Ronak Kothari is the founder of RONKOT, a full-service digital marketing agency.
If I tell you, would you believe that local intent searches have higher conversion rates? As per research, it can go as high as a whopping 80%.
Local searches tend to have higher purchase intent and are more likely to convert within a few days of searching online. Thus, it’s a must for small businesses to use effective SEO tips to enhance their local presence to rank higher and get more visibility.
Local SEO optimization becomes even more vital if you operate your business in multiple locations across the country or world. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 or 200 business locations, optimizing them for higher visibility and ranking is essential to keep your conversions high.
However, keeping it high is not exactly going to be a piece of cake. First, you must understand the ins and outs of local SEO, outline a strategic actionable plan, and execute it consistently for your multiple location business.
Let’s delve deeper to understand the concept a bit more in detail:
What is Local SEO for Multiple Location Business?
Local SEO for multiple-location businesses is concerned with creating and optimizing websites, Google Business Profiles, business listings, and building links for each of the locations your business operates in.
Local SEO strategy helps local businesses to attract new customers to their nearby business location in a particular region. Businesses with branches or franchises across various parts of the city, country, or world need such level of localization.
Optimizing Local SEO for Multiple Locations
The process involves several steps from creating individual location-specific pages to building links and managing many other things. Businesses and SEO experts have to keep a local SEO checklist handy to carry out the heavy lifting tasks.
The first step involves getting to know your competitors and analyzing what steps have they implemented for their multi-location SEO. Based on those insights, you can prepare a detailed local SEO outline for your business.
Meanwhile, for the same, you can take help from industry SEO specialists to improve local rankings for your multiple-location business. Hiring an SEO agency that offers comprehensive local SEO services would do much good for your business than anything else.
Optimizing Google Business Listings for Multi-Location Business
Local SEO is incomplete without optimizing your Google Business listings for multiple locations. GBP provides many opportunities and is relatively easy to set up for your multi-location business in bulk.
Suppose you operate a business in 10 or more locations, then you can use a bulk location management tool to add, verify, and manage all your locations. However, if you operate in 9 or fewer locations, then you have to individually follow the process for all locations.
As far as the optimization of each location-specific GBP is concerned, we’ll have a detailed look at that later in this article.
Steps for Local SEO for Multiple Location Business
1. Audit Your Competitors & Market
Auditing and assessing the local competition and market for each location is crucial before getting on to the local SEO. Doing so helps you get insights on what is the ease of ranking for that particular location and what majorly affects traffic to convert.
Auditing your competitors can be divided into two primary sections: on-page analysis and off-page analysis. Ahrefs is a good place to start your competitor analysis journey. You can analyze the level of keyword optimization, backlink profile, and many other things.
Let’s see what primary things you should audit for each section:
It involves evaluating the on-page elements such as location-specific keywords, content quality & relevancy for optimization. Here’s how you can do it:
- Keyword Analysis: Scour your competitors for location-specific keywords for each location they rank for. Also, find other keyword opportunities to rank higher in that particular location through the mentioned tool.
- Content Analysis: Content is a crucial part of on-page optimization. Find what kind of content competitors put out that gets customers hooked. This will help you get suggestions for your own location-specific content strategy.
Here, you’d have to analyze things like backlink profile, citations, business profiles that your competitors have done off-page to boost their local rankings.
- Audit Backlink Profile: Thoroughly analyze the links your competitors have built for each location and try to replicate it for your business in that same location. Also, build some additional high-authority relevant links that help you outrank others.
- Audit Business Profiles: Find platforms where your competitors have created their business profiles. Look for the guest post, PR outreach, and other opportunities your competitors have utilized.
2. Create Location-Specific Pages
Building a local SEO guide for multi-location businesses starts with creating location-specific pages. Each location you operate your business in must have a separate page optimized with localized content, language, and keywords. Here’s an example of PayPal in Japan:
Even though Google may consider multi-location businesses as a single entity, when it comes to ranking pages for local search, it considers them separate. Thus, creating different location-specific pages is key to unlocking success for your multi-location business.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while creating location-specific pages:
- URL Generation: Suppose you have a plumbing website and offer services in San Antonio, Houston, and Austin, then the URLs of each page must be created in a way that targets each specific city and even the specific area in that city.
- Add Location-Specific Content: Just modifying the URL is not enough. Each page should contain location-specific content that resonates with local residents and draws them in. Also, make it easy for users to find all details about your business.
3. Optimize Individual Pages for Each Location
Optimization of each individual page takes the center stage once you’ve created pages for all the locations. Each page should be localized and enhanced with on-page and technical SEO elements to rank better.
Let’s get to know how you can approach the same:
On-page factors include content, keywords, URL, heading tags, etc. that directly affect your rankings. Here’s what you should do to optimize your location-specific pages:
- Keyword Optimization: It’s one of the important on-page factors. Research & list out the primary, exact match, & LSI keywords you want to target for each location and include them in titles, headings, metadata, and content body appropriately.
