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When and When Not To Duplicate Content In Local SEO

Local SEO is now essential for all types of businesses. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar or a service-based business, you will know that many of your potential customers will begin their journey with a search.

You will most likely have a local SEO strategy place (if not, we suggest an immediate local SEO audit on your site which will help you create your local strategy) which can lead to questions such as:

  • How can I create so much unique content on the same exact subject?

  • Can I just copy and paste the same information and change the city name?

  • What is the best way to target my customers and not get penalized for duplicate content?

So, if you are scratching your head and pondering the aforementioned questions, let’s look at the key different types of content that you may be tempted to duplicate and whether you should make it unique or just rinse and reuse it.

1. Service Area Pages

As a business that services a large area or if you have multiple locations, it may be very tempting to use the same template for each page. As a service-based business, these pages tell your customers the exact area where you conduct business. If you are a brick and mortar, location pages may be a suitable alternative. However, our advice is to not duplicate this info. Take advantage of this prime opportunity to differentiate yourself. By having the same information on every page, you are sending conflicting signals to the search engines on which page is really important. Make it extremely clear that if a user is searching for a specific term in this area, you are the best website to help them fulfil that need or answer a specific question.

2. City Specific Landing Pages

The search engines are looking for the best site to serve their customer with the most relevant search results, you want this content to shout, “I am that business!”.

This type of page gives you the opportunity to target a metro area or city in which you provide services. This is really useful if you don’t have a physical location within that area. Since the intent of this page is to drive organic traffic from a specific city or metro area, you definitely want to make sure the content is unique and targeted to the keywords that you defined in your strategic plan. This can be as specific as [your service] + [city].

Treat this as the landing page for your customers within the targeted city. This may be your one shot to convert a customer or keep them on your site. Here you can:

  • Speak about the individual services or products you offer in this area and why they are important.

  • Include surrounding cities and suburbs in the content which will expand your local reach.

  • Include the address of the office or location that services the targeted city.

  • Local reviews, testimonials, and job stories help to build your credibility.

3. Articles And Blogs

The resources section of your site is a great place to speak directly to that specific need of a customer while displaying that you are the authority in your space. Let's face it, everybody loves a blog, and one of the best parts about using articles and blogs as part of your strategy is the flexibility to really dig deep into any topic and make it applicable to your service or product. So, our advice here is to definitely not duplicate, or you risk this as being a complete bore! Instead, get those creative juices flowing and have some fun.

4. NAP Information

Your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) is extremely important for local SEO. You should have this information in the footer of your website, on metro pages, and about us pages. This is an instance where consistency matters and you want it to be the same across the board. So yes, you do need to duplicate this information. The level of detail required needs to be spot on across every page this is used. This is important because it is how the search engines validate your existence across the internet. If they can match your Name, Address, and Phone Number to other sources of information, it shows the connection between your website and other mentions of your company.

5. Reviews And Testimonials

Don’t be afraid to use the same reviews and testimonials across different pages on your site. The key here is to refresh this content periodically. Remember reviews and testimonials build trust and credibility with your customers.

6. Directory Listings

Another area where duplication is OK, are Web directories, which are still very relevant to local SEO. These include local search directories, map sites, affiliate/review sites, and Chambers of Commerce. Each directory may give you the opportunity to have a profile that includes your NAP information as well as a listing of your services and a description of the business. And, similar to the NAP, consistency matters.

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