If your target customer is based in a particular area, it makes sense to try to write content that will attract and interest people from that place.
One of the most tried and tested ways to do this is to write landing pages targeting them. For example, a company that offers catering services in Liverpool might write a page with the title “Catering Services in Liverpool” to try to use search engine optimisation (SEO) to bring people searching for that term to their site.
This is, in many ways, the purest form of SEO-focused content, and it’s fine and can work well. The content needs to be helpful and of high quality though, with Google’s algorithms getting better and better at detecting spammy and repetitive copy.
To avoid upsetting Google and other search engines, not to mention boring your readers, here are three tips you can follow if you want to create locational landing pages:
1. Balance the service and the location
One of the poorest ways to write location-based landing pages is to keep mentioning the location without saying anything about it.
A piece on “catering services in Liverpool”, for example, should be about both catering services and Liverpool. A page that talks extensively about catering and has repeated incidental mentions of Liverpool will be a case of keyword stuffing, and an obvious attempt at geographical optimisation without putting in the legwork.
Information about the location should be relevant, specific and unique to that place, so copy about Liverpool being a big northern city with a shopping centre and lots of businesses is not really good enough either, as that description could just as easily apply to Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and so on.
Think of it this way – if you could take the name of the city out, replace it with another one and still have a piece that makes sense, you haven’t been specific enough.
2. Don’t be a dictionary
If you need to write about a place, your first port of call for research might be Wikipedia, but remember that Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia that assumes the reader has no knowledge of each entry. If your target customer is from Birmingham, that customer doesn’t want to read that “Birmingham is a big city in the West Midlands”. They already know this, and so would anyone with the vaguest knowledge of UK geography.
Instead, your reader wants to know that you understand their location and know what makes it tick. Discuss the people and the culture. People are generally proud of where they live and they want to know that you “get” it, not see a dictionary-style definition of where they live.
Obviously, this is made easier if you’re familiar with the area or use a copywriter who lives there. If not, you might just need to research a little beyond Wikipedia.
3. Be relevant
Perhaps the hardest part is to find a neat way to link your knowledge or the location with the benefits of your product or service.
Going back to the example of a caterer in Liverpool, there’s plenty that can be said about Liverpool’s origins in the slave trade, its maritime industry, The Beatles and the city’s role in pop music, and its two Premier League football teams, but connecting all this with catering might be tricky.
Instead, you could think of Liverpool’s role in cuisine and its local delicacy of “scouse”, the food-related events it holds, and the reputation of its people being friendly and hospitable. All of this ties in a bit more naturally with catering and should help you transition from one subject to the other more smoothly.
If you need help getting the right customers to your site, speak to Engage Web today about our content and SEO services.