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How to Silo Structure for City Pages

     
5:19 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have an attorney directory site.

I need to rank locally but the site has no city/state pages.

I'm thinking of siloing like:

/bankruptcy-attorney/california/san-diego

But my CEO thinks it should go san-diego/california/bankruptcy-attorney instead.

My main competitor silos like /bankruptcy-attorney/california/san-diego. And my gut tells me that's the appropriate sub-folder structure since the legal area keywords have more volume, the link equity and traffic they get can drip to the city pages they link to.

Any insight into the best way to silo city pages?

Thanks!
7:27 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I assume you have many kinds of attorneys on that site. My own preference is state/city/kind-of-attorney in case you get listings that offer diverse services, e.g. general/attorneys
7:33 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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You've got two different questions here. One is whether type-of-product goes before or after location. I won't answer that one, because the answer is “it depends” and then you have to go into what-it-depends-on.

But “san-diego/california/” frankly seems ridiculous, although you presumably cannot use this exact word to your CEO’s face. It implies a sequence like
/paris/france/
/paris/texas/
or perhaps
/frisco/colorado/ *
/frisco/texas/ *
/frisco/california/
(the last-named leading, of course, to a 404). There may exist circumstances where that type of structure is appropriate, but it’s certainly not common.


* Really. I looked it up once.
11:16 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24

"I won't answer that one, because the answer is “it depends” and then you have to go into what-it-depends-on."

What would it depend on? I've got all day.
11:36 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It depends on (what I said) - how you have designed your site. If you want all Bankruptcy attorneys on one page, all Family Law attorneys on another, even though the same firm does both, yet their data is repeated on both.

Versus - if the site is firm-centric and lists multiple specialisations under each firm's listing.
11:47 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It is really sounding to me like you are getting ready to setup a bunch of doorway pages. Unless you have some unique content available for each type of lawyer in each city and each state it is completely and utterly pointless to set pages for each. It is asking for a doorway page penalty.

One page presents the law firm, one page presents the services and then one page with all the office locations. This is the simplest for the user, and for Google to understand everything else is a thinly veiled attempt to game the system.
11:47 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"If you want all Bankruptcy attorneys on one page, all Family Law attorneys on another, even though the same firm does both, yet their data is repeated on both."

This.
11:53 pm on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS

Each city+practice area page will have a list of the lawyer profiles within that city+practice area with a number and email for contacting them. Unique content either below the fold or on the side. Since the search intent is finding a lawyer this should meet the search intent. It's how our competitors are winning.

Does that still sound like a doorway page scheme?

Thanks!