First Discover the Importance of Local SEO
Mobile search has totally changed the definition of online world and according to the survey made for 2014, it has been found that above 90% of the total searchers seek for local businesses and this change has been implemented by the increasing popularity of smartphones. So, you can understand how local visibility has got the importance to acquire prosperity.
It is quite easier for the single location businesses to get a better place in the local SERP, while the same is difficult for the multi-location businesses. In recent reports, it has been found that single location businesses are getting the opportunity of local visibility through easier optimization. To chase the race, I have managed the core principles of local SEO.
If you have well managed your brand’s reputation, you cannot ignore local search. An increasing local search visibility will improve your local reputation and the same will bring more reviews from the local users. It is very important to get a better place on SERP.
Have you Experienced the Drawbacks?
You may have hired an SEO agency or running high level content marketing efforts. Instead of these the different locations of your business are not visible in the local search result, but why? The answer will be found. Just go through the following.
1. Website Related Issues
The basic approach of your business is your website. If there are issues related to it, the gap is hidden at the very beginning. Google has specified some instructions or you may tell some common mistakes those are often made while optimizing a site for local search. Those are as follows.
Single Regional Page Instead of Different Locations: - It is a very common logic that location specific pages can provide more information, rather than a single regional page for all the business stores. If a searcher is seeking for a particular location of your business store, it will be more satisfactory to show a well optimized site for that specific one.
Does your Location Page carry Resources: - What should be the resource for a business location page? Surely the first thing is contact. It brings reliability as well as easy communication approach for the users. Besides that the reference of opening hours, local directions with map and supportive helpline information can make such page more resourceful and satisfactory for the users.
Make your Location Pages Easily Available: - If your location pages are not discoverable by Google, it cannot find your site for indexing and in the same way your location page may be unavailable in the Google search.
Site Quality: - Site quality is the most important thing to win user’s satisfaction. Check the common issues like content quality, readable descriptions, technical approaches, site speed and other SEO uses experienced by a user.
Mobile Suitability: - As I have told you earlier that most of the local searches are made on mobile screen, it is very important to make your website mobile friendly. Mobile suitability will help users finding you out on an instant basis.
Penalties: - Are you affected with Google penalties? If the fact is true, the traffic is surely getting down. After analyzing the same, if any, fix them as soon as possible.
For instance I can mention the name of Domino's Pizza as they have better launched their location specific page for different stores. I have practically experienced the flexibility.
2. Google Local Business Listing
Google has specified some guideline how to enlist the name of your business in Google’ my business. If you are not listed in Google my business, you may not be visible in Google search or Google+. Here are the guidelines.
Exact Name: - The provided business name should be accurate and be the perfect match with the reality. There will be no space for keywords and it will be only the name for all the locations.
Business Address: - It should perfectly match with the practical business store and the reference should be available in the provided map.
Contact: - A local number will be better for the local searchers as they have the familiarity with the same and you must use different numbers for different locations.
Specific Category: - There are several business categories available and you must choose the right one while listing.
Perfect Look: - After listing you must check your profile that it is completely accurate and have 100% capability to represent your business.
If you have issues with Google my business, there will be a bad impact over local visibility. These simple problems and gaps regarding name, address or phone number can make your site invisible in the local search.
3. Accurate NAP and Local Citations :-
A citation means the mention of your business in the world of web. It does not only mean NAPW or name, address and phone number, but it includes the web address also. So, we can mention it as NAPW. When you are mentioning about different location of the same business, it means you have to bring variation for a different look. Such variation includes:-
Variation in the location names
Variation in the location address
Different phone numbers for different locations
Variation in domains and
So, for each of the above, if there are 3 variations for each NAPW, there will be 81 variations in total. Now, it will be quite difficult for a business that has 10 different locations. The address variation can also include “street” to “St”.
NAPW is the signal you are sending to Google as reference for your business. So, if the signal is not accurate Google will not trust you and the impact will be bad over ranking. It is like the digital video signal. If the communication or transmission is poor, video will be hazy and bad in quality. Here, I have mentioned some common issues that interrupt such signal for multilocation businesses.
Many Phone Numbers for a Single Location: - I have seen many businesses having multiple phone numbers for each business store. It is not appreciable. A specific business location must have a specific local number instead of using national numbers.
Changes of Location or Contact: - Whenever you are changing your location or contact, it is certain that you must change the NAPW listings. Otherwise, the users will be provided wrong information. The effort will be same in case of closing a business store.
Multiple URLs: - If you have changed your web address for certain reasons, make the same in the NAPW.
Be Precise and make Limited Citations: - If you have 500 citations for your business for multiple locations, it will be quite difficult to make these changes. So, be precise and make limited citations that Google will be impressed through your presence.
Through all of these above, I have tried to make you concerned about right and specific business listings and nothing else.
4. Content with Local References
If you are targeting the local audience, it is always better to enrich contents with local references. In this way the users will be much familiar with your site. A location specific content somehow carries the sentiments of the users and do not forget to add some additional detail along with such local references.
In case of managing contents, there is nothing instead of business details and correlations with the users approach, but the following aspects can make your write-ups more and more resourceful.
Clients and Other Businesses: - linking to clients and other businesses is not only a social activity, but it will enhance your presence as well as efficiency in the area of local industry.
Latest Updates and News: - If you are thinking about the local people, you have to certainly include local references or news. Moreover, just be updated what is going in the local area.
Case Studies: - A little analysis or case studies will help you explore what the local searchers are thinking about. There will be a reflection of practical thoughts in the content.
Gallery: - A gallery is the additional content for your site. You may mention the images of products, services or location with proper description and presentation.
Location specific proof and references always bring transparency and reliability for the users as well as increasing the business.
5. Reputation and Reviews :-
It has been often found that happy customers are not reluctant always to place a review and some multinational firms have also less interest for such local site reviews, but the picture is totally different in case of local businesses with multi-location stores.
The impact is possibly found on Google My Business page. Some positive reviews from potential customers on this page will make your foundation and personality stronger. Another positive outcome will be the rich review snippet on SERP. In most of the cases this is found on paid advertisement, but it always make your approach stronger with high ratings.
Here are some gaps in case of review possibly found for multi-location business
Citations: - There are some review sites like Yelp or Yellow pages where you can manage reviews, but if the ratings of reviews are shown frequently on SERP, you are trying attract users through the exposure of the ratings. This is a bad impact over the quality of your site.
Google My Business: - This page always generates negative reviews.
National platforms: - National review sites like Feefo will not bring the effect for local reputation building.
6. Specify Marketing Campaign
Marketing strategies always depend upon the status of the industry and mostly followed by the mood of targeted customer. So, it will not be certain in all the places of your business. If you are the marketing manager and there are different business stores in multiple locations, specify a local head to manage everything. This will also provide a competitive picture among the different stores of the same business. I have mentioned this aspect outside of SEO, as it is one of the important factors for local businesses having multiple locations.
Conclusion: - So, these are all about the key principles to manage local SEO in a fruitful way. Have you ever tried to optimize all these factors earlier? Do not forget to leave your valuable responses to make this article more resourceful.
By Professional qualification a Computer Engineer, By Profession an Online Marketing Strategist and Web Application Development Expert, By Industry position working as a CEO at Zebra Techies Solution!