Creating a local SEO strategy for a business that has multiple business locations

Creating a local SEO strategy for a business that has multiple business locations

April 29, 2024

 

Written by: Ryan Walsh

Date: 29/04/2024

Quite often a lot of business will have multiple locations, sometimes they will have several shops all in one city. Therefore, you need to hire an SEO agency that has the experience optimising many different locations.

The reason is:

– You want your business to appear in multiple Google My Business map listings
– You need to create separate business citations for each location
– You will need a landing page for each location
– You will want to improve where your business ranks in the organic SERP’s on Google for each city or town which your business is based

 

We have a huge about of experience helping businesses to improve local SEO

With over ten years of experience helping many businesses improve their local SEO, we are well-placed to advise you.
You may want your business to appear locally within the Google My Business results or the organic business results on the first page, and we can help you achieve this. This will allow more customers to find more local stores to visit conveniently.

 

Google My Business and why it’s an integral part of local SEO

There are many reasons why your business will often need a Google My Business account. In short, these are some of the main reasons why businesses all over the globe own and manage a Google My Business account:

 

Gain reviews from customers

You may want to gain feedback from your customers so they can leave reviews regarding the store they visited.
Also, if your shop gains a lot of positive reviews over a long period of time, Google is much more likely to show your business in more Google My Business results.

For example, a pizza shop with just 1 positive review, is likely to be shown over a business less than one mile down the road that has over 100 positive reviews.

The business that has more positive reviews, left by customers on Google My Business, is therefore likely to be displayed more in the Google My Business results.

 

Local SEO

Local and organic search engine optimisation can be improved when a business has a validated and completed their Google My Business account.

Therefore owning a Google My Business account can help to confirm where your business is located, therefore helping to improve your local and organic search engine optimisation.

 

Proximity

Customers will often want to travel to the closest store. Therefore, if you have optimised Google My business profile, a shopper can easily find a store closest to them; they can also check opening hours and customer reviews and click to call the business if they so wish.

 

Optimising a Google My Business profile often involves a lot of work.

Optimising a Google My Business profile can often involve a lot of work. Therefore, the appointed SEO agency will usually need to create location-specific webpages and write content marketing to help customers in the specific area.

This often means that a landing page needs to be created for each location, plus a lot of business citations, and also good quality, do-follow, no-follow backlinks should be built from local companies as well.

 

They will also need to do the following:

-Create business citations (NAP listings)
-Optimise the on-page SEO
-Build quality links

 

Business citations
Usually, a massive quantity of quality business citations need to be built, such as NAP citations, must be created around each location.

For example you might have two stores in the city centre of Cardiff. Now, lets say 100 business citations need to be built for each location. This is to help Google to know the name the business, the business address, and business phone number for each location.

Then there’s managing the Google My Business profile itself. For example, if a negative review is left, you will want to respond to it immediately.

Therefore, the Google My Business profile often requires maintenance, such as responding to reviews, keeping the NAP information up-to-date, and adding new photos of your business, such as the storefront.

 

Landing pages

People will often want to know about that specific store, so it is common practice to have a page on your website that perhaps has pictures of the storefront and its opening hours. This because your two stores in Cardiff for example might have different opening hours.

You might even list information such as the store manager’s contact information, phone numbers, and other information relating to that shop. This needs to be created on a separate page.

 

Google My Business profile linking to that page

Therefore, you might want your Google My Business profile to link to that specific page for that city or town. For example, the page that mentions your Cardiff store should link to the Cardiff Google My Business page, which gives you information about that specific store.

 

Appearing in Google’s Map Results

When you talk to any good SEO consultant that’s worth their salt, or there weight in gold, they will tell you that Google My Business or the map results commonly listed seven firms locally, that was back in the day.
This is no longer the case, the Google My Business map results now typically only display 3 local companies, not 7 as it once did.

Therefore, the Google map results covered a large part of Google’s first page a long time ago.

Many businesses took for granted that if they were in an area of low competition, they could easily rank on the Google map results because it had a 7-pack back then.

 

Reduction to a 3-pack

However, things changed substantially when the Google My Business profile was reduced to a three-pack.
Therefore, businesses that relied heavily on their customers coming via Google’s map results sometimes saw a sharp reduction in shoppers during this change.

This is when a lot of businesses would have wanted to partner with seo companies to try and get their business in the Google

My Business results, or for them to improve the company’s organic search engine optimisation, so the business appeared on the first page of Google for many different keywords.

 

The centroid and the rise of smartphones

So, back in the day, you might have heard of local businesses saying, I get plenty of leads from Google; I do not need an SEO agency.

Well, this might be because their business was located in a rather brilliant location, near the “centroid,” so Google placed that business in its 7-pack Google My Business results most of the time.

A shop for example, in the city centre, may have always once appeared in the 7-pack of results, on Google My Business, because, it had a central location, near Googles “centroid”.

Great for that business; it wasn’t paying for Google ads; it wasn’t paying an SEO consultant to move the company up the organic SERPs; it was simply brilliant for the business as in effect it had free advertising. Yet when Google switched to 3-pack results instead of using the “centroid” and moved it to location-based, real-time business location information, some companies saw a massive reduction in customers.

