For companies that have a broad geographic focus, working on SEO to rank their website in Google Searches for only one city isn’t helpful for generating business. At SilverServers we understand this, since it’s something we have to grapple with ourselves! Our search engine optimization (SEO), website design and development, and graphic design services are provided from our Kamloops home base, but we serve clients throughout Canada, the USA, and beyond! So, how can small and medium businesses like ours build authority for multiple locations? We want to share a couple of tips for how websites with a broad geographic focus can still build authority for many specific locations.
What does it mean to have a broad geographic focus? As one example, for a company that buys and sells mining equipment worldwide, ranking only for their geographic location probably won’t provide much business – especially if there aren’t any mines in operation nearby! They need to rank in locations where this equipment gets used. Another example could be a tourist beach resort. Ranking for their geographic location is helpful, but they need to be showing up in Google Searches when someone from another country looks for something general like “great beach resorts for my honeymoon”. These are two examples where a company’s service area is too broad to write into the first paragraph of every page and piece of content on a website.
So what would we suggest that could help businesses like this rank better for their service areas? Use your blog! Let’s look at how this can help.
Like we have mentioned in a few of our News and Tips articles, one of the least complicated ways to build your website’s authority for a search term is to write blog posts regularly about the topic you’re hoping to rank for. When these types of articles are added to your website at least once a month (at a bare minimum) then you may start seeing your website show up in search results for the topics you’re writing about – and even some related ones. This is also true when your topic is a geographic location! If you run your small business in Saskatoon but want people from Bismarck, North Dakota to find your website in search results, then regularly write blog posts about Bismark, North Dakota. If your business lives in Winnipeg and you want to rank in Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver, then rotate writing articles specifically tailored to those locations!
Where can you start to know what locations to focus on? If you’re hoping to provide products or services to a specific location, then the answer is easy. However, if you aren’t so sure and you want to get an idea of where some of your website visitors are from, check out your Google Analytics. One of the features of Analytics is that you can find out where you are getting the most visitors from. You can take that information and make decisions from there. Maybe you thought people from Vancouver were visiting your site the most, but find in your Analytics that people from Seattle are visiting it most often. That could mean that Seattle would be a good place to begin your efforts!
A location list is a page, or part of a page, on your website that lists every location you serve. In our research we haven’t found that location lists on well-designed websites have a negative affect on SEO. In some cases it seems that they can help a little bit. However, our thoughts on location lists are that they shouldn’t be relied on. If you’re going to use a location list, use it alongside a solid plan to add content to your website regularly.
Building website authority for multiple geographic locations can take some work – but it can be possible! Take a look at where your business is coming from and focus on building your website’s authority for those locations. It may bring you increased traffic for those places!
For more information reading about Geographic SEO work, check out our article about boosting rankings for your region!
To learn more about SilverServers, our Grassroots program and services, and our approach to search engine optimization, stick around and read some of our News articles - we write new articles and SEO tips regularly! Or else, give us a call and find out how we can help you get your website found by your targeted geographic audience.