Today’s world is mobile; there’s no denying that.60% of Google searches are done via mobile devices. Only five years ago, the figure was nearly half that—34% with roughly a third of those mobile searches are being based on location.
It’s obvious local SEO cannot be ignored.
Having a robust local SEO strategy is more critical than ever. No matter where people are, they should be able to find the right information about your business. Let’s find out how.
Separate Locations by Page
Many multi-location businesses use one landing page to promote each location. For SEO, this is a giant no-no.
Separately optimised pages should be created for each location. They shouldn’t be identical and should include changes such as:
- Each location should have its own name, address, and phone number
- Personalised location content (testimonials, reviews, staff pages, local news etc.)
- Directions to location naming local landmarks for reference including an embedded Google Map
- Location-specific metadata (titles, descriptions, keywords)
- Images of local business (store, staff, products)
Each location is an arm of the business, and the URL structure should match this. Think of each location as a unique microsite. The URL structure could look something like this:
For example, one of our most recent clients, Leigh’s Nurseries, has 3 locations which all follow the above URL structure.
Each location has location-specific content such as nursery size, opening hours, meta-data and imagery. In this case, testimonials for each location are shown on every page however are defined by the location the testimonial came from. Once the pages are completed new location-based landing pages are finished create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google to make sure your pages are being picked up by the search engine.
Optimise Your Google My Business Page
Having a Google My Business Page is great to improve your online presence, gather reviews, get on the map and ensure people are finding accurate business information all at the very top of search engine results.
You’ll be able to create listings for each location by adding location-specific URLs.
Google’s guidelines suggest you:
- Verify each location
- List accurate opening hours
- Add localised photos
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Consistent business names (e.g. ‘Leigh’s Nursery’ Gateshead shouldn’t be called ‘Leigh’s Nursery in Gateshead’)
- Consistent categorization (e.g. all locations should use the category ‘Nursery’)
Manage Your Online Breadcrumb Trail
Having as many mentions of your business around the internet helps improve your local SEO.
Google evaluates how your business name, address, and contact details appear around the web to determine how to locally rank your company website. Inconsistent listings impact your SEO negatively. It’s vital you look for all of your locations online and check all listings are correct including ensuring business names aren’t annotated based on location.
This could include:
Link Build For Each of Your Business Locations
Backlinks play a huge role in increasing your domain authority with search engines. With different pages for each location, it’s essential you point links to each one.
Sponsor local events or charities
A good tactic is to sponsor local events or participate in charity days. This helps you build links within your local community hubs such as schools, event websites and local news outlets.
Host your own event
Hosting events will bring people to your business, give you the opportunity to create buzz and build links in the process.
Consider content marketing
Blog about subjects related to your niche that people will find useful and interesting. By doing so you will then have the opportunity to share it through your various channels (social media, website, email marketing) to create awareness. If the content is good other people will continue to share your content.
Manage local reviews
Often businesses will focus on gaining reviews for the company as a whole. We’d suggest putting review calls-to-action on each location-specific page.
Having positive feedback with good review response and management helps to encourage users on to your website. Respond to negative reviews without passing blame, as well as offering a clear solution to the customer. Aim to resolve the issue and turn that negative review into a positive one.
As a whole, the job of optimising for local SEO is a big one. On the other hand, the pay off can be even bigger. As we now know about the huge proportion of people searching for location-based results using mobile, it’s obvious why you should create an attractive local SEO strategy. The tips above should help you to begin getting noticed in your local areas.
To see how we did it for Leigh’s Nursery.