If your business operates from multiple locations, or you service several different areas, you need multi-location SEO for your website to optimize your targeted search traffic and provide a localized user experience. There are both on-page and off-page aspects to doing location-based local SEO well.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is using SEO techniques so your page shows up in local searches. This is useful for businesses with defined geographic locations. A study by Search Engine Watch shows that customers are increasingly interested in interacting with businesses in their area.
What Is Multi-Location SEO?
A concrete multiple location SEO strategy enables search engines such as Google to differentiate between separate locations and show the appropriate one in the search results for a local user.
Multiple location SEO strategies are necessary for you if at least one of the following applies to your business:
- Your business operates from multiple office locations or physical stores with the same brand
- You provide goods and services to customers in different areas (even if you do not have multiple physical offices or stores)
- You run an online local business aggregator directory
The key is that Google and other search engines should be able to decipher accurate information about your multi-location business, regardless of whether you run two locations or 200. Here are some ideas on how to do multi-location SEO for your business.
Ranking Your Business Locally In Search
Here is a useful tip for local SEO; some brand websites make the mistake of trying to rank their home page or another landing page (such as contact page) for multiple locations, or simply lump all locations together on one page. This is not effective because each web page on your business website should ideally focus only on one location.
Your search rankings can significantly improve if you create a dedicated page for each location. If you want to convince yourself about this principle, just do a rank Google search for the keyword you wish to rank for, and you will most likely see location-specific pages ranking on top. This is where small businesses are often able to outperform larger US-wide companies.
In the above-shown example, you may notice that each of the web pages is related specifically to one location.
On-Page Tips Multiple Location
When you have a logical URL structure for your business website, it will make it easier for both visitors and the search engines to both navigate and understand it. This is an important part of on-page SEO. Here is an example of how to create a logical site structure with URLs for your multi-state business:
For this example lets use a restaurant franchise in Texas and California;
yourbusiness.com/locations/ – This provides a list of all your multi-state business locations
yourbusiness.com/locations/texas/ – This provides a list of all your business locations in a specific state
yourbusiness.com/locations/california/los-angeles/ – This provides a list of all your business locations in a particular city
Make your URLs geo-specific where necessary. Whichever approach you choose to structure your site URLs, maintain a uniform, logical system. This will make it easier for Google to index your individual web pages correctly.
On-Page SEO Multiple Location
Once you have built location-specific web pages, optimize each page for the search engines to comprehend what each page is about. Here are some useful SEO tips.
Provide an accurate meta description for each page and include the main keyword in the title tag. These meta tags are a vital piece of code that Google will use to display information about your individual pages in search results.
In the above-described example, you may notice that the title tag not only identifies the service but also mentions the location. And the meta description too correctly describes the service to attract targeted visitors and also includes the location.
Content Best Practices
Once location-specific pages have been created and meta tags have been optimized, the next step is to develop relevant, localized content for each page. Many business websites make the cardinal error of creating thin location pages without much local content. You should try to cover local information that your target audience may like to know.
Some of the ideas for localized content include:
- Description of Local Goods and Services: Describe the goods and services you offer in a particular location.
- Add real images of the location or your business operations in the area.
- Reviews from local customers in that area will make a key difference to your target audience.
- How to Reach: Add directions for getting to your local office or store from each major direction. Also, embed a Google map with the location pinned.
Localized Link Building for Each Page
High-quality backlinks that direct to your business website is a vital data point for SEO. This is an important part of a small business lead generation to help you rank higher locally. With multiple location pages on your site, rework your link building strategy to achieve higher PageRank for each location page.
To create and execute a localized link building strategy for each page, consider ideas such as:
- Sponsor local community events and participate in local charity programs. The events should be local, but it is not necessary that they relate only to your business.
- To generate a buzz about your services at a specific location and build solid backlinks, host an event at your business location.
- If you prefer more informal local engagement, consider hosting a meet-up via free services such as MeetUp.com.
- Provide regularly updated local news or event information or a blog with local content that residents in the area want to share.
Boost Your Brand Listings on Google My Business
Make sure you sign up for Google My Business (GMB) if you haven’t done so already. This will let you build listings for all business locations individually. Once you have set up GMB, add the location page URLs to your business profile. Optimize your GMB location pages by sticking to Google’s official guidelines, which include:
- Location verification
- Listing of local business hours
- Including location-specific images and videos
- Manage and respond to local GMB customer reviews
It helps if your business name is consistent across locations. For instance, “ABC Service Providers, LLC” should not be called “ABC Service Provider in Austin, TX.”
Each business location should have at least one category that uniformly represents your business as one company. For instance, all auto body shop locations should include the category: “Auto Repair Services”.
However, these are not rigid rules, adjustments can be made if the different locations in your business actually deliver very different goods or services.
Having well planned out keywords are key to success with multi-location SEO. The best keywords are those that are relevant to your business’ offering. A law firm will have different keywords for retail stores. This is where a good agency comes into play to develop the keywords. Or if you are looking to do it yourself, there are a number of tools on the internet that help in this process, particularly google keyword planner.
The Bottom Line
Sound multiple location SEO strategies will not only help your business website rank higher in search results, it will also improve your actual conversion rate with more localized visitors on your website.
Outreach Frog is a provider of Local SEO services that can be used by brands and agencies alike. SEO is a growing and high-performing area of marketing and we help businesses succeed in improving their search rankings and visibility.
Call us today to find how we can help you gain more exposure with either our a la carte products or our managed monthly SEO.