What You’ll Learn
- Benefits of Multi-Location SEO
- Local SEO For Multiple Locations
Benefits of Multi-Location SEO
If you have multiple locations, you’re going to want to tweak your SEO strategy to match each individual location. This way, you’ll grab both general traffic and location-specific traffic.
Did you know that local searches account for almost half of all Google’s daily searches? Within 1 day of searching for it, 76% of them will visit the business. That’s a ton of searches that you can’t afford to miss.
For example, if you have coffee shops in San Diego and Las Vegas, you can curate your content to rank for “coffee shop near me” to capture the users looking for coffee shops but tweak each individual page to mention the location: “coffee shops in San Diego” or “Las Vegas coffee shops.”
Upping your multi-location SEO game has multiple benefits, including:
- Attracting more local customers
- Increasing your local SERP ranking
- Generating brand awareness
- Improving organic traffic
Local SEO for Multiple Locations
Local SEO for multiple locations has five main aspects:
- SEO City Pages
- Google Business Profile
- Web Citations
- Schema Markup
To help you develop a more thorough understanding of multi-location SEO, let’s dig into each of these aspects independently.
1. City Pages for Multi-Location SEO
For Google, user value is everything. That’s why search intent holds such hefty weight. What does a page contribute to the user’s journey?
That brings us to SEO city pages. Often used as a ranking mechanism for multi-location businesses seeking a leg up in local SEO, city pages have the potential to provide great value to your SEO strategy. But if done wrong, they can cost your business its spot on the SERP.
Ever since Google implemented its Panda algorithm update in 2018, duplicate content with little to no text variation became an even bigger no-no. For Google, the question “What value does duplicate content on the same web page hold?” proved difficult to answer.
When it comes to an SEO strategy for multiple locations, city pages are a smart move — as long as you do them right. Here are some best practices for SEO city pages, wherever it is you may be targeting on the map.
Multi-Location SEO Key Factors for City Pages
- Unique Content: When writing your city pages, be sure to use unique content for each one. If you plagiarize yourself, Google will take note and penalize the pages as duplicate content.
- Optimized Pages (Desktop + Mobile): Be sure to optimize each city page, both for desktop viewing and for mobile viewing. Not only will this provide a better user experience, but it will also satisfy Google’s requirements and help your SEO goals.
- NAP: Even though you want your city pages to be more than your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), don’t forget to include it on the page!
- Google Maps + Directions: You want people to find you, right? Give them detailed directions and include local landmarks. Be sure to also embed a Google Map of your location directly onto the page. To learn how to do this, visit Google’s instructions for their Maps Embed API.
- Location-Specific Metadata: When writing out your meta title, meta descriptions, and alt text, be sure to add location-specific details such as “coffee near Seattle” or “Seattle coffee shop.”
- High-Quality Images: What does your business look like on the outside and inside? What about your staff? Give your guests a visual experience to draw them in, and make the most of alt text and captions for added optimization.
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials: All testimonials are great, but specifically choose ones with geo-targeted wording in the content.
- Consistent URL Structure: To maintain consistency and tie all of your city pages together, be sure that all of their URL structures are similar. Not only will this help you keep track of your pages, but it will also help visitors navigate your site and Google crawl it for indexing purposes.
- Optimize for Mobile: For localized queries on search engines, mobile is even more important. This makes sense considering people are often on the go while performing navigational searches. More than three-quarters of location searches on mobile devices wind up leading to offline conversion.
- Collect Backlinks for Each Location Page: Your backlink strategy should be honest and natural.
- Write guest blogs on popular sites and link back to your content (you’re not getting paid for these, so it’s mostly an investment of time.)
- Sponsor a virtual or in-person event and use a local event page to link back to your city page.
- Build infographics and make them shareable. Your distribution strategy is everything.
This may seem like a lot to remember so just keep your content clear for your users and for algorithmic crawlers alike.
2. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Statistics show that nearly 60% of all businesses have created at least one Google My Business post. Is yours one of them?
