Can you remember the last time you looked for something online? Perhaps the local services of a business found near you.
Chances are, you clicked on any one of the first three listings displayed on the SERPs. And you are not alone in doing so. In fact, studies have proven that 90% of people don’t wander past the first page of the SERPs.
So what does that mean for you if you run a local business?
Well, since 87% of customers have searched for a local business’ address or phone number online and the fact that most local searches are done because of an immediate need, then it’s safe to say that if your business doesn’t show up immediately, you’re not going to turn that searcher into your new customer.
It’s a well-known fact that getting to the top of Google’s search results aren’t easy. But for a business with more than one location, it’s almost nigh impossible.
But it doesn’t have to be. And what you need is local SEO for multiple locations.
How to Do Local SEO for Multiple Locations
Local SEO is very useful for businesses — to promote themselves online to every local customer within their geographic area. With that fact in mind, one must ask what would be the goal of local SEO for businesses with multiple business locations?
The main idea is centered around being listed in the Google Map listings found in the first page of search results. Google is capable of picking out search queries that clearly have “local intent.” And it’s time for you to take advantage of that capability.
#1 Submit business NAP to national directories
NAP is a critical element to pull off a successful local SEO campaign. It stands for name, address, and phone number. For this reason, the NAP must be listed on every page without being intrusive to your users’ experience.
One popular way to do that is to include the NAP in both the header and the footer of your website.
In addition, submit your NAP to national directories too. Not just local. You have plenty to choose from. There’s Yellow Pages, Manta, Hotfrog, etc, among others. They are one of the biggest players in the game in matters of online directories.
When search engines like Google and Bing find your NAP listed on directories like these, and in every page of your website, it leaves little room for doubt about where your businesses are located across multiple locations.
Remember to consistently submit NAP directories. And if you make changes to these pieces of information, be sure to keep your other NAP entries in directories up-to-date.
#2 Claim your local map listings for each business location
Google My Business listings are your lifeblood to getting more customers. In the past year alone, 64% of consumers have referred to Google My Business listings to find local business’ phone numbers and addresses. So after you submit your NAP to national online directories, don’t forget to claim your map listing.
By claiming your local map listings, you ensure that customers can find you and see what the outside of your establishment looks like via the Street View.
#3 Encourage local customers to leave reviews
If you want services like roofing repairs or HVAC installation, it’s only natural to look for the best services. And you usually come across these top-tier service providers through personal recommendations, or stellar reviews found on the net that prove their credibility.
Collecting customer feedback within your service area lets your other prospective customers know how competent your business is. It reassures them that they can trust you to provide excellent services. In addition, this also works wonders for establishing yourself as a business authority in your local area.
Be sure your reviews are recent too. So, after you complete a service, reach out to your satisfied clients with follow-up emails containing a direct link to company profiles or a form that will let them leave reviews.
#4 Use schema markup language
Schema markup language is a universal website coding that is added to your website. It is recognized by every major search engine.
But does structured data have a resounding effect on rankings? Whether it does or doesn’t has been the subject of much discussion and many experiments. For now, there’s no conclusive evidence that markups do improve rankings. However, there are indications that search results with more extensive rich snippets get better CTRs.
The biggest advantage is that schema markup language tells search engines what your web page is exactly about.
Structured data can mark up all sorts of items from events to products to recipes. Often, it’s used to provide additional information about the following: organization, person, place, event, creative work, and product.
This helps ensure that your business’ information is understood exactly how you want it to be understood for search engines. Thus, you also get more accurate local search listings on SERPs.
#5 Ensure your site is local search traffic-ready
Never forget to optimize your website’s content for local search traffic. Here are a couple of optimization tips that you can easily do for yourself:
Onsite content: Make sure your web content is prepped for local search. Mention your service areas, and make use of location-specific keywords to give your web page a better chance at ranking locally. Plus, your content must be conversational. Not keyