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Study: Zip Codes in SEO Titles Have Limited Impact


Zip Code SEO Title (Blog Cover)

As the founder of DataPins – a Local SEO software designed to boost rankings in specific cities, towns, and zip codes, I’ve tested every Local SEO tactic in the book, including inserting zip codes into SEO titles.

Zip codes in SEO titles were used relatively often, starting around 2013 and gradually becoming less common.

However, the tactic is still used occasionally, especially by contractors who work in expanded service areas.


What The Data Says About Using Zip Codes in SEO Titles

At DataPins, we took five popular industries (plumbing, roofing, painting, pest control, and electrical) along with ten of the most popular zip codes in the United States to test the impact of this tactic on SEO success.


Zip Codes in SEO Title (Data Chart)

Keyword Volume

We first measured the estimated search volume of keywords, including zip codes, to see if these terms were worth targeting from a traditional SEO standpoint.

Here are the results:


Zip CodePlumberRooferPainterPest ControlElectrician
7993602000
9001100000
6062910000
9065008010
9020101000
77084232701300
9233500000
78521000024
7744910030
7857200000

Out of 50 tested keywords, 11 registered search volumes. Of the 11 with search volume, only five had a search volume above 3.

What this tells us is that users searching for zip code queries is a rare occurrence but does happen from time to time.

At DataPins, we also understand that search volume is an imperfect metric as it is estimated and does not account for nearly 50% of “hidden queries” on Google Search Console.

However, DataPins’ internal data confirms that zip code queries are relatively rare, even in those “hidden terms.”


Keyword Rankings

It’s one thing for users to include zip codes within their search queries, but how Google interprets those queries is another matter.

We know that Google uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand the intent of keywords. As a result, Google may interpret a zip code as the equivalent of a city name since that’s what the user intends to find.

We tested this by measuring the amount of top-10 rankings for these queries that include the zip code within their SEO title.

Here’s what the data says:


QueryTop 10 Rankings with Zip Code in SEO Title
plumber 799360
plumber 900110
plumber 6062910
plumber 906501
plumber 902013
plumber 770841
plumber 923350
plumber 785211
plumber 774490
plumber 785720
roofing 799360
roofing 900110
roofing 606291
roofing 906501
roofing 902017
roofing 770841
roofing 923350
roofing 785210
roofing 774491
roofing 785721
painter 799360
painter 900110
painter 606295
painter 906504
painter 902017
painter 770840
painter 923353
painter 785210
painter 774490
painter 785722
pest control 799360
pest control 900110
pest control 606293
pest control 906501
pest control 902013
pest control 770841
pest control 923350
pest control 785210
pest control 774490
pest control 785720
electrician 799360
electrician 900111
electrician 606295
electrician 906502
electrician 902015
electrician 770840
electrician 923352
electrician 785210
electrician 774490
electrician 785720

Of the 50 test queries, precisely half (25) featured at least one top-10 ranking with a zip code in the title tag. Of those 25 queries, 14 featured more than one ranking with the corresponding zip code.

Yelp results accounted for many of the rankings, leading to inconclusive analysis because of the platform’s premium domain authority, which allows it to rank despite zip code insertions rather than because of them.


Volume and Ranking Correlation

Next, we looked at the correlation between top-10 rankings and search volume for each query.

Here’s what the data says:


QueryVolumeTop 10 Rankings with Zip Code in SEO Title
plumber 7993600
plumber 9001100
plumber 60629110
plumber 9065001
plumber 9020103
plumber 77084231
plumber 9233500
plumber 7852101
plumber 7744910
plumber 7857200
roofing 7993620
roofing 9001100
roofing 6062901
roofing 9065081
roofing 9020117
roofing 77084271
roofing 9233500
roofing 7852100
roofing 7744901
roofing 7857201
painter 7993600
painter 9001100
painter 6062905
painter 9065004
painter 9020107
painter 7708400
painter 9233503
painter 7852100
painter 7744900
painter 7857202
pest control 7993600
pest control 9001100
pest control 6062903
pest control 9065011
pest control 9020103
pest control 770841301
pest control 9233500
pest control 7852100
pest control 7744930
pest control 7857200
electrician 7993600
electrician 9001101
electrician 6062905
electrician 9065002
electrician 9020105
electrician 7708400
electrician 9233502
electrician 78521240
electrician 7744900
electrician 7857200

No clear correlation emerged within the data regarding a zip code’s search volume and top 10 rankings. 

