SEO Basics: Local SEO for Multiple Locations

A recent article on HubSpot shared a few statistics about local SEO.

  • 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.
  • 50% of consumers visit a store within a day of performing a local search on their smartphone.

Those are interesting statistics. It shows that while people look for and research products online, they will then go the physical store itself to purchase what they want.  This sharply illustrates how important it is for every store in a city to have a fully-optimized and easy-to-find website.

The final two stats we’ll share are these:

  • 50% of local-mobile searchers want to know specific business information such as its opening and closing hours.
  • 71% of local-mobile users look up and confirm the business’s location before they visit it for the first time.

In order to reach every potential customer you can, it’s essential to have a website that can be found during local search, so that your customers can check everything from the basics of your address and when you’re open, to finding out what types of products you offer and read descriptions of them – and reviews.

But what if you have stores in different areas of the same city, or out in the suburbs of that city? How can you perform local SEO for multiple locations, to ensure that your site ranks in multiple cities?

We’ll share a few tips with you below. Ranking through multi-location SEO requires that your website be designed to showcase each of your different locations.

Multi-page Websites Are Essential for Multi-Location SEO

As shown in the bullet points above, most users “on the go” use their smart phones to find stores that carry what they want, and to find out where they are located and when they open or close. So, most websites these days are designed to be smartphone friendly – meaning everything is on a single page and the user simply has to scroll down from screen to screen on their phone.

But having only a single page website makes that site very difficult to rank for keywords, so it’s better to have a multi-page site, each page ranked for different keywords.

So, if you have a couple of restaurants, one in Downtown City by the Bay and the other in Lower City by the Bay, you should create a page for each restaurant, with the appropriate information as to location, where to park, what’s nearby and so on. Even if the menu is the same at each restaurant, your longtail keywords will differ – “best ribs in Downtown City by the Bay” will result in the Downtown location being returned first in the search engine results, whereas “best barbecue chicken in Lower City by the Bay” will bring up the page for your other location.

Note that creating separate pages on your main site is better than creating a separate website entirely for each location. By keeping everything to one site, you increase the power of your backlinks since you don’t have to duplicate your SEO for multiple locations efforts.

Add a Google Map to Each Location Page

 In its never-ending effort to remain the top, number #1 search engine in the world, Google offers many free webmaster tools for use by businesses large and small. Using their tools will help build your site’s ranking on Google. This includes placing a Google Map for each location on the appropriate page of your site.

 Seek out Local Directories

Most cities will have local directories not only for the city as a whole, but also for its neighborhoods and suburbs. By placing a listing for each of your locations in the appropriate local directories, you’ll build backlinks back to your site and also provide your potential customers with the information they need to find you.

Many directories have a feature enabling the owner of the store/restaurant featured to “claim” their listing and add additional information to it. When adding or correcting information to local directories, be sure that each listing has the correct NAP – name, address and phone number for leach location.

Provide Quality Content on Each Page

The better your website is at providing valuable information for your potential customers or clients, the better it will be ranked by Google. Google’s searchbot actually has the capability of grading a site’s content according to its own criteria.

By combining all these elements in a systematic fashion, local SEO for multiple locations delivers the results every business wants – more opportunities to drive more customers to your business and give a positive impact to your bottom line.

Search Engine Optimization Is Not Dead, But Evolving

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique for creating a page so that it appears near the top of search engine results. Many “experts” are again saying it is dead, which is what they’ve been saying for many years. And yet, there’s no question that pages with good SEO rank higher in results than those that don’t.

SEO is Evolving

It’s more accurate to say that SEO is evolving to meet the increasing sophistication of search engines. Some parts of it are no longer useful while others as still necessary. In the past, less-than-ideal Google algorithms allowed such dubious techniques as keyword stuffing or spamming to raise a website’s rankings. Those techniques will no longer work, especially if the web content is of low quality. But proper use of keywords is vital to giving good content an edge.

Search engines are now able to process real speech patterns. Many people are switching to voice commands when formulating search queries. So SEO processes must incorporate real speech patterns into their keywords. Another good practice for SEO is the use of an XML site map. This allows a site to communicate constantly with search engines as to what content it contains and makes it easier for users to find the information they need.

The use of mobile devices for searching, particularly by using voice, is far more prevalent now than in the past. Websites now require a mobile-friendly version if they want to appear in searches on tablets and phones. One difference between mobile pages and that for the desktop is that the former must load quickly if they want to rank higher in results.

Staying power is important. Search rankings are higher for sites with the most traffic, which can only be acquired over time. According to Ahref, sites don’t typically reach the top 10 of search results until they’ve been around an average of two years, regardless of how sophisticated its SEO techniques are. The longer a site has been around, the more authority is attached to its content, and the higher its value to the searcher.

Changing content is also necessary for higher rankings because it indicates that the site is evolving to meet user needs. Updating content not only with new information but the latest SEO techniques can invigorate its search rankings.

You Can’t Afford to Ignore SEO

This is a lot of information to take in about why SEO is important to your site and it only scratches the surface. But don’t worry if you don’t understand it thoroughly. Because we do. And we can raise your site’s rankings by combining the latest SEO and content strategies. Contact us today to get started.

 

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