This week’s Ask an SEO Question comes from Manuel, who asks:
Is it possible to implement topic cluster/pillar pages locally? Like generate business licenses related to each US page by breaking them down by state > license type > related documents. Can I create topic cluster/column pages directly when starting a website ( He’s only a few months old)?”
Great questions, Manuel! I will answer the second question first.
Can you create subject column pages for a new website?
The age of your website doesn’t matter how you organize your content and folders. This can be done when re-creating a 10-year-old domain or starting a new URL.
You should always organize your website in such a way that it helps the end user to understand the hierarchy of the site and also displays the resources available within the section.
This, in turn, tends to make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl and understand your pages as well.
Pro tip: Make sure to include structure in your navigation elements, breadcrumbs, internal links, sitemaps, etc., for search engines.
Can you implement base pages locally?
And now to the first question. As a heads up, I provide a straightforward answer at the bottom of this post, but I felt it was important to share my reasons for taking my approach before answering it.
Your business license sector will have different needs than others, even if they are similar.
If your user experience requires individual pages, then yes, create individual pages.
This applies to many industries, especially those with regional regulations such as real estate professionals, physical stores, etc.
When making this decision with clients, our rule of thumb is that if a person needs to be on site or if local regulations change between regions, then local pages are needed.
There is justifiable reason to build a unique version of each. More importantly, the version is unique because services and requirements change.
If the regulations are the same in every region, we create a larger customer acquisition terms page and sometimes create only location pages to help end users find the local address more easily.
This is because each individual site will have exactly the same service or product information. The individual locations we create are for map results, and customers only search for the address. The service is the same, no matter what.
Version differences can include rules and regulations, or restrictions that change by city, province, or state, or where the user experience leads the consumer to the wrong solution.
If this aligns with your situation (and business licenses as well), then yes, create a unique resource page. I’m going to stick to commercial licenses because that’s what you asked about.
Create local business licenses
Business licenses have different requirements and needs depending on the state. Sometimes a state may not require a business license for certain types of business activities, but the city in which the business is located does.
That alone is reason enough to create the hierarchy above.
People looking for state resources will need to know if it’s required in their state, and you can point to check and get a list of your local city or county requirements (which are also internal links).
Now you’ve provided a great end-user experience, answered the follow-up question with a fact they didn’t know, and given the person an additional resource. This is a good example of adding in EEAT.
Just be sure to update these pages regularly for accuracy, and you may want to include the “Updated” date at the top.
If I were writing this stuff, I’d include some typical elements of standardization on the pages like:
- The unique amount that the company has to pay.
- What types of businesses need a license, and which don’t.
- Unique requirements such as how You do not have to file annual reports in OhioBut you do that in other states.
- Which nearby city might be better for some types of businesses for one or two reasons, or if this city/province/state is best for certain types of businesses and why.
By doing this, you can help people who need a license for multiple locations, who are expanding from outside the state or country, who will need a foreign qualification (this has nothing to do with being overseas), and who might get a franchise.
It makes the experience better so that they can decide what is needed and decide where to open their business.
Perhaps the interruption is better than the one they had in mind, and only adds an extra 15 minutes to their trip. The benefit outweighs the negative.
Here’s another example using a hotel chain.
Each property has different features, rates, surcharges (taxes, tourism, parking), addresses, managers, etc. That’s enough of a difference by city or within the same city or state to justify creating a unique page.
You don’t want a potential guest to have to guess where they’ll be staying, especially after a long day of travel.
You also don’t want them to assume that all sites have free parking or are subject to tourism taxes and resort fees. Get a comprehensive page of hotels in the city, and individual site pages with the same photos from the distribution sites.
This way, you can get people to look for a hotel in the city and show you your locations while helping guests find their hotel more quickly.
Your question about the need for business licenses for a unique folder and local site structure is a good one.
Yes, I will because every country and region has requirements that change. There is enough difference that you need to experience a unique page.
If it was more like finding a registered agent, I wouldn’t create unique pages as a service, because there isn’t enough difference.
But having lists of recommended registered agent providers would suffice, and this would justify a state- and city- or county-based structure.
Thank you for the question, I hope this answer is helpful.
Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock