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6 Tips for Deploying Geo-targeted Microsites for Local Search

By Chad PollittJan 23, 2012

Geo-targeted MicrositesIt’s not uncommon for Kuno to take on a new client with specific Internet geo-targeting goals. This is a different beast compared to most SEO-centric campaigns. Budget is the ultimate influencer for what’s possible when geo-targeting for major cities and regions or for dozens of locations. Generally, the less online competition that exists on the search engine results page (SERP) for a specific geo-location, the less difficult the challenge becomes. However, optimizing one website to come up for multiple locations isn’t a very effective tactic even with a robust geo-targeted landing page strategy.

The Challenge

If a company is national in scope and provides products or services in a local-centric manner they will have a very difficult time competing with the smaller local companies’ websites when they only have one website. This is because listing multiple geo-locations on one website creates an oversaturation of location-based keywords. Couple that with the multitude of online brand signals (press releases, social media, videos, etc.) for the home office location and there’s a recipe for Google to find the other locations less relevant than the home office location.

In contrast, the local company with one location and one website will only have brand signals for its geography. This makes it very clear to Google as to the relevancy of the business for that region.

Geo-targeted Microsites

One of the most effective tactics for targeting specific locations for local search by a national brand is the deployment of new websites built specifically for towns, cities or regions. They should also be cheaper than the main website if its design is used for the microsites. However, with enough budget, a user interface and experience test can be deployed by creating new designs. Below are six recommendations for deploying geo-targeted microsites.

  1. Include the town, city or region in the URL (ex. http://www.CompanyNameCity.com). Avoid using dashes and anything other than .com.
  2. Make sure the content is unique on each microsite. The people at each location can be responsible or the home office.
  3. Create a Google Places (Bing too) account for each brick and mortar location and include the microsite URL. Here are some more tips for optimizing a Google Places page.
  4. Have each location create their own LinkedIn company page with employees choosing that page as their place of employment.
  5. Do a paid submission for each location to Localeze.com.
  6. Have each location create their own social media profiles and send out their own press releases.

Generally, it is not a good idea to expect one national website to rank in local search for multiple locations. Although there are exceptions, the best approach is to deploy multiple geo-targeted microsites and Google Places accounts with unique content on them all. While it does require more resources and planning to execute, there are economies of scale that can be achieved by leveraging the work done on the primary national website. For more help with search engine optimization download our SEO Cheat Sheet.



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