Most resources that you see online that talk about SEO for local businesses are all geared towards businesses that have one location. You’ve got a single store, or a single office, that you do business out of. You might also only have one phone number, one set of operational hours, and one team.
This is valuable information, but it often leaves business with multiple locations hanging. Instead of optimizing their web presence for a single location, after all, they need to take multiple different offices, stores, branches, or franchises into account. This changes the game and some of the strategies that you need to be using.
We’re going to answer all of your questions, looking at how you can properly prioritize and optimize for SEO when you have multiple locations in a way that benefits your entire brand most.
Have Landing Pages for Each Location
First things first, the elephant in the room: should each location have its own website, or be grouped together under a single site?
Neither solution is really the way to go here. Instead, your best bet is going to be to create dedicated landing pages for each individual location which is tied into the business’s main website.
There are several reasons why this is so important:
- The business is likely working hard to create multiple pages and rank for high-value keywords. The last thing that you need is to be competing against your own branches or franchises. In this case, no one really wins.
- It prevents potential clients from getting confused. Imagine looking up a place like “Hand and Stone” and seeing a million different websites, including the main site that ranks well but doesn’t list your location; you might wonder if any of them are even connected at all.
- Linking all the pages through a single site gives each individual landing page increase domain authority as people link back to other pages and content on the site, helping each individual location and the business as a whole.
- Landing pages allow you to enter in location-specific information, including featuring reviews, information about the team there, services offered, location and contact information, business hours, and more.
- Using landing pages will make it easier to show up in local searches when you optimize them accordingly with location-based keywords like “Orlando kickboxing” or “central Florida day care.”
Landing pages for each branch or franchise still allows the individual office to capture lead information themselves and drive in traffic to their specific location, but it doesn’t happen at the extent of competing against the business as a whole. The landing pages can then direct visitors to the main site for more information if needed.
This strategy also works well because it’s scalable. If new offices open, all you need to do is to create a new landing page for it, and you’ll be set.
Optimize Each Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is a must-use tool for all businesses, but it’s even more valuable for local businesses trying to attract nearby customers.
First, after you claim your original business, you’ll need to add in additional locations. In the navigation bar on the left once you’re logged into your account, scroll all the way down until you see “Manage locations.”
This will take you to a screen where you can view your current location and add in additional locations that are associated with your business. You’ll be able to add in this location’s own website (using that landing page!), phone number, address, business category, and more.
Like with the landing pages, optimize your GMB profiles individually. Use custom descriptions of what you do, and try to include different relevant keywords in each one to increase the business’s visibility overall. If you offer any different services or products go ahead and feature them, and use plenty of location-based keywords.
Once all new and original locations are verified and accepted, you’ll be able to manage them all from this single dashboard. Note that franchises may be better off handling their own listings since they’re responsible there, but that businesses who just have multiple locations should use this strategy. Under this dashboard, you can get insights about reach and clicks, manage reviews, and answer questions.
Try to Generate Local Reviews
It can be difficult to have multiple different locations rank well in local search if they’re all spread out, but there’s one thing you should be focusing on right away: Reviews.
This is true for businesses with only a single location, too, but reviews can be so important if you want people to see each of your individual locations on the GMB listings as being worth your time. They won’t know that your barre studio in Lake Mary with 14 5-star reviews is owned by the same person running the Winter Park studio with no reviews. They might simply see the Winter Park option, assume it isn’t good, and choose a competitor’s place instead because Lake Mary is just too far.
Reach out to customers from each individual location and send them the link to the specific listing you want to generate reviews for. This will help you rank much higher in the algorithms and be much more successful in attracting people who see the listing.
As your business starts literally growing and expanding into more offices and potentially even franchises out, it’s going to be important to change the structure of your site in order to keep up. If you don’t, you’ll likely miss out on the chance to rank higher in the SERPs and connect with more customers. Adapting to SEO strategies that are more friendly to multiple locations will be a bit of a shift, but easily worthwhile before you know it.
Oh, and pro tip: When you’re running ad campaigns, make sure that you’re putting location targeting on each campaign, attaching the right landing page to each ad for best results.
Looking for some help with SEO if your business has multiple locations? Get in touch and see how we can help here!
What do you think? Do you have multiple business locations? If so, how have you optimized your site and web presence? What strategies and platforms have been most effective for you? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!