Is including City/state in meta title and H1 still useful for ranking


Durandl

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I've bee reading a lot about the value of including Location key terms in Meta title and H1 to help rank in a particular cities but it seems there aren't as useful as they use to be since GMB already knows, or should know about your location. Not to mention citations across key directories.
I can see the value from a searcher point of view who would easily identify a business location through a normal Google listing but does it really help Rank?

Thanks
 
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I've seen a fair bit of evidence that it's not as useful as it used to be. Local SEO Guide's 2016 ranking factor study showed almost no correlation, and backlinko's study showed little correlation between title tags and ranking just in general. Google seems to be more interested in which sites are linking to you, the anchor text, the content of the linking pages, and so on.

Personally, I still often include geo information on home title tags (depending on the industry) but I know it's more superstition than anything else. The real truth, your title tag is there for conversion purposes. Anything to increase click through and stick time on the page is going to help you far more rankings-wise than what specific keywords you put in the title tag.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I'm going to take a hard line position and tell you that in our agency, it is understood definitively that title tag still helps you rank. From everything we've seen internally, it just does. We troubleshoot rankings of about 20 different local businesses a month (not a lot necessarily) and I can tell you one of the #1 reasons local businesses do not rank well is because Google can't understand their location. Either it's not in the title tag or not in the text on the website.

I've heard it said that Google can understand your location based on your citations alone. In theory, this sounds correct and easy for Google to correlate. In practice, it is not happening. I've personally seen 1-2 examples in the last month where a business that has citations (maybe not a ton but enough for Google to draw a correlation if that's what they do) and they're stuck back on page 10 or worse, not even ranking period.

We've also seen evidence of changing the title tag recently and seeing a decent increase for a client. We've also seen recently changing the title tag and H1 for a client and seeing a pretty impressive increase.

Maybe the title tag wasn't as important as it used to be but it's FAR from unimportant.

So, write your keyword with at least a keyphrase in it but also write for click through rate. That's a good middle solution.

Also, keyword in meta doesn't work anymore. That's been, more or less, proven thoroughly. Write 100% for click through.
 
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I have an instance where 2 companies providing "mortgage advice" in the same city rank completely differently but their Title/H1s are similar. The big difference is that one has its NAP on its Contact Us page as well as Google Map and the other does not show its NAP anywhere. I am going to do an experiment to see what happens if I add the NAP & Map which I believe to be best practice anyway.

On a related matter I note that Google's API does not work the same for service area businesses as for location based businesses. For instance, one supplier I work with cannot pull reviews for service area businesses and I noticed that using Moz Local the other day it could not find the listing for the service area business that I was testing with. This business has Google reviews on its site so you would think it could be found.
 

mborgelt

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I tend to agree with James but to Joshua's point correlation isn't always causality. That said if it doesn't fit naturally then I'd skip it and focus on making the page as topically relevant as possible then start getting links to it.
 

pollini

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its still valid using title " keyword | City | Brand" ?

Or you suggest something else ?

thanks
 
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If you are or your client is in a specific city, you should definitely add your location in your title tag and meta description. This is an important local SEO strategy. At the surface level, this communicates with Google in terms of what keywords you are trying to rank for and in what city.

As long as you are making the titles creative, this is fine in the eyes of Google. This strategy will help you show up in the search results and as we have seen can move you up the rankings based on how stiff the competition is, but you will need to build citations, quality links, better content to get you to the first page of Google.

We have seen updating the title tag and meta description with city specific keyword work pretty well with our clients. An example title tag would be: Best Dentist Charlotte, NC | Phone Number | Brand Name

We actually have our client ranking on the first page of Google with this title tag right now for their major keyword. The title tag, meta description and on-page content were updated with city + keyword and got them to the bottom of Google. As we continued to enhance the content on the landing page, build consistent citations and links, they moved up to a top 5 position.

Thanks,

Lamar Hull
 

pollini

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thanks a lot

why do you put NC what it means ?

how I build citations ? its like testimonials ? Can I add them in my site or doesnt have seo value ? I see many sites having section “testimonials”

thanks
 
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NC is the state which the City Charlotte is in, so it is listed as Charlotte (city), NC (state). This is typical in the USA. So, when someone is searching for a dentist in charlotte, they will search "dentist charlotte nc".

The first step is finding general citations like Yelp, merchant circle, etc. Then creating niche specific citations. You need an email address to where you can verify the listing that you are creating and that's pretty much it. I would encourage to fill out all the citation information on each one, such as full business name, phone number, hours, description, categories, etc.

The biggest thing with citations is to be consistent with the information you put online across all citations. Don't have one with an 800# and another with the local #, be consistent with all information that you add to each citation.

Here are top citations by country: Top Local Citation Sources by Country for USA, CAN, UK AU - Whitespark

Here are citations by category: Top Local Citations by Business Category | 1,000+ Niche Citation Sites

These 2 websites have a lot of resourceful information on building citations.

Hope that helps!
 

pollini

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One more question, and thanks for help

Some services I dont have competition and im first on google in my city, do you think I can use at title tag also 1 city next to me?

Using your Example :

Best Dentist Charlotte, Chicago | Phone Number | Brand Name

Its very important also the brand name u think so ? Usually I used some LSI words instead and I never thought of phone number.

thanks
 
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Read this: Proximity to Searcher is Still the #1 Local Search Ranking Factor - Whitespark and Proximity to Searcher is the New #1 Local Search Ranking Factor - Moz

That would be a bad strategy in my opinion, I would focus on the city and state that you are in.

Google's algorithm specifically in local search is now geared towards the proximity of the searcher, if you are not close to their location, Google will refrain from showing your website in the local 3 pack.

So they are pushing this a lot more and some of the same results can be seen in organic search results when location is detected in the user's browser.

This could be an over optimization strategy as well from an organic search standpoint.

Phone number in the title tag is for engagement. Brand name is for brand awareness. You don't have to do that, but for our local clients we are trying to drive those 2 things.

Thanks,
Lamar
 

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