March 17, 2023
March 17, 2023
If you’re just getting started in SEO and your business operates out of a number of places, you may have wondered if targeting all of these places would hurt your SEO. The truth is it can hurt your SEO, but only if you don’t do it properly or if you undertake Black Hat techniques. In this article, our expert SEO team explains how you can successfully target multiple places on your website, without harming your SEO.
So, how do you target multiple cities without hurting your SEO? The key to not harming your SEO when targeting multiple cities is to only target areas in which you legitimately operate. You need to:
But first, let’s go into more detail about why local SEO is so important…
If you’re the kind of business that relies on local custom, local SEO is essential for being found online. Since everything is done online these days, having a solid online presence is more important than ever. It’s especially important for businesses that have to compete with large, well-known chains.
Not only will local SEO help to skyrocket your online presence, but it can also help to significantly increase conversions. 78% of location-based online searches result in an offline purchase, whether that’s at a shop, a clinic, a restaurant, a gym, or a university. Gaining this local traffic gives you the opportunity to sell yourself online and gain their custom in person.
Here are a few interesting statistics to help you understand the importance of local SEO:
So, now you know why local SEO is important, let’s move on to the how.
Local SEO services are fairly similar no matter how many locations you’re targeting. The key thing to remember is that you cannot target an area in which you don’t legitimately operate. This could result in your website being penalised for black hat SEO.
First things first, you need to prove that you legitimately operate in the areas that you’re targeting. You can do this by:
You can also create specific location pages for each area in which you operate. These pages should highlight your work in the area, the services that you offer, and include an address if you have an office. Likewise, a map pinpointing the location of the office would also be beneficial.
Having such pages also allows you to target specific location-based keywords. For example, say you run a physiotherapy business and operate in both Leeds and Sheffield. Location pages on your website allow you to easily target keywords such as Physiotherapist Sheffield as well as Physiotherapist Leeds. You could even target surrounding towns and villages that you service by mentioning them on these pages.
Claiming your Google Business Profile (GBP) is essential for local SEO. This is a free online directory that highlights your business close to the top of a search results page for relevant searches.
For example, if you have claimed your GBP, when someone searches for a construction company in Sheffield, you have a higher chance of appearing for that search as it would be clear that you operate in the area. If you have an office, you may also appear in the Maps directory for relevant searches as you’d have a specific address to list.
Website schema, whilst not a direct ranking factor, helps search engine crawlers to better understand landing pages. There are a number of schema properties that are required to ensure that the schema validates. These are:
Geo coordinates are a part of local SEO schema markup, but they can also be used on images to really boost location signals. Where your images are related to or feature the area that you’re targeting, adding in geo coordinates gives Google and other search engines a stronger signal that you operate in the area and that your content should appear for relevant searches in that area.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by using an image-sharing service such as Flickr or Google Photos (using an Android device). Here you can upload a photo then add various elements such as titles, descriptions, alt text, and associate an image with a location by pinpointing it on a map.
As part of your SEO campaign with Wildcat Digital, we review your local SEO opportunities and put together a strategy to boost sales, leads and conversions in your local area. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our SEO services with a free consultation.