By Taylor Williams
The term “duplicate content” is stigmatized in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) community. The common fear among content marketers is that reams and reams of copied text on one website is considered malpractice. This results in penalization by Google with web traffic taking a nosedive. While this is mostly true, there are workarounds that yield results. If you’re a franchise-based company with multiple locations, carry on reading. This blog is dedicated to helping you boost local SEO for multiple locations, whether you are a franchise-based company with multiple location-specific websites or one national (corporate) website.
Is Duplicate Content An Issue With Approach Two?
First things first. Approach two, involving the creation of multiple location-specific websites, is the easier approach when performing local SEO optimization. Ultimately, there’s less duplicate content pitfalls using this method. This isn’t to say you can’t succeed with method one, but we’ll get to that later.
Say you’re a national law firm with offices in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. Your goal is to generate brand awareness, drive traffic, produce leads, and make money. Ultimately, what you have to offer from one location to the next is the same. Your services and experience are standardized. The only genuine differences are location and staff. The obvious temptation is creating one national (corporate) website with location pages tacked on as an afterthought. The fear is that you couldn’t possibly create three separate websites using the same copy deck because of the ghastly beast that is duplicate content. But stop right there because here lies an opportunity.
By creating three separate websites for your Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto law offices, your SEO content strategy can be tailored by location. For instance, “Toronto law firm” receives 1,900 searches a month, “lawyers in Montreal” receives 720, and “injury lawyer Ottawa” receives 320. By developing a location-specific site with several high-ranking local SEO keywords set as Focus Keywords across many pages, you stand a far greater chance of standing out and getting ranked by Google. In other words, driving increased traffic to your separate Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto branches.
SEO Keywords Have To Work A Lot Harder With Approach One
Sure, a copywriter could use “Toronto law firm”, “lawyers in Toronto” and “injury lawyer Toronto” on one single Toronto location page as part of your national law firm’s corporate website. However, the key difference is that it’s only one page. In other words, the SEO keywords must work a lot harder. This is in comparison to multiple SEO keywords being set as Focus Keywords across numerous pages.
Case Study: Merry Maids Canada
In Lime Advertising’s experience, we’ve enjoyed great success developing over 35 location-specific websites for Merry Maids, a franchise-based Canadian cleaning company. With branches from Halifax to Vancouver, the Lime team has spent the past few years regularly optimizing each franchise site’s local SEO. Our Toronto SEO experts constantly monitor local SEO keyword trends, fine-tuning franchise site copy whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Tasked with making each Merry Maids franchise website perform competitively within their local region, here are some of our outstanding results.
Merry Maids Ottawa
- Page 1 on Google for “Ottawa cleaning services”
- Total of 6,441 leads in 2021
Merry Maids Mississauga
- Page 1 on Google for “Mississauga cleaning services”
- Total of 4,160 leads in 2021
For all the 35+ Merry Maids franchise sites Lime manages, we helped generate the company a total number of 62,441 leads in 2021.
Is Duplicate Content An Issue With Approach One?
Like we mentioned earlier, there’s less duplicate content pitfalls when employing approach two. But this isn’t to say you can’t achieve success by developing one national (corporate) website instead. When a company’s services and experience are standardized despite separate locations, it’s tempting to keep all your key messaging under one roof (one website). After all, it takes a lot longer to develop multiple location-specific websites with the local SEO keyword strategies to match.
When choosing approach one, the key is to be extra vigilant and careful when developing single location-specific pages on the same website. Why? Because if Google deems your content to be too similar, or more accurately, doesn’t provide the end-user any added value, the Google “spiders” won’t crawl and rank each location page independently. Sure, it takes longer, but you can now appreciate the limitations of approach one compared to approach two.
The most competent copywriters recognize and appreciate the duplicate content dilemma. Fortunately for you, there are several hacks or ways in which similar copy can be treated. This way, you can bypass any duplicate content fears, get Google to rank location-specific content more often, and drive more traffic (and leads) to your national (corporate) website. To be different and valuable enough in Google’s eyes, here’s how one similar copy deck can be adapted and individualized.
Make The Content Truly Unique
Each location and workforce are different, so celebrate this fact! Beyond the quick fix of swapping out the city name for each location page on one website, adapt your copy deck by going into detail about each location, its history, accreditations, and success stories. This adds genuine value in Google’s eyes.
Incorporate Photo & Video
If you have any location-specific photo or video content, you’re laughing. By adding this content to each location page on one website, your consumers will be able to quickly spot that you’re a truly local business with their best interests at heart.
Add On Staff Bios
By including staff bios on each location page on one website, this not only differentiates one page from the next, but instils a sense of professionalism and authority within your industry niche.
Share Customer Reviews
Need another way to make each location page on one website unique? Take advantage of customer reviews. Chances are, over the years, each of your franchises has received their fair share of positive feedback. Take time to sift through customer comments and upload location-specific testimonials to each location page. This builds authority and trust.
Finally, adding local driving directions and maps is another way of making your location-specific pages on one website even more unique and valuable.
Sure, taking time to individualize each location page on one website is time-consuming, but the long-term results are worth it. After all, you’ve already spent so much time building your online presence so why cut corners with ineffective SEO tactics? Trust the Lime Advertising team to build you a local SEO strategy that gets results.
Case Study: Terminix Canada
In Lime Advertising’s experience, we’ve enjoyed great success developing a national (corporate) website with local recognition for Terminix Canada, a Canadian pest control company. With more than 30 branches across 10 Canadian provinces, the Lime team has spent the past year developing location-specific content on Terminix Canada’s national (corporate) website. Our Toronto SEO experts constantly monitor local SEO keyword trends, fine tuning franchise site copy whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Tasked with making each Terminix Canada location page perform competitively within its local region, here are some of our outstanding results.
Terminix Canada Corporate Website
February 2022 compared to February 2021
- 395% increase in website leads
- 76.52% increase in the average position of 50+ SEO keywords
- 1800% increase in SEO keywords listed in the top 10
Trust Lime To Build You A Local SEO Strategy That Gets Results
With over 15 years of digital marketing experience, Lime Advertising assists small and medium-sized local companies looking for more brand awareness and leads in their local community. An expert in franchise marketing, we offer local bilingual services with a deep knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) across the local and national spectrum. Instead of hiring cheap and too good to be true SEO vendors online, choose Lime Advertising instead.
Lime would love to help you conquer local SEO and drive more business in your local community. 100% committed to getting you results, we proudly work with
- Doctor’s offices
- Law firms
- Pest control providers
- Retail vendors
- Small businesses
- Large businesses
- B2C companies
- B2B companies
- And more