How to Localize Your Web Pages
The very first step to take if you want to rank locally is to make sure that you have local terms in your pages. Ideally, have these terms not just in a Contact Us page but on every page. Some websites need to rank for local search terms but haven’t the slightest hope of doing so.
An example is a rodent-racing website in New York, Big Apple Rodent Racing track. The business owner needs to rank well for rodent racing new york, and in fact to rank well for various New York boroughs.
There is one big problem, though. There isn’t a single page on the website with the term rodent racing and the name New York. The only page that contains New York is the Contact Us page, and that page contains only contact information and a map . . . it doesn’t contain the words rodent racing.
The problem with putting your location in only your Contact Us page is that while you’ve probably created dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of lovely keyword-rich pages, you have just removed one of the most important keywords and put it on a separate page.
If you want Google to think a page is related to a particular location in addition to finding certain keywords, you need to make sure the location name and keywords appear on the same pages! So, here are a few things you can do:
Include your full address in your Web pages. Include your street, city, state, and ZIP Code. Although you can put the address in the footer, ideally it should be near the top of the page somewhere.
If you have more than one address, put all the addresses on each page.
Include in all your pages the names of all locations you’re interested in. Include a list of city names, for instance, in your footer or in a sidebar, ideally with links to pages with information about each of those cities.
Create a Contact Us page for every location you have. If you have five office locations, you need five Contact Us pages.
Put important keywords on your Contact Us pages.
Find other reasons to mention the city and ZIP Code in the body of your text. If possible, put them in <H> tags; use bold font on some of the references, too.
Include location names in your filenames. Your URL should contain the name of the location for which you are trying to rank well. So, for instance, instead of yourdomain.com/pizza.html, you could use youdomain.com/pizza-phoenix-az.html.
Include the city name in your TITLE and DESCRIPTION meta tags.
Include city and state names in link text when linking from other sites to yours.
You should think carefully about what location names are truly important. Different types of searches use different types of location terms. For instance, when people search for insurance, they often search with a state name: car insurance colorado, renters insurance texas, and so on.
For real estate, people usually search with city names or even neighborhood names. For attorneys, people often search using city names but rarely neighborhood names. So you should think about which terms are important and target those terms.
Getting a few keyworded links to your site with the location names in combination with the product or service keywords can be very powerful. Consider also actually optimizing a few pages for specific locations, using the location and product or service keywords in the <TITLE> and <DESCRIPTION> tags, in H1 headers, several times in the body text, in links to the page, and so on.
The rodent-racing client should probably have a page optimized for New York Rodent Racing, one for Brooklyn Rodent Racing, another for Manhattan Rodent Racing, and so on.