Episode 12 – Ranking in Multiple Markets

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This episode covers a super important topic if you’re going to move your business into a new market! Or, you might be a wedding or elopement photographer that wants to cover a large geographical area instead of one main city.

We talk about the process of moving, what techniques are crucial, and how to spot lower competition opportunities to rank from afar.

Dylan: Welcome to episode 12 of the Fuel Your Photos podcast with Dylan and Corey. Today, we're going to talk a little bit about ranking in multiple locations. there's, there's two main scenarios we're going to talk about, and that might be you, you're already doing well in your main location and you want to branch out and kind of rank into some other markets.

And the other would be that you're moving your business. a lot of people. Get situated in one town and they're doing great. And then something happens in life where they have to, to change markets. And, they're freaking out because they're trying to like, Game plan, how they're going to rank and not lose all their business.

So, yeah, that's the discussion for today.

Corey: Awesome. Yeah. This is a really popular question. We get it all the time. So I'm excited to do this. I'm excited to be back podcasting. It's been a while. It's been a little too long, like months since our last episode. I don't want to like, yeah, it's weird because Dylan and I live three hours apart.

I'm on the East coast. He's on the West coast. And so right now it's. Very hot, where I live very humid and my office, has a very loud air conditioner. So on the days when it's really hot, it's very hard for us to record without having that really bad background noise. But today we were, we have an amazing day.

I've got my door open. You might hear some birds or some cars going by. Well, we're going to do this and we're going to figure out a way we're going to make this more regular again. Right.

Dylan: Awesome. For sure.

Corey: All right, let's jump into it. Cool. So what should we start with first? Let's start with, I guess the first thing you mentioned there, where people want to rank for multiple locations and this really applies, I mean, like in general, I want to say stop being greedy.

Don't do that. Just. Know, rank for the one area that you're, that's closest to you. And we'll probably talk some more about that. That's still going to be my opinion in a lot of cases. However, it's fair to want to rank in multiple locations for certain types of photographers, like elopement, photographers, even just wedding photographers who frequently travel, maybe they don't even.

Want to attract, you know, weddings in the area where they live and they want to have multiple locations that they can pull from that are maybe only an hour drive or something like that. it's very common for wedding and elopement photographers and some other photographers do the same thing. So, we'll talk about some things that you might.

Want to think about there. So what are your initial thoughts on people who say, Hey, I serve multiple locations and I want to rank for all of them. Yeah.

Dylan: The biggest thought is that you're. You're going to have to look for opportunities that have lower competition. I think that the number one issue that you're going to run into is trying to rank in a market where there are other photographers that are authoritative in that market that have an address in that market that have a Google my business in that market, that are also targeting that area.

and so if you're trying, if you're in LA and you have great reviews and. All these local links and you're really established there and you're trying to rank for New York and you're going up against people that live in New York and have an address like right downtown and all this stuff. It's not going to happen.

and so you're, you're really gonna have to look for different either different queries or different locations that don't have established photographers targeting them in the same way. and that's. Hard it's, it's, it's quite difficult, but it's doable. an example that I think we use far too often on this podcast is for me a big Sur or Yosemite, the reason I'm able to rank for those two markets from Portland, Oregon is because there really aren't photographers based in Yosemite.

There's no, like if you look at Yosemite on Google maps, there's some photographer

Corey: at the

Dylan: top of Taft point or whatever it doesn't exist. and so I can, I can kind of. Target that from afar and have better content and rank. and so that's kind of what you're going to have to look for, especially in the development field.

Corey: And I think that the fact that it's not a place where businesses are located, Google understands that and can change. The type of results based on that. Right? So you may not see a map pack whenever you search for Yosemite, elopement photographer, something like that. You may, I don't know. It depends on where you're located.

Maybe if you're right near there, but most often I would assume there's probably not on that back there, because Google is saying, Hey, there's no real map results here. This is not an. Entity based search where people are looking for like a business to visit. so the, the intent is going to change there.

I, a good rule of thumb to kind of test for what Dylan was talking about with competition is you want to look in the multiple markets that you're trying to rank in and see. Are other photographers using their home page title to target that term specifically. if you see a lot of other photographers where their homepage title targets the term, it means that's their main keyword.

