Optimizing Multiple Locations for Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 07, 2015

You may have a really good online marketing strategy, but if you are unable to organize all the different strategies into one organizational structure, your local SEO efforts may not work very well. Franchisors and multi-location businesses have a unique set of challenges when deciding on the best approach for local searches. With frequent changes in search engine algorithms and penalties for having duplicate content, what is the best approach for a multi-business location when it comes to SEO? Here are some excellent strategies that will save time and generate results.

Single Domain

Managing more than 50 websites can be time-consuming. Using multiple domains will result in each website being indexed separately. Rather than focusing on a specific company or client, you will have to focus on 50 or more websites for a single client or company. It is even more challenging if you want each website to be fully functional and rank well. In order for this to happen, you would have to create at least 50 different versions of the most common pages on any website. Another option would be to use subfolders or subdomains. Subfolders and subdomains are similar in nature, but subfolders are easier if you are geo-targeting a specific area on your website. This will allow all the URLs that are not geo-targeted to stay the same.

Create a Separate Page for Each Location

You will definitely want to have a separate page for each location even if you are using the same domain. The proper way of achieving this is allowing each location to have its own designated page. For example, you can establish a header tab identifying the different locations. When a client arrives on that page, the client can then click on the appropriate location. When creating something like this, you must reference the city or neighborhood where the business is located. This will work in your favor when your website is being indexed by the search engines.

Use Local Content for Each Location

A quality SEO campaign must have content marketing. This requires regularly written high-quality content. When it comes to local SEO, the content must be optimized for the specific geographic location. You are probably wondering how will this work for businesses that have many different locations. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. If you want to rank successfully for a specific geographic location, you will have to regularly post optimized SEO content, specific to that geographic location. To minimize some of the burden, you may want to consider rotating blogs. For example, if you have four locations, you may want to post one blog each day, for each location. Local keywords containing the city or region can be placed in the title of your blog post.

Complete Your Google Places Profile

Off-site efforts are just as important as on-site efforts. Google Places for businesses is an excellent place to start if you want your website to rank locally. You can add your business listing, create a Google Plus page, update information, and begin working on the social media part of marketing. The key to an effective Google Places profile is accuracy. It is important for your contact information and business information to be categorized appropriately and displayed accurately. Inconsistent information or miscategorized information will result in your business not showing up in relevant search inquiries.

Some of the most valuable techniques to successfully managing SEO for multiple locations is having a single domain, creating a specific page for each location, using local content for each targeted area, and completing a Google Places profile. Every market offers something different, and some markets will perform better than others. By having an individualized approach, you are able to analyze how each geo-targeted location is independently performing. By geo-targeting your SEO efforts, you will not only see an increase in visitors but you will ultimately see any increase in conversions.