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ProBlogger logo.
Marketing Association logo.
The Icehouse logo.
NZ Business logo.

    Multi-Location SEO: Why It Matters When It Comes To Rankings And Customers

    Have you ever wondered how businesses manage to appear online in the top search results, even with branches everywhere? Jump into the multi-location SEO world.

    Published on October 25, 2023

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    By Megan Smith
    Content Marketing Specialist

    Published on October 25, 2023

    In the fiercely competitive digital world, getting noticed by online users is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Imagine increasing the challenge if your business is scattered across multiple locations.

    This is the whirlwind world of multi-location SEO, a strategy designed to boost online visibility for companies operating in various places. As communities increasingly look for nearby services, mastering multi-location SEO has become a fundamental part of businesses’ success strategies.

    The Winning Formula

    Thanks to optimising for local SEO, you can improve your rankings on Google. Though there is a long list of KPIs for ranking higher, the most essential metrics remain:

    • Click through rates to your website
    • Improved keyword rankings

    When you add local SEO into the mix, you can address both factors simultaneously.

    Advantages of Multi-Location SEO

    If you operate multiple locations, it’s essential to tailor your SEO strategy to each specific area. This way, you can target both general traffic and location-specific visitors.

    Did you know 98% of searches made on Google daily are for local information? And within a day of local searching, 76% of users will make use of the relevant business. Are you missing out on this search volume? If so, you’d better tweak your digital marketing efforts.

    For example, if you own a handful of coffee shops in Auckland and Tauranga, you can optimise your content to rank for “coffee shops near me” to capture those individuals who are looking for coffee shops. Simultaneously customising each page to include location-specific phrases like “coffee shops in Auckland” and “Tauranga coffee shops.”

    Giving your multi-location SEO efforts some love, and attention boasts numerous advantages, including:

    • Attracting more customers
    • Enhancing your local SERP ranking
    • Building brand awareness
    • Boosting organic traffic
    • Increasing conversion rates
    • Strengthening local relationships with your community

    What about City Pages for SEO?

    Back in the day, city pages (a specific form of local landing pages for businesses) were commonly exploited and used for cramming local keywords to climb up the rankings on Google. It meant duplicate content was replicated across multiple pages, with a slight difference in city in the keyword. As expected, it didn’t take long for Google to recognise the manipulative technique. With the Panda Update, Google swiftly penalised those using spammy practices.

    We know that can leave you scratching your head as to how you can apply local SEO but not get sidelined by Google.

    Don’t worry…

    That’s why we’re here to let you in on just how you can begin making dramatic changes to your ranking within the local market.

    Here’s how…

    Local SEO Across Multiple Locations

    The optimisation of local SEO across multiple locations comprises five key components:

    • Google Business Profiles
    • NAP and Web Citations
    • Customer Reviews
    • Schema Markup
    • Mobile Site Optimisation

    Colorful word cluster depicting the word "welcome" in multiple languages.

    Google Business Profile – Join the Ranks

    Recent data reveals that approximately 60% of businesses have established a presence through Google My Business posts. Are you part of this group?

    If you do not have a profile, now is the time to create one. It’s a cost-free tool that is a GREAT platform to make a lasting first impression and is indispensable for each business location. Highlighting accurate business information, asking for customer reviews, and updating visual content to leverage your local search visibility is essential.

    However, merely setting up the profile is just the very start; you’ll need to:

    • Verify each business location individually
    • Ensure accurate operating hours, especially during holidays
    • Showcase high-quality images of your business, both inside and out
    • Maintain uniformity in business names for consistent branding across locations
    • Personalise information for each site to boost your multi-location SEO objectives

    When you’ve finally managed to tick the above off your list, you can begin monitoring its performance. Your Google account provides you with insights and data to analyse your profile success and earmark opportunities to improve on.

    Google Map Pack – Get Found

    Got the Google Profile? Brilliant, you’re one step closer. Do you want to get onto the local map of suggested locations that Google churns out when looking for a service in your area? We know those businesses often work really hard to be on that list, and the chances are high that searchers will use their services or products rather than expand their search further. This means you’ll want to be listed on the Local Map Pack, and with the proper techniques, you can be.

    Let’s take a look…

    NAP and Web Citations – Drive Your Digital Footprint

    NAP refers to name, address, and phone number, primarily representing your business information in the online sphere.

    NAP represents your name, address, phone number and your business information online.

    Having your NAP displayed on your website is fundamental. A common practice is placing it at the bottom of your homepage, as visitors generally anticipate finding it there.

    Listing your business details on online data aggregators can further boost your SEO efforts. What aggregators do is supply your info to well-known sites such as Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Bing.