Their business is really focused around that term. And it's, it's like Dylan said, it's gonna be hard to compete against that with an internal page on your site. So let's just say that people are like, well, I understand that, but I still want to try and do both. I've had some good examples of this. I there's one guy I was talked to last year who.

lived in Seattle. No, no lived in the San Francisco Bay area. but also had a partner in Portland or something along those lines, essentially. And they worked at both markets regularly. I'm wanting to try to rank in both markets. What would be your approach if that's still a case for you, or like here in where I live?

I am in Columbia, South Carolina, but it's very common that you might want to try to rank in Charleston or in Greenville. if you're a wedding photographer, especially, but it's going to be hard because there's people in those markets who live in that market and only do that market. It's possible though, to some extent, at least.

So to the best of your ability, what, what strategies would you use to try to do that? Yeah, it's

Dylan: going to be hard. I, I think that my first attempt would be an internal page for the secondary market, but I would, that would be like a hail Mary. Like it, it could work, but I don't, I don't think it will. after that I would look, I would look heavily

Corey: at

Dylan: either setting up a different brand for the other market or trying to keep the same brand and maybe having a.

I've never done this, but the franchise settings in Google, my business where you have multiple locations for one business.

Corey: So you have to, you have to have seven locations to be able to activate that as far as I've read. And I looked, I found that in official support document, I can't remember if it's seven or not, but it's, but it's definitely, it's more than two or three.

Okay.

Dylan: So I wouldn't do that then. Yeah. And maybe that's why I've never done that

Corey: interview. Yeah.

Dylan: but I don't know. It's. For me, it, I always, I look at this problem and every time I, I struggle with it to the extent that I just say, Nope, just that's not what I'm going to do. Yeah. And so I think it would be multiple brands, multiple websites, multiple good white businesses.

Corey: And that would be such a pain.

Dylan: It really would, but it's hard. Like how, ah, yeah. How, how do you think you would try to rank and like San Francisco in Portland?

Corey: Well, in that situation, when I was consulting with the sky, that was my advice. It's like, you should separate these brands and keep your one brand in the market, in the Bay area where you're already ranking and then use a completely separate site with a different name to try to rank in Portland.

He had set up two separate Google, my business listings with the same brand and Google, let him do it, with different addresses. Sometimes they'll let you do that kind of thing, even though they don't want you to do that kind of thing, for sure. If they find it. And I believe he was having issues with suppression where Google was not showing either one in the markets, because it was confused about where that business was actually located.

Yeah. my other, so that's, that's a big problem.

Dylan: My other thought is to give up on the head terms completely and not try to rank for like San Francisco wedding photographer and Portland wedding photographer, but to pick one of those markets for the head term and then. Look for other keyword opportunities, definitely competition that might drive more traffic.

Like we always talk about like, maybe you rank in San Francisco, but you have a Portland wedding venues post that can be quite as relevant to the site. But I think you'd have a better chance of ranking for that than ranking for Portland wedding

Corey: photographer. Yeah. I will say my thought is, and I'm sure we'll probably touch on this a little bit more in this episode, but.

The real differentiator. Our thing that makes this possible is if you have major brand authority, or personal authority, or backlink authority, like whatever, whatever metrics Google is using to determine authority here, I have seen cases and generally when I see it, it is a. Large, multi photographer studio.

Who's been around for a decade or more and has done thousands of weddings, not just, you know, a hundred or 200, but they've got enough brand and name recognition in multiple nearby markets that they can rank in. Both. You'll even see this with like in the U S have you seen the George street? Photo showing up everywhere.

And they're like a corporate national company, but same idea kind of applies here. you can start to rank in multiple markets whenever you're big enough that you've done hundreds of weddings in different markets, right. In that scenario, maybe you're able to start. Ranking for all of those. If you have tons of backlinks and you know, let's say you have 500 referring domains and like in both the markets you're trying to rank for the highest competitor has like 150 in those scenarios.

