Most “city pages” stink more than a pig farmer’s overalls. Even if they rank well, they usually don’t compel anyone to call. The content is stuffed with the name of the city, but it’s boilerplate otherwise. To would-be customers it’s just lip service from a company that seems desperate for business.
Every page is the same, except one targets “roofer Dallas,” and another is for “roofer Fort Worth,” and another goes after “roofer Plano,” and so on.
When that doesn’t work, that’s when business owners and SEOs decide to do even more of it. They pump out even more awful city pages. And again they wonder why the phone doesn’t ring more.
It doesn’t need to be that way. If you’re willing to rub a few brain cells together and do a little work, city pages (or location pages) can be a super-effective way to reach customers – especially farther-away people who may not see your business in the local 3-pack / Google Maps results.
I’ve already written on how to create city pages that rank well and can drive leads. You’ll want to read and absorb that post if you haven’t already. You’ll know everything you need to create knockout city pages.
Except it’s still daunting. Even if you know the right approach and will put in the work, exactly where do you start? Do you just stare at the blank page? If you’re building city pages for a client, how do you know if you have enough meat to make a hot dog?
That’s where my quick-start template comes in. I’ve created a simple worksheet you can use to zero in on good, relevant, city-specific content you can put on your city pages, or a client’s. (It’s a new-and-improved version of what I’ve used to help my clients.)
Here’s the spreadsheet on Google Drive:
(If you want a copy, download the spreadsheet.)
- If you (or your client) can’t answer “yes” to at least a few of the questions, city pages are probably a no-go at the moment. You’ll have nothing to say. You’ll be the Dr. Phil of your local market.
- You can see real-life examples in column D of the spreadsheet.
- You still need to work long-term on earning relevant links. You do not necessarily need to get links to your city pages (though it’s great if you do). But if your domain as a whole doesn’t have much link juice, even the best city page is less likely to rank well – especially if you’re in a competitive market. The flipside if you’ve got some decent links to other pages – probably most of which point to the homepage – any city page you create is more likely to rank well and sooner. You earn Google’s “trust.”
- Yes, copying and pasting your online reviews is fine – whether the reviews are from Google or from Yelp or (as far as I know) from other sites. Just don’t mark them up with Schema (or other structured-data markup) as a way to get those juicy “review stars” showing in the organic search results.
- If the spreadsheet isn’t your thing, you might prefer this great guide from Miriam Ellis.
Any local content-creation angles you’d add to the spreadsheet?
Any example of knockout city pages with thoughtful content?
Any other ways I can make the worksheet more useful?
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