What pages on your site can help you snag some better local rankings – and customers? And do you have those pages on your site?
May seem like basic questions. But if most of the sites I see are any indication, most business owners haven’t lost sleep over them.
They’ve got a homepage.
There’s a “Contact” page with a phone number on it. (The number has a typo.)
There’s an “About Us” page that doesn’t identify “us” or anything about “us” but does tell you how great the company is. Maybe it even has a stock photo of office workers with clip-on ties high-fiving each other.
The better sites might even have a “Services” page, plus maybe a “Testimonials” page with a one-liner from JJ in Chicago and Anna Karenina penned by Martha in Florida. Now that’s marketing gold.
Let’s put aside the fact that most small-business sites don’t include a good blog or have any way to grow bigger this year than they were last year: The slim number of pages alone makes most sites online paperweights. If a business is doing OK for customers, it’s despite the site, not because of it.
Fewer pages on your site means there’s less info for visitors to grab onto. Each page you create is a chance to answer a question a potential customer might be wondering.
And don’t give me that “but people don’t read” hogwash. They read…when you address their problems and questions. You want them to have the option of reading more if they want to.
Creating more pages is also a chance to pick up some local-organic rankings, if you play your cards right. Most sites are so thin that the only page that might – might - rank well in the local results is the homepage. A meatier site gives you – if nothing else – more opportunities to grab some organic rankings.
Not all of these page-types will apply to your business, but I’m guessing most will.
See if you can create these 21 types of pages on your site:
“Locations” – If you have locations in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, you might have an “Ohio Locations” page with a short blurb on each of those locations, plus links to pages where you say a little more about each location. Or you might have a “service areas” page. Same idea, but you’d be pointing people toward “city pages” for the main cities you serve.
Individual location – You’d have a page for your Cleveland location, a page for your Columbus location, and another one for your Cincinnati location.
“Services” – List all your services, have a blurb on each, and link to a page for each. Do the same if you offer products, rather than services.
Individual service – The more detail you can give on each service, the better.
“Our Team” or “About Us” – This is a page everyone expects to see. It’s also one that you can pretty easily optimize: It can be “Our Electricians” or “About Your Surgeons” or “Meet Your Attorneys.” Here’s an excellent example.
Individual bios – Have a page for each employee, technician, agent, doctor, nurse, lawyer, paralegal, etc.
FAQs – You could have a general FAQ and one (or several) for more-specialized questions. You could have “Dental Insurance FAQs,” “First-Time Home Buyer FAQs,” “Common Questions on Tankless Water Heaters” – whatever.
“In the Media” – Have you been featured in the local paper, or did the local news reporter stick a mic in your face for 15 seconds? Show or mention it here.
“Community” or “Giving Back” – Describe what you do for charity. (Do something, if you’re not already.)
Photos – Be sure to name the photos relevantly, and try to include captions. Don’t overdo it.
Videos – Embed your videos on the page. See if you can name your page something like “Videos on How to ____.”
Awards or Recognition – It’s fine to mention little stuff until there’s bigger stuff.
Company History – Stick to the story; on other pages you can talk about what makes you great. If there’s not much of a “history” yet, consider doing a “Values” page.
“Qualifications” or “Certifications” – Same idea as with the “Awards” or “Recognition” page. Use what you’ve got.
Insurance accepted – If applicable.
Financing – If applicable.
“Why us?” – Here’s an example.
Case-study – Describe what you did for a specific customer or client (with his/her permission, of course). Include pictures if you can.
“Learning Center” – Define relevant, useful, and unavoidable jargon terms you think customers should know. Explain concepts you’d like your customers to grasp – for their sake and for yours. Even cannibalize some of your FAQs and use them here. Here’s an example of a good “learning center.”
“Portfolio” – Most applicable if you’re a contractor, designer of any kind, or consultant.
Anyway, back to the action items…
What if you already have those pages on your site? See how you can beef them up.
What if you like the “minimal” look? Then get used to minimal rankings and phone calls. (Or just work on your navigation and menu structure.)
It’s up to you to create the lumps of clay – and yes, that involves writing.
But once you get to the sculpting stage, you’ll want to refer to these handy posts on on-page optimization:
The Anatomy of an Optimal Local Landing Page – Mike Ramsey
Understand and Rock the Google Venice Update – Mike Ramsey
And a few relevant posts from me:
Maybe the best thing about a bigger, more-detailed site is that it’s a reliable way to get found by local customers even if / when something bad happens to your Google+ Local (or Bing Places) rankings. Relying on the “maps”-style rankings is just stupid.
While we’re on the topic, I have found that bigger, beefier sites tend to rank better in the Google+ Local (or Bing Places) rankings. Even when they don’t have many or any links. Don’t ask me why. It just seems to work out that way.
March into battle with more weapons.
Can you think of any types of pages that (1) customers want to see and that (2) might actually rank well? Leave a comment!