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SEO Best Practices: Is Your Service Area Info Clear and Optimized?

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Dodgeballseo best practices is your service area info clear and optimized

Your service area is more than a single tagline or something rattled off in your elevator pitch. It's an essential ingredient for improving local search engine optimization (SEO), getting more qualified leads, and achieving higher content marketing conversion rates.

If people know you're close enough to solve their problems quickly, they're more likely to reach out when they're ready to do business. Here's how to set yourself up for success.

Clearly Define Your Service Area

Unless everyone, including your sales team, your leadership team, and your performance marketing agency, is on the same page about the keywords used to define your service area online, your SEO and user experience will be convoluted.

Whenever people bounce off your page back to their search results because your location is irrelevant or unknown, Google pays attention. And those high bounce rates put your search engine ranking in danger. To avoid these pitfalls, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Simplicity Is Key: Casting a broad net in more visible areas of your website makes it easier for people to get a sense of where you are and who you serve. Plus, it makes it easier to keep GMB and off-site listings consistent.

  • Look for Opportunities: Instead of viewing broader service area identifiers in terms of risk, consider it a chance to develop partnerships for out-of-area businesses. If someone else provides a similar service outside your primary service area, you're likely a good fit for those services outside their immediate service area.

  • Get Clear on the Details: Make a detailed list of all surrounding areas, neighborhoods, counties, and regions where you do business and have loyal customers. Be sure everyone uses the same terminology for these areas and that this is actually how your customers describe where they live. These location keywords will be key to strengthening content marketing and improving SEO on- and off-site.

Thoroughly Express Your Service Area

For on-site SEO, we turn to what works in landing page content marketing. Here's where and how to mention your geographic service area on your website.

  • Header: Your header is the place for a short tagline, like "Performance marketing with nationwide reach, from Nashville, TN." Put this into the HTML for your logo so that search bots can read it, as well as in text directly beneath your logo in the header area.

  • Body of the Page Copy: Put major service area information above and below the fold on your home page and major service pages. You can include location keywords in your hero area, as well as above a map showing where you've provided services to date. Location can be mentioned 2-3 times in the copy, depending on the length of the page.

  • Footer: Add more detailed geographic identifiers to your footer. Metro area, counties served, and regional keywords can go here. That way, this important information is still on every page without diluting high-impact areas in the body, hero, or header.

  • About Us and Contact Us Page: Adding a blurb, sub-header, and/or map to your About Us and Contact Us pages gives people relevant information quickly so they know the next steps to take.

  • Location Pages: Once local keywords have been incorporated across the main pages on your site, creating location pages can take local SEO to the next level. Include unique content, service information, and high-quality images. Optimize all these elements with various location keywords and link these pages to any locations mentioned in your footer. This will give search bots more data for smarter indexing and better rankings over time.

Service Area and Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO is all about improving your credibility. If you have a strong reputation across reputable websites, directories, and online communities, your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) will continue to improve. Here's where our clients have seen the most success when optimizing for local searches:

  • Google My Business (GMB): Google My Business is essential when it comes to keeping service area information visible, along with images, hours, directions, and more. Giving Google that information means they're more likely to put it in front of visitors' relevant searches.

  • Directories/Listings: Business syndication is part of scalability for many businesses with multiple locations. Keeping these current goes hand in hand with online reputation management and SEO.

  • Social Media/Video Marketing: Including geographic keywords in video marketing and social media profiles is a strong start. Take it to the next level by including media, videos, and other content specific to those locations (e.g., "check out our project photos from a Brentwood, TN, repair job").

Anywhere you promote your services and projects, you should mention the locations those services are available. Make it as easy as possible for the search bots to understand where you are and for your ideal customers and clients to know where to find you.

From GoEpps in Nashville, Tennessee

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