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    Local SEO - Targeting Suburbs the Right Way


    Since my last post I've done a lot of comparison between my competitors sites that rank highly. Before I jump in and start making wholesale changes to my site I hope to plan out the most favourable structure first so I can then determine how and where to position user and G friendly content.

    Suburb placement in the structure varies between my competitors particularly those who rank for multiple suburbs, so I guess this is the starting point to plan structure
    a) Dozens of duplicate pages with only suburb name changes
    b) Separate pages for each suburb but different wording of the content
    c) One page (or footer) (or both) listing all the suburbs

    To my understanding a) is a really bad idea as G will eventually penalise. b) Trying to come up with original content for each suburb may be a bit hard particularly if I decide to target a bigger geographical area in future. c) Seems to be the simple approach and I can then focus on original content pages relating more specifically to different customer needs, services offered, specific tips or advice.

    Any opinions on the best use of suburbs in content?

    In my mind c) appeals the most and JohnAimit has suggested something similar in one of his posts, listing suburbs in the global footer. What is better here, a footer or separate page or is both even better?

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    Hello eclipsed!

    I've moved your post from its original thread (When to stop SEOing) to a new thread here. I hope you don't mind - I just feel like it was going off into its own, new topic and a new thread would help preserve the purpose of the old one. I think that will make it easier for people to see your new question.

    I gave this thread a new title too - if you don't like it or have a better title in mind feel free to send me a PM and I'll change it to whatever you like asap.

    Thanks!
    -Mark

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    D) Create unique landing pages for each geo-target with 100% unique text that describes the area and the service being offered. Build respectable citations for each location. Yes, I know it's hard.

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    Last edited by KernelPanic; Apr 17th, 2017 at 02:52 PM.
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    Don't forget to add Microdata (especially on your address, business name and logo) wii be an advantage for local SEO

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    You do your business I do mine because you are you and I am I If we meet it is nice.
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    I gave this thread a new title too - if you don't like it or have a better title in mind feel free to send me a PM and I'll change it to whatever you like asap.
    All good thanks Mark

    D) Create unique landing pages for each geo-target with 100% unique text that describes the area and the service being offered. Build respectable citations for each location. Yes, I know it's hard.
    I expected this was probably the best way but coming up with "relevant" unique text is my stumbling block. All suburbs I am targetting are very similar residential areas(apart from name) and are located near to each other. Describing the area doesn't seem like "relevant" or interesting content and would act mostly for G and detract from useful content for customers.

    From your suggestion I consider my options may be to structure pages as follows:

    site.com/driving-lessons/suburb1 and /suburb2 etc
    With detailed content on the services on /driving-lessons page then have photos, testimonials etc from customers for each /suburb page.

    otherwise

    site.com/driving-lessons-suburb1 and /driving-lessons-suburb2 etc
    This way I would have to come up with multiple versions of the same services text to avoid duplication and local customer photos/testimonials etc but I feel this would make a better landing page as the search terms mostly targetted are "driving lessons +suburb". I'm guessing this way would be best for customers and G as long as the text is different.Trying to come up with several variations of the same content is the tricky part especially if I plan to extend my service area in the future.

    Am I on the right track here or have I misunderstood your advice?
    Also if anyone can direct me to examples of how this is done really well?

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    We need to clarify that this discussion evolved from how to get your pages found in search results for multiple (search query +suburb name), not how to get your Google "My Business" pages to list for multiple suburbs.

    There is a risk in forums of grabbing little bits of advice and over expanding their application. This maybe one example...

    "...JohnAimit has suggested something similar in one of his posts, listing suburbs in the global footer."

    The objective of site-wide footers is to expand the range of words for which a long tailed query can qualify.

    So, if someone searches for, "driving lessons for teens on manual cars" and you have a page that ranks near top of the SERPs for this phrase, a footer that includes all your service area suburbs would probably ensure the same page ranked #1 for any search variant that also included any of your suburbs serviced.

    I did not intend folk to think that simply adding suburb names in site-wide footers will be enough to attain a top ranking for more competitive search terms.

    I also know you are in a market where near duplicate content of suburb names abound to target all of them +one search term. Take hope from the fact that such tactics are the easiest to knock out of the SERPs and that they target such a tiny volume of search queries.

    This SEO search tactic is flawed becuase it wrongly presumes that most searches are made using one search term in combination with different suburb names. WRONG!!!!

    There may be thousands of different search queries that include a suburb name. Inclusion of the suburb name anywhere on a page may be a very minor ranking factor.

    So, I strongly recommend that you avoid creating near duplicate pages where all that changes is the suburb name.

