Optimisation for multiple locations: multiple websites or multiple SEO strategies, what does your business need?
The past few years have witnessed the ascend of local SEO. It has become a norm for almost all businesses and brands to have a web presence. Having an online profile not only helps to keep a name visible, but it also aids in penetrating new markets. You must have already heard about optimizing a site and its contents for local searches, but have you given a thought to the possibility of optimizing for multiple locations? This kind of multi-location SEO is necessary for franchises and businesses with various locations across the state. Multi-location SEO is for those, who have optimized for local searches and are waiting to expand their possibilities by exploring numerous places.
How can you modify your local SEO for multiple locations?
Updating your existing SEO strategy for multiple locations is going to be a bit tricky, but it is doable. With the right information, you should be able to update your SEO in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Cairns, and Townsville. In fact, it is possible for a business to optimize its strategy for operations out of several states as well. If you have a grasp over local SEO, you are halfway there already.
Here’s everything else you need to know about multi-location SEO for your brand –
1. What should be the ideal site structure?
Multiple locations do not call for numerous websites. A lot of businesses make the mistake of developing more than one site dedicated to each area. It might seem necessary at first or even easier for those unacquainted with multiple location SEO. However, it hurts Google ranks, and it is confusing for the potential customer to find several sites belonging to the same business. Additionally, you will have to work individually for each site to gain organic traction from search engines.
The ideal way to optimize the site structure is by saying goodbye to multiple businesses and adopting the practice of customizing individual landing pages for the companies. The location options on the landing page can act as a filter to provide the local users with relevant information. You should also embrace the practice of using subdomains or subdirectories for each city or zone. It is imperative for each location to have a unique URL.
Each page should contain the address for each location, contact numbers, hours of operation, Google Map links, services, products or events specific for the particular site, at least a paragraph containing a set of unique keywords depending on the areas and third-party directory links. Whatever content you choose, be sure to eliminate duplications and contact information for other sites on individual pages.
2. You need to make changes to your structured markup
The structured data markup of a page serves as a guide for Google search engine bots. Once you have edited and customized the H1 tags, title tags, meta descriptions and alt tags on each page, it is time for you to check your location-specific keyword game. When that is complete, you need to edit your schema markup. That will tell Google about the new locations you have included and their details. Remember, if you do not update your schema and the places are only findable through a search function on your site, Google bots will not crawl these pages. You need to submit an XML sitemap to help Google find the new pages and the index the new locations for multiple location SEO.
3. Don’t wait for Google to find you, start spreading the word
You need to update Google My Business listing for each location. Yes, it is going to be time-consuming. Yes, they still rely on the “snail mail” process. However, once you have your brand name and locations up there, 90% of the optimization worries are over.
Link each location on the GMB with the respective page on your site, list all phone numbers individually that can help customers reach the places directly, do not enter the central office helpdesk number at each location listing and select only a few categories from Google’s list.
Once your GMB page is ready, work on Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages Online, Bing Places for Business and Yahoo Local Listings to increase your multiple location visibility. Be sure to keep the information consistent across various platforms. Do not add too many listings since that can compromise the consistency of the business descriptions.
4. Find business reviews and collect them
72% of potential customers check the reviews and ratings of business before committing. Reviews are the lifeblood of local business, and it can be quite tricky to collect reports for multiple locations of a company. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by encouraging your clients to leave reviews with the help of Call-to-Actions (CTAs) across several channels. Instead of using content-based CTAs, you can also indulge in post-sales follow-up calls and emails. You can personally ask the customers for reviews on specific sites. This practice not only helps you curate reviews, but it also enables you to improve them.
The personal touch can improve user experience and increase customer satisfaction. The presence of positive emotions from customers on third-party review sites or the business website sends positive signals to Google. Include Yelp links or Google review links with your emails and text messages. The rise of mobile searches has streamlined inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Therefore, prompting positive reactions from your customers can work as incentives for reviews.
Irrespective of which practice you adopt first, you need to track your data. Multi-location SEO and SERP tracking are niche practices that demand expertise in data analytics, KPI and search metrics monitoring, monitoring the data from each location and identification of each site that requires more attention than the rest. Multi-location SEO is not rocket science, although it is a bit more complicated than regular SEO. To begin your multiple location optimization, ensure that you have a local SEO strategy in place. Not having one can mean starting the work from scratch and that will turn the tables completely.