 

Smartphones and location data

So, Google Mobile and its brilliant algorithm now are used rather than Googles centroid. If your location data is switched on your phone, Google will show you the closest, most relevant businesses. Where before, when using the centroid, Google relied less on mobile location data; it based its results on the information you were telling it. Hence, the shopper had to state the location they wanted in the query.

So people often had to state in the search query where they were, for example “find me a dentist in Cardiff”.
Since location data, Google Pigeon update, and voice search, people now may just say, “Find me the closest dentist.

 

So, how do you go about optimising your Google My Business profile?

The first thing to do is to be thorough as possible when filling out the information when initially creating your Google My Business account.

Take your time, make sure the following information is added:

– The businesses URL to the homepage
– Make sure the NAP information is up to date
– Add the opening hours
– Add a description of the business
– Use a local phone number if possible and not a mobile phone number

You may be surprised by how many accounts are filled in quickly and miss critical information, such as phone numbers or addresses, that is entered incorrectly.

So ensure you include accurate information such as your business’s opening hours, address, phone number, and name. Add a detailed business description as well.

Business citations (very time-consuming to create, but well worth it if you want to improve your company’s local Seo)company’s

Building business citations can be massively time-consuming to create, but it’s worth it because it reinforces where the business location is based. You will, therefore, want to list your business in quality business directories, such as Thomson Local, Yelp, Wales Online, stating your businesses NAP information.

The NAP information is your company’s name, business address and phone number.

 

Business reviews left on your Google My Business account

If your business offers really good customer service, it will likely get many good customer reviews.
This can help to improve your local SEO.

Make sure you keep your company NAP information up to date.

Keeping your company’s NAP information up to date is absolutely essential when it comes to improving your business local and organic search engine optimisation.

Yet, some companies make the mistake of moving their business premises without updating their Google My Business account address. Therefore, the NAP information might be pointing to the old address, which is no good as it will damage the company’s SEO.

The NAP information must be updated with the current address, phone number and business name.

 

Schema Markup

You should ask your SEO company to add schema markup to your website. Sometimes, free plugins can be added to your WordPress website, yet you must ensure the schema mark-up is added to your company website correctly, so we recommend hiring a marketing company to do this work for you.

Schema markup can be used for various search engine optimisation purposes. For example, it can highlight the star ratings customers have left for a particular product, making it more likely that your products appear as featured snippets in Google’s SERP’s.

 

Schema markup and its uses for local SEO.

In terms of local SEO, businesses often use schema markup and structured language to mark up and highlight a website’s NAP information.
We usually apply Schema to the Contact Us page, homepage, and sometimes the website’s footer.

 

Making Googlebot’s job a lot easier

Googlebot has difficulty deciphering where the NAP information is on a page, expecially if the page has a lot of text applied to that page.

Googlebot has to search through all that text to find the NAP information. That is for those who don’t know what NAP means, the companies name, address, and phone number.

You might have written the NAP information in plaintext on the page, but when you consider that Googlebot has to read over 1000 words on each page (when crawling and indexing the page), it sometimes makes it difficult for Googlebot to find the NAP information on each page unless schema is added.

Therefore to make it a piece of cake for Googlebot to find the NAP information you could highlight the text using schema mark-up.

This is where Schema Mark-up is super helpful.

Universal language

However, schema markup is a form of structured language; it was created through collaboration from many Search engines that came together to create a universal language, that can be used to communicate information to the Search engines using structured language.

 

Write helpful information for local customers.

Customers in different locations often require different information- for example different stores open and close at different times. Therefore, you must create content marketing with informative blog posts or helpful pages tailored to advise the customer on information, such as opening hours, relating to that store.

 

Show that you have local area knowledge.

Please don’t go overboard when writing your content marketing and mentioning “entities”; showing local knowledge within your text can help the algorithms and improve your local SEO if done correctly. This may get more complicated because we need to briefly discuss the “semantic web” and Google’s Knowledge Graph here.

We could quickly write a 3000-word article on each topic, but we briefly discuss entities and the semantic web.
Googles Knowledge Graph

The Google Knowledge Graph or Google’s Knowledge Vault has massive amounts of knowledge on each city or town, such as famous landmarks.

So, for example, if you were to give somebody directions about getting to your coffee shop on foot and mention that it’s just three minutes away from “Cardiff Castle”, well because you have mentioned a geographic landmark, Google’s knowledge graph would know this landmark.

 

Relevance

Therefore, mentioning entities such as local landmarks further cements your business’s location and helps to improve your local search engine optimisation.

Now, don’t go wild by writing many things related to Wales to try and help improve your local SEO because this won’t work; the text is likely to read as complete gibberish.
Help your customers.

However, if you were to write a helpful blog post, for example, if you were running a quiz evening and were to mention that you can also have a local artist or singer, you would say them. This information can help your customers and reinforce your local SEO by mentioning local artists who may have social media accounts, such as on Facebook and Instagram, and mentioning their Welsh singer.

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