Don’t Skimp on the Content of Your Website’s City Pages

If your service area encompasses multiple cities, you likely have a dedicated city page on your website for each location to help your ranking in search results. It can be tempting to simply change out some keywords, but here’s why you should put some thought into creating unique content for each city page.

Don’t Skimp on the Content of Your Website’s City Pages

Carter Harkins and Taylor Hill

Interested in Business?

Get Business articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Business + Get Alerts

Just about every website has them: dozens and dozens of city pages. The purpose of these pages is clear, and that’s to help service businesses like plumbers show up in searches in areas that they serve but don’t have a physical location. 

But what happens when searchers find these pages? So many feature the same dull, duplicate content, with only a few location keywords stuffed in here and there. They present nothing unique or valuable, and it’s obvious that they were created for search engines, not for actual website visitors. 

That’s a big mistake, and here’s why.

Having localized content will help you rank in the specific cities you’re trying to rank in, but you also need to consider what is on the page from a visitor’s point of view. Is there anything on your city pages that will actually convert visitors into paying customers? 

What does it matter if your pages rank well, if once your potential customer arrives on the page, they immediately want to leave? If they see no real value, no trust-building factors, no reason to call you instead of clicking back to the search results? If the page doesn’t speak to their pain points or clearly spell out how you can solve their problems? If it’s not immediately clear why you’ll provide a better experience than the competition? 

Ultimately, your city pages are only helpful and worth the time and investment required to create them if they turn the visitor into a paying customer. So, it’s time to start thinking of your city pages as landing pages. 

Here are some tips for creating city pages that do more than just get your site ranked — they turn searchers into paying customers:

No. 1 Write unique content for every single city page

You’d never make multiple landing pages with the same boilerplate copy on them, would you? That would defeat the purpose. Landing pages exist to speak directly to a specific segment about a specific thing. They exist to convert. So why do we think of our city pages differently?

What makes city pages useful is that they offer content that feels unique and specific to the people in the cities they’re written around. They feel relevant to the searcher. But when you write copy for one city page, copy and paste the content onto the rest of your city pages, and simply change out the location keywords, you eliminate the purpose and power of those city pages. 

Instead, consider what services would be especially useful and relevant to people living in the area you’re writing for. Consider the hyperlocal needs, codes, and issues that make the area different from another city you serve. Make that the focus of your copy and not only will it be easier to come up with unique copy, but you’ll also likely see conversion rates go up.

No. 2 Clearly define the problems you solve and how you solve them

Just like any other landing pages, your city pages need to immediately let visitors know they’ve landed on the right page — that they’re in the right place. How do you do that? By clearly identifying the problems you solve and how you solve them for people in that specific area. 

Don’t make your customers hunt around or guess as to whether or not you can help. Make it obvious right away. Clearly identify the problems you can solve for them so they don’t have to go anywhere else or visit any other page on your site before making the call. 

When people search for plumbers online, it’s not because they really love plumbers. It’s because they have a problem that only plumbers can solve. Lead with that.

No. 3 Express empathy and show you understand how your potential customer feels

Expressing empathy and showing an understanding of the problems your customer is facing and how those problems are making them feel is key to winning trust and converting visitors into customers. After all, if you can’t relate and you don’t know what’s important to your customers and why, then how can you really provide the best solution and experience?

When you’re writing your city pages, take some time on the page to talk about the problems you solve and the solutions you offer from your potential customer’s perspective. What are they feeling? What are their concerns or frustrations? What are they afraid of? Let them know you understand and that you can help. 

No. 4 Make it easy for your potential customer to do business with you

When you think of your city pages as landing pages, on that single page you provide everything your visitors need to know in order to do business with you. That means you show them how easy it is to do business with you, give them a clear next step or call-to-action, and let them know what to expect when they take that next step.  

So many businesses make the mistake of hiding calls-to-action. They don’t tell the customer what to do next. And they certainly don’t address and eliminate any hesitations the customer may have. Don’t make that mistake on your city pages. Make taking that next step easy, obvious, and risk-free so your potential customers know what to do, how to do it, and why they should have no qualms about doing it.

No. 5 Provide images that build trust and authority

We’re visual creatures, which is why no city page is complete without local photos. Have you done work in the city you’re writing about? Add some photos of the work to the city page and identify where the work was done. 

When you use local photos, you add a sense of familiarity and authenticity to the page and build trust and authority with potential customers in a way that you simply can’t with stock photos. You show them the quality of your work and what kind of results they can expect if they need the same work done in their home. 

Don’t worry if the photos you took with your iPhone don’t look quite as staged or professional as those stock photos you found online. They’ll do more to build trust and persuade searchers to call you than those stock photos ever will. 

No. 6 Only talk about your business as it relates to your customer and the experience they can expect to have when they hire you

So many companies make the mistake of going on and on about themselves on their city pages and elsewhere on their site:

We’re the best. We’ve been around since 1979. We do things this way and that’s better.

Hate to break it to you, but your customers and potential customers don’t care about you beyond how it relates to them. So make the connection among your history, your experience, your certifications, etc. and how that benefits your customers. Spell it out on your city pages. 

What does being “the best” mean for your customer? What will their experience be like? How does doing things the way you do them translate to better service and better results for your customer than they would get from a competitor? What concerns and risks do your certifications eliminate for your customers? What does the longevity of your business say about the service you provide? 

Make the connection. If you’re talking about yourself and you can’t directly tie it to a benefit for your customer, leave it off the page. 

No. 7 Include reviews from customers in the area your page is centered around

The truth is, testimonials and reviews will always be more persuasive than any of the words you say on the page. That’s because the people leaving reviews and testimonials are just normal people with no objectives. 

And when those reviews and testimonials are from the neighbors of the visitors on the page, they hold even more power. Take the time to gather local reviews and testimonials and include them on every city page. This step will do wonders for your city page conversion rates.

About the Authors

Carter Harkins and Taylor Hill are the co-founders of Spark Marketer, a Nashville, Tennessee-based digital marketing company that works primarily with service businesses. They're also co-creators of the award-winning app Closing Commander, which helps contractors close more estimates effortlessly, and co-authors of the book, Blue Collar Proud: 10 Principles for Building a Kickass Business You Love. Both regularly speak at service industry trade shows and conferences across the nation. Visit www.sparkmarketer.comwww.about.closingcommander.comwww.facebook.com/sparkmarketer, or www.facebook.com/closingcommander.



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.