Optimizing Local Search for Multiple Business Locations
Search engine optimization can be a little tricky when your company has more than one business location. Garnering maximum exposure and visibility by optimizing your site for local search is not difficult and should result in more traffic and, ideally, increased conversions.
If you follow these suggestions you can give your business locations a stronger online presence without having to spend a penny:
Create a landing page for each location
Google's SEO guidelines strongly encourage developing a unique landing page on your website for each business location. This way, a separate URL is created for each geo-location and can be used for directory listings and other promotions. This will allow the search engines to point customers to exactly where they want to be without users having to search around on your website. The easier it is for a searcher to find the correct business location, the more likely they are to patronize you.
Use “Google My Business”
Formerly known as Google Places, Google’s My Business feature is where you will list each location separately and uniquely. Google's quality guidelines encourage businesses with multiple locations to list each in a manner that helps customers find the website, address, and phone number quickly and conveniently. Google+, the company's emergent social network, is also now integrated with Google My Business.
Be sure to list each of your unique business locations on any other directory listing service you use, including YP, which can help you increase exposure in the right geographic areas.
Standardize name, address, phone (NAP)
Google, Bing, and other search engines use NAP data to identify and verify your business online. Consistency in how your business is listed is very important for search optimization. In fact, we've discovered that missing listings cause businesses to miss opportunities. Each listing will build equity for the others, which strengthens the optimization and ranking of the website as a whole, as well as the other locations.
A few tips:
If your company name is used in different ways, make sure the listings are exactly the same. My Best Company, Inc. or MyBest Company or MyBestCompany, Inc. are not all the same.
If the location has a suite, use the number sign (#) before the number, or the word “Unit” or “Suite” consistently across all listings. Consistency is king.
Delete any duplicate listings as those only serve to confuse the search engines.
- Check out our infographic on the importance of listing accuracy if you're still not convinced!
Localize social media
If there are too many locations to create and maintain, create a Facebook page for each location. Develop a social media strategy that includes highlighting each location in posts, blogs, and tweets. Continue to market the company as a whole, and include strong localized messages. However, if there are only a couple of locations, the option of displaying each one separately will support and reinforce the other efforts above.
Overall, multiple locations should be treated as separate companies with branding and marketing as the common thread. With a few simple optimization moves, your company will benefit exponentially.