Local visibility in search engine results pages is a huge challenge for webshops. I struggled with it for years for my online passport photo solution, but now I seem to have found a solution. Turns out local competitors are long tail keywords.
I managed to obtain great positions in Google by focusing on long tail SEO from day one. Ten years of putting in the work pays off because SEO is a long term game wherein the compound effect greatly applies.
But local SEO is a different ball game. Below the Google Maps rich snippets, that show up at the top of the page for most local searches (e.g. “passport photo amsterdam“), is a world to win.
Since my service targets customers in Netherlands, I created landing pages for all Dutch cities, such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven.
These city pages target broad search phrases on the combination of the product and the city (e.g. “passport photo amsterdam”), and bring me a fair amount of visitors on a daily basis.
But I felt like there was more to it.
Keyword research showed that most local searches are on neighborhood level (e.g. “passport photo amsterdam center“). Hence, people ar using long tail keywords mostly.
As long as you stay relevant for users with your content, the page has added value and is likely to rank on the keywords you target. So the fact that people are using keyword combinations with neighborhood names means that pages on this specific topic will be relevant.
I figured creating photographer pages and using the area names in it will be a way to build relevant pages for these keywords.
So I listed all my offline competitors on my website, starting with six cities as a try-out. After two months the results are very promising, as the number of visitors per city has increased fivefold.
Because site structure is very important, since structure is user friendly and thus more relevant, I inserted these listing pages on the right level in the site structure.
- Home (level 1): https://pasfoto.nu/
- Cities (level 2): https://pasfoto.nu/maken/
- City (level 3): https://pasfoto.nu/maken/pasfoto-eindhoven/
- Photographer (level 4): https://pasfoto.nu/maken/pasfoto-eindhoven/zwaan-fotografie-eindhoven-centrum/
Notice the emphasis I put on the area name in headers, page titles and content within these listing pages.
On these pages, I’m presenting a price comparison of the given competitor and my online service, highlighting the customer’s saving opportunity.
A big advantage here is that the product is homogeneous. This might be a bit harder if you sell several products, but you get the idea.
It might feel contradictory to list your competitors within your own website (for free), but don’t forget that it’s an excellent way to attract visitors you otherwise wouldn’t attract.
Some of them might go to the offline competitor, but they probably searched for an offline solution anyway. The goal is to seduce the rest of them to use my online services. You aren’t going to win the complete market anyway.
The photographers get listed free of charge for now, although there are listing sites that charge money for it while ranking below me. So I might even going to charge for it in the future as an extra business model.
I’m facing a hell of a job to list all photographers for the 100+ cities on the website but the long term results will be worth it; pages that bring visitors every single day.
You know you need to be obsessed to accomplish success, right?