Localization is often overlooked when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), but for a business with multiple locations, it’s critical to getting your brand noticed. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local, so skipping the neighborhood could be a big mistake.
In order to cover your bases, you have to treat each location as a separate entity. There are a variety of digital marketing strategies you can use to achieve this goal. Follow these quick steps to ensure you’re effectively managing local SEO and driving convenience for the community:
It’s important to spread your digital footprint far and wide. 50% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit the store within a day. You can’t afford to lose quick consumers to savvy competition. Staying on top of your game means adding local listings to as many sites as possible.
Although there are hundreds of platforms to post your local information, here are a few that are critical to getting noticed:
- Google My Business (GMB): Your first stop for search engine optimization should be one of the largest aggregators in the world. It’s important that your business is listed on Google, along with your address and contact information. 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine at least once a day. Don’t fall in between the cracks.
- Yelp: The ultimate review site, Yelp is a common “go-to” for people searching local businesses. Whether it’s going out to eat or getting a lawn guy, Yelp claims 135 million monthly active users. An entry on Yelp also improves your visibility in search results. So, it’s a double bonus.
- Bing Places: Google’s little brother, search engine Bing is actually a great place for local listings. Referred to as “Bing Places” the site may already have your local business listed. Then all you have to do is claim it.
- Apple Maps: It’s crucial to also think “mobile.” Especially in densely populated areas. The iOS is the second most popular mobile platform in the world, so naturally, people will be using it to locate you locally. Listing here will also make your business available on all iPhones.
There are hundreds of places to consider online, from forums to maps and review sites. You may want to take your branding into consideration here. For instance, why list locally on a tech site, if you sell flowers? Once you are fully spread out, it’s time to clean your own house.
Optimize your Site
People have little patience for a website with broken links. They may never even see it if you practice poor SEO. Luckily, there are several things you can do to zhoosh it up.
People seek value in their online experiences. After the days of keyword stuffing, consumers have little patience for mediocre media. Creating content with thought leadership and strong local keywords is a surefire way to draw a specific community.
The more relevant your content, the more likely it will attract people from that area. Don’t forget to also update your pages often. Keeping the content fresh makes search engines happy.
Lastly, if people give you testimonials, use them! Plaster them all over your site. Positive reviews actually improve your search visibility. If you do choose to include them on your page, be sure to use an aggregate review service. This will enable Google to display your overall rating to users.
The Schema.org markup can include information about your business, products, and reviews. The HTML-like code is integrated to allow search engines an easier time when parsing the data on your site. Consider it a communicator, of sorts. It creates a deeper connection between the search engines and the content on your site. This means more traffic, more page clicks, and more conversions.
Embedding a map associates your site with a location. This is an important point for local SEO. Not only does it tie your site to search engines, it creates convenience for consumers and invites them in.
Claim Local Listings
The last step is to score the internet to ensure you have claimed everything local for your brand. Some sites will list your business but lack the proper SEO or promotion. Depending on your budget, there are a variety of platforms you can use to find your local listings. Yext and Moz Local are both great tools for locating lost or hidden data and are a good place to start.
Claiming your local business builds more links and creates more citations. This helps Google My Business effectively rank your page. Local listings should be checked every so often as new sites will pop up with your data.
As search engines evolve, so does the process of optimizing them. Consumer search drives their algorithms and the stats are saying local data wins. If you have multiple locations, you do yourself a disservice when not breaking them out locally. People want to search in their neighborhoods, not results from Timbuctoo. By taking control of your listings and keeping a clean and interesting site, managing multiple locations online should be a breeze.