Maybe you're going to be able to. You could even use your homepage title and be like Columbia and Charleston wedding photographer. At that point, it almost doesn't even matter anymore. You can kind of just use that authority, that won't always work, but I've seen it work. Yes. So

Dylan: definitely agree. But

Corey: that's not that that's not like a short term SEO strategy, right?

That's a longterm business. Strategy. That's something where you have to actually work to dominate multiple markets. And I think that's the thing I'm always come back to is like, do you actually deserve to be on the first page for all of these markets? And in some cases, probably like less than 5% of cases where people ask me about this, I would say the answer is yes, they actually do deserve to be in.

All of those markets on the first page, but for most people it's going to be, well, probably not. There's probably at least 10 or 15 other photographers in that area who are a better results for that term. And so why would I try to get like trick Google into getting me on the first page people do it. I mean, it can happen, but that wouldn't be my goal.

Okay,

Dylan: cool. Should we talk a little bit more just about the specific glee elopement market and kind of. How they're all nomads.

Corey: Yeah. What are your thoughts

Dylan: on that? Yeah, so I think another question that we get quite often is that a lot of the ultimate market, either, either you're based in a place that allotments are super popular in, or a lot of people are like trying to do van life and they don't have a home base.

and so they're like, Hey, I live in the

Corey: West

Dylan: and I shoot in these 14 different national parks. what should I do? I think it's similar to the strategies we talked about above. I think you really need to be concentrating on internal pages for these main locations, creating maybe a hub for them that that ranks for just like West coast or I don't know, there's not going to be really any broad terms that are bit like that.

Just kind of, it allows you as a place to like drive links. To that, that hub, you need to be working on link building to the specific spokes, to each different location you want to rank for. you're probably not going to be doing much with your, as much with your homepage because nobody searches for just like a traveling van life allotment photographer.

but I know of maybe, maybe somebody does, I don't know.

Corey: we are seeing more kind of searches for things like. As a venture elopement photographer, or it's definitely increasing things like that. Yeah,

Dylan: for sure. And so that would probably be, probably be what you would target where that term a year ago didn't have enough volume to really justify the work, but now it might.

Corey: The only problem is you've got a brand like adventure instead where the term adventure is in the brand. You'll never be able to outrank that

Dylan: for sure. Or you have like the Hearns that have been featured on every major news publication ever, and like so many different. A little bit of photographers in that space that

Corey: it's going to be a

Dylan: tough one to crack.

Yeah.

Corey: Yeah. So, I mean, that would make that a huge priority. Exactly. You could still target it because it helps Google understand like what the brand is about and the, and make sure that the other topics on the site. I kind of supported by the general idea that this is an adventure elopement site. but I wouldn't expect necessarily to get on the first page for that, like that shouldn't necessarily be your main turn, your main goal with SEO.

Dylan: What would you do for your Google? My business, if you were completely like a traveling photographer,

Corey: would you try

Dylan: to get that address verified somewhere close to a popular spot? Would you not care at all about the location it's verified in? Would you not want to have a location verified? I

Corey: dunno. I mean, I mean, you're gonna have to verify a location to get the exact listing.

Right. So I would either just use my home address or, you know, someone I know and then just hide it and not worry about it too much. Sure. I mean, I guess it really depends. I would, I would probably. Make a list of all of the locations that I wanted to try to rank for. And I would do searches for all of those.

And I would see how many of them return map packs, like we said earlier, Yosemite elopement photographer, probably not going to have a map pack. Portland elopement photographer probably is going to have a map pack. so, you know, if I made a list of 10 or 20 different locations that I wanted to rank for, and I saw that, you know, five or six of them have a map pack and the others don't, I'd probably pick.

One of those that did have a map pack and try to see if I could get my address verified. And one of those, I think that's probably what I would do. Yeah. If it's too much trouble, if people don't want to like go through all of that, I would just use my home address or whatever, and then set it up as a service area.

And it's not going to be super effective as far as getting into map packs. But do you think, at least you'll have that for your brand, like branded search?

Dylan: Yeah. Does it hurt anything? Like if you're. GMB is verified in Illinois and you're primarily trying to rank in Southern California, Arizona, Utah. Do you think it hurts?

