More threads by Caroline

Jun 14, 2017
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I'm looking at a guy's website where he has three location pages set up and is also trying to optimise the Home page for one of the location pages. As a result both the location page and the home page have the same Meta titles and keywords although the content is different.

I'm thinking of a solution to this as he is not ranking well in either page for the main keyword/location and I guess it is because of the conflict. Should I add rel=canonical from the location page to the home page? Is that a solution? The content on the location page is substantial so although that is a good thing, it is harming the home page's ability to rank for that location.

What do you think is best to do apart from changing the meta titles etc?

Hi Caroline:

You definitely want to make sure the title tag & meta description are different for every page.

As far as ranking's, your question could have a plethora of answers. Do you have access to both Analytics & Search Console? Have you audited the backlinks? Audited the entire website? If local ranks are the concern (Maps), have you analyzed the NAPW information found online using tools such as whitespark or Bright Local, looking for inconsistent data?

If not, start there and look for any issues.

Thank you for your thoughts. I think it is about the website itself. So I'm looking for thoughts on the barriers to having two pages pushing for the same location- home page and location page. So it is site architecture rather than links. The same meta title is not going to help. But I wonder whether just changing the location page meta title is enough or should I remove the location page totally.
Hey Caroline,

Can you share the website and the keywords you're looking at?

And I don't think they're competing with each other. The lack of ranking isn't due to that more than likely. We have clients doing this all of the time.
Hi, Sure.

Tree Surgeon Edinburgh, Scotland TD Tree & Land Services and it is "Tree surgeon Edinburgh". They are targeting this keyword on the home page and location page which is not going to help I understand. So that needs to be sorted.

They have loads of things wrong including a search parameter at the end of each URL being crawled too and canonicalised and so there is that going on. There's also a difficult navigation structure and much more etc etc. So it may well be a combination of a lot of stuff.

If you have clients who target the home page and location page for the same traffic then maybe it's what is wrong with everything else.
I would stick with their main keyword (the one that drives the most traffic) on the homepage and then target a longer-tailed keyword on the location page.
I think it is about the website itself. So I'm looking for thoughts on the barriers to having two pages pushing for the same location- home page and location page.

I think there is somewhat of a difference of opinion about this among the SEO community to be honest. Your concern is Keyword cannibalization. There is a danger in this, but I personally don't think it's much of an issue when it's just the HP and a location page targeting essentially the same or similar terms - as long as there are multiple locations involved, and as long as you aren't missing out on opportunities to target other similar terms that may have some volume.

I personally think you are fine having the location page. If both pages are ranking for your main target search, I wouldn't worry too much... I would make sure they are both optimized for conversion, and have compelling (different) meta descriptions to encourage click through.

Your HP is naturally going to be the stronger page, and will be easier to rank for your more competitive search, so it makes sense to make sure the HP is targeting your most competitive KW phrase. I agree with Joy that the location page can be better used to optimize for alternate searches as well in your case since there are a few other similar searches that have a bit of traffic.

TLDR: I think you should start by improving the site structure and navigation as you mentioned. That most likely has more to do with your ranking concerns than the fact that you have two pages targeting the same terms. But I would also change the optimization of the location page - not because it's competing with the HP and hurting target search rankings, but because it could be competing for alternate sources of traffic instead.

Good luck!

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