Ask Yoast:

True location in URL?

If you own a business in a small town near a big city, you’re probably a bit jealous of your competitors in this big city. The search volume for that city will most likely be significantly larger, and with that, the amount of potential customers as well.

So, is there any way you can still benefit from this proximity of potential customers? Perhaps if you also appear to be located in this city? You could, for example, easily use the name of a city in your URL, even if your business is actually located in the neighboring town. But how does this affect your SEO? And are there perhaps other reasons to avoid doing this? Let’s discuss in today’s Ask Yoast!

Vincent Ramos emailed us his dilemma:

I have a website with a city name in the URL, but my actual location is in the neighboring city, which gets smaller search volume. Our NAP is in the footer of every page with our actual address. Does it hurt my SEO that there’s a different city in the URL?

Watch the video or read the transcript for the answer!

Adding a different location to your URL than your actual location

“Does it hurt your SEO? No, but it might hurt your visitors when they come and visit your site because they expect you to be in city A and you’re not. So, I’d always tend to go to the side of honesty: just say that you’re in the city that you’re actually in.

You’ll find that actually being close to the center of the city that you want to be found in is very important in terms of local SEO. It’s very annoying, but that’s how most of the local rankings work. So, don’t lie, put your real location in your website URL if you can. See how that reflects on people and just say on your page, “We’re very close to ‘whatever the name of the city is’…”, because that’s the honest truth that usually lasts longer than any tricks around that. Good luck.”

Read more: Ranking your local business »

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19 Responses to True location in URL?

  1. lotterysambadtodayresult
    lotterysambadtodayresult  • 6 years ago

    It’s good info & so useful. Thanks

  2. Matt Ventura
    Matt Ventura  • 6 years ago

    Useful information. I started to notice that my competition would be posting for the city I am located in, but the address would be in a different city. I have a question for my location. I am fairly close to the boarder of two cities and I was wondering would it be smart to try to rank for both cities or just try to stay true to what my address says?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Thanks Matt! We’d advise you to be honest about your location, no tricks that might disappoint users. What you could do, is mention in your content that you’re close to both cities though.

  3. Marcin
    Marcin  • 6 years ago

    Nice post. I think that’s the only way to rank for many areas with one website. Would you create more links to those subpages or use the power of homepage to link internally?

  4. Scott Spencer-White
    Scott Spencer-White  • 6 years ago

    Awesome information Joost, I recently did the opposite. I started with my hometown and actually I ranked first in the the first few months for it – then I actually found almost 0 of my audience actually came from that town. Nuts isn’t it! Anyway, I’m sure it works bigtime for cities.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Sounds great, Scott! At least your honesty worked somehow :-)

  5. arnob
    arnob  • 6 years ago

    Great post.can i do this in my affiliate site ?

  6. Empritkaji
    Empritkaji  • 6 years ago

    It’s good information and so useful,,,,,

  7. AdmssionBlock
    AdmssionBlock  • 6 years ago

    Also, I feel that its a great initiative by Yoast to start a series of Ask Yoast where you guys help and guide all the beginners with SEO problems. More power to you!

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 6 years ago

      Great to hear, thanks a lot! :)

  8. AdmssionBlock
    AdmssionBlock  • 6 years ago

    I agree putting your genuine location is way better. It helps in local SEO and better chances of local business. having a different location on the website can also lead to negative talk which may/ may not lead o poor business.

  9. anitaa
    anitaa  • 6 years ago

    I did not do this on my site, but is there a way I can get a full audit of my site?

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 6 years ago

      You might want to take a look at our blog series: SEO audit. These articles can help you in order to perform an audit yourself! This is the first article: Hope that helps! :)

      • AdmssionBlock
        AdmssionBlock  • 6 years ago

        Yeah, read carefully every point is explained very clearly it also helped me a lot so I can recommend to anyone.

  10. Joseph Welcenbach
    Joseph Welcenbach  • 6 years ago

    Great article. I’ve debated whether to use additional locations for our website, but decided just to stick with the actual physical locations we use.

  11. john
    john  • 6 years ago


    I sent an email to but no answer yet after some days!!!

  12.  • 6 years ago

    very good . thanks

  13. softwarexprts
    softwarexprts  • 6 years ago

    that was a great blog with full of information, thanks a lot for so much help

  14. Doramino
    Doramino  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this Joost. Which is more impactful seo-wise? Having the location in the domain or in the page/category url?

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