Like, is there any ever an instance where you'd say like having a Google, my business is actually not the right idea for you? It's

Corey: a really good question because I, I almost feel like as a service based business, having that knowledge graph panel show up. With review branded service reviews. Exactly. It's so important, even just for a branded search, because I think a lot of people are going to get a lot of branded search from referrals and from social traffic, that's searching for them, things like that.

I'd almost always want to have it, but I see exactly what you're saying and it could be an issue if, if Google thinks that you're located in Illinois and you're trying to rank out in California, they're going to be like, wait, what's going on here. But I don't know. I feel like. The relevance of the content is probably gonna shine through there.

And for the most part, yeah, totally. I would certainly watch it and see, I mean, if it's, if I felt stuck after a year or two, couldn't make any progress in that area, then I might say, what happens if I pulled this completely? Yeah, totally.

Dylan: That'd be interesting. Yep. So the next topic is people that are having to move locations like move, move markets completely.

then they're typically established in the market that they're moving from and they want to maximize the benefits from that while as quickly as possible, getting those rankings in the new market. what's your go to strategy there?

Corey: Hm. Well, I think, I think it's tough. What I've seen in this scenario in the past is.

That a lot of people who are moving have done SEO wrong in their first location anyway. And so it's really tricky to try to like, keep. Birch transfer your rankings to a new location. Whenever you kind of got your rankings in a way that doesn't work anymore. And you just kind of, they kind of stuck because you're already there.

So like if you have, you know, 50 or 60 blog posts that all have, Columbia wedding photographer in the titles and stuff like that, because you've been doing it since, you know, 2008 or something, then. And they probably have more than 50 at that point. You don't want to just like go in and change all of those to, you know, a new location, Dallas wedding photographer.

Now, like that's not going to be effective, but you also don't want to leave them. You don't want to leave 50 blog posts that have Columbia wedding photographer in them because in my opinion, the ratio is important here. So if there's, if there's 200 blog posts on your site, 150 of them are about, you know, weddings and Columbia, South Carolina, and you're trying to ring in Dallas, then that's a problem.

That's too much content around an area that you're not targeting. so I, I think I would, the first step I would take is a giant content call. I would just like try to do a reset. I would do the typical head of content audit that we would recommend. That might even be a good podcast episode one day.

Yeah. So visual though. It's hard, but anyway, maybe, you know, we're going to look through search console, see, like what's actually driving traffic here. Keep those pages try to delete as much as I can. That's not. Helping my site. And then I would say I would go into the new market and I would come up with my new targets.

Right. So I'm going to pick my primary head terms that I'm going to probably try to rank for, with my homepage and any like sub specialty pages. And then I would come up with like five or six pieces of. Big content that would be likely to drive traffic, go ahead and create those. Try to get that ratio more in line with what I would want.

So even if I had 200 blog posts in Columbia, I may be deleting 150 of them. Like I, I would do something like that. I don't know that I always recommend that for everyone, but I know that for me, if I'm trying to establish new content in a new city, It's going to be hard. I mean, that means I've got to get, more than 150 posts to get my ratios where I want them for the new city.

I be easier for me to delete that down to 15 posts and then write 15 or 16 new ones. Right. Then I'm back in the right kinds of ratios. I don't know how much that matters, but that's the kind of strategy I would be taking personally. I think I did the same when

Dylan: I moved from Boise to Portland. I did a content Cole.

Not as thorough as I would now. but I definitely did pull a lot of older workout that wasn't ranking. And then I, I definitely found a lot of those exact issue you were talking about where I was targeting my head

Corey: term in my

Dylan: blog post titles, because it was 2008 and, I also, I went to a step further where I had some venues that I was ranking for that were very popular, that were tied to Boise and I pulled their venue name out of the post title.

And I changed things from like shore lodge wedding to just mountain Lake wedding,

Corey: stuff like that.

Dylan: Just really generalized.

Corey: I mean, like that's. That's a great way to keep the content on your site, but if it was driving traffic for shore lodge wedding, it's not going to anymore. And so like, is that post even helpful for you?