    This does not necessarily need to be approached as a separate page for each suburb. You could publish pages for:

    1. L & P Driving lessons
    2. Lessons for mature drivers
    3. Learner permit preparation
    4. Overseas licence conversions
    5. Freeway and city driving lessons
    6. Driving lessons on automatic cars
    7. Driving lessons on manual vehicles
    8. Driving lessons with female tutors
    Etc.
    Every one of these 8 pages could include "areas we service" info and "reviews/testimonials" by suburb. Just make sure that when you publish a review, discuss where a specific staff memeber works, you include the suburb location in the text and in any image alt tags.

    I would expect your overall SE referrals to be better if you built your target suburb names into as many of your pages' content as possible rather than creating a single "suburb" page.

    I offered this example of a competitor who adopts this type of SEO tactic. (NB. It is not a particularly strong example for Melbourne's western suburbs.)

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    • KernelPanic : This is not good advice for those working in competitive industries
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    The objective of site-wide footers is to expand the range of words for which a long tailed query can qualify.
    I agree, when we're talking about a ridiculously small amount of competition.
    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    So, I strongly recommend that you avoid creating near duplicate pages where all that changes is the suburb name.
    Excellent recommendation
    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    This does not necessarily need to be approached as a separate page for each suburb. You could publish pages for:

    1. L & P Driving lessons
    2. Lessons for mature drivers
    3. Learner permit preparation
    4. Overseas licence conversions
    5. Freeway and city driving lessons
    6. Driving lessons on automatic cars
    7. Driving lessons on manual vehicles
    8. Driving lessons with female tutors
    Etc.
    Yes, this may work in a wee suburb of a wee Region in a wee country in an industry with zero competition.

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    We need to clarify that this discussion evolved from how to get your pages found in search results for multiple (search query +suburb name), not how to get your Google "My Business" pages to list for multiple suburbs.
    Who suggested that is the intent of this topic???

    There is a risk in forums of grabbing little bits of advice and over expanding their application. This maybe one example...

    "...JohnAimit has suggested something similar in one of his posts, listing suburbs in the global footer."
    I love your knowledgeable input john but this is exactly what you are suggesting I have done. You grabbbed a snippet of my post and overinduldged. I explained further with a positive way to include your suggestion(and a possible variation of having a separate page listing suburbs as some sites do) to complement my sitewide content which appears to be exactly what you expand on in your post here.

    c) One page (or footer) (or both) listing all the suburbs

    followed by

    c) Seems to be the simple approach and I can then focus on original content pages relating more specifically to different customer needs, services offered, specific tips or advice.
    This is similar to what you are suggesting isn't it?

    I did not intend folk to think that simply adding suburb names in site-wide footers will be enough to attain a top ranking for more competitive search terms.
    I hope so too! If it was this simple we'd all be #1.

    I would expect your overall SE referrals to be better if you built your target suburb names into as many of your pages' content as possible rather than creating a single "suburb" page.
    Do you mean a single page listing all suburbs or a page for each suburb with unique content that includes an overall business profile/services etc?

    It appears The best 2 options for a small business like mine is to
    a) have lots of separate information pages for my business but have all suburbs listed on each info page either in the footer, sidebar or within the content
    b) have a page for each suburb with 100% unique text/photos/testimonials promoting an overall view of my business for each suburb followed up with links to more detailed pages for specific explanations of services provided

    I'm guessing a combination of both ways may work depending on how competitive your local business is. I would still like to view some examples of small business websites that rank highly in competitive markets for multiple suburbs without using duplicate content or other dodgey practices.

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    For those who have been following my journey, I've finally made some changes and looking for feedback on my progress and proposed plans for my small local business.

    Currently I plan to have my homepage focus on my #1 search term drivingschool+suburb1 and include secondary KWs and additional suburbs through H tags/text/images as much as possible without spamming. Additionaly the main info on homepage will (soon) link to authoritive pages with more specific content for "new learners" and "test preparation" and "overseas" which currently only has a basic overview on the homepage. Also I'm thinking a separate testimonial page for each suburb with photos, quotes and links to reviews.

    For now I've decided against separate pages for drivingschool+suburb1,2,3 etc as I don't expect I can produce unique content for each suburb so I've gone for #1 suburb with lower searched suburbs sprinkled throughout. Additionally the more detailed services pages will have the secondary suburbs included within content and sitewide footer.

    I haven't properly proofread what is on the site yet, so the content will need some improvement. Mostly I'm after feedback on the overall structure of the page with H tags, img details, KW usage within text and titles etc.
    Last edited by Hikin Mike; Jul 26th, 2017 at 12:09 AM.
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    Interesting thread.

    In my experience, widgets, menus, sidebars and other modular piece of wordpress seem to be treated differently. Since they are typically on multiple pages it seems as if Google almost ignores them in a sense after seeing them on an "original" page. I think of it similar as newly written content, the originator gets the credit for the article but if someone copies it, they get no credit or potentially downgraded because of duplicate content.

    As you state, basically duplicate pages minus an article have been created but still seem to rank. It's an interesting topic for sure.

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