People who do local SEO are pretty resourceful at rubbing keywords all over pages they want to rank. They’re less creative with the types of pages they try to get to rank.
Often those pages are limited to the homepage, a few “service” pages, and maybe some doughy “city” pages. Those types of pages matter – as do other good standard types of pages – but other kinds can surprise you. “Ultimate guides” and infographics and other kinds of theoretical link-bait are fine, but even if they rank well, the people who click on them tend not to be local to you.
Here are 10 kinds of pages that can rank better (and maybe more easily) than you might think, and that you might want to create on your site:
1. “Service Areas” or “Location Finder.” Don’t just plop down a list of cities and ZIPs. Also describe your service area in at least a couple of paragraphs, describe your experience in some of the communities on the list, link to your pages on specific services, link to any “city” pages you might have made, maybe include reviews from a few customers, and see if you can work a “near me” angle.
2. “About” or “Bio.” Usually you can optimize them for “Attorney” or “Doctor” or “Agent” or “Master Carpenter” or “Expert” or similar local search terms. Describe in detail the person’s experience, and exactly what makes him or her at whatever line of work, and link to relevant other pages on the site. Don’t just describe hobbies and preferred breakfast foods.
3. “Certified” or “Licensed.” In some fields certification or licensure isn’t applicable, or nobody cares about it. But if you’re a home inspector, a hypnotist, an arborist, an electrician, or pretty much any kind of contractor (to name a few examples), the chances are good that at some point some of your customers will search for who’s qualified – not just for who’s nearby.
4. “[Service] for [person].” Think “massage for pregnant women,” “divorce attorney for men,” “cosmetic dentist for kids,” etc.
5. “Reviews.” Some people add “reviews” or “reviews of” to whatever local search term they type in. You’ll want to create a page that shows off your reviews anyway, so you might as well try to get it to rank for something. (Note: this page should be different from your “Review Us” page.)
6. “Voted Best.” The catch is you probably need to win some distinction first. But if you do, you can probably snag some “best ____ in [place]” rankings.
7. Photo gallery. Depending on your niche, you may be able to get some rankings for “photos of ____” or “examples of ____” terms, but I mention photo galleries here because if you play your cards right you might make one that ranks for broader search terms, too. Especially if you don’t only slap up photos, but also describe what’s in the photos.
8. “Bilingual ____” or “[Language]-Speaking _____.” If you or someone who works for you speaks more than one language, and whips out that language when helping customers / clients / patients, create a page all about that.
9. “Discount” or “Coupons.” You could have one for each service, if you wanted to. It could be paltry. Or if it’s not paltry, maybe you don’t offer it to everyone. (Maybe you only offer it to veterans, or students, or seniors, for example.)
10. “Commercial” versions of “residential” pages, or vice versa. Let’s say you’re an electrician who offers 20 different services. You’ll want a page on each specific service, of course, but if you also serve business owners and if a residential customer has different needs from those of a business-owner customer, you’ll probably want 20 pages on your residential services, and another 20 on your commercial services. Each can be your secret weapon.
Can you think of other “ninja” pages that can quietly climb up the local search results?
Any good examples of ninja pages that seem to work well for your competitor(s)?
What’s an overlooked kind of page that’s worked well for you?
Leave a comment!
Dave Robinson says
Great tips. Its nice to see it laid out like this. Thank you Phil!. All the best for 2019.
Happy almost-2019, Dave!
Andy Kuiper says
these are very good ideas Phil – and I’ve used just a few of them… they work well 🙂
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Holly Powell says
Great job with detailing the many types of ninja pages that can add value to your visitors. Thanks for the share.
Sure thing, Holly!
As always, your tips, tricks and strategies are the best! I’ll add one to the list that worked wonders for one of my clients: create a pseudo directory list of the “best companies.” Let me explain…
My client serves a huge metro area but is physically located about an hour North of the main large city. We couldn’t get listed on the first page of Google to save our soul (unless he opened a physical office in the main city which he refused to do). I noticed all the rankings on page one for the main city were directory listings from Home Advisor, Thumbtack, etc. I told my client let’s have a page where we list the 10 Best Electricians in Tampa (fictitious service and city but you get the point). We’d list his company #1 of course with a detailed description why it’s #1, but we would actually list the other companies as well and only have brief descriptions of those companies. That page was on page one of Google within 3 months. Today, it floats between the #2 and #4 position on Google’s first page. We’re right up there with Home Advisor, Thumbtack and AngiesList. He gets a ton of business from that page.
P.S. It takes a client with some “moxey” to do this, however, as he has to be bold enough to list his good competitors on his own website!
That’s a great kind of “ninja” page, and I can see why it might be effective. I see those sorts of pages every now and then – often from local or industry rags, but not always.
Could make for some good copywriting, too. I could see how such a page would let you clarify your USP, and make it clear what kinds of customers you want and what kinds are a better fit for your competitors.
We’ve done those pages as well. However, we’ve seen that as of the 2nd half of last year, they don’t rank as well, and other people are reporting that they are causing their whole site to drop in rankings. (I’m suspecting that is an issue with a client of ours as well).
Justin Mosebach says
Thanks for the post! I especially like the idea of the reviews page… it could be an easy win to write a compelling title tag/meta description for that page.
A “Reviews” page is always good. Those pages have been a big help to my clients. Not hard to get ranking, but worth the effort even if it doesn’t rank. Especially if you pair customers’ reviews with photos (when applicable).
I enjoy your website, Phil.
Im a do-it-yourself kind of person who is learning more about SEO and websites. Its amazing the information you can find out there if a person just keeps changing keywords around. I like to think creative then let googlebot sort them out.
My business is Towing. This niche is catching up to locksmiths for being competitive. It seems I’m always spending time looking at new information to discuss in a blog.
Any ideas where to find new topics so potential readers will find my blog interesting?
Thanks again for your helpful information.
I learn something new on every visit.
Leonard Parker says
Try checking out any of these resources for content ideas:
1. Quora and Meta Filter posts related to towing
3. aHREFs Content Explorer
4. Google News and Google Trends
5. Answer the Public
#2 offers a freemium version, and #3 is a premium tool, but any of these can help you generate content ideas.
Lastly, think about the common questions your customer or other folks ask you related to towing. There are usually some gems there, as well.
Thanks for your compliments.
Leonard’s suggestions are very good, and I’d suggest checking out the resources he mentioned.
In general, one of the few practical ways up for a blog is to write on VERY niche topics. Questions that few people may type into Google, but that you’re the only guy answering. Your posts wouldn’t be too in-depth, but you’d have a quick post to address a real specific (almost obscure) question. Those can add up over time.
Here are a couple of posts I did that might get the creative juices flowing:
Scott Allen says
I have found the Bilingual approach works even better if you have the lang tags set correctly and write the content in the native tongue 😉
Lark Begin says
Yes to everything! I need to make some changes, especially using the near me search terms. Very helpful post. Thanks