Duplicate content can kill your local search rankings. Fix it with local knowledge, local stats, customer content, and solid survey questions.
Duplicate Content for Local Pages
What is duplicate content? Duplicate content is any content that is identical — or nearly so — across web pages on the same website. Duplicate content will hurt your Google rankings — for local search (and general searches)— yielding low to no visibility, which means no site traffic which means no new leads. So the problem of duplicate content has to be solved.
For businesses with a lot of locations, and therefore a lot of local pages, avoiding the duplicate content trap can be difficult. How can you talk differently about your 200 car wash locations, when the only thing that appears to be distinct about them is that they’re in different places?
What To Do About Duplicate Local Content
Thankfully, there are fixes for this problem, and they aren’t high-tech or especially time-consuming either.
Here are some of the ones we’ve used with success at LOCOMOTIVE:
1. Get the knowledge keepers involved
Individual service or business locations have individual cultures, offerings, staff, and the like. These differences can be a source of excellent and differentiating content for local search pages. If each business location has its own management, send those managers a survey with questions about the services and location to help inform unique content that you can then add to each location’s page.
The kinds of survey questions you ask will vary depending on the type of business you run, but some initial questions to consider include:
- What does your business at this location do better than local competitors?
- What makes this location unique?
- What are the most common concerns or questions that customers have?
- Is there anything distinct about this location? (e.g. bilingual staff, extended hours, etc.)
Tailor survey questions to your business type and clientele, and be sure to leave space for managers to include their own thoughts about what makes their location different from other locations.
2. Talk to your customer service / customer success team
Work with your customer service team to get a list of the questions most commonly asked and provide unique Q&As on each location page. An inpatient treatment center may get asked “what should I pack?” or “can I have visitors?” on a regular basis.
3. Use local stats
Find RELEVANT local statistics to add to each location’s content page, further differentiating them from one another. For example, a real estate company with multiple locations could include data about property values by zip code or most popular neighborhoods based on sales data. A chain of sporting goods stores could include data about which outdoor sports were most popular according to age group in each location.
4. Solicit content from customers
Customer content is one of the best types of content companies can showcase — and that’s true for any page, not just local pages. So feature testimonials that are from local customers. Reach out to some of your most loyal customers and interview them about their experience. Quote them directly, or use the insights and language they provide to craft unique content.
Another key benefit of using customer-supplied content? It creates an atmosphere of trust that can lead to better conversion rates.