For example, the highest volume query, “pest control 77084,” only produced one top-10 ranking with the zip code in the title tag, while the one search volume, “plumber 60629,” had the most top-10 rankings (10).

Multiple queries with zero registered search volume had numerous top-10 rankings. Conversely, several queries with registered search volume lacked any top-10 rankings.


Other Considerations

Google is a powerful machine with complicated AI-driven algorithms that are much more intelligent than any human test. As a result, each query is unique in Google’s ecosystem, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all answer to an open-ended question. 

With this in mind, it’s essential to consider other factors that influence the impact of zip codes on an SEO title tag.


User Intent

Despite a lack of correlation between registered search volume and top rankings, user intent is a factor in all search queries. This is true not only of zip codes but also of county names, township names, and other local identifiers that may be unique to a region or location.

That’s why contractors looking to succeed with Local SEO should learn the nuances of their service area, the clientele, the culture, and the dialect. Reflecting this knowledge within your web content is the best way to demonstrate a unique local expertise.


Spam and Algorithmic Violation

The greatest potential danger of implementing a wide-ranging zip code SEO strategy is producing spam content and violating Google’s Helpful Content Update algorithm.

Mass-producing location pages for every zip code in your service area violates Google’s Helpful Content guidance, as these pages are produced exclusively for search engines rather than offering unique value to users.

Because cities can have multiple zip codes, producing pages on a zip code basis creates more unhelpful content, increasing the likelihood of your content being filtered as spam.


SEO-Friendly Alternatives

Aside from the negligible benefits of inserting zip codes in a title tag, there are better alternatives for Local SEO. One example is DataPins, which populates location identifiers, including schema markup and geo-coordinates to your site’s most relevant pages.

These local signals come from your real-life jobs, demonstrating social proof of your company’s work in the field. DataPins adds local relevance to existing pages, so they continue gaining unique content based on your performance.


Final Verdict

Like most things in SEO, the answer is “it depends.” However, using zip codes within the SEO title is not a viable strategy at scale. In some cases, zip code insertions in the title can benefit rankings, but they are anecdotal circumstances requiring granular analysis and execution.

The dangers of using a large-scale zip code insertion strategy are clear, as this tactic violates Google’s guidelines and dilutes the value of your site’s content. A better alternative is using DataPins to populate valid location signals onto your pages, using schema markup and geo-coordinates.


25 Social Proof Statistics for 2023 (with/Marketing Examples)

Social Proof Statistics Cover

There is little debate that social proof enhances any business’s digital marketing strategy in 2023. Still, it’s essential to conduct research and studies that prove its importance in the form of social proof statistics.

DataPins is a Local SEO & Social Proof tool for local businesses. The tool helps SMBs increase their Google rankings for multiple cities, improve their online reputation and boost conversion rates. 

Below, DataPins showcases social proof statistics from around the web, including several revealing findings from an independent marketing study using DataPins.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is tangible evidence that a business provided goods or services to a satisfied customer. Verified reviews, geo-tagged images, and credible award badges are all examples of marketing social proof.

Social Proof Examples

Various things fall under social proof in a digital marketing context. The key is credibility and verification, whether it’s a customer review, an award badge, or a geotagged photo of your company providing services. DataPins focuses on social proof that users can verify with a single look.

Social Proof Marketing Examples Infographic

Customer Reviews

Most websites have a testimonials or reviews section. However, the feedback only qualifies as social proof if it comes from a verifiable source. For example, a screenshot of a customer review is not social proof because the web admin can manipulate the photo to serve an agenda.

Consider using a plugin like DataPins, which inserts a reviews slider onto your website. The slider plugin pulls Google and Facebook reviews via API so that users can see genuine reviews from top platforms and click them. 

