Question: Also I have a competitor that uses a lot of subdomains and a lot of duplicate content and he outranks me on everything. How do the subdomains work with all of this and would it be beneficial to use them for each city I service?
Answer: We will look at subdomains in terms of websites structure. It is a somewhat complex and confusing issue. On the one hand, having a subdomain as in online.coupons.com can help you with certain searches, such as ‘online coupons’ in this example. BUT Google views a subdomain as a DIFFERENT website, so you are in effect splitting your link juice. www.coupons.com is – to Google – a DIFFERENT website than online.coupons.com.
So I am not a big fan of subdomains, althought they do work. Better, I think, is to create broad directories that have your target keywords as in www.coupons.com/online. That preserves the ‘link juice’ for the whole site, AND has some of the same keyword-heavy effects as a subdomain.
As for cities / geographies… IF your customers search by city name, county name, etc., then DEFINITELY weave these into your website, beginning with the all-important home page. Putting them at the bottom of the home page is HUGELY important and beneficial. Then, do not forget Google Places, Yelp, and other local search engines. Those are very important to, as especially Google Places is heavily emphasized now on search engine results.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
on SEO | AdWords | Social Media