For brands with physical locations, local SEO is essential to online success. Ranking locally is one of the easier sides of organic search once the basic on and off site foundations have been arranged.
Having one page where all your locations are displayed is the best way to show to the user where you are based, and it is the perfect opportunity for internal linking to your individual location pages.
Unique pages for each location
Creating individual location pages for each one of your establishments will help you be more competitive in local organic search.
This is because you can have a page tailored to one location, from the title tag to directions. Below are the elements you should include on your location pages.
Include the town or city of the location in the title tag of the page.
Example Title Tag: Manchester Office | Return On Digital
Make sure you have a clean URL that has your location in it.
Example URL: https://return.co/contact/manchester.php
The Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is the bedrock of local SEO. This will be the main on site signal to show where your location is.
If you have your NAP displayed anywhere else on the web, it's crucial that this is uniformed to the one on your website (we will go into more detail about why further in the blog).
Schema Markup to define the locations
Adding schema markup for local businesses makes it easier for search engines to categorise your content. Types of schema markup you can use:
Map and directions
Adding a map (embed a Google map with your Google local page pin) and directions does not only aid user experience but will help you add local keywords and information to the page.
If you have a physical location, the most common search query would be ‘brand opening times’. Just type your brand into Google and opening times will more than likely show.
High quality unique images will not only make your page look great but, combined with an alt tag that includes local keywords, will help you to rank in Google Images (do not underestimate Google Images - one of the biggest referrers to our site is a picture of a Panda).
Example alt tag: <img src="tiki-bar-mcr.png" alt="Tiki Bar Manchester Deansgate">
Make sure your page is mobile friendly, not only for the high percentage of users on mobile, but to avoid being part of mobilegeddon.
Structure and Hierarchy
If you are targeting areas that span over different cities you will want a URL structure as below:
If you are targeting locations within the same district I would structure my URLs as below:
Create Google business pages and link them
Creating Google+ local pages for your business pages (latest name is Google My Business but it seems to change twice a year) has many benefits.
Firstly, when a brand search is performed your business' information, images and maps will appear on the right of the SERP in Google’s knowledge graph.
Reviews on Google local page reviews are key signals in Google’s local search algorithm. Google local reviews also show in the SERPs in the form of stars that can help with your Click Through Rate (CTR).
If a user is looking for a local business through Google Maps, you will also see benefits from Google local reviews.
Google says the “highest-rated” businesses near you will be prioritised when a query with local intent has been searched.
Citations are one of the most important off site signals that say to Google “this is our location”. Add your citations to relevant high authority directories as well as on (once again) high authority sites where you can add details about your location, such as your Facebook page description or your Squarespace profile.
When adding citations you need to keep the NAP uniformed to the one on your website. If there are discrepancies you could be doing more harm than good. Which is why it’s important to make sure you change any old citations at a previous address to your new location.
Citations are not just a one off action. They need to be monitored and updated when new opportunities arrive. The easiest and most effective way of doing this is to use a citation tracker such as BrightLocal. There is a free version and trial which you can sign up to.
Be aware that when using citation trackers you should stay away from anything that automatically submits your citations to directories, as this will build irrelevant citations (no matter what their marketing tells you).
Especially since Google’s Penguin update will penalise your site for the low quality inbound links that are perceived as being spammy.
Do you have any more tips on local SEO for multiple locations? Leave them in the comment box below and we will add the best to the article.