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Target Multiple Geographical Markets (Cities)

14 April, 2014 | Improving SERP

Author: Michael Schmidt

Our company does a lot of writing. We write everything from technical manuals to professional resumes. However, we also do Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We currently rank on the first page of Google for several of our keyword phrases for the city where we are based. However, Saskatoon has a rather small population so reaching out into other markets is a critical business goal. So the question was how to do this most effectively by using only white hat techniques. As an experiment we chose "resume writers" as the first phase of our geographic expansion. (Even though technical writing, SEO and editing are greater revenue generators.) We saw dozens of high ranking websites though using spammy techniques and stuffing dozens and dozens of cities in their footers and thought that this was an inappropriate method to emulate.

We then contemplated using sub-domains for all of our target cities but this too had drawbacks. We opted to create unique webpages with unique "resume writer" content on each page for each of the target cities in Canada. (For example, Calgary and Vancouver.) The rationale was that we would not be penalized for duplicate content. This strategy has appeared to work well and we are trending higher in each of the targeted markets. 

However, that still restricts us to the Canadian market. Does anyone else have any advice or ideas on how to make traction in the American markets without having to create a unique content page for each city (for example, Chicago and Los Angeles)? Or without having to register an entirely new domain? We are now investigating a PHP script to toggle in a city name based on the initial search query to obviate the need to create literally hundreds of new pages of content. 

We will keep you up-to-date on our progress!

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