16 ways to make your pages unique
Here are all the ways I know of that you can make your city pages unique from each other. Some of these (probably the first 6) will be obvious to you, whereas you may not have thought of others.
1. Title tags.
2. Description tags.
3. Page names. Don’t have these run too long. A name with more than 4-5 words may look fishy to Google.
4. H1s, H2s, etc.
5. Internal links. For example, you could link to a blog post you wrote about a job you did in your “target” city.
6. Outbound links. You could link to the town’s website, to the site of a charity you support in the town, or to a blog post that someone else wrote that’s relevant to the town and to your services.
7. Write a simple case-study on a job you did in your target city. (All the credit goes to Matt McGee for this idea.)
8. Write about what you like about working in your target city, or what you like about its residents.
9. Write a blurb about any employees of yours from your target city. Better yet, have them do it. Just something that shows at least a small (but real) connection to that city.
10. Write about any local laws or regulations that your potential customers might want to know about. (Hat tip to Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion for this technique.)
11. Photos. If you don’t have pictures of jobs you did in your target city, maybe have a picture of a local landmark. Reflect the “local” subject matter in the names of the photos, and maybe in the alt tags and title attributes.
12. Videos. Each city page can have a different video. Assuming you’re the one who created the videos, you can include in your YouTube descriptions a link to your city page, and you can geotag the video.
13. Testimonials. Mention the city of the customers who wrote them. Depending on what your business is and how close you are with your customers, you might also be able to weave in relevant photos (e.g. “Fred’s front yard” or “Before-and-after of Sara’s smile”).
14. Rich snippets. You can mark up customers’ testimonials with Schema orhReview, so as to get those nice review stars to show up in the search results.
15. Offers or giveaways that are tailored toward the residents of your target city. Depending on how you approach it, this might also help you to track leads / conversions.
16. Make some Google “My Maps.” See if you can make a few custom maps that potential customers might find handy.
Examples of good city pages
(see search results here)
(look under “About” tab)
(Note: I’ve worked with both of the above companies; I’ve done some consulting for Attaboy Plumbing, and Palumbo Landscaping is a long-time client.)
(If you don’t read anything else, at least be sure to read the first two posts.)
Understand and Rock the Google Venice Update – Mike Ramsey
How to Create Local Content for Multiple Cities – Matt McGee
The Anatomy of an Optimal Local Landing Page – Mike Ramsey
The #1 Problem with Local Blogging – Matt McGee
The Nitty Gritty of City Landing Pages for Local Businesses – Miriam Ellis
Matt Cutts and Eric Talk about What Makes a Quality Site – Eric Enge
Guidelines on duplicate content – Google
Policies on keyword-stuffing – Google