Having a blog isn’t as effective as it could be if you can’t get your readers to navigate to it from a landing page. Here’s how to do it.
Tim: So, a service-based company that is trying to market to towns outside of their core service area and generating location pages based on that unique content on those locations. That’s what I’m working on right now for a company. So, what you were talking about with LaVonya, making the service inseparable from the area, is interesting to me. So you know, I’m just trying to figure out ways to do that. I’m working with the client on doing customer spotlights. They happened to be doing a job yesterday that was for a theater that’s over a hundred years old. They have a testimonial from the client. So, what I’m thinking is really making the customer spotlight part of the blog and then featuring them on the location pages as snippets. But I’m wondering, as a snippet, will that work well for SEO on that specific page. Does that make sense? What I’m trying to ask there?
David: Well, the devil’s in the details of how you implement it, but I do like this strategy. I think case studies make great local pages. There’s a client I have that does very niche industrial services – like, stuff that you and I don’t even know needs to happen.
David: And what the problem is, that they are so known for their hometown, that people don’t realize they can literally serve anyone in the United States. So they wanted to have a strategy where they could feature, “Hey, we can do it in your backyard.” So what we did was took these internal reports they were producing for the clients, took the clients’ names off of them, took a couple of pictures out of that report, and we talked about what the company did in Kentucky. It was it’s was presented as a project brief for Kentucky. And so you could see that number one, for people who would see it and encounter it would see they can serve Kentucky too. But because we talk about what it was they did in Kentucky, at this type of plant, without mentioning a plant’s name and personal identification number, you can’t tell which company they serve. Now, if someone in Kentucky searches for “I need someone who can help service my such-and-such plant in Kentucky,” now we can be found that way too. And so that’s kind of this strategy on a different kind of scale.
I’m familiar with Charlotte, so we can talk about Charlotte. So, if I was a Charlotte-based plumber, and I wanted more customers in the surrounding areas, finding a plumbing project that I could do in Gastonia that I could feature on my blog could help me reach people in Gastonia because they could see pictures of what I did. I could talk about the specific things I did. We could do one for Fort Mill, one for Matthews, one for Huntersville, one for the university area, and just start there. What’s cool is you probably have more than one project, and each project is a little bit different. So, if you talk about what work you did and where you did it, you’re going to have all kinds of really good blog posts. You can then use your power of internal linking and link all those to your service page for Gastonia or Fort Mill. Now you get the power of internal links pushing to that. With internal links, you can reciprocate, so you can link out to your case study about what you did as a plumber in Gastonia. And that’s totally legit. And so it’s got this kind of synergy thing going, but it’s kind of also the hub and spoke system where you have a landing page dedicated to being a plumber in Gastonia, you have a bunch of content about plumbing projects in Gastonia, or here’s something weird about the plumbing system in Gastonia – it’s a hundred years old.
David: And so now that can link into that, and you use these internal links to prop up your service page. The customers that have happened to find your blog easily get to your service page because you link to it. Google takes that link as a signal that the Gastonia page must be important because it keeps getting linked to from within your content. It’s really setting yourself up for a really great success.
David: I have another client where they provide services all over the state, and while it’s sometimes easy to talk about certain cities in the state, they really have a hard time coming up with things to say about others. Boy, you can see the difference. When they talk about this city or that city, and they link to it from their blog, those city pages do pretty well. The pages with no internal links because they can’t think about how they would talk about that city, or they’ve got nothing to say except we really want to serve in that city, they don’t do well because they don’t have internal links to those pages.
David: So Google says, well, it can’t be that important of a page if they don’t even link to it themselves. We’ve got to remember the menu system is for humans, and Google uses the menu to identify what pages, but it doesn’t use it to rank pages. It’s internal links from within content that help Google say, “Oh, that page that they keep linking to about Gastonia Plumbing must be a pretty important page to them.” So finding these local topics and then linking to your core page selling that service is a really great full strategy. And that can really, really help.
Tim: Those are good examples too. I appreciate that. On the location page, what’s the proper way to link to the case study per se?
David: You know, when we do external linking, we want to be careful not to link back to someone who links us because it’s reciprocal linking, right? But with the internal links, it doesn’t matter.
David: So that would be one way of doing it. You could also get a little more advanced. And so, with the WordPress system, we have two common ways of organizing blog posts, which are categories and tags. So, stop me if I’ve waxed eloquent on this before. I am of the opinion that those should be two very different things, in that every blog post should fit in one and only one category, but every blog post could be tagged in several different ways. And the tags and the category should be very different. So let’s say we are a home services company. And the services we provide are plumbing, landscaping, and HVAC. I don’t even know if that company makes sense, but we’re using this example.
Tim: The trifecta.
David: So, because each blog post is only going to be about one of those things, it’s only going to be about plumbing, or it’s only going to be about HVAC, or it’s only going to be about landscaping, then we could use those categorizations. We could also use the tagging system to tag the towns that are mentioned in those posts. Gastonia, Fort Mill, Huntersville, Charlotte, University, Matthews. Maybe we could talk about several cities, and so we want to have different tags for several settings. One of the cool things that I think is underappreciated within WordPress is using category pages as landing pages. And so, if you do that, you can actually put content on a category page, and then below that list, all the things by that category. Let me actually show you an example.
Tim: Like an enhanced archive page?
David: Yeah. So, let’s look at a crazy example of this. I mean, this is the shittiest website ever. But here is the blog category for analytics. And I have some information about analytics: how to measure Seo, how do you use Google Analytics for SEO? Does Google Analytics help SEO? Below is every process within the Game Plan that’s related to analytics. Link building: What is link building? Do I need link building? Does link building still work? How to do good link building. Yeah, okay, interesting, helpful information about link building, and now here’s a list of all the link-building processes.
Tim: So, let’s say this is the plumbing category for Trifecta Home Services and their location page for Gastonia, North Carolina. How would you integrate this? How would you, in your strategy of inter-linking, go from the location page to this archive page?
David: So, if you decided you wanted a tag page, for instance, to be Gastonia, you have all your content and you can, as the developer, just build this out however you want. And then this literally has the list of archive underneath it, and you could format this however you want, based on the theme.
Tim: So, you’re then using the tag archives page as your location page?
David: Yeah. Or you could use the category if you felt like it. It might make sense to use category pages for geography because you’re not going to talk about Gastonia and Matthews, typically. You might talk about a synergy between HVAC and plumbing here. But you’ll have to make those decisions.
Tim: Yeah. Right.
David: And so that might be an interesting way to approach this problem. So, then you’re using these archival pages as pages with content. This could be a lot better. There are some actual technical SEO problems on this. But it gets the purpose. If you want to learn all that Curious Ants has to do with link building, this is it, and here’s some information about link building, in general. So that would be what I like about this is that because of the way WordPress displays these articles, it is very Google friendly, and Google can get to these posts. We’re not using some sort of widget that Google might have a hard time reading to get to these posts.
David: I’ve done this on another website where we use the category pages as a landing page. And it was a really interesting approach. There are a couple of tweaks you have to make to some of the code of how where WordPress does things to make this ideal, but it could be another way of approaching this problem.
Tim: Yeah, interesting.
David: But if you already have a landing page for Gastonia, North Carolina Home Services, and you just wanted to link, you could either find a widget do it automatically or as you write content, just find natural ways to add links to the stuff of the case studies
David: A simple picture and a link would be really effective, right?
David: Here’s something we did. Go look at it if you want to.
Tim: Yep. And with a short sentence that introduces that list of photo link, photo link, photo link. Right?
Tim: Cool. Thanks for that.