Screenshot of Reviews Slider

Award Badges

If you receive an award, the platform should provide a custom badge that you can upload onto your website’s homepage within its HTML. In addition, the nominator should send you a transparent image file, usually in SVG format. Ask your web developer to insert the image onto your site.

Awards can come from a variety of sources. However, the best social proof comes from reputable institutions within your industry or region. For example, a roofing company in Denver, CO, should showcase awards from roofing-related institutions or regional and local organizations.

Screenshot of Website Award Badges

GeoTagged Photos (Pins)

The SEO industry disagrees on the value of geotagged photos as a ranking factor. Our research found that geotagged photos of themselves provide marginal SEO value if any. However, DataPins software combines geotagged photos with mini-maps, schema markup, and geo-coordinates.

We call this collection of data a pin. The good news is that the software tool collects this data and inserts it into one pin for each job you perform. The software does all the work, and all you need is the DataPins plugin. Pins increase local SEO rankings and boost conversion rates significantly.

Screenshot of Pins (i.e. Geo-tagged Photos)

Social Proof Statistics

1) 72% of consumers will only purchase after reading a favorable review.

Source: Search Engine Watch

2) 93% of consumers complete a purchase after researching a service or product via mobile.

Source: Think With Google

3) On-site reviews or testimonials increase conversions by 34%.

Source: ImpactBND

4) 89% of consumers say they are likely to use a business that responds to all reviews.

Source: BrightLocal

5) 57% of consumers will only use services with a minimum 4-star aggregate review rating.

Source: Hubspot

6) Nearly 87% of purchase decisions start with online research.

Source: ConversionXL

7) A typical consumer reads ten online reviews before purchasing.

Source: Hubspot

8) 200+ Schema pins increase impressions for a typical contractor website by 169.2%

Source: DataPins

9) Consistent social proof can increase revenue by 62% per customer.

Source: BigCommerce

10) 85% of consumers distrust reviews older than three months.

Source: BrightLocal

11) After reading its reviews, half of all consumers navigate to a company’s website.

Source: Hubspot

12) Consumers will spend 31% more on businesses with favorable reviews.

Source: Invesp

13) Customers trust reviews 12x more than descriptions or sales copy.

Source: Econsultancy

14) 66% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase after viewing a video testimonial.

Source: Wyzowl

15) Articles with relevant images receive 94% views.

Source: Jeff Bullas

16) Photos can increase content recollection by 65%.

Source: MGD Advertising

17) Nearly 50% of consumers find website trust badges reassuring regarding trust and security.

Source: Yieldify

18) Website images with human beings can increase conversion rates by 48%.

Source: VWO

19) 97% of consumers in the B2B space consider testimonials or peer recommendations the most reliable content type.

Source: Demand Gen Report via This Moment

20) Testimonials produce an 89% content effectiveness rating, the highest of any content marketing tactic.

Source: Social Fresh

21) 5-star aggregate review ratings for GMB listings increased CTR by 28%.

Source: Bright Local

Independent Marketing Study from DataPins

DataPins is a unique tool in that it produces multiple types of social proof for a website. First, it showcases reviews from various platforms through an on-site plugin. The plugin pulls API from Google and Facebook to deliver genuine reviews from trusted outlets.

In addition, DataPins produces schema pins that prove jobs, locations, and services provided. Schema pins contain mini-maps, unique photos and captions, and geo-coordinates that verify the location. Let’s look at some in-house statistics based on our DataPins results.

22) A roofing company that installed DataPins on their website increased organic traffic by 660% and top 20 keywords by 118%.

23) A water heater repair company receives an average of 1,100 monthly clicks from Google organic search alone with DataPins.

24) Websites with multiple pages of pins averaged 80.9% more monthly Google clicks than websites with only a single pins page.

25) DataPins users that utilize automated review requests increase frequency by over 94%.

Screenshot of Pin from Water Heater Repair Website

What Social Proof Statistics Tell Us

Statistics are just numbers, but they are very informative. For example, websites that showcase social proof generate more clicks, visitors, and conversions than websites without social evidence. User-generated content describing a business increases online success for that company.

After reviewing these social proof statistics, consider investing in it for your website. The #1 social proof tool on the market is DataPins which automatically integrates reviews and schema pins onto your website.

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