    Here are a few aggregators you can check out and should prioritise:

    1. Data Axle
    2. Acxiom
    3. Localeze

    Listing in all aggregation sites may seem like a hectic process, but your efforts will pay off, especially if you want to get noticed on platforms like those mentioned.

    Word of advice…

    Make your NAPs consistent across the internet, as one single discrepancy can undermine your chances of being featured on these platforms.

    Luckily, numerous citation-tracking tools can automate the process even further. The SemRush Listing Management Tool facilitates the uniform distribution of your information and fixes duplicate listings with the ability to manage your listings across Google Business, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, and Foursquare. And if that doesn’t help you, it can monitor your rankings and optimise your content for voice search services like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

    Reviews – Business Makers or Breakers

    Reviews – your business can’t be without them; bad ones can break your business! That’s why managing them is important for your SEO game and showing your potential customers what people think about your business.

    Make sure you’re responsible for both the good and the bad. It may be helpful to go the extra mile to sort it out when it comes to the not-so-good ones. It will show that you are at least trying to fix any setbacks on the spot and your commitment to customers.

    If you are trying to source more reviews, consider adding a QR code to brochures and receipts.

    Schema Markup – Get the Details Right

    You may have heard of schema markup or structured data on websites, which can make a big difference in your local SEO results, but don’t stress if you aren’t a tech guru; it’s not as complicated as it seems.

    In 2011, Google, Yahoo, Yandex and Microsoft teamed up to create Schema.org. The goal was to lay the foundation for a common language ideal for search engines.

    Though it won’t directly affect your search rankings, it can improve the way your search results look, and it can also help you appear to relevant searchers and keep online users browsing your pages for longer.

    Why should this matter? It can boost the chances of your content appearing as rich results, making it more noticeable and increasing your click-through rates.

    Schema also offers a range of property options perfect for local SEO, allowing you to choose the schema category that best suits your business. For example, if you select Schema.org/pet-shop for your pet store, search engines will better understand your site.

    When choosing the best category, you’ll need to pick the right sub-properties to ensure everything checks out. This will include details about your business, like its name, operating hours, and the areas you serve. These details must also pair up with your local land page and Google Business Profile.

    If you are running a WordPress site, you can learn more using a plugin; these include:

    Learn more about Schema here: Schema.org.

    A woman standing on a satisfaction meter pulling a rope attached to the arrow.

    Mobile Site Optimisation – Unparalleled User Experience

    Imagine starting your car in the morning only with it to give one splutter and cut out, and with sign of it roaring to life. Do you?

    Rush to your laptop for a local mechanic search.

    Reach for your phone and swiftly type “mechanic” into the search bar.

    Odds are, at that time of the morning, you’d go with option 2. But here’s the catch: it’s not only these moments that people are choosing their smartphones over computers. They’re doing so all the time. Almost 59% of web traffic comes from a mobile device. With this in mind, Google switched up its game and shifted to mobile-first indexing.

    This means your site should be mobile-optimised for a good Google ranking, especially when local SEO is a factor.

    Here are some pointers for a mobile-friendly website:

    Ensure your site is responsive and adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes.

    1. Opt for user-friendly button sizes
    2. Prioritise legible, larger fonts
    3. Steer clear of pesky pop-ups and text blockers
    4. Highlight vital information front and centre
    5. If you’re on WordPress, pick mobile-friendly themes for a seamless experience

    Is Local SEO the Missing Piece for Your Business Growth?

    If you’re still uncertain about your steps, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What information are they looking for, and where and how will they find it? What would assure you that your business suits their needs down to a t? Chances are that locality will be a significant contributing factor when making decisions.

    Building and maintaining a versatile multi-location SEO strategy requires effort, but the results are definitely worth it. How you decided to approach this is entirely your call. Whatever your choice is, there is value in investing in SEO.

    The success of your business hinges on the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. Integrating SEO into your action plan is crucial if you’re committed to your business. Don’t underestimate the significant impact it can have on your revenue streams. While it requires time, it’s a valuable investment.

    Witness the growth of your business with the support of the right SEO partner.

    Are you curious about how local SEO can fuel your business growth?

    Explore our SEO services now or get into contact with the only SEO partner you’ll ever need – Found!

    Megan Smith, Content Marketing Specialist.

    Megan Smith

    Content Marketing Specialist
    Megan is a seasoned digital marketer at Found, specialising in creating compelling content strategies that boost brand visibility and business growth.
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      Get Your Business Found

      Ready to go where your customers are?

      75% of people never scroll past Google's first page. If you're ready to get found where they're looking, get in touch and find out how we can grow your business and drive more traffic, leads, & sales with search marketing.

      Let’s Talk

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