Optimizing for Service Areas Without Creating Doorway Pages
One of the main goals of local SEO campaigns is to rank as high as possible in the search engines for a specific geographic area. Many businesses have accomplished this goal with the help of something called “doorway pages,” even if they didn’t realize that’s what they were called.
Doorway pages are designed specifically to target a particular search query. Their goal is simply to get people onto the page, and sadly, they don’t typically provide useful information. What’s worse is the content from these pages is often featured on multiple sites with different domain names. They just function as a way for people to navigate to a particular “main” site.
Google is saying “no” to doorway pages and sites that have them are being penalized in search results. If you have any doorway pages, it’s time to get rid of them.
How to Know If You Have Doorway Pages
- Multiple domain names that take searches to the same page
- Similar or identical pages on your website
- Keywords used are not really relevant to the content on your actual site
- Pages created only for search engines/not linked to or from your actual site
This doesn’t mean your local SEO efforts have to stop. It means they need to be improved upon and, fortunately, there are some very simple ways to improve your local SEO and rank higher in search results without doorway pages.
Let’s explore ways to create pages on your website that focus on a specific local area.
Onsite Local SEO Methods
If your local business serves multiple geographic areas, you could create a page for each area that includes information specific to that area. The kind of content you would include on these pages would be the services provided in that area, customer testimonials, a map of the area you service and the contact information for reaching a representative that serves that area. Other types of content you can include would be resources that someone in that area would search for on the Internet.
An example would be if you are a moving company and you want to focus on Plano, Texas. You could include information for setting up phone service, cable, shopping, etc. specific to the area you are targeting.
Offsite Local SEO Methods
Use Google My Business Local
One of the first things you should do is to get your business listed with Google My Business. You can create a unique listing for your business that includes details about your business, products, services, etc. These listings are factored into Google’s search results. As long as you choose relevant keywords to use in your business details, you can potentially bring visitors to your website and improve your click-through rate all at the same time.
Create Citations Around the Web
Another thing you can do to improve local SEO without the use of doorway pages is to have as many citations as possible on the web. Citations are mentions of your business on other websites that include, at least, your business’s name, address and phone number. This is known as your business’s NAP data. One of the best methods for getting citations is submitting your business to directories and review sites. Using a service such as Local Site Submit, is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get your business listed online.
As you can see, it’s very possible to have a strong search engine presence and good local SEO without using doorway pages.
Please share some of the ways you’ve improved local SEO efforts for your business or clients below!