Back in June, I wrote a post on the utility of individual location pages for Local SEO. For those who don’t remember, it’s best practice to create unique pages for each of your business’ locations. The unique NAP info signals to Google that the page is relevant to users in that area, so that your site – and that page, specifically – is then shown more readily in those areas. Makes sense, right? It’s a simple principle, and it also turns out to be useful for ranking in areas where you don’t have a business location. Enter the idea of the “business near X” page. For example: have a dentistry in Bellevue but want to rank in Sammamish? Your page would read, “Dentistry near Sammamish.”
As in the example, a “business near X” page should be keyword optimized for the area you want to rank in, as well as your typical keywords. This means including those keywords in the title, meta description, and H1s, per usual. You should also try to include location-specific content on that page. For example, if you’ve done work in that area, say so. Our client, Jackson Tree Service, has done so on their page for a Tree Service Near Ladue, where they rank third in organic results. That said, don’t go overboard with information. Trust me, it can be hard to come up with copy about a location where you don’t have business location. And it’s even harder to make sure that copy is useful for a user. Definitely don’t try so hard that your copy feels unnatural or out of place. On the note of user experience – when making a “business near X” page, you’ll also want to include a map and store info of your nearest business locations. If you’re being very careful to not confuse the search engine, you can forego the address (since it will conflict with the location you’re trying to rank for) and put a link to your actual location page instead. But, that may take a toll on user experience. There’s a tradeoff here, but the choice won’t make or break this strategy.
Creating a “near X” location page is fairly straightforward. Below is a checklist of items you’ll want to include to get the most out of your page.
Keep in mind that lacking an address specific to the area you’re trying to rank for is one reason these “business near X” pages don’t work quite as well as your typical location page. Another reason is backlinks: likely, your actual locations have been linked from other local organizations which signal to Google their relevance to their respective areas. Your “business near X” page isn’t likely to get such web cred (did I just make up a sweet new term for link juice?!). So, be sure to manage your expectations when you use this strategy. That said, using “business near X” pages are a whole lot better than nothing, in terms of ranking for area where you don’t have a permanent location. In fact, one of our clients used a variation of this strategy with notable success. Their naturopathy clinic has a location in Lacey, but in three months, their page optimized for “Olympia naturopathy clinic” shot from page 3 to page 1 for a “naturopathy Olympia” search. With that in mind, go forth and create some pages – and let us know how it goes! We hope you find as much success as we have with this strategy