If you aren’t using Google Business Profile yet, you should be. This free tool is the perfect place to make a great first impression. You can add all of your essential information, share photos, respond to reviews, interact with customers, and more.
However, setting up your profile isn’t enough. You need to optimize it.
- Verify your separate business locations individually.
- Make sure the hours are accurate. Update them if your hours change for holidays.
- Be sure to upload quality photos of your business, on the inside and out!
- If all your stores serve the same function, then keep the same name for each location. For example, don’t name one Lowe’s of Billings while the rest are called Lowe’s Home Improvement.
- Categorize each location. For example, you may have a regional boutique, office supply chain or multi-location market.
To benefit your multi-location SEO goals, be sure to personalize all of this information for each individual location. While this may sound tedious, all of your various business locations are actually under one Google My Business account, so it’s really easy! You can even use a bulk upload spreadsheet if you have a ton of locations.
After you optimize your Google Business Profile, be sure to check in frequently to see how it’s performing. In your Google account, you can find a variety of insights and data you can use to analyze your profile’s success and find ways to improve its weaknesses.
3. Make Your Web Citations Work for Your Multi-Location SEO
Google isn’t the only place your NAP lives. Other popular sites include Yelp, Bing Places, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Foursquare and Facebook.
The key here is to make sure your business name, address, and phone number for each location are consistent across platforms.
You can do this manually, but it can become a pain if you’re dealing with a whole slew of locations. Fortunately, you can easily find citation-tracking tools to help you do this automatically.
One of the most popular — and reliable — citation tracking tools is the SEMrush Listing Management Tool.
This tool helps you distribute info, get rid of duplicate listings (a common Local SEO issue), manage listings Google Business Profile, Facebook, Apple, Foursquare, Instagram, Tripadvisor, Waze, Yahoo!, and more.
It also helps you track your rankings across the web and optimize your content for voice search services such as Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri.
Once you know how to use it right, it’s clear that the web has small businesses’ backs.
4. Update Your Schema to Improve Local SEO
You may be interested in taking things a step further and implementing schema markup on your city pages and other landing URLs.
The simplest option is local business markup, which lets you show your hours and more right on the SERP for your web page results.
Q&A and FAQ schema markup are two popular types of schema used for local SEO. If your business hosts events or you’re a real estate agent promoting open houses, you can also use event schema.
All types of markup are tools to help you gain more SERP real estate. When trying to figure out how to rank in multiple cities, you may want to employ all the tools at your disposal. Schema markup proves there is no shortage of tools for you to use — even if you enlist the help of a trusted developer to get you where you need to go.
5. Use Reviews to Boost Your SERP Ranking & Impress Your Potential Customers Simultaneously
Reviews have the power to make or break a business. That’s why managing them is so critical to success. Not only will your SEO goals benefit, but your potential consumers will also value the information they receive from other people reviewing your business, as well as the type of customer service you provide through your replies.
Responding to both positive and negative reviews is important.
For negative reviews, you may want to go above and beyond to see if you can resolve the issue at hand. You can’t satisfy everyone, but other users will take notice if you’re at least trying to rectify a negative experience at one of your storefronts. In certain circumstances, you can ask the user to contact you to discuss the matter further and potentially offer them a discount for future visits.
There are also things you can do to solicit reviews from previous customers. Adding a QR code to the bottom of their receipt or to a flier in your store can help get new reviews. You can also install a built-in widget on your website, ask on social media, or offer a discount on products or services for a review.
Multi-Location SEO Takes Some Buildup and Maintenance, But It’s Worth It
If you own a chain restaurant, regional service business, or another multi-location operation, multi-location SEO is for you. Don’t forget that 76% of people who search for a product or business on a mobile device end up visiting the facility that day.
Ignite Visibility has a team of expert digital marketing professionals who specialize in local SEO. We’ll leverage the power of NAP across all your business locations to help improve rankings and drive more traffic to maximize return on investment.
Ready to learn more about how multi-location SEO can help grow your business? Learn all about our SEO services now!