You probably could have just deleted it for sure. I definitely, I

Dylan: think I wanted it for portfolio.

Corey: Exactly. Yeah. Right.

Dylan: in fact, I recently kind of as a test, but also just for fun. I, I. That blog post is still live on my site and I renamed it back to shore lodge. Now that I'm in Portland and ranking fine here.

and it's ranking better for sure lodge again. So we'll see, I

Corey: kind of want to take it over again and

Dylan: just see if I can from 800 miles away.

Corey: But I think, I think a lot of people are really like, worried about. They're old. They're like, I'll travel back here. I want to keep my client base here. I've already worked so hard to establish this.

I don't want to lose it. I'm going to keep my foot in this market and also start to dominate the new market. Totally. No, I don't think it's going to work very often

Dylan: ticket from experience that, that, that plane ride back to go back home like multiple times per month for a photo shoot gets real old, real quick.

and really honestly, it's, it's going to do nothing, but. Hurt your efforts to actually take over that new market. Like, if you, if you're doing even four shoots a month in your old market, that's four less times that you could be doing shoots in your new market and making those connections and, meeting new vendors and getting that referral base going.

And so it's, I think you have to dive all into the new market. If you plan on staying there long term, What's

Corey: the timeframe you would say, if you're planning on moving in a year, how far out would you start, like really ripping that bandaid for sure.

Dylan: I think it's going to be a different for wedding versus portraits.

I think weddings, I would do it as soon as possible because people can book six plus months in advance. and so it's going to take time for you to rank and get established

Corey: and

Dylan: maybe, maybe you do have to do some ads and other, marketing. To like get established, quickly. but for a CEO, I, I think that it needs to be at least six months in most competitive markets to really have any hope of ranking.

the first few months you're going to be non-existent, it's not something where you can change a homepage title and, Oh, I'm first in LA now. Cool. Like, if takes actual time authority and effort,

Corey: That being said, I have seen people who let's say you're a family photographer and let's say, you're moving from like, you know, Atlanta.

And let's say, just as an example, that you do have significant authority, you've been featured in a lot of magazines, spoken to industry, lots of things like that. Lots of good links. And let's say you're moving to. A city that's much smaller, but you know, I'm trying to think of a good example. maybe you're moving here to Columbia, South Carolina, you know, not that big of a, not any more thing like Atlanta, but you've already got the authority you've already, there's not a huge amount of competition in this city.

Like not very many people are doing great with their SEO, for family photography here. Just changing your homepage title and updating Google my business. And that's, by the way, another first thing I would think about is, Nap name, address, phone, all your citations, Google my business. All of that has to be changed as much as possible.

You don't want any citations out there for your old location and your new location, and like having this kind of mixed signals that you're sending Google about where you're located. So even if you need to pay a service to do that kind of, citation, audit and update for you, I would say it's absolutely a hundred percent worth it.

But anyway, if you did that, I would say that person has a chance of ranking here almost immediately just by changing some on-page stuff. But like you said, if you're a wedding photographer and you're switching from Atlanta to LA, you've got some really, you've got an uphill battle for a while. Even if you are authoritative, it's going to take 12 to 18 months before Google is even going to probably start to flip you in most cases.

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, it's, it's. Interesting. I've, I've been kind of consulting a wedding photographer that moved internationally. And one of the top, like, I dunno, ten-ish wedding photographers in the world, huge backlink profile. but I've been watching the local rankings in the new market and just changing the page title like you would do with, portrait photographers and somebody else, setting up a Google, my business, nothing like.

Page 10. and so it's, I think it's going to be a lot more work than they thought that it would be because they thought that they could kind of, glide in with the authority.

Corey: Yeah, it's interesting too, because I think that Google as people are. Becoming more familiar with your brand and doing more branded search.

your brand can certainly become synonymous with a city term. So around here, if you search, Columbia wedding photographer, ablaze photography, my wedding photography brand is one of the, like. Auto suggestions and people also search and things like that. It's because my brand has become synonymous with Columbia wedding photographer.

And so at that point, you have to untie those relationships and Google's knowledge graph. Yeah. And basically that means getting new branded search in a new location, getting new backlinks from a new location, like having your kind of whole. I I'm picturing it like your brand sets in, it's kind of like a virus, right.