- Create Logical URLs: URLs play a vital role. Here’s how you should create the optimized versions of URLs to target each location:
- For all locations: yourbrand.com/locations
- List of locations in a specific state: yourbrand.com/locations/state
- List of locations in a city: yourbrand.com/locations/cityname
- For location1: yourbrand.com/cityname/location1
- For location2: yourbrand.com/cityname/location2 etc…
- Add Unique Titles & Meta: Each location-based page must have a unique title and metadata that differentiates it from the rest.
- Simplify Elements: Simplify submission forms, personalize the CTAs, write captivating headlines/subheadings, and limit the number of distractions on each location-specific page.
Technical aspects are as vital as on-page elements. Here’s how you keep tabs on your technical SEO:
- Check & improve your site structure.
- Reduce crawl issues like 404 errors.
- Differentiate your localized, multi-language pages with hreflang.
- Use HTML tags, HTTP Headers, and Sitemaps to differentiate your localized pages.
- Implement structured data for each location-specific page and ensure there’s no indexing issue.
4. Change Your Content Strategy to Location-Specific One
A formidable localized content marketing strategy would help you spread the magic for your multiple location business. Further, it helps the pages of your website adapt to the local search queries.
Location-specific content strategy starts by researching the most often searched keywords and topics that are based around your products and services. Here’s what can be a part of your content strategy:
- Blog Posts & Articles: Leverage the power of blogs & articles to attract local residents from each particular region.
- Images & Videos: Graphical content gets more views and grabs users’ attention instantly. Post more photos, video tours, and event highlights for your local business store.
- Store Location Page: Create dedicated landing pages for each location that provides users with details about your physical store location such as open hours, address, map, phone number, etc.
- Service/Product Pages: As mentioned earlier, create individual service/product pages for each location you serve. It’s essential because sometimes, few products with skyrocketing sales in one region may not work in another.
5. Build Local Links & Citations for Each Location
Your link-building strategy and local business citations are one of the essential ranking factors search engines consider while determining local rankings. It’d be in your best interest to build as many quality backlinks from relevant and local sources as possible.
The competitor analysis you have done in the first step would come in handy now. But be mindful as getting backlinks from irrelevant or non-authoritative sources may not help your local SEO goals.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind while building links:
- Do more guest posting and PR outreach for each individual location.
- Select only local niche directories & publishers that are relevant to your business and are locally established.
- Create or claim your business listings on local directories for each location for maximum visibility.
- Pay attention to your Name, Address, and Phone Number’s consistency for all the local citations you build. Keep them consistent across citations for one location.
Here are a few link building ways to steer clear of:
- Buying too many links. Focus on building quality links rather than quantity of links.
- Building bad links, participating in a link exchange, or building links on low-quality/spammy websites.
- Building excessive citations/links on irrelevant forums and directories.
6. Create GBPs & Business Listings for All Locations
Claiming and verifying GBP and other business listings are also vital. Here’s an example on Yelp:
Even though 86% of customers use Google Maps to search local businesses, building business listings on local review sites or directories is also vital. It’s taken that Google Business Profile provides opportunities to help your business appear on Google Map local-pack rankings.
However, it’s also important to have your business listed on reputed directories for an overall great local impression. So, the first thing you’d need to do is create a separate GBP page & business listings for each location.
Here’s what else you need to do to optimize overall business listings:
- Be comprehensive when adding details for your business for each location page.
- Update each GBP & listing page to reflect a custom address for each location.
- Be thorough when adding other necessary business information for each location page.
- Keep the following things accurate across all your business profiles:
- Business Category & Subcategories
- Products & Services
- Phone Numbers
- Business Hours
- Physical Address
- Add relevant photos for each business location for customers to see and get the feel of it before they visit. Images convey more information about your business than plain words.
7. Manage Your Local Reviews
As per Brightlocal, 77% of consumers always or regularly read reviews when browsing for local businesses. And Google is the most prominent source for 81% of consumers to read reviews.
Consumers today not only look at the reviews left by others, but they also notice how often businesses reply to them. The same Brightlocal report mentions that 89% of the consumers are highly or fairly likely to use a business that responds to all the reviews.
Also, you’d have to do a better job at providing great customer service and world-class products to ensure customers leave a positive review. It’s taken that there’ll be a few bad experiences and there are ways to handle negative reviews left by customers.
However, you’d have to keep doing the best work and go an extra mile to ensure positive sentiments across all your reviews for each location your business operates in.
Businesses with single or even multiple locations need to understand that success in local SEO requires consistent effort and determination. You’d have to employ the right team with the right resources that help you stay afloat from the rest of the competition.
A professional SEO team like Ronkot has a dedicated team of SEO specialists & experts with vast experience in dealing with local business SEO implementation. We help businesses like yours to improve local search rankings with strategic SEO.
Get in touch with us now to discuss your SEO requirements and get a complimentary beverage from us.