Creating local city pages near to my branches advice


PeteC122

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
12
Hello Experts,
I am wondering peoples thoughts on the following tactics for improving local search visibility with ranking for nearby towns to where we are based.

We have a number of branches and each of these has it's own branch page displaying NAP, google map and unique content etc. We also have individual GMB listings for each branch linked to the associated branch page.

I was thinking of adding directions to the store just to add more uniqueness , local landmarks and localised based content ? - What are peoples thoughts of using the google maps directions from point a to store as opposed to rewriting these as I would have thought , google doesn't index the directions as content given there is so many variables etc.

Another idea is doing similar to what one of my competitors has done which is that they created what is in effect doorway pages - city branch pages near to his actual branches and he is ranking for these (top 5) in virtually every town.

They have used this technique for a number of years with no manual action or penalty and what they do is share the same blocks of content over all of these pages with the only difference being , every time you refresh (f5) the webpage, it will randomise which blocks of content to bring it to make up the page.
Therefore, all googlebot sees is theoretically a different page every time. I have worked out they use 3 blocks and have about 30 different variations which is randomised in. They also use variables to bring in city name, phone number etc etc and use this for title tags , H1, H2 and meta descriptions.

I am aware this is a bad technique but I created a few city branch pages close to my main branches and linked to them from my branch pages.

Does anyone have any thoughts of the above and advise on if is there are any other techniques worth considering or examples which work ?

Many thanks and happy new year
Pete
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,425
@PeteC122, multi-part response:

1. Encouraging people to look up Google Maps driving directions is a good move. Just don't embed a map with the "destination" filled out, because those maps are near-useless.

2. I'd add old-school manual driving directions, too. Some people prefer those. Helpful detail for Google, too.

3. On "city" pages showcase your experience in those places. Wheel out reviews and photos from customers, wherever possible.

4. Don't put all your eggs in the basket of city pages. Your main "branch" pages and the homepage also can rank, and in my experience are more likely to rank.

I've written extensively about the ins and outs and dos and don'ts of city pages and similar approaches to cast a wider net, and have examples. (I try to avoid dropping links here.)
 

PeteC122

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
12
Hi Phil,
Many thanks for your advice
Do you think it' okay to copy what Google displays for the driving directions say If I it did directions from North, South, East, West to my branch or should I rewrite the google directions it displays?
Is there anywhere I can read some of your work around this subject ?
thanks
Pete
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,425
Sure thing, @PeteC122.

You'll probably want to rewrite Google's directions, maybe with more reference to landmarks (e.g. "We're a block from the ______ tube station, just before the Tesco").

On the right-hand sidebar of my site there's an easy-to-browse list of my posts, including those on "city" pages and similar topics. There's also this webinar from last year (if you're into those): Webinar: Best Marketing Tactics to Win Customers From Outside Your Local Area
 

PeteC122

Forum Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
12
That's great. Many thanks for the help and advice. I'll take a look at the posts and webinar to.
Pete
 

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