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  • How to Rank for Local SEO in Multiple Locations

    How to Rank for Local SEO in Multiple Locations

    Optimizing your site for local SEO based on your business’s location can help your business appear in local directories, Google Maps, and climb the ranks in traditional searches.

    Most of these strategies are based around your business’s specific location.

    For example, one step of the process is ensuring that your name and address are appearing accurately and consistently across the web, and one ongoing strategy is to use your city and state in the context of your written content.

    This presents a major problem for businesses with multiple locations: how do you locally optimize your site and your Google Business Profile (GBP)?

    Fortunately, locally optimizing your online presence for multi-location businesses is simpler than you might think.

    I’ve outlined the process of optimizing local search in multiple locations with these easy steps:

    1. Consolidate Everything in One Domain

    It may be tempting to split your locations up into multiple domains, and some businesses have tried this as an ongoing strategy.

    On one hand, it makes logical sense—if each location is different, why not try to rank on each site individually?

    However, in practice, this segmented strategy is ineffective. Google’s search bots and individual users may be confused when they see multiple domains for what appears to be one master brand. Even if you need separate information, like different menus, using a single root domain to consolidate all that information still gives you the chance to present those in a segmented format. Using one domain gathers all the authority you would have built in your individual presences and places it into one master hub. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to split your domain authority; for example, if you have five locations, each location would only get 20 percent of its potential visibility if you split them into separate domains.

    2. Create Specific Pages for Each Location

    Even though you’ve consolidated all your locations under one domain, it’s important to differentiate between your locations.

    Otherwise, Google won’t know that you have multiple locations and your users might have a hard time figuring out the nearest one to them.

    The best way to do this is to create a separate city pages for each of your locations, usually listed in the navigation under “Locations” or something similar.

    Create a page title that includes each city or neighborhood (as relevant), and write a full body of content that elaborates on the unique features of each location.

    Be sure to also include the address and phone number of each location on these individual pages.

    This will clearly demonstrate to Google how your locations are set up, and how they all relate to your master brand.

    It’s also important to list all of your locations on your “Contact” page, with the address and phone number for each reiterated.

    3. Check Your External Listings and Correct Any Errors

    In the post-Pigeon era, having your contact information clearly segmented for your locations on your site—even when it’s on multiple pages—simply isn’t enough.

    Google looks to external sources to organize and verify its indexed information, and any inconsistencies on offsite listings of your locations could result in a decrease in your domain authority and rank.

    To remedy this, you’ll have to check every local SEO listing or directory site you can find to ensure your information is accurate—and update it if necessary.

    Common places include Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and TripAdvisor, but you’ll want to look for others, just to be sure. Some directories function differently than others, but as a general rule, you should have a separate entry for each of your locations.

    If you’re having trouble finding these directories, or want to double check to make sure you’ve hit them all, there are a number of local citation tools (e.g. Moz, Google Search Console, Ahrefs and others) that can help you automate the work.

    4. Localize Your Content by Writing Locally for Each Location

    Ensure your content is relevant to each location by including references to local landmarks, events, and community information. This will help you connect with local audiences and improve your rankings.

    This can be tricky, especially if you’re consolidating everything into one master blog, but it’s important to include content based around each of your individual locations.

    That means featuring the city or neighborhood of the location in the title and body of each relevant piece.

    If you’re having trouble generating topic ideas, look to each location’s recent events.

    Have they celebrated an anniversary?

    Have they made new hires? Have they hit a new landmark achievement?

    Obviously, your content marketing campaign can’t solely focus on your office, but posting these kinds of topics occasionally can seriously help your local ranks when you have multiple locations.

    5. Have Each Location Cultivate and Manage Online Reviews

    Reviews are critically important for local businesses—the more you have and the more positive they are, the higher you’re going to rank.

    And, since each of your locations is going to be listed separately on review sites, it’s up to your individual locations to actively cultivate and manage those online reviews.

    Make sure each of your employees know to encourage your customers to post reviews about their experience.

    Then, designate a contact at each of your locations to take point on actively monitoring and responding to those reviews. Commenting on positive reviews is a show of customer appreciation, while proactively responding to negative reviews (which will come up from time to time) can help mitigate the situation and show you’re willing to step in and make things right.

    Not monitoring local SEO reviews can mean the death of local business.

    Like with any optimization strategy, the setup phase is important but it’s the ongoing work that will make or break your campaign.

    Make sure you implement a plan that allows for each of your locations to actively encourage and respond to online reviews, and keep your content strategy as present and relevant as possible.

    Over time, each of your individual locations will rise through local-specific local searches, and the authority of your master domain will skyrocket as your individual locations all feed into it.

    6. Localize Your Link Building

    Earn backlinks from local websites, blogs, and news outlets.

    Partnering with local organizations or sponsoring local events can also help you build authority in each location.

    Local links are one of the best signals you can get that can have the quickest payback.

    7. Maintain Consistent Branding

    Maintain consistent branding across all locations, both online and offline.

    This includes your website, social media profiles, and physical signage. Consistency builds trust with both search engines and potential customers.

    8. Optimize for Mobile

    Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as many local searches are performed on mobile devices.

    A responsive design and fast loading times are crucial for providing a positive user experience.

    We have seen multiple clients fail this basic test.

    40% of searches are local searches and mobile searches vast outpace desktop:

    If you’re not optimized on mobile, you’re dead.

    9. Add Schema Markup

    Use schema markup to provide search engines with additional information about your business, such as location, opening hours, and customer reviews.

    When using schema markup to optimize pages on your site you’ll want to perform keyword research for local keywords that match the search intent of your ultimate buyer persona.

    We do this for some of our more prominent local pages (e.g. New York City SEO services) and many others.

    By implementing these strategies, you can improve your SEO rankings in multiple locations and attract more targeted traffic to your website.

    Remember that SEO is an ongoing process, so continue to optimize and refine your approach over time.

    Implementing off-page and on-page SEO are some of the best ways to holistically enhance your local SEO efforts.

    Get in touch with us today if you need help with your local SEO strategy.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter