“What pages should I add to my website?” is a question from many clients. Once we cover the basic pages, we ask them, “do you have service area pages?”. Read on for the magic that is service area pages.
Always Start with KW Research
To rank for the services and products you offer, you must know the keywords people use when searching for those products or services. This is always our first step and should be yours too. If you’re not ranking, you basically don’t exist. This may sound harsh, but in today’s world of online commerce, it’s true. Knowledge is power… moving on!
We use several tools for our keyword research, but a few are:
- Keyword Finder
- Google Console
Ensuring you’re using the right keywords for each page on your website is important and will make a huge difference.
A good example of this might be a dentist; let’s take the keyword ‘teeth whitening.’ Teeth whitening would likely fall under cosmetic dentistry but also general dentistry.
Teeth whitening is a keyword for a dentist if they do teeth whitening because that’s a good lead generation to get clients. If you’re a dentist offering Invisalign, implants, and veneers, you’d want to include these keywords and add them as services under the proper tabs.
Staying with this same example…
Is there a cosmetic page, a services page, or a general dentistry page? If the bigger keyword is ‘services,’ then we’d look to see if teeth whitening is mentioned on the services page. If there is no mention of teeth whitening, then it’s clear there should be a page for this keyword. This means we must build a page for this and write SEO web copy.
It’s focused on teeth whitening. And then that page would then be installed underneath the services because it’s a parent-child relationship. Google sees things in silos. So if the parent is ‘general dentistry,’ the child is teeth whitening.
The general rule is that you never want to go more than three clicks to find anything on a website, and Google doesn’t like it if you force a visitor to go past three clicks.
The point of keywords is to be able to find things as quickly and painlessly as possible. That’s what your customers want, and that’s the ‘service’ that Google provides.
Once again, it can feel to a business owner that search engines are working against us, but if we learn how to use them properly and how they were designed and intended to be used, we can find all the power we need to grow our business.
Once you’ve completed your keyword research…
Know Your Competitors
The next step is to review the competition manually. Are you aware of your competitors? Do you know where they are located and what products and services they offer? What keywords are they using and ranking for? We do this for the top 3-5 competitors. You need to know these things to stay competitive. That’s just the reality.
After completing the basic keyword research and getting an idea of what the competition does concerning keywords on their website, it’s time to decide the following:
Does this keyword require a page or a post?
A post would be an article or blog post using the keyword(s). Generally, this is the advice we give most often. Article posts are supposed to support pages; that’s their job. So, if a good keyword for your dental practice is teeth whitening, you’ll want to write blogs that are about teeth whitening and link that to your services and/or products page. The more articles you write, the better. The more articles that link to your website pages, the better. With each post comes more authority. With more authority comes more organic traffic and business from your ideal customers.
So, if you have teeth whitening as a service, you’ll want to write blogs about the different ways to whiten teeth. Or you could talk about what NOT to do. Some crazy ideas are floating around out there, making people do nutty things to accomplish things for less money. The problem is some of them can really hurt you. My dentist happens to be one of my best friends. I texted her once to ask if using charcoal on my teeth was good for whitening. She replied with a staunch, “I’ll kill you.”
Again, knowing what pages and posts your competition has on their website is important. If your top 3 local competitors have posts that answer frequent customer questions, then you want to do the same. You just need to do it better. That can sound overwhelming when you’re already trying to run a business’s day-to-day, but it can be done. Just focus on small attainable goals at first. After some time, there will be a snowball effect!
Basic Website Pages
Most business owners are aware of the basic pages their website should have. Just in case, here is a review.
- About page.
- Contact page.
- Blog page.
- Terms of Service page.
Since we’ve been focusing on services and products and the keywords for this particular blog, I want to be specific about these next pages.
- Product page (if you offer products)
- Service page (if you offer services)
You should have a page for each and every product or service you offer. These pages need to be populated with the most relevant keywords and phrases. You need to know how your customers think and how (verbatim) they type their searches into search engines. For example, if you offer teeth straightening services such as Invisalign, you must consider that many people won’t search specifically for Invisalign. This could be because they can’t spell or remember the brand. So, they’re likely searching for ‘clear braces.’
Once you start thinking from your customers’ perspective and what they’re searching for online, you’ll hit keyword pay dirt.
