A strategic digital marketing tactic, SEO helps businesses improve their website rankings online. However, with the ubiquity of mobile devices, achieving top rankings on search engine result pages has become a lot more nuanced, particularly for businesses that operate in multiple business locations. Local SEO helps to ensure that businesses appear in the top search results when people within that specific geographical area search for products and services related to their offerings. Local SEO companies implement the right strategies to ensure their client websites achieve top rankings on search engine result pages, attract potential customers and stay ahead of competition.
How to Build Local SEO for Multiple Business Locations
Winning in local market is a key aspect for owners with multiple business locations or branches. Reports suggest that about 50 percent of online traffic is being generated by mobile phones with over a third of mobile searches made being related to location. This reinforces how important it is to invest in local SEO thereby improving local visibility. Local SEO helps business to show up in front of a relevant audience online, widen business reach and rank high in search engine results. Here discussed are some important tips to improve the local SEO presence for multi-location businesses –
- Perform Competitor Research – Assessing the local market and level of competition is an important aspect to effectively implement local SEO for multiple business locations. It is important to analyze the key aspects that make your company unique and how those aspects or benefits can be effectively leveraged for a specific location. Finding answers to these questions will help design and implement a local SEO strategy that will help attract and convert more customers. Start this aspect by conducting a simple analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth. In addition, it is important to evaluate the key areas where competitors are doing well and other areas where they need to improve. In short, performing competitor research will help better understand the market and implement local SEO campaigns that resonate with the target audience and encourage them to avail services.
- Use a Single Domain – If a business operates in multiple locations, they may be tempted to create separate domains for each location. Using multiple domains for different locations can backfire as it may confuse customers. In addition, search engines view separate domains as unique websites and this adds to the risk of duplicate and invalid content. However, as each domain is indexed separately, the marketing efforts (like publishing content and building links) will only affect the domain wherein the content gets published. Therefore, if businesses want each of their locations to rank well in search results, it is important to stick to one site with individual pages for each of these locations. On the other hand, if planning to create unique content (beyond a contact page) for each of the locations, it is better to use a subfolder or subdomain to manage them. This will help to geographically target specific portions of a website without having to manage and optimize multiple sites.
- Create Localized Content – If you want to rank in top spots for each of your locations, it is important to create pages and content specifically optimized for each location. For instance, it is possible to create pages with testimonials from local customers for each location, or post photos of the shop or store. By creating unique pages for each location, you can optimize on-page elements, such as page titles, H1s, and content for each area that is getting targeted. Make sure that the content generated for each of the locations is as relevant and appropriate as possible. In other words, the pages need to fulfill the goal searchers are trying to accomplish as this will make a business appear more trustworthy within the community. For instance, include a custom description of the services provided at each location, as well as internal links to blog posts or case studies. In addition, include photos, videos, and maps that showcase each location and add employee bios to individual location pages. Localized content is extremely important if a business is based internationally. In such cases, create content in the native language or make it easy for the content to be translated. This will improve the clarity of the content and ensure that it is easily understood by the target audience group.
- Claim Google Business Profile Listings – Updating Google Business Profile helps a business website show up on Google Maps for searches within their specific area. Google Business Profile allows to manually add additional locations. For instance, if a business has 10 or more locations, you can use bulk location management to import and manage new locations. Google business profile listings allow sharing a wide range of business information including opening hours, phone numbers and business address. You can also share a wide range of content and links (such as the latest news, snippets of articles, offers or events happening) to specific pages on the website. There is an option to add FAQ section to the website profile – that offers a platform to provide answers to common questions and help save visitors time trying to find answers to on the website. This keeps both the potential and existing customers informed about the business news.
- Create a Standard Sitemap – Sitemaps can help boost a website’s visibility, especially for local SEO strategies involving multiple store locations. Sitemaps provide basic information about a website, like page addresses, to the search engines in a structured manner. This helps search engines crawl the website and all the geo-optimized landing pages easily. Make sure the sitemap is more visible on a website.
- Manage Reviews – Reviews are effective and managing them is an important strategy that helps improve the business brand and retain customers. Google takes review ratings, review amounts and review responses from multiple sites into consideration when determining the order of businesses, it returns in local searches. Responding to your online reviews from multiple platforms and using specific keywords influence local search engine visibility significantly. In addition, it is also important to manage negative reviews publicly so that the review doesn’t seem ignored.
A significant component of digital marketing plans, local SEO for multiple business locations undoubtedly requires more careful planning than local SEO practices for a single location. The process involves optimizing each page according to different locations and keeping track of the trends in other areas. This is especially true for a business, which is a global enterprise and operates in different time zones or countries. Reaching out to an organic SEO company can help optimize your website and attract potential customers in your local area.