2022 Guide to Multi-Location SEO
Multi-Location SEO That Works
Learn From A ‘Top SEO Company in 2021’, according to Clutch.co.
We created an in-depth guide to help anyone hoping to learn about multi-location SEO.
Benefits of Local SEO for Multiple Locations
Multi-location SEO is incredibly important for local businesses that have branched out to new areas of business, or those wanting to open a business that would serve multiple locations.
Here are the primary reasons for local SEO for multiple locations:
- Better local rankings
- Increased local visibility for every business location
- Additional traffic with local intent in mind
- More quality leads
How to Do Local SEO: Our Process
An optimal multi location SEO strategy can be split into multiple parts. To start, there are local SEO tactics for multiple locations that everyone should be implementing (best practices), along with specific strategies that are perfect for business with multiple locations.
What is Multi-Location SEO?
Multi-Location SEO is an SEO campaign for a local business with multiple locations that involves monitoring/management of local business mentions, on-page optimization, and authority building.
Multi-location SEO is a variation of local SEO, with the primary difference being the number of locations. There is incrementally more work involved as more business locations are added. At the same time, there is exponential benefit based on the amount of locations added.
While there are some similarities in strategy compared to other SEO campaigns (e.g., e-commerce SEO), the focus on particular location pages (with specific names, hours, and locations) makes multi-location SEO unique.
For a business with multiple business locations, multi-location SEO is a vital investment.
Our Local SEO Strategy for Multiple Locations
(Setup) Google Analytics
If your business has been around for a time, you may already have analytic data (probably Google Analytics). For those just starting out, this is a must-have. And with Universal Analytics being retired in 2023, it’s more important than ever to become familiar with Google Analytics 4.
(Setup) Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an incredible, free tool that will give you a ton of data around your business. (insights around visibility and traffic)
(Strategy) Keyword Research
Focusing on local keywords, it’s important to identify keywords related to your business in the areas you serve. For almost every area and service, there are location specific keywords that are perfect to go after.
(Strategy) Understand Local Intent
One important part of a local SEO campaign in multiple locations is understanding local intent. This can be a part of the keyword research process. The reason local intent is important is because you could rank 1st for a keyword that provides no traffic or leads. By understanding intent behind keywords and targeting those that are commercial in nature, your website will get more qualified leads. At Sixth Media, we sometimes focus on keywords that are searched less but lead to more qualified leads.
(Optimization) Set up a Logical Site Structure
In order to optimize local SEO plan, it’s important for your site to have a logical site structure. We want users and crawlers to be able to easily understand and navigate the site. A part of this process is ensuring primary services and sub-services are clearly related, with an obvious relationship between the two.
(Optimization) Citations and Business Listings
Citations are instances online where a business location shows up, along with some basic information (typically with a link to the business’s website). A Google business profile is a good example (read on below for a guide on Google My Business optimization), but there are many other sites that do similar things (Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.).
An important tactic for showing up in local search results is via citations and business listings.
The more references to a business (local listings), with the correct business information, the better.
When we mention having the correct business information, here are a few examples:
- Business name – It’s important for all citations to have the some business name for your business locations. Without consistency here, it can be confusing to users.
- Business address – A correct business address for your multi-location business is important, especially if you’re planning on users coming to any of your locations. A service-area business may not be as affected by this.
- Business hours – According to Google, showing accurate business hours for your locations is a direct way to rank better in the SERPs.
Google My Business
We mentioned citations above but Google My Business deserves its own section entirely.
Any business owner wanting to implement a successful multiple location SEO strategy.
That’s because ranking in Google Maps requires an optimized Google business profile per location. So the strategy here would be the same if you had just one location.
Ensure Correct NAP per Location
Starting off, you’ll want to ensure that for each local citation (like your Google My Business profile), you have consistent and accurate information showing in the form of the Like we mentioned above, you’ll need the correct business name, business address, and business phone number showing.
