beisbol16

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I run www.SteriSweep.com which is a pressure washing company in Eastern Pennsylvania. I’m working on the website and trying to optimize for local SEO…

To optimize local seo rank for town-specific searches, should I…

(a) include all the service areas, zip codes, county names, town names etc on the main “regular” (visible) pages?

Or (b) should I create hidden pages that basically act as Google search landing pages for specific keywords (ie Service +town names)? I see some competition doing exactly that. In other words, they clone 50-60 pages, just changing the name of the town in the content, so that when someone searches: ‘Plumber Springfield’ or ‘Plumber Bloomfield’ or ‘Plumber 10172’ the show up high in the rankings because they have unique pages catered to that exact keyword (town name). These pages are hidden from the normal navigation fields on the visible website.

I’m worried about Google penalizing that for its redundancy or if it’s even necessary. It seems to work though!
 

ElizabethRule

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Definitely recommend creating location pages for each town/city you serve, you will not rank in all areas with 1 page. The content can be similar on each because there is only so much you can write about "power washing", but you want to aim to create unique content for each location page that is helpful and useful to the users in that target area. Add reviews specific to that location, photos of the area, info about jobs you've done in that area etc.

Here is another good resource with ideas on what to add to location pages to make them more unique, scroll down to the section "Do Service Area Pages Still Work?" => How to Win at Local Search with Service Area Businesses - Sterling Sky Inc

Also a great article from @Colan Nielsen on the topic you should take a look at => Can Service Area Pages With Duplicate or Similar Content Increase Traffic? - Sterling Sky Inc
 

beisbol16

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Elizabeth, Thanks for this info!

Ok I will be making location pages for each town/city. One question on that though: It will be very redundant to have these all available via the visible dropdowns/headers, therefore I plan to keep these pages “hidden”… in other words only accessible via a direct link from the Google search. Do you agree with this thinking?
 

ElizabethRule

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It's ok to not have them all in the main navigation, but you want to make sure the pages are linked to from other trafficked pages on your site (internal linking), as well as linked to from different websites/domains (backlinking).

If your pages are not linked to from other pages, users and Googlebot cannot find them and they won't be indexed by Google. Even the pages you do link to in the navigation should have a solid internal linking and backlinking strategy if you want them to rank higher in SERPs.

Resources for internal linking:

Resources for building links:
 

DavidGetty

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City based landing pages are great, but there are certain things you have to do to make sure you don’t get penalized for them as if they are doorway pages.

The most important thing is to make each page unique, each page should be like its own homepage for the people in that town. When someone in the town searches for that business, instead of going to your website homepage they should go to that city based landing page as if it’s the homepage. And that page should be set up so that they could get to all of the other pages on your website that they might want to see.

It gets hard making unique content, but that’s what you have to do. In order to rank well you have to make it as if it’s a standalone homepage. You can just use the same content on every page and replace the city name. Well, you could, but it won’t rank nearly as well as a unique page with good content.

Use unique pictures of that town. Tell a story of work you’ve done for customers in that town. Post excerpts of reviews from people in that town. etc.
 

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