Business owners assume that the larger their brand, the better their rankings. However, this is not the case. Each geographical market may be catering to a different brand which serves a different demographic. How should local businesses grab this section with their online marketing campaigns?
There are many ways to optimize your website to rank for multiple locations. Make sure you are following the best practices to avoid a penalty by Google at any point. Higher search visibility leads to higher number of website impressions. It may get you solid leads and more potential sales. It’s a mixture of content marketing strategies and link-building efforts to rank well at multiple locations.
Why is it necessary to rank at multiple locations?
Businesses that are based at a particular location and serve only that chunk of the population can enjoy many benefits by optimizing their website/store for multiple locations. First of all, Google and other search engines take this into account when displaying search results for a business. Customers type specific locations when searching for a service or product they want to contact. On the other hand, customers trust local businesses over larger brands because of proximity.
To rank for multiple locations, you can use this directory (also formerly known as Google Places). This is similar to Yellow pages (from back in the day!). This directory list has a lot of importance for local businesses. If you want your business to be known as a trusted seller, you would want to be on Google’s list.
You can rank your business at many places; simply enter using a phone number. If you use a toll-free number, it’s time to get a unique phone number (preferably of the location you wish to cater to) to get listed. Before creating your portfolio, make sure you read and follow Google’s terms and guidelines to meet all the requirements.
The benefit of this directory is that Google incorporates these details heavily into local search. People searching at multiple locations can find your business and contact you via your phone number. The click-through-rate of your website will also increase.
The location listing is connected to the specific Google+ account; you have the chance to enter each location as an individual entity. Posts on each page have their own URL and can rank in search results of those locations. If you have a YouTube account for your business, it can now be integrated with your Google+ profile to feed your profile.
Google+ is one of the best directories out there to help your business rank for multiple locations, but there are other directories as well. Make sure you have a list of each directory and a firm knowledge of where you are listed on the web. It’s better to dedicate a team member to monitor these affairs on a regular basis. Citation services can be of great help with this.
Social media can be just as effective in ranking your business for multiple locations. Google crawls social media sites like Twitter to rank services on its SERPs. Your business can be visible on local search with these SEO tips. Google will note down the number of likes, comments and shares on Facebook, posts that include your website on social media, Twitter following and the number of retweets and likes on tweets. The more engaged your brand is on social media, the higher your chances of being visible on these platforms.
To improve customer satisfaction use every message and interaction from a customer as an opportunity. Use complaints for improving your offering. Use compliments to be reinforce your existing offering.
Social media is something that every business should include in their marketing strategy. It requires producing great content. Internet marketing relies heavily on the quality of your content. It can seem daunting to create content which is specific to every location you are targeting, but the results are totally worth it.
- Locally relevant content on social media sends signals to show your relevancy for a particular product or service. Search engines can gather accurate information about your business through social media posts.
- Locally relevant content creates more authority for your business at any given location, paving way for more engagements through backlinks and social sites.
- It also offers a better user experience to users, and Google gives importance to user experience when ranking pages on search results.
The procedure of creating locally relevant content begins with thorough research of segmentation, target audience and their behaviors. Find out what portion of the population searches for terms related to your business and how often. Divide this audience on the basis of mobile searchers and searchers using desktops.
Knowing user journeys and purposes can help you design more relevant content because you will know exactly what your target audience at a particular location is looking for and how they wish to get that product or service.
Write like a local
Your business may belong to a specific location like Texas, but your posts should say much more. This article explains the process well:
Let’s take for example the sandwich. A sandwich split lengthwise filled with meats, cheeses, veggies, and condiments on your menu, what do you call it? In my hometown region of Northeastern Pennsylvania, it’s a hoagie. In other regions, it’s a sub, a submarine, a wedge, a hero, or a grinder. Get to know what people say about your products or services. What terms do they use? What questions do they have? Talk to your front-line staff, use customer surveys, or heck, just spend some time in a place and listen! When you know how people think, feel, and talk about your products locally, it becomes easier to write about them in a way that makes the local searcher feel right at home.
Case study – BodylogicMD
BodyLogicMD is a network of physician-owned franchises which specialize in hormone replacement therapies. They have mastered the art of ranking at multiple locations and offer business to more than one place just by applying clever SEO practices.
They have about 50 versions of their ‘About’ page, which appears at every location and seems relevant to that location only. At BodyLogicMD, each physician has their own bio page, picture and contact details which are chosen by people who wish to contact a physician. They don’t just take a page and swap the location and names with each other, they target each location specifically to avoid Google’s duplicate content penalties.
The reason behind the success of this brand is their preference for user experience when targeting every location as a separate entity. The more focus you have on customer satisfaction and user journey, the easier it will be for you to create content which clicks. In addition to these principles, geo-targeting your website can also make it more location-focused.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia