Site structure for network of locations

searchcityusa

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
1
Hi there!

I am looking for some industry expert weigh-in on best practices to how to best approach the business scenario described below.
Tim runs a business, timsbusinesswebsite.com. Tim's business has between 15 and 30 individual locations in large cities across the United States. Unfortunately, the approach to each individual location's digital marketing has been inconsistent.
Which of these three approaches would best build the best foundation for the business in local and national rankings from an SEO standpoint and why?
 

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
494
Hi @searchcityusa

The transition to any structure is going to be the killer here.

All things being equal, my preference is for a subfolder structure if budget is in any way an issue.
This makes it super clear to search engines and site visitors that happen to look at the URL, the relationships of the entities.

If the city locations are not clear identities on their own (eg Los Angeles is California), then you can use a domain/state/city URL structure (good of lots of locations in a single state) OR domain/city-state URL structure (good if cities are scattered around).

Having the location pages all at the same level means you can silo content relevant for that location easily. It also makes the structured data layout more logical to work with and frankly, easier IMHO.

This is also a really good thread to read through for further input into your question.
Do Exact Match Domains Still Work? | Local Search Forum
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,830
Definitely avoid different sites, I also tend to do subfolders. Subdomains would be interesting though and could possibly provide more value. They may more easily avoid a doorway page hit since you'll be building multiple location pages. That is neither confirmed nor tested to my knowledge though.
 

Adufar

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
13
Hi all

I'd like to ask a related scenario here but with an additional issue for the better of the members who will also face with this kind of situation.

I have a client were the domain name is brand+keyword+state

e.g

Homepage

brandcarpetcleaningillinois.com

landingpage:

brandcarpetcleaningillinoise.com/carpet-cleaning-Aurora
brandcarpetcleaningillinoise.com/carpet-cleaning-chicago


now the client wants to expand to other states like Indiana or Michigan

registering a google my business separately is necessary but how about in terms of site structure?

should the client register a new domain name specifically for another state?

e.g
Homepage
brandcarpetcleaningindiana.com

landingpage:
brandcarpetcleaningindiana.com/carpet-cleaning-Fort-Wayne
brandcarpetcleaningindiana.com/carpet-cleaning-Evansville


Thanks in advance to those who will reply and share their insights.

P.s. If this had been tackled before feel free to delete or merge this.
 

Ryanl

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
31
Back in like 2006 I built a website for a milti-city company. We tested something because the client was cool and it worked really well.

We did a mybusiness.com and made this like a landing page with large obvious links to the city sites.
City sites we're structured like city.mybusiness.com, city2.mybusiness.com and we created independent websites for each. There we're many great benefits from this including I'd never seen a site do so well and after doing much research, the subdomain back then got a ton of juice for some reason. That eventually changed and after about 4 - 5 years of domination we moved it to mybusiness/city/city1 structure because he started losing rank fast.

The homepage "mybusiness.com" had very little content but ranked extremely well as well as the subdomain pages. We did experience some cross over however in two cities that were somewhat close to each other.
 

Adufar

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
13
Back in like 2006 I built a website for a milti-city company. We tested something because the client was cool and it worked really well.

We did a mybusiness.com and made this like a landing page with large obvious links to the city sites.
City sites we're structured like city.mybusiness.com, city2.mybusiness.com and we created independent websites for each. There we're many great benefits from this including I'd never seen a site do so well and after doing much research, the subdomain back then got a ton of juice for some reason. That eventually changed and after about 4 - 5 years of domination we moved it to mybusiness/city/city1 structure because he started losing rank fast.

The homepage "mybusiness.com" had very little content but ranked extremely well as well as the subdomain pages. We did experience some cross over however in two cities that were somewhat close to each other.
yea especially after the exact match domains update so it gave more reward to site that were structured to sub folders instead of sub domains.

With the current scenario I had I am still not sure or don't know how to approach but my best move would be to create another sub page for a different state but at the back of my head I am assuming a conflict will occur that will drag the rankings because of the exact match domain that the current website has.
 
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