It's going to like spread out outward and, and kind of set plant roots in a location. And you're having to not only just like cut the tree and leave all the roots, you're having to like dig up the roots and not leave a trace and then wait for new roots to establish in a new market center. It's hard.

It's not just something to take lightly. And I don't want to be like over discouraging because I can, I know some people are, maybe they're in the military and they move every three or four years very regularly. It is possible. I think if that is your lifestyle, you need to realize that you're almost always going to need to be supplementing your organic traffic with other types of traffic, paid social, word of mouth, whatever it's going to have to be bigger for you.

A bigger piece of the pie. You know, you're going to do some organic marketing and sometimes you're going to get lucky. Sometimes you're going to just pick the right strategy and do the right things. You're going to have some success with it. And sometimes you're not. And that could be a part of the reality of that, that type of business.

Dylan: I would also recommend sticking with portraits. I think in that situation and most, I think do, I think it would be hard to be a wedding photographer and know that you're going to move every two years. Yeah. Obviously you can make it work, but I, I really think that wedding photography in general is a place where long lasting relationships are really beneficial.

And you don't see those SERPs changing as, as frequently as less competitive, like portraits.

Corey: Studios,

Dylan: so,

Corey: yep. Yeah. And as you're saying that about relationships, I think that's just such a big part of it. You've mentioned it already, but whenever you move, you've got to hit the ground hard. I think it's hard for someone who's somewhat established if you've been doing photography for more than five years.

Yeah. Think back to that first year, like, I feel like almost every photographer starts out excited, hustling, like trying to build relationships, go in all the workshops. Yeah. Joining all the associations, you know, meeting people for coffee, setting up styling. Yeah. Styled shoots, free model calls, all of those things.

You do that in the beginning. And then like after a while, when you don't need to do it anymore, you kind of forget that you had to do it. And then if you're moving. You've got to get back into that mindset. You have got to be meeting everyone, doing all the networking,

Dylan: really chasing features.

Corey: Yup. And that's that's hard work.

Dylan: Yeah. That was a wake up call for me when I moved to Portland, because I was at a point in my career where. My marketing was on autopilot. And I definitely went back into that kind of startup mode where it was like, I'm, I'm doing stylist shoots where I'm, I'm losing money because I'm spending so much on flying to Portland, making sure that dresses and everything were great, developing film, all that crap.

and then I would. Get home from those, I would edit them the next day. I would be instantly trying to get them featured on main wedding blogs. I was networking with like the bridal shops and the bridal designers and everything else in this market

Corey: to just try to get

Dylan: as many connections as possible.

And it definitely felt like I was starting over as

Corey: business. Yeah. But I mean, those, those kinds of things are going to lead to those types of like local back links and things like that. And this case in my mind, at least. Dylan. And I sometimes differ on our thoughts on how important backlinks are. It's not even because we like actually disagree.

I'm just like more skeptical, I think. but anyway, the, in my mind, I think about where I've had links on. Some, some wedding related websites here in Columbia, and I'm, I'm almost less concerned about the actual link from the authority perspective as I am of a brand mention on a relevant page in the industry.

So for example, riverbanks zoo is here. It's really popular zoo. there's a botanical gardens. People get married there. if I think if you look on their website, I'm still on it, like in the featured or recommended vendors, but there's, there's a huge catering company that owns like four or five venues, some of the best venues in the, in the.

city and I got really close with them and, show up on their site multiple times they mentioned a place photography or Corey Potter or whatever. And the fact is, if you think about these entities, riverbank zoo is like a defining entity in Columbia. I mean, if you think of Columbia, it's, it's a popular day trip from all the cities around.

It's just like one of the things that you would do is say about Columbia. And if I. Am showing up on a, a page like my brand gets mentioned on a page that's very relevant to Columbia and weddings. I feel like that ties those entities together very heavily. I almost think if I was moving, I would even reach out and say, Hey guys, thanks so much for featuring me or listing me there.

