Today's question about SEO comes from Janet in Brisbane. Janet asks:

“How can I prevent a website from ranking so well without deleting it? It brings in a lot of traffic from the US, which is not relevant as the website is for a local business. Is the page that went crazy harmful or helping the rest of my site in search engine results? "

Good question Janet!

Without knowing your specific situation, I can't tell if it hurts or helps the rest of your search engine results.

However, there are a few ways I can help you prevent your website from being shown to people in irrelevant areas.

However, please be careful as it may cause undesirable side effects.


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Make your served area clear

The first thing you can do is look at your scheme. There is a Serviced Area feature that you can claim.

By defining the city, county, state, district, etc. that you serve, you are signaling to search engines that this is the only area that your content or service is relevant to.

Next, sign in to Google My Business and enter the same place and area that information is provided for.

Rate your copy

Is your copy localized for your region? If not, can you change the wording a little to make it clearer that your services are only intended for the people in your area?

Focus on local talking points in your service area. It could be local holiday celebrations at sights like a statue in a park.


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For example, if you're talking about New Years Eve and you're in Key West, Florida, forget to mention Anderson Cooper and the Times Square ball drop. Instead, focus on the drag queen falling into high heels.

Everyone knows the Times Square celebrations, but your local audience knows the local events.

Did you also rate your footer and other less-reviewed areas?

The website copy also includes the text in your footer and local information in the body of a page.

Make sure the location pages include local phone numbers, street addresses, and interactive maps.

With this type of information, you can send signals that these are the areas where people can reach you and use your services.

The disadvantage of localizing pages

All of this has a disadvantage.

Localizing your pages can affect your national and international rankings.

If you want to expand, sell, or merge businesses in the future, you may not be able to get the traffic back.

Ranking outside of your region can also attract natural backlinks.

If your service page has internal links, the lack of new backlinks can cause everything to degrade as you stop acquiring links that pass permission.

When this happens to some of the local companies that I work with, I am not blocking or trying to get rid of the traffic. Instead, I help them monetize it and use it to scale their businesses.


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I sell leads to similar companies outside of their market (if legal and the person chooses – legal again) and build an audience for podcasts, newsletters and other communications to strengthen the brand.

These subscribers help me get cross-promotions and PR opportunities to scale my clients' businesses.


Traffic outside of your service area isn't always bad.

It depends on how you use it.

Think about it before trying to get rid of this traffic.

And remember, once you've located and the traffic is gone, you may not be able to get it back.

editor’S Note:: ask a SEO is a weekly SEO advice pillar written by some of the best in the business SEO Experts selected by the Search Engine Journal. I have a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!


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