There are two areas where your company could be showcased on the Google search engine: the search results and the map results. If you want to rank high on Google Maps and the Local SERP, custom local city landing pages are an absolute must.
In this post, our local SEO experts from DigitalBullLeads.com will talk about the importance of building local city landing pages on your website. and provide thirteen tremendous tips for creating a terrific city page.
Why do you need city pages? Well, the whole point of city landing pages is to increase your sphere of influence.
If built effectively, these pages will not only help you rank, but also encroach on the weaker-held territory or territories of your opponents. You can also possibly steal some of your competitor’s business through this method!
“A real estate agency in Wichita has no shot at ranking for the phrase “real estate;” a lawyer in Fresno has no shot at ranking for the word “lawyer.” Optimize for relevant, specific keywords that will bring targeted traffic.”
– Matt McGee
13 Tips for a Quality City Page
We’re going to expand upon our helpful infographic. Here are thirteen tips to help with building city pages that help increase your ranking and standing with Google.
1. CMS & Page Builder
The content management system (CMS) you use plays a part. Use a good CMS like WordPress to design and build your city pages. You can build your page on Drupal, Magento, or Joomla if you feel comfortable, but we prefer WordPress as it is easier to rank and we have the most experience with it.
You also need a strong page builder such as the Divi Builder or Beaver Builder. WordPress 5.0 with Gutenberg Editor isn’t too bad either and is helpful to beginners or those new to content. The Elementor Page Builder with its simple drag and drop functionality is our tool of choice.
2. Design & Elements
You don’t have to spend hours wondering what to do for your design. Go take a look at what your top competitors or sites that are already ranking. Choose city page designs from top competitor pages. Browse their city pages and see which elements you like best.
You can try to add these elements to your own city page. Take a look at the flow and see if everything fits. Once you have the style and structure down, you are ready to go. Of course, you shouldn’t blatantly copy all their text, and this goes without saying. You are only mimicking the style and layout, not the content, speaking of which…
3. Keywords & Content
Your keyword should be something such as ‘plumbing Salem’, ‘locksmith San Francisco’, or ‘yoga Austin’. This isn’t like organic SEO, so you shouldn’t have 20+ keywords. Stick to three or four that are relevant and go from there. Try to fit these keywords naturally into your content instead of cramming them in.
The content on your city page should have information about your service, your company, the city (of course), and a map. Do your research on the city from sites like Wikipedia and news outlets and learn more about the place. Add a bit of personal flavor and other unique touches. There needs to be a flow to the whole thing, so don’t jump from topic to topic. Constructing good content for a city page takes time, so don’t rush through proceedings.
4. Banner & CTA
Ask your graphic design team to create a great banner. This banner will appear at the top of the page, above the fold. The banner should be representative of the city as well as your services. It could be your van, your store, or anything else you feel fits. Remember that this banner will be the first thing people see when they land on the page, so make it colorful, attractive, and emblematic.
You also need a good call-to-action (CTA) form along with your phone number. Keep the form fields as low as possible (instead of ‘first name’ and ‘last name’, have just one box for ‘name’). Most forms will ask for the person’s name, phone number, and what they require service for. Be sure to add a button to call you directly from your site for people browsing on mobile. You can integrate call tracking and live chat features as well to improve communication. The banner image and form are crucial elements, so take care to do them well.
5. Photos & Videos
Photos and videos elevate the value of the page both in the eyes of Google and visitors. Upload good quality, geotagged, and compressed service and city photos and videos. Add photos of you and your team at work, and of attractions and monuments in the area. Also, remember to geotag your photos. Geotagging is a concept where you tag your location while taking the photo. Photos will add vibrancy to your city page and make it more appealing.
If you videotape your team working in the area, even better. Embedding a video from the company’s YouTube channel or from another video hosting site also increase the time a user spends on the page. Add alt-tags for the photos and videos, and optimize the video description. All these details may seem tiny, but they will help boost your SEO.
6. Reviews & Citations
Add 5-star reviews and local citations into your city page(s). Great reviews that mention your name and how you helped will bolster your credibility. Also, your reviews don’t exclusively refer to your Google Reviews. You can add top reviews from Yelp or Manta as well. It’s even better if the review is from a person in the city that you’re creating a city page of. This way, the reviews function as a testimonial.
Get yourself added to local directories and popular directories to showcase them on your city page. Just make sure your citations match up with your actual details. You don’t want a citation where your phone number or address is different from your actual one. If you won any awards or are a member of a big organization, you can add that here as well.
7. History & Landmarks
It’s time to dive in and do more research on the city, this time, to add historical context and landmarks. Again, Wikipedia and news outlets are a good source of information here. You can also look at the city’s official website for more clues. What was the city like in years past? What notable events have occurred? Dig into the city’s history and you might be in for some surprises.
Add attractions, restaurants, and popular places to go. Zoos, amusement parks, universities, beaches, monuments, museums, and sports stadiums all count as landmarks. Try to make your content unique. Information about the Statue of Liberty or Disneyland is great, but are there any little-known places to go or things to do in your area?
You can add content about restaurants, museums, parks, and interesting facts about the city as well. Additionally, you can include famous people from the area or big companies headquartered there. If you can’t tell, this section of your page should have tourism feel to it, almost like telling a story.
8. Internal Links & Schema
Don’t forget the internal linking and schema. Links between your city pages as well as links to your service pages. You should definitely add links to your main city page from your home page. This will strengthen your site structure.
Your pages are divided into categories. There is the homepage, then you’ve got your services pages. Now, you’re adding city pages into the mix. Identify your best-performing page. Then, decide which page is your conversion page (for us, it’s the city page itself), though sites prefer having a separate contact page.
If both are the same, then you’re doing well. If not, divert links to your conversion page as this is ultimately the place where you want your visitors to end up. There should be a method to your internal links (we prefer linking from home to city and service to city) in order to bring flow to your website.
Don’t neglect your structured data markup, AKA schema. Within a schema, you have different types like organization schema, aggregate rating schema, local business schema, website schema, and more. Check to make sure all the ones relevant to you are in place and error-free.
9. Custom Maps & Map Embeds
Performing Maps SEO is an important part of ranking locally, but a lot of businesses miss this. When designing your city pages, you need to add custom map directions and map embeds. You can embed maps of your business as well as of the city.
Google Custom Maps are even cooler. Google gives you the ability to create custom maps with instructions on how to get to your store from major locations (bus stops, parks, universities, etc.). You can create custom maps from transit locations, government buildings, attractions, and more.
If you are a service area business (SAB) like a plumber or locksmith, you can add custom maps showing your coverage area or how you get to one city from another. You can also showcase the ZIP codes you serve. If you have a physical store where you provide goods and services, you can create Google Custom Maps showcasing how to get to your shop from major places.
10. External Links & Local Links
Now that you’ve got your internal links, we move on to external links. Here, you want to add external local links to local citations and local landmarks in the area. External links are necessary for giving Google hints as to what your page is about, but you don’t want to add too many as they’ll take your visitor elsewhere. They may also bring down the value of your city page. For these reasons, be sure to use ‘nofollow’ links so you don’t lose out on your SEO equity, value, or juice.
Some examples of local pages you can link to are the city’s Chamber of Commerce page or Rotary Club page. The official site for the city is another good external local link. As far as general external links go, you can link to the Wikipedia page of the city or big sites where you were listed like Angie’s List, Bing, JustDial, Yahoo, or FourSquare. As stated earlier, make sure these citations are correct and list the proper information.
11. Speed & Load Time
Optimize your city pages for speed. Your page might be the best looking with top-tier quality content, but it won’t matter if the page loads too slowly. Visitors are highly impatient these days, and if your page doesn’t show up quickly, they’ll be quick to click the back button. It’s not like they have a shortage of options when it comes to services in the area.
The ideal city page should have a load time of four seconds or less (<4). For this, compress your images and videos, reduce redirects, get the latest version of scripts, and upgrade to a quality content delivery network (CDN). Streamline stylesheets and scripts and eliminate errors. Your server and hosting also matter.
Use tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights to better gauge your loading speed on both desktop and mobile. Just one second could mean the difference between a new customer or earning nothing.
12. Technical & On-Page Optimization
You have to optimize the on-page portion of your city page. Technical SEO occurs in the backend, where you need to make sure your code, schema, and site structure are free of errors and all follow the accepted guidelines. On-page SEO elements are the URL, headings, subheadings, images, and content that appear ‘on the page’. UI/UX also comes into play.
Once you’re done writing the content on your city page, you need to optimize it. There are a wide variety of tools and software that you can use in order to achieve this goal and improve your on-page SEO performance. These include Page Optimizer Pro (POP), Surfer SEO, and the Cora SEO Software tool, developed by SEO Tool Lab.
13. A/B Testing & Monitoring
As we come to the end of this list, utilize A/B testing to your benefit. Set up heatmaps and A/B testing to monitor and improve your city pages. Get opinions from experts, customers, and others in your company. Do research and find out what works best. Testing is the best way to refine, fine-tune, and enhance your city page.
You can make use of a plugin such as Hotjar for this. It tracks user sessions so you can monitor where your users travel from one page to another, where they click, what pages they spend the most time at, and more. Visual Web Optimizer (VWO) is another tool that you can use.
Remember, just because you have completed the city page does not mean your work is over. What is hot right now may turn stale later. You need to work to make improvements to your city page occasionally, be it through new features, add-ons, or content. Updating also keeps your content fresh and is a signal to bots to crawl the page again.
DigitalBullLeads.com Creates Custom City Landing Pages
DigitalBullLeads.com can create custom city pages for you or your clients. Our team of experts will follow all 13 of these tips to a T and help you expand your sphere of influence. Choose from 4 attractive DigitalBull Lead Generation Templates and get your special city page delivered in a matter of days. Integrate it into your site, and watch the calls pour in!
We can build local city landing pages that help you or your clients rank on the Map Pack and SERP. These landing pages are perfect for both physical storefronts as well as service area businesses and are sure to make a fine addition to your website. Plus, our custom-built Google My Business Optimization tool, DigitalBull GO, provides the perfect platform to manage and enhance your city pages.
“I thought my website was okay before, but after looking at it and analyzing it, I knew it needed a fresh and more modern look. My old site was a little outdated as well in terms of the overall appearance and user experience. It was loading slow and I know that is not what my customers want. After hiring experts from DigitalBullLeads to redo the whole site, add some more content, and make is FAST with extra addons such as the FAQ, I am super excited on how it turned out. I hope that my customers find some useful info and tips on the new site. Overall, I am 100% satisfied with the results.”
– Teddy Poulos, A-Access Lock & Key