I'm not going to be in the market anymore. So I want to let you know, so you could update your website and take me off. I don't know, I'd be losing a bad snake. So, you know, you're losing some potential domain authority, but would it help to not have your brand associated with that entity anymore?

Dylan: That one's so tough.

Corey: I could go either way on it. Exactly. I

Dylan: think that's another one where I would save that too.

Corey: Six months down the road, if I'm not

Dylan: ranking. And I ended up to do some drastic

Corey: measures. That's a good point. I think I would too. I wouldn't do it like the day I was leaving, but I would see what I could do with, because maybe the link was helping enough that it helps in the new market.

Yeah. And maybe you maybe will see good results, but after a while, if I'm not making progress, I'd be going back and really digging up the roots. Exactly.

Dylan: Okay. Should we talk a little bit about like, setting up landing pages, cornerstone pages, whatever, whatever we're gonna call them.

Corey: Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point.

Cause we've had a lot of questions lately about landing page. I'm doing air quotes. Best people are. Calling them all kinds of things, you know, cornerstone page, pillar, page landing page, you know, just specialty page, whatever, for the most part, all of the people who are talking about these things are essentially talking about the same thing.

Landing page is a term that gets really tricky because a lot of people do use that differently. Yeah. especially a landing page in marketing is. Known as a page that you're going to send paid traffic to for a campaign. Right. So that's why a lot of people get confused, I think is because landing page is typically thought of as like a campaign landing page for paid ads.

that's not what we're talking about here necessarily. So we're talking about essentially what we already talked about earlier. Whereas like, if you're gonna try to rank in multiple locations, you need to set up a page for. Yeah, something like you have somebody in big Sur and like other, you make your list of locations where you want to rank.

Now, whenever you build out that page, the question is now what needs to go on that page? Do you want to go through some of the things

Dylan: clearly? it really depends on the SERP or on kind of what you're targeting, but in general, you want to mention as many local related. Entities like related landmarks, maybe like some, a local restaurant or venue or anything.

That's really like if somebody thinks of a location, they like mentioned that. and so for me, like on big Sur, I should probably mention the big survey Curry, or I should mention, I think it's like LOA falls or McKelway falls or whatever. Like the famous Instagram waterfall is like, those are things that you just really sh should have on the page.

For photographers, you should probably have a related blog posts or related work or portfolio from the spot. it wouldn't hurt to have a map embedded. and so maybe you have a list of your favorite locations near big Sur and you have a little Google map embedded. outside of that, a little paragraph about the location is generally going to be helpful.

and then we typically see some boiler plate that is. Talking about like who you are as a photographer, what your brand is about, what your services are. things like that. And then if you can add in pricing is generally going to help anybody searching for like big Sur wedding photography, pricing, your packages or something like that.

Corey: Or even if they're not putting that extra modifier pricing or packages, having a price, Google knows is one of the main intents is finding pricing information. So having it there at least alluding to it, I think is. Pretty important for these searches these days. Yeah.

Dylan: And then a few photos that have the.

A target topic in the file name and all text and actual subject. Matter of the image I think is going to be pretty beneficial.

Corey: Yeah. You don't want to like build a big search page or Yosemite. Yosemite is one of those that's like extremely, you've got the halftone or a few different vistas that are, if you go do a search for Yosemite, you're going to see all the same images, right?

Google's image recognition, algorithms. Easily pick up on whether it's Yosemite or not. So if you have so many targeting a page targeting Yosemite, and you have like the golden gate bridge in your pictures Google's and be like, wait, does not compute this doesn't this doesn't match. That's going to definitely hurt your quality score.

Yeah.

Dylan: So, yeah, that's kind of the main points. I think bigger than that, you need to really keep the strategy in check. When I moved to Oregon, I was testing out a strategy where I, I created 45. I think of these for pretty much every, every city in Portland, Oregon that had almost any population and had some search volume for like the city wedding photographer term.

and it was pretty much all boilerplate copy. And I would add about a paragraph of custom copy for each one. I use the same photo for each one, which is probably pretty bad. And they all almost all ranked, I think 30 out of 40 ranked a top three for those terms, I got almost no traffic from them. I got zero increase from them.

and I left them up for about a year. and when I deleted them, all my traffic site-wide would, almost instantly. and so I do think they're dragging down by site to an extent Hmm.