Fully built-out Business Listings
Assuming you have a google business profile per location, and have the correct NAP per google business profile, you next need to fully build out each of those listings.
Take a home improvement franchise for example. A location in one city may provide bath remodels while a location in a different location focuses more on plumbing emergencies. Be sure to have the correct services marked for each location.
From there, it’s important to differentiate the locations so they’re unique. One good example here would be in the form of photos on your google business profile. A unique photo of the store and employees can easily and quickly give each location a different look and feel.
Activity on GMB
Once your google my business locations have been built out fully and have all the correct information, be active and monitor the listing.
This activity can come in the form of consistent photo uploads, Google My Business posts, and responses to customer reviews.
All of this is easy enough to do, but can take a lot of time (exponentially more time as you add more locations). Because of the amount of time and due diligence required, hiring a multi-location SEO company is a great option.
Building website authority is a consistent ranking factor. Users need to understand how your website can be trusted. Here are some examples of how you can build authority for your multi-location business:
- Reviews – One of the best ways to increase authority for your multi-location business is through online reviews. Make sure you’re implementing a system that allows for the generation of consistent user reviews.
- Links from high authority sites – Create valuable content from authoritative sites and you’ll receive links from them naturally. A link from a highly authoritative site is a big stamp of approval for yours.
- Local links a positive factor – Mentions from local publications (news sites, etc.) can be big wins as well. A great way to increase local authority is by doing something newsworthy that will get picked up by the local paper.
- Additional local business citations – As mentioned above, make sure there are local citations with correct NAP information. Because, again, local directories are a positive signal from users that your site can be trusted, especially if they’re backed by reviews. Subdirectory listings for multi location SEO isn’t the only tactic, but it’s something that can help push the needle.
Local on-page SEO for Multi-Location Businesses
A multi-location SEO strategy will differ from a local strategy slightly; one example has to do with location pages.
After you’ve discovered location-specific keywords, created location-specific content, and have location pages for each of your locations, be sure to optimize location pages with high-value content.
- Ensure the same information for each local citation is found on your site
- That can mean a location page for every individual location. Having individual location pages with high quality information can increase relevance and user trust. In fact, location specific pages are one of the best ways a site can increase visibility online.
- Title tag optimization for each location
- Meta description optimization to encourage more links
There’s much more to it, but the number of location pages, and potentially service pages (or sub-service pages based on location), can vary greatly based on the type of business.
You could spend hours learning about technical SEO. It’s a big field, and can be critically important. Here are a few examples of technical SEO that related to a business with multiple locations.
- Logical URL structure – Make it so users and crawlers can easily understand and access all of the pages on your site (especially if you have a lot of locations and varying services for each location).
- Speed – One of the biggest factors to consider recently, improved site speed will benefit users, and is a great signal for search engines.
- Internal links – Because there will potentially be a lot of pages on your site, it’s important that priority pages receive internal links from other priority pages.
Although, again, there are many more considerations when it comes to the technical side of SEO for businesses with multiple locations, the above is a great starting point.
Custom Multi Location Services
At the end of the day, you can cover all the basics for your local SEO strategy, whether that’s optimizing local business listings or having a page for each specific location. But most strategies requiring a non-cookie cutter approach.
At Sixth Media, we do exactly that. We offer multi-location SEO services that are custom for each partner. This ensures that you get the best strategy for your specific business.
Different Types of Multi-Location SEO Campaigns
Multi-location SEO is quite broad, actually. There are a few types of campaigns for businesses with multiple locations, and many examples within those types.
Multi Location SEO for Franchises
A great example of a multi-location SEO campaign would be franchise SEO. Most franchises are brick and mortar business stores that often have more than one location.
And a great example of local SEO for franchises would be pest control SEO.
Conclusion: Multi-Location SEO Pays Dividends
If you own a business with multiple locations, you should have an SEO strategy.
If you need help creating a strategy for your business, contact us today!
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