For some people and businesses it makes more sense to rank for a larger region instead of to rank for a hyperlocal approach. For businesses that offer their services in different areas and cannot be able to get foot traffic, this is very true.
Coming up with an SEO strategy can help you reach out to more people on your region without having to use a lot of money. And if you use it the right way, you will still be able to rank high on SERP on the most used keyword “….near me.”
Local SEO vs. Regional SEO
The main difference between the two is local SEO is a local SEO is a process that is strategized and its focus as well as emphasis is the optimization efforts of local brick and mortar businesses (according to Brian Harnish). Most of the non-brick and mortar businesses commonly known as service area businesses usually attempt to implementing SEO by coming up with virtual offices in order to increase visibility in local SERP. Google guidelines allows virtual offices as long as they are staffed during the normal business hours. If it is not, it can lead to suspension from GMB listings. It is possible to reinstate your suspended listing but it is no easy and it will certainly take some of your time, time you would have used to do other important stuff. It also makes it prone to being suspended from time to time if google suspects you are violating their guidelines. Instead of violating google guidelines and suffering ban from time to time, we recommend that you use the following proven tips on how to optimize your regional SEO.
1. Research your area
It is a common thing to think that we know our areas but when the hard data comes we are always surprised on how we really don’t know our areas. So before you move to the next steps, make sure that you know your local area well because that’s where you will be generating the most organic search for the goods or services you provide. Conduct a local keyword research by ensuring you add geo modifiers on the phrases you are using to conduct the search. After that, compare the results with report from google analytics and see identify if there are some trends that are similar. After getting your list of cities, rank them from the one with the highest search as you go to the one with the lowest search. Next you need to group the cities which can be grouped together so that it can help reduce the number of pages you will have to create on step 3. An example is if your mission is to rank the SEO services in Dallas, you might want to target the common business districts like Irving, Addison and Plano. Fort Worth is also about 40 miles from Dallas so it may make sense combining this two area depending on the number of areas you will be targeting. This means you will have a single page that target Dallas and Fort Worth which will be targeting majority of the northern part of Texas.
2. Limit doorway pages
Doorways pages are pages that are created to rank highly on specific questions. According to google this pages may harm the user experience as they set similar pages that al lead to one destination. However, they may work sometime if they are used the right way. There are right and wrong ways of using the doorway pages when it comes to regional SEO. As a matter of fact John Muller who is confirmed that well crated doorways pages might be a very good strategy when done the right way.
3. Create better regional pages
Creating better regional pages is not too hard and nor is it too different from creating perfect location page. On both pages there are some elements that must be included but for the location page it might require a little extra work in order to ensure there is a better user experience. The description of your specific area should be one hundred percent unique and this is actually what differentiate between a doorway page and a well-crafted page. It is also very important to ensure that your business description is also unique. Include the history of your business in the region, why your services are relevant to the consumers, some notable projects in your area, services or goods you offer that are very popular in the area, unique selling proposition, internal linking to nearby region pages and describe the actual service area. If it is possible be sure to include the local area map and work with a developer to help you create a more interactive map so as to improve the user experience. It might be very expensive to have a physical location in every area but at least have one at the heart of the region and it is going to really help improve your local rankings.
4. Service area business vs. GMB local office
If you can be able to set up a physical office even if it is just for customer care and dispatching services, it will really be of great help to your rankings. However, it is still possible that some businesses even though willing, might not be able to set up a physical office, if that’s the case, maybe you may want to consider setting up a service area business in GMB and ensure to cast a wide net.
5. Develop a niche link building strategy
The strategies for local linking building come in different sizes as well as shapes. But all in all, the best strategy will be integrate one that is customized to help you achieve the goals you have set. For example you can participate in local events and charities and then run PR about the same or write guest posts about your work on the websites of some of your clients.