Local SEO is still a moving target, despite the amount of information available to brand marketers today. With Google’s algorithms constantly in flux, brands are often left wondering whether the strategies they are using are outdated, or whether they are keeping pace with the competition.
These issues are compounded for large brands with multiple locations. Regional chains and major brands are all working to give each of their business locations the exposure it deserves.
If you are interested in following the latest best practices and optimizing your local SEO strategy for multiple locations, follow these steps:
Step 1: Launch Local Landing Pages
Local pages are the foundation of a local SEO strategy for a brand with multiple locations. Having individual pages dedicated to specific store locations allows brands to optimize for local search traffic and also include the type of store-specific information that customers seek.
To learn more about creating local landing pages, read The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Local Landing Pages.
Step 2: Create Google My Business Listings for Store Locations
We know that more than 70% of online searches happen through Google. One of the most important ways to ensure your brand is visible in the top search results is by claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listings.
Each online business listing should have updated store photos, descriptions, and accurate store information. Google My Business listings for individual store locations should link to your local landing pages.
Follow these steps to claim your listings on Google.
Aggregators (Infogroup, Factual, Neustar)
Navigation Services (TomTom, OpenStreetMap, HERE)
Secondary and Niche Directories
In the past, a practice called citation building sought to create listings on dozens of smaller directories, because at the time Google was using these directories to source local content and determine ranking. Now, Google sources its own content and does not rely on secondary directories, so their importance has diminished. It can be helpful to list your business on sites that garner some traffic in important geographies or that cater to your vertical, but it’s generally more worthwhile to focus the bulk of your energy on a shorter list of trusted resources such as those named above.
Step 4: Manage Reviews
Consumers value online reviews over nearly any other source of business information. Managing reviews, and responding publicly to consumers who review your businesses, gets exponentially harder as the number of locations grows.
The best review strategy for brands with multiple locations emcompasses both first-party reviews and third-party reviews, which are posted on platforms like Yelp and Google.
To learn the basics of review management for multi-location brands, click here.
Step 5: Build Backlinks
Backlinks from reputable websites are one of the most popular offsite SEO practices. Building backlinks means encouraging people to share content and link to your brand from elsewhere on the web. For the greatest boost in local SEO, people should be sharing links to local landing pages, in addition to your brand’s primary website.
The trustworthiness, relevance, and page authority of a website help to determine how much weight Google places on backlinks. Generally speaking, the more backlinks a brand has from high-quality websites, the higher the brand’s local pages will rank in search.
If you are struggling to put together a comprehensive local SEO strategy for your brand, Brandify can help.