Regarding LOCATION: When including relevant keywords, you have to consider spelling issues and just plain laziness with this one too. If you’re a dentist in Huntington Beach, locals looking for you will likely type HB dentist instead of spelling out the entire city name.
To reiterate what was mentioned above… remember the parent-child relationship of the services or products. When a customer lands on your website, how many clicks will it take to get what they want?
It should take no more than three clicks to find what your customers want and need.
We’ve been talking a lot about dental practices in this one, so we figured we’d include this blog about How To Attract More Patients To A Dental Practice, just in case it’s workin’ for ya.
Service AREA Pages
Service area pages (different from service pages listing your services) allow you to establish a reputable presence in the community where you do business. They help you become a familiar entity. Familiarity will always help you win! People love comfort. People flock to the familiar.
Service area pages can be challenging because while the point is to ‘talk up’ the local area, you need to keep the content relevant to your business. We’ll return to the dental examples we’ve used to explain this…
If you’re a dentist in Redondo Beach, you can talk about the nearby beach areas where you can ‘flash your pearly whites.’ Or ‘show off your newly aligned smile’ to all the tourists walking along the pier. Sounds a bit awkward, right? That’s why these service pages can be tricky. A lot of creativity and thought has to go into these ones. But, when you get it right… the search engine gods will SMILE down on you. See what I did there?
Of course, you could have us write your Service Area Pages for you! We have a gifted writing team that knows what it takes!
If you create a great Redondo beach service page, you can potentially rank on the 10-pack because you provide enough context to make the page relevant to Google.
Remember the history of whatever city your business is in. Talk about the projects you’ve done in your city. Basically, the page has to be relevant to the city and your business and has to be an extensive amount of content. You won’t make a dent with a hundred words. Aim for full and relevant content.
Service Area Page Opportunities
I want to dig in more about why service pages are so important to your local brick-and-mortar. As I’ve mentioned, Google aims to match a searcher with the best possible relevant result in a particular area, one with authority and a good reputation.
Service pages offer a business owner several opportunities, including the ones mentioned above. But the following combo is our favorite:
- Relationships & Backlinks
These types of pages offer you a chance to cash in on some backlink magic while establishing relationships with other surrounding businesses. This, in turn, will give you more authority as a local business while boosting your neighborhood businesses.
Word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective ways to gain new customers. Also, with the endless to-do lists we’re all trying to juggle each day, a solid recommendation is always appreciated. The more you reach out and establish relationships with businesses in your area, the more likely they’ll be willing to provide a backlink to your website. It’s all about trust; having service pages will help you establish more of that!
Ideas for Your Service Area Page Content
Here are some questions that RebelFish uses to brainstorm and create service pages.
- Reviewers from specific neighborhoods in the city?
Do you have any reviews from customers that live in specific neighborhoods in the surrounding area? Post those reviews and remember to use appropriate keywords.
- Are there any fun and favorite leisure activities in your city?
People love visiting cities for unique experiences. Are there any fun things to do that are special to your city? Mention those and talk them up!
- Is yours a city with a unique nickname?
A nickname is immediately recognizable and can add some clout. Vegas is ‘Sin City’, and Chicago is ‘the windy city,’ for good reason. Capitalize on these.
- Do you have any photos of projects you’ve done in the area?
Don’t be afraid to brag a little. It’s important for local businesses to be involved in the happenings of their city. Tell your readers the who, what, when, where, and most importantly, why.
- Are there any nearby businesses your customers would appreciate?
Your customers are your customers for a reason. If nearby businesses are not competing with your business, you should point them in that direction. They’ll appreciate the trusted recommendation, and that particular business will appreciate your help. It’s an ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’ kind of thing.
There are countless things you can find to write about. It will take some thinking, but you’ll find a flow once you start writing. Be sure to get them as close as possible to 1k words per blog. Google likes well-written and informative content. Optimize them with that SEO magic and then… hurry up and wait. That last part is tough for us Type A’s, I know.
Here’s a plan to Get More Local Clients in 90 Days.
How Long Does it Take for Google to Recognize New Content?
While it depends on how busy Google is around that time, it doesn’t take long at all for indexing to happen. If you submit a new page or article and put in your site map, then Google finds it pretty fast.
In general, your content will start to be recognized in a few weeks. One of the quickest ways is to add relevant photos to your GMB profile.
It’s time to go out and find yourself some area businesses to highlight. Happy hunting!