Here's a question we often get from clients: "We're ranking really well in Google searches in the city where our showroom is located, but our main competition somehow seems to appear in searches EVERYWHERE in cities around us. How is this possible?"
This is an important question, because while most home builders and remodeling contractors just have one or two actual physical showroom or office locations, they work frequently in neighboring cities. This means that it is essential for remodelers and home builders to show up in search results in those key locations!
The problem is that local search engine optimization (Local SEO) is often extremely fickle. Even a large, well-designed website with pages, images, and videos optimized for a specific location does not guarantee a Top 3 result in your primary location for your target keywords.
However, there is a way to maximize your chances of showing up in neighboring cities just as that pesky competitor has. We've developed a formula that has worked over and over again at ranking our client's target keywords on Google page 1 for multiple locations (WITHOUT an office in those location), and we're going to share that formula with you, right now!!
Case Study: Gettum Associates
Before we get started on the the multiple location ranking formula, I want to share a little background on our most recent campaign in which we used this exact formula. Gettum Associates, a remodeling contractor in the greater Indianapolis area, just revamped their exterior remodeling business and wanted to get some traction locally in the cities surrounding Indianapolis.
They settled on an initial 7 cities to target and we got to work. Next month, we added another 7 pages targeting 7 different cities. So ultimately we ended up creating 14 pages targeting those 14 key locations.
When we ran an initial ranking report for our target keywords (for example: 'siding contractor Plainfield', 'roofing contractor Southport', 'exterior remodeling Avon', etc, etc.) they literally had no rankings. ZERO!
But one month later, 81 of the 87 keywords we targeted are ranking on Google, with 42% of those rankings on page 1!
Here's how we did it…
Step 1 – Choose Your Target Locations and Your Target Keywords
Choosing your target location is pretty simple – just prioritize the cities where you already work or cities/towns you really WANT to work in. Then choose the keywords you want to target. This part may take a bit more consideration. You can choose to create pages for every single service your company provides, but it will be much easier to rank well if you prioritize the services that you REALLY want to rank for and focus your pages on those.
For example, Gettum Associates really wanted to promote their exterior remodeling services (siding and roofing in particular), so we created pages that highlighted and optimized for those services rather than including all their design and interior work as well.
Next, you'll want to sign up for a ranking report platform like BrightLocal to set up a baseline ranking report and track your results down the road. Add your target keywords and run an initial report to see how you're ranking in your target locations. If you're already ranking well in certain spots, to save time and effort you may want to choose other locations where your rankings are more sparse.
You'll want to create a 'hub' page to organize your location pages together and summarize your services. Here's Gettum's page. The 'hub' page should also serve as a way to structure your pages. You can see in Gettum's Mooresville page how the hub page URL (www.gettum.com/exterior-remodeling-services/siding-roofing-mooresville) is the parent page to the Mooresville location page. Proper organization of these pages helps ranking and makes it easier for visitors to navigate your pages.
Step 3 – Gather Assets to Use on Your Location Page
Location pages should be like Pay Per Click landing pages in the sense that you want to quickly convince visitors that you're the company to contact. So adding videos, testimonials, images, and custom content about your services is crucial.
Step 4 – Create and Fill Out Your Page
You may have heard (correctly) that Google is not fond of duplicate content. In fact, if you churn out too much content that is very similar to other content, Google may penalize your entire site, which would destroy the rankings you already have and make it very difficult for potential customers to find you in local Google keyword searches.
I say this because I want to make it clear that you shouldn't just create 10 identical location pages, change each page title to the name of a different city, and move on!
That's a bad idea – it may work for a bit, but the risk of a Google penalty is too great to make it worth trying. However, you can make multiple pages with very similar layouts as long as you customize the content for each location. Indeed, this is how you'll rank for each location – with content that makes it clear that your page is all about remodeling in Mooresville, Indiana for example (see the image to the right).
Here are a few things we do to customize the content on each location page:
- Add a Google map that pins the location
- Add the location name to each image used on the page. For example, for a siding image in Mooresville, we might name the image 'siding-installation-contractor-mooresville-indiana.jpg
- Talk about recent projects that were done in that location
- Add some 'fun facts' about the city
Step 5 – Interlink Pages and Add to Menu
Once you've created a few pages, make sure they're linking to each other, and that they're linked to from the hub page. You'll also want to either add your hub page as a 'Service Area' link in the menu, or list your location pages in the footer of your website. Maybe both. The idea is to pass the link juice of key website pages on to the location pages to help them rank.
Step 6 – Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
Once you've created your first page, the rest should come pretty easy since you now have a template. I'll mention here again that you shouldn't just create exact duplicates of your first page – you need to customize the content for each location! However, if you do this as I've described step by step, you should see rankings appear for your new locations within a few weeks. We've even seen locations appear on Google's page 1 for target keywords in as little as 3 days, but you should expect them to take a bit longer than that.
Another word of caution is that you'll find that some keywords are much more difficult to rank for than others. It typically comes down to the level of competition in the area. For example, Gettum's location pages have done pretty well ranking in multiple locations for siding keywords, but roofing keywords have been slow to rank. After a quick analysis of the competition in the area, it became clear that this is due to much more competition for roofing keywords in the Indianapolis area than siding keywords.
This is something to keep in mind as you move forward, because while these location pages have certainly worked well for most of our clients, there are always obstacles to overcome in the Local SEO game.
Need Help With This Strategy? Want Generate More Local Leads?
If you'd like some help with this and want to dramatically increase your traffic, leads, and revenue with a complete "Done for You" new client generation system for remodeling and home service pros., let us know!