These days, search engine optimization is a must for any business that wants to survive. SEO is an avenue with which you can establish an online presence and improve your visibility among the increasing number of internet users. With the right strategies, you’d be able to build a reputable brand, attract customers, increase your sales, and gain an edge against your fiercest competitors.
SEO is easier for local businesses whose audiences are limited to a given locality. But this only applies to shops with a single branch. Certain small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have multiple shops found in different locations.
So how do you optimize for those? Let’s find out.
Setting Up Location Pages
Local business owners are generally advised to create a website and to optimize it for SEO. There are many ways to go about it. But one of the fastest methods is to cite your business information in different pages across your site. Namely, they should appear on your Home Page, About Us, Services, and the Footer section.
The strategy above applies to smaller businesses serving a single location – be it a neighborhood, a small town, or a city. For larger businesses and SMEs with several brick and mortar shops, there’s a different approach to local SEO.
Local SEO Strategies for Multiple Locations
If you own a business with multiple stores (each with its own address and contact details), you can’t cram all their information in a single page. What you need to do is create separate pages for all locations you serve and optimize every single one of them.
As usual, this should include your most basic business information or NAP:
- Name of the branch
- Phone number
The main goal of local SEO is to place your business front and center for your customers and Google. Below are some tips on how to optimize for both.
Optimizing for customers
You can make it easier for customers to find you by embedding a Google Map to each location and providing details on how to get there, including landmarks. Each page can also act as a “microsite” that delivers unique, location-specific content such as:
- Business hours
- Photos of your business and staff
- Related news, awards, and upcoming events
- Customer feedback from locals
- Additional contact details (i.e. email address)
Optimizing for Google
The key to getting optimized for Google is to create pages that are “crawlable” for search bots. Again, there’s more than one way to do this, although it does require a bit of know-how on search engine optimization.
Perhaps the best-known strategy is to use location-specific keywords throughout your content, title tags, and meta descriptions. Some examples are “New York auto shop” or “California fitness club”. These keywords signal Google that the content of a page or website is specific to a location. When people search for these keywords, your pages will be displayed as local searches.
Moreover, you can set up a local business schema markup for each of these pages. That way, when people look them up, they’ll have easy access to your business information. Once you’ve set up location pages for your business site, the final step is to submit a sitemap to Google.