On-Page Content Differentiation: The Benefits of Location-based Messaging
The importance of local search is on the rise. As Google prioritizes unique SERPs for users depending on their location, it’s important for businesses to keep up with hyper-personalization.
According to an Advanced Web Ranking study, approximately 24% of all mobile searches now yield a local pack result. Google has moved beyond serving local packs for queries that consist of “near me” or “in (city)” and instead makes local assumptions for queries that formerly surfaced only organic results. The growth of indirect search views, or the non-branded searches related to your listings, for local businesses grew by 27% in 2020, according to a recent Brandify analysis.
The upshot is that local business pages are a vital asset for Google when it categorizes businesses. As Google crawls your pages, it can understand who you are as a business and what you offer. The benefit of local pages is that this occurs at a very granular level. Google has the ability to navigate your website and understand which locations offer hiking gear and which offer golf club fitting or which stores have winter coats in stock or swimsuits for spring break.
As marketers, it’s our job to highlight these features and make it easy for Google to yield our results for various searches we want to target. A key way of doing this is to segment our local pages at a more granular level and write content that helps classify our locations accordingly.
Content consists of more than just your copy block, though it’s a great place to start. Adding product information, featured collections, and highlighted services are all elements that enhance your on-page content strategy. Understanding what’s popular in that specific area and how customers are searching for your products or services in that area can help guide your content strategy to differentiation and success. Therefore, it is key to create content attuned to regional differences, or location.
One of the more obvious differentiations when targeting regionally is climate. If your services and products differ based on time of year, or area of the US, your local pages are a great place to highlight those differentiations.
If you sell cold weather gear year round, make sure you’re featuring the layers, coats, and snow pants that are important to your cold weather locations. For deeper individualization, you can feature nearby ski resorts or popular parks that are relevant to your offerings.
Inversely, this strategy can be beneficial in warm-weather climates. Places where you can play golf year round call for a much different offering than mountain regions. Talk about your in-store experience for the various locations and how the assortment or services differ from your other locations.
Using Google Trends to Target Regionally
Another point to consider when deciding what to feature on your various location landing pages is how your customers are finding you across the country and what they’re most interested in for each area. A smart way to target your queries is by analyzing them on Google Trends.
Say you own a large contracting business that offers basement finishing, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and sunroom construction. If you’re struggling to capture traffic for all of your terms and want to target in a smart way, you can use Google Trends to understand what regions are most interested in your offerings. This can happen at a state level or at the metro level within each state.
Consider “Basement Finishing.” This service is most popular in Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, and Utah. If the state level is too broad and you only provide services in Colorado and Kansas, you can easily click on each state and see which areas in the states have a higher general interest than others.
Once you set your “Basement Finishing” targeted stores, you can go through the same process to identify which locations are best to target for your other services.
Now, you might be thinking — “But Kaci, I still offer sunroom construction services in the areas I offer basement finishing!” — and that’s totally fine! This practice allows you to highlight your priority queries, and de-prioritize those that may not be of highest interest in certain areas. For example, if I owned this contracting business, and I used to try and optimize my title tag and meta description for ALL of my services, I now know that I can select “Basement Finishing & More | Contractor Services in Colorado” for my title tag, and keep my other services as secondary targets, listed out within the on-page copy.
These are just a few of the many ways businesses can differentiate their content in creative ways. Rethinking your approach to your local strategy can set you apart from the competition and elevate your pages on Google. Make sure you’re always writing and designing with user experience in mind, and you’ll be sure to find success.
Kaci Cramer is Director of Marketing Analytics at Brandify.