferation with city pages and services pages as well. You will often find city-specific services pages can easily cannibalize each other for implicit keyword searches.
How you tackle city-specific service pages hinges on factors like competition in your area, the number of locations you have, and the size of your service area. If you offer service in multiple large cities or states, then you may need service pages in each of those major markets. Aim to make these pages as unique as possible and personalized to their location targets. The tips below will help you create helpful service page content that differentiates each page and makes them unique.
Where I see this strategy come into play the most is for attorneys in large cities with large service areas. If you are an injury attorney in New York City that serves Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, you might find it necessary to have a car accident page for each of the major boroughs.
The image below shows an example of an injury lawyer who has offices in Queens and Staten Island, New York. They were having trouble ranking their Staten Island Google Business Profile (GBP) for “ Staten Island car accident lawyer.” Their main car accident page was targeting Queens, so we created a new page targeting “car accident lawyer in Staten Island” and within a month they had improved map pack rankings dramatically.
How to Make Your Service Pages Extra Helpful and Unique:
Once you know what service pages you need, getting the right content on them for maximum user and SEO value is a delicate balance. Every service page should at its core offer a description of the service along with how customers can contact you for the service.
We want to take this much further and provide a service page hub for anything a customer may be wondering about that service AND about your business. The more value you can provide a user who is interested in your service the better when it comes to SEO.
Showcase Your Business’s First-Party Statistics and Data:
Don’t just research statistics, highlight your OWN statistics gathered on the job. For example, if you’re a lawyer, look back at all the settlements you’ve helped secure in your career and put together a range to help users understand what their case can be worth. If you’re a roofer, add in cost info based on your own sales to give customers an idea of what they can expect to pay for your services.
Many businesses shy away from adding specific dollar amounts to their service, but Google has shown time and again that they love highlighting this info on featured snippets. Plus, it’s helpful for users to understand how much your services cost before they call.
On top of cost info, there are tons of unique statics you can add to your service pages including:
- First party statistics
- Unique selling points (why choose your business)
- Case studies (with photos)
- Customer reviews (specific to the service)
- Common customer questions (and answers)
- Offers and promotions
- Awards and accolades
Highlight The Expertise and Experience of Your Staff:
Certain members of your team are probably more trained or have more experience in specific services you offer than others. Showcasing these technicians or staff members directly on the service pages is a great way to provide insight into your business and show off the experience of your staff.
One way to highlight these team members is to create short bios for experts who specialize in specific services and add those bios directly to the services pages, along with photos, awards, certificates, and accolades attributed to them.
Go even further by getting quotes from the experts you can pepper directly into the content. This will help “clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge” on the service. This is quoted from Google’s article on their “helpful content update” as an important element to highlight when creating “people-first content.”
Google further emphasized the importance of experience and expertise in their December 2022 update to their Search Quality Guidelines saying “High-quality pages involve time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Sharing personal experience is a form of everyday expertise.”
Share the experiences of your employees on the service pages to add real-world value and demonstrate expertise and authority. This will also help build trust with Google and users (see what I did there?).
Showcase Customer Experiences and Reviews:
Reviews pulled in via a plugin are typical to find on service pages. This is great to add unique content to the page, but I encourage businesses to test different types of testimonials to add value to service pages including:
- Video testimonials
- Customer interviews
- Hands-on product reviews
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- High-value quote testimonials with photos.
When Google added the extra E to E-A-T, they emphasized how they value all types of first-world experience to prove trust. Highlighting the experience of customers is a great way to get that onto your service pages.
Add Unique Images and Videos of the Service:
It is extremely valuable to have visual content, such as unique images, infographics, and videos to supplement written content. What kind of visual content should you add?
- Customer provided images
- Photos from the job
- Team photos
- Unique before and after photos
- Statistical infographics
- Images of awards and accolades
- Video interviews with service experts on staff
- DIY videos
Something I love to see is video content showing how the service is done. If you have a part of your service or process that sets you apart from the competition, showcase it in a video. In the example below, the video search results for “bed bug treatment near me” shows a video about certified bed bug dogs and how they are able to quickly sniff out bed bugs. As someone who loves dogs, I am immediately intrigued and want to click.
The coolest part here is that Google is linking directly to this company’s service page, not YouTube. Having videos on your service pages instantly increases their search visibility by allowing them to show up in video searches!
Don’t Set and Forget:
As with any piece of content you publish online you need to monitor its performance and provide tweaks and edits as needed. If you find your service pages are not ranking in the locations you want them to, you may need to add more content or even a new page. If you are not ranking high enough in the SERPs, see what kind of content Google is ranking above you and elevate your content to surpass the competition.
Service pages can be valuable, bottom-of-funnel pages users will convert on. Take the time to continuously evaluate how you can provide the most value possible and you’ll find success.
- Have a service page for each major service you offer. Avoid keyword cannibalization with other pages on your site.
- Each service page should have a keyword focus like “service in location.” You typically do not need service pages for each city you service, but this depends on your industry, your competition, and the size of your service area.
- Use service pages to tell the story of your business and highlight first-party data and expertise. Brag about employees’ expertise and experience on the job.
- Highlight various types of customer testimonials to provide real-world experience.
- Add visual content like unique photos, infographics, and videos of the service.
- Don’t set and forget! Continuously improve your service pages as they can be some of the most valuable pages on your site.
This Post Has 2 Comments
I really enjoyed this article on sprucing up local service pages. I have been building them for over a decade, and watched how things have changed with Google on ranking with them. I started building out maps specific to each location about 10 years ago, and had great success at that time. I will be going in and applying some of the techniques I found in this article to take them further, thank you for sharing!
Jerry so glad you found in this article helpful! Service area maps are a great way to add value for users, especially with multi-location businesses. Google is always evolving and raising the bar so we as SEOs need to adapt and elevate our content strategies along with it. I am a firm believer that the more value you can provide users and customers on your website the more trust Google will have in your business.