Matt Chauhan

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We are currently working on local SEO for a music school with two locations in different cities, and I wonder if we should include the names of both the cities in the homepage title or not.

Please advise.

P.S. They have separate pages for both locations that are appropriately optimized as per the best practices.
 

cfazio

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Meta description is not a ranking factor in itself - choose what makes the most sense for your audience that comes across your listing.
 

djbaxter

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Since it's only two locations, I would add both city names to the title of the home page and then make sure that the home page links to both location pages.
 

MKubot

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Since it's only two locations, I would add both city names to the title of the home page and then make sure that the home page links to both location pages.
What if it is more than two locations? What keywords should the homepage go after when you have 5+ locations?! The SERPS even without a geo-modifier are showing the top 8 results as if there was a geo-modifier anyway.

I was thinking “keyword” to the homepage and “keyword city” or “keyword state” to the locations, but I’m not sure given the SERPS.
 
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We are currently working on local SEO for a music school with two locations in different cities, and I wonder if we should include the names of both the cities in the homepage title or not.

Please advise.

P.S. They have separate pages for both locations that are appropriately optimized as per the best practices.
Hi Matt, in total agreement with @djbaxter. You didn't mention the distance between the two locations, which might affect how you approach it. But at a minimum, definitely create two well written location pages, with appropriate links from home page.

We have a client with 20+ locations that are in sufficient geographically distant locations that justifies having separate websites, GMB and social media pages. Again, this may not be necessary in your case.

I would also strongly suggest that in addition to having your Page Title optimized, making sure your Home Page (and location pages) have the same (or closely similar) H1 tag as your Page Titles and have the first sentence underneath the H1 match the wording you ordinarily would use for your Meta description. The reason being (which we've personally experienced), is that Google (more often on new or recently updated pages) is often using the H1 tag and content from the page itself in lieu of the Page Title and meta description. This is a fairly recent development, here's a couple of articles:

With the volatility of this recent Google update, we've personally found this method to be the most likely way of having our most preferred content to show up on the search results. Others may have different feedback what has worked from them lately. We've seen by having the Page Title and meta description match the H1 and paragraph text, it seems to more strongly signal what the page content is about. Of course it is always recommended the actual page content matches your Title and H1 descriptions.

Good luck!
 
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Conor Treacy

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Something that we have been doing for years is adding the county or region in the title on the home page, and then other pages have city etc.

Many of our clients are in Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska (about 50 miles from each other, but common for people to commute between the two places). So we would have pages covering Omaha Metro area or Sarpy & Douglas County on other pages. Sometimes even "Serving Eastern Nebraska".

Title and Description are mainly for users to Click on, so as long as it's semi-recognizable, they'll click. On the page content itself, then the locations can be listed, or having a locations page specifically for those cities.

And as Jeff mentioned, with the latest round of updates from Google now using H1, H2, anchor texts or any other text on the page rather than the Title Tag, content on page moves one step up the ladder. It's been that way for the description for years, but now the Title Tag has joined the group.
 
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