In this tutorial, we’ll help guide you through the process of determining how you should localize your Carrot website – specifically, your Home Page.
Website Localization Principles
Principle #1: Plan for where your business will likely expand over the coming years
If you plan to expand to a statewide operation over the coming years closing business from around the state, build your home page to cater to the state today, so you don’t have to change it later.
Principle #2: Prioritize based on the percentage of your income that comes from specific locations
Put a preference towards optimizing pages based on how they contribute to your income. If more than 50% of your income comes from 1 city (or state if you’re multi-state), consider making your home page specific to that location unless you plan to expand further and diversify your income across more markets.
Principle #3: Always have a state page, even if you’re just focusing on one city
Well-optimized state pages are a great tool to rank in Google in place of having city pages for small/obscure areas/cities/counties few people may ever search.
Principle #4: Targeting a broad location makes location pages very important
The more broad location your business operates, the more important location pages are to traffic and leads. The more narrow your focus on a specific city/state, the more important your home page will be to traffic/leads.
How To Determine The Location Focus of Your Carrot Home Page
One of the most common strategy questions that we hear from Carrot customers is:
How do I decide on the localization of my home page? Should I target a state, a city, or should it be focused on a broader area?
This can be a tough question, we’ve mapped out a decision tree below to help you make the right choise.
Question #1: Are you 100% focused on a single state & plan to keep that focus over the coming years?
- If yes, continue to Question #2.
- If no, continue to Question #3.
Question #2: Does a single city/metro area make up 50% or more of your income?
As you narrow focus to specific cities or a single state, your home page is a very important focus as a traffic and lead driver.
- [No Expansion] If yes, optimize the home page for that city. Create location pages for each other city and ensure there is a state page for this state.
- Note: Only do this if you do not plan to expand outside of this city over the next few years in a meaningful way that would reduce this city to less than 30% of your income.
- [Expansion] If yes, optimize the home page for the state if that state will make up more than 50% of your income as a whole. Create location pages for each city in that state.
- Note: Only do this if you do plan to expand outside of this city over the next few years in a meaningful way that would reduce this city to less than 30% of your income.
- If no, optimize the home page for the state if that state makes up more than 50% of your income as a whole.
- If that state currently makes up less than 50% of your income (or will within the next 1-3 years), optimize the home page for the region (Northeast, Pacific Northwest, West Coast, etc.) OR generic for national.
Question #3: Does a single state make up more than 50% of your income & you plan to keep that focus over the coming years?
- If yes, optimize your home page for that state. Create location pages for each state and primary cities in those states.
- If no, continue to Question #4.
Question #4: Do you focus on a definable region (Pacific Northwest, New England, West Coast, Midwest)?
- If yes, optimize your home page for that region.
- Keyword example: “Sell your new england house fast”
- Include each of your primary states/cities on the home page content.
- Link to the primary location pages.
- If no, make your home page generic (“Sell Your House Fast” or “Investment Properties”)
- Create location pages for the primary states and cities within those states. Location pages will elevate in importance for driving traffic and leads.
Curious About Incorporating Counties?
We don’t recommend using counties on location pages for two reasons:
- Not all states use counties; some of the southern states still use parishes. This might be semantics, but for clarity’s sake, it’s simpler to stick with cities and states.
- People aren’t typically using county names when searching for homes. Even if the city location is not as accurate to the member, a city location page will be much more likely to be used on a Google search. You can also have as many city pages as you would like. So if the member wants to include all of the cities within their county, they are welcome to do so! I believe this would be the best of both worlds.