Local SEO holds tremendous potential for almost any business with a physical location (and even some without). Because local SEO functions on an algorithm separate from Google's national search, you'll face less competition, higher relevance among your local audience, and even higher visibility, thanks to Google's local 3-pack listings. Unfortunately, most conventional local SEO tactics cater to businesses that have only one physical location - what happens if you have multiple locations
?The Trouble With Multiple Locations
Having multiple locations means you'll have multiple streams of revenue, and it's a valuable way to increase brand recognition and your potential pool of customers. However, much of the power of local SEO is derived from associating your business with a single location. If you try to split your efforts inefficiently, you could end up only weakly optimizing for your target cities
, but if you only focus on one city, you'll miss out on the visibility potential of your other locations. What are you supposed to do?Strategies for Success
Try using these strategies to succeed with multiple locations in local SEO:1. Create a separate landing page for each city your business operates in.
Your first job is to create a separate landing page for each of your locations. It's possible to create a new domain for each of your sub-locations, but this is inadvisable, as you'll lose out on the cumulative authority you'll gain from all of your sources. For example, you could create a page for a specific city location, complete with location information and any specific unique features that this location offers--for example, US Storage Centers has a designated page for San Antonio
, with hours, directions, and unit availability.2. Create city-specific content for each city you operate in.
Next, you'll want to fill those pages with content specific to that location. Don't leave your landing pages as empty shells! Instead, write rich, descriptive content about the unique features each of your locations offers that particular area. If you get hard-pressed, write about some of the features of the city, such as surrounding landmarks or things to do.3. Split your social media pages.
If you only have two or three locations, you can probably get away with having one "master" social media presence, but if you have more locations than that, you'll want to split your social media profiles into individual locations
. Create a designated contact for each location to manage their respective pages, and keep one "master" brand page to help people find the social media page most relevant to them. This will help you connect more specifically with your target demographics, especially if your locations are around the country.4. Segment your link building strategies.
As long as all your locations are under the same domain, you'll gain collective domain authority with any links you build. However, remember that inbound links pass page authority as well as domain authority, and any links you have pointing to city-specific pages will help those individual pages rank higher
. This is valuable if you want to promote one location more than another.5. Manage your third party profiles and local reviews separately.
Each of your locations should have a separate entry in each third-party review site you leverage (such as Yelp). This will ensure that Google lists your businesses separately for each respective location, and will enable you to monitor and manage local reviews more efficiently. Again, you'll want to designate a responsible contact for each of your locations to take charge of this duty.6. Produce ongoing blog content for each city.
Finally, you'll want to produce ongoing content for each of your locations that's specific to that city. For example, if you have locations in San Antonio and Kansas City, you could write a post about the "top attractions in San Antonio" one week, and "top attractions in Kansas City" the next week. Rotate these geographic-centric terms in and out of your content strategy (always making sure they're natural) to increase your relevance for each location
With these six strategies, you'll be able to optimize your web presence for each of your physical locations without sacrificing your potential to rank for any other location. It requires a careful balance, and you may find yourself wanting to optimize for one location more than another.
This is perfectly acceptable, especially if you have a "main" location, so feel free to evaluate your strategy and balance your efforts accordingly.
July 5, 2016
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.