Corey: well, when you say boiler plate, you need to find that for people who might not know what that means.

Dylan: So it's just going to be copy that you're reusing across the entire template.

So if you have 10 of these, that that content is going to be more or less the same where it says, hi, I'm doing photography. I specialize in that venture a little bit, has a paragraph about your studio and your services,

Corey: right? And you use that same paragraph on all of these pages. So what happens, how does Google treat that content?

I

Dylan: think it just ignores it for ranking purposes, more or less, there.

Corey: So I think one thing that's really helpful to think about here is the Google search evaluator. Or quality, what is it called? The quality guidelines essentially for the search evaluators. They, they go into this kind of stuff. So if you really want to dig into how Google treats boilerplate copy, that would be a great resource.

but the main thing is they talk about main content versus secondary content. And I think in my opinion, Boilerplate copy is always going to fall into secondary content. For sure. You were saying there was something about studies or

Dylan: inconclusive studies. I read one that actually looked like it was fairly well put together that said that the boiler plate.

Didn't help at all. And then after that study came out, another person refuted it with a study, showing that they added boilerplate to like 5,000 pages and it improved rankings across the board. So I don't, I don't know who to, I, I

Corey: think Google

Dylan: just doesn't really care about stuff that they see on multiple pages.

Corey: Yeah. I think it can, it can help. they'll use it. For like really specific scenarios or queries. for example, the most common thing I see actually is a boiler plate that's at like in the footer, that's like wedding photographer, serving blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And only like 20 different cities.

And then you'll look and see. In search console. people are searching for like directions from one city to another. So they'll say like, you know, Columbia to Greenville and that'll be a term that'll show up for that page because, and it won't be too big cities like that. It'll be two small cities that like, there's no other documents that really match it.

And it goes like, well, this page mentions both of those cities. So I guess we'll show it here. Yeah. Anyway, like you can tell the Google definitely does consider the boilerplate copy for really specific queries. But I would say for like the main. I think if you're trying to rank for Portland elopement photographer, you're not going to do it with boilerplate copy alone.

You're gonna need some unique content on the page that you're trying to rank for that term that is relevant for Portland elopements.

Dylan: Totally. How

Corey: much is debatable? I mean, we've seen some cases here recently, where people who have lots of authority can put up one paragraph. Maybe even less, sometimes a couple of sentences in a title are enough to like get them ranking for those terms that are not extremely or even ones that are extremely competitive.

Something like Seattle wedding photographer, for example, you know, we've seen internal pages that are not very thorough be able to rank there. Yeah.

Dylan: So that's wild. Yeah. I mean,

Corey: I

Dylan: think backlinks matter.

Corey: I wish they weren't such a, like a hard thing to measure because like, there's so many things going on and it's so unpredictable.

Like there's there's cases where it's like, seems so clear that they matter. And then there's other cases where it's like, Why is this person with significant authority and decent relevance, not ranking better than this person. Who's like brand new. For sure. It's I mean, maybe Google is just trying to throw people off.

Yeah. I don't think it's quite that simple, but it's hard. Totally. Anyway. Do

Dylan: you think we've covered the multiple locations

Corey: topic pretty well? I think so. I'm sure there's still going to be a lot of questions.

Dylan: If you, if anybody has questions and I'm sure this topic will spur more questions, definitely join via your photos, Facebook group, or leave a comment on this podcast page.

and we, we read those reply and

Corey: just got to feel your photos.com/podcast. And this is episode 1212.

Dylan: Yep. Perfect. Well, this was great. I'm glad we're back to the podcasting efforts. super fun to, to fire this back up.

Corey: Yeah. Cool. All right, we'll see you. Next

episode.

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1 thought on “Episode 12 – Ranking in Multiple Markets”

  1. Hi there! Have been following you guys through the FB group and just found your podcast! Love it! I’ve already plowed through all the episodes and can’t wait for more! You guys do a great job of distilling a really complex and nebulous topic into something really easy to understand!

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