SEO - New Cities - Build on existing page or new URL


Stack

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May 20, 2017
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14
So I wasn't sure exactly where to place this question but I'll start here. Feel free to move it where it needs to be. I am working on a limo/shuttle bus company based here in Houston and have built up their rankings for all things Houston at the moment and I am building links etc on other keywords they want.

They are wanting to branch out to the Austin area and eventually other markets since they are rapidly growing. Like have a Locations drop down menu and have Houston & Austin and anywhere else we will be at start doing articles and link building for those locations and article keywords?

The question I have is, should I start building out on the already ranking domain with information about Austin as well? Or should we start a new site just for Austin purposes? Where the URL is basically our business + Austin at the end of it and build it from scratch and get an address in Austin.

Thanks in advance.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,439
Unless (1) the current site has a Houston-specific name or (2) it's got extremely few or no good links, I would suggest using one domain. Not two.

Even if it's easier and simpler now to have two sites, it will be much trickier later. Either you'll have to double your efforts to earn good links and get decent content on the site, or you'll need to play King Solomon.
 

Stack

Forum Member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
14
Unless (1) the current site has a Houston-specific name or (2) it's got extremely few or no good links, I would suggest using one domain. Not two.

Even if it's easier and simpler now to have two sites, it will be much trickier later. Either you'll have to double your efforts to earn good links and get decent content on the site, or you'll need to play King Solomon.
No the site does not have a Houston Specific name in the URL. It's just the name of the business. All of the pages that are created in terms of SEO for the services have Houston in them. Like Charter Bus Rental Houston, etc. We also have good backlinks already because the site ranks well for a lot of our keywords.

So would the best recommendation be then Just creating Pages like the ones we have currently for Houston and our fleet etc for Austin, and other cities? Would we then just create menu items for each of them?

I appreciate all your help.
 

Stack

Forum Member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
14
Thank you so much. Sorry for all the questions.

So for now we have EVENTS and FLEET that are all tied to Houston Keywords in the MENU BAR

With the inclusion of lets say Austin. Would we do a main Menu item with Austin, then under there have a drop down for EVENTS, and FLEET. With each of these pages now Austin specific?

And would each page have to have completely new content as to not have a duplicate problem with google? In terms of the information about the events and fleet?

You can see how we are structured now at Sam's Limousine | Charter, Shuttle, Party, & Coach Bus Rentals Houston

Thank you in advance.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,652
Hey Stack, you're in a pretty unique situation so you're going to want to tread lightly here.

Looking at the site, it looks like you have a lot of keywords you want to hit on for Austin, correct?

You're possibly looking at creating a lot of doorway pages, pages that have no real differentiation from other pages on your site besides the fact that they are for Austin. I don't think I would do that as the doorway page algorithm, from my experience, is very real.

You're going to have to do some testing on this, honestly.

I think you have two options:

1) Create 1 landing page per city and making that landing page incredibly unique. It's not just enough to rewrite the landing pages to make them unique. You will truly need to make the pages with unique content somehow. There are a lot of articles out there on how to make city specific landing pages unique. The only issue you will run into is how many keywords you want to optimize for. At some point, the landing pages will become too similar. You'll either need to lower the amount of keywords or risk a doorway page algorithm hit. The hit may not be that bad with just one doorway page (your Austin page) or may be non-existent. But at some point, it will come into play unless you truly find a way to make every page unique.

2) Use subdomains - I've never recommended this but it may work. Maybe doorway pages are only domain specific and subdomains will allow you to get out from under it and allow you rewrite all your pages and let that be as unique as it gets.

I don't know man, the way doorway pages work these days, it's anyone's guess how this might go.

If you want general advice let me know. I'd be willing to trade advice to see how your testing works out :)
 

Stack

Forum Member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
14
Hey Stack, you're in a pretty unique situation so you're going to want to tread lightly here.

Looking at the site, it looks like you have a lot of keywords you want to hit on for Austin, correct?

You're possibly looking at creating a lot of doorway pages, pages that have no real differentiation from other pages on your site besides the fact that they are for Austin. I don't think I would do that as the doorway page algorithm, from my experience, is very real.

You're going to have to do some testing on this, honestly.

I think you have two options:

1) Create 1 landing page per city and making that landing page incredibly unique. It's not just enough to rewrite the landing pages to make them unique. You will truly need to make the pages with unique content somehow. There are a lot of articles out there on how to make city specific landing pages unique. The only issue you will run into is how many keywords you want to optimize for. At some point, the landing pages will become too similar. You'll either need to lower the amount of keywords or risk a doorway page algorithm hit. The hit may not be that bad with just one doorway page (your Austin page) or may be non-existent. But at some point, it will come into play unless you truly find a way to make every page unique.

2) Use subdomains - I've never recommended this but it may work. Maybe doorway pages are only domain specific and subdomains will allow you to get out from under it and allow you rewrite all your pages and let that be as unique as it gets.

I don't know man, the way doorway pages work these days, it's anyone's guess how this might go.

If you want general advice let me know. I'd be willing to trade advice to see how your testing works out :)
Thanks for this information. Yes i was looking at creating all new content with information about Austin and doing at least 1K + words on the main pages that link out to the services pages for Austin I guess and have the information that way.

Either I do a page with really good content for the Austin landing page. Or I was thinking that for every page I create completely unique content for them. Definitely don't want to get with any penalty with a cheap doorway page. So for sure want to get some good content that will work.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,652
Doorway pages don't have to be copied content. They can be unique content but repetitive. I'm going to guess rewriting the content for Austin is going to get flagged as a doorway page according to my experience with them. However, one doorway page isn't necessarily going to get you in trouble probably. It's when you have a good amount of them. But my guess is the effect is cumulative. So it will hurt you some. Good luck!
 

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