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Location Specific Landing Pages versus Homepage

     
10:26 am on Nov 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I would love some clear advice on this. I've seen various guides but I'm a tad confused as to what the best course of action would be in my situation.

To explain, I work for a company which has about a dozen or so physical stores throughout the UK and I have claimed & verified Google local business pages for each of these locations. Each Google business page points to the our homepage.

The problem that I have is we offer a fairly diverse range of products and services and I was wondering what the best way of targeting more of the keywords based on these services would be.

I've set my search location to match up with the town and city of our branches and we seem to be doing well in the 3/7 packs for a couple of key phrases, but don't come up at all for ones we would consider important.

My plan was to create location specific pages and to include all of our services (and so targeting these keywords we don't appear for in local search) on these pages.

However, would this harm local search performance for the keywords we are already prominent for as these new pages would of course have no links (other than internal ones) pointing at it. Would creating these pages even help to target these new phrases? I would of course make sure that our citations also include these services (if they don't already!). Is it still best practice to link and embed a Google map? If so having a unique page for each store would be the best way of including these.

Alternatively, would creating a single new page with the NAP details of each store alongside text which explains the business operations & services help to target more keywords for each location if I linked each G+ Local account to this page?

The reason I would like to do one of these two methods is that I can then link to each G+ page in order to make it way easier for people to leave reviews.

Alternatively again, would it be worth leaving the local pages as they are and instead modifying the homepage itself by adding on a bit more text to target these additional keywords? Obviously I would have to come up with another way of enabling people to easily leave reviews, but of course most of our links are pointing at the homepage.

Any advice would be gratefully received. Thank you.
1:50 pm on Nov 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am in a similar situation where we physically service multiple locations. My location specific landing pages have always done very well until a couple of months ago when they were replaced with my home page in the serps. Since my homepage does not have the different location authority as my landing pages, i lost alot of my longtail results. Gradually, these pages have been gaining traction back to the point where now some of my location specific pages are beating out the home page. This happens every couple of years with everything evening out in the end.

From my experience, you have a good reason to have multiple location based pages and it should help your business exposure.
3:58 pm on Nov 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that reply. I'm going to crack on with making location specific pages and see what happens!

Here's another question then; I was worried about having no backlinks to these pages, but I'm currently filling out my yelp details and I was wondering if I should put my web address on Yelp to the location specific page? And maybe do the the same with my other citations?

Or should I always point my citations to the homepage of my site?
6:39 pm on Nov 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi Les,

Location landing pages, well crafted and specifically optimized for local are advised and I say even necessary. If all G+ Local listings point to home, they are all competing in a sense, plus it confuses Google. Additionally home can't have all the location info for each store that's needed to rank. And also you need NAP info on the page to rank and should not have 12 NAP on same page as it can lead to merges which is a nightmare. (NAP = Name, Address, Phone.)

So each location should have location page that is very well optimized for local SEO. Then yes, each citation should have matching NAP and link to that specific location's landing page, not to home.

Toidi, if Google is changing the link on your G+ Local page, that's a big problem and as you've experienced can really hurt your rankings.

Should really contact phone support, by using the call us option in your dashboard. They should be able to fix it right over the phone.

Linda Buquet
8:29 pm on Nov 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I was wondering if I should put my web address on

Generic answer: If the link originates with information that you yourself provide, as when posting or filling out a form, don't bother. The chances are minute that search engines would even look at links of this type. So go ahead and use the link, if any, that would be most useful to human readers, if any.
11:34 am on Dec 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to bump this again but I have another question!

At the moment all of our location specific pages are accessed by clicking from a map tool. This means that there are no plain links to these pages.

I've checked in WMT and it can't find any internal links to these pages because I don't think it's crawlable by them (The pages are in my sitemap though).

I've just been adding content below this map finder so that I can put a normal plain link to each location page, but it's got me wondering about page authority.

If I create these internal links today to point to these location specific pages (which look like website.co.uk/brand-name-shops/location1) and then point each Google local business page to their own page on the main website today, will that destroy my local results?

Should I create these links on my map finder hub page, submit that page & all local pages to the fetch as Google tool and wait until the pages are cached before changing my G+ pages? Will that let Google know that these internal links now exist quicker than if I left it up to nature as it were?

I'm a bit worried that the location pages won't ever have the same PA as the homepage which is why we are actually doing ok for certain keywords.

I've got each branch manager to submit loads of local information about each store and the stuff I've had in so far has been great!

P.S. Does anyone know how these guys have done this on their G+ Local page?
[plus.google.com...]

The website url looks like it's pointing to the homepage but it actually goes to the specific location page. Is there a particular benefit to do doing this?

Thanks!
3:33 pm on Dec 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I can address this part:

"P.S. Does anyone know how these guys have done this on their G+ Local page?
[plus.google.com...]

The website url looks like it's pointing to the homepage but it actually goes to the specific location page. Is there a particular benefit to do doing this?"

They didn't do anything special, that's just the way Google works. If you enter a long link to a location or internal service page, all that will show on the G+ L page itself is the root domain, not the whole URL string.

So they are just straight linking to the location page as they should. It's just for space, in the display it only shows root domain.
9:33 am on Dec 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Aah. Thank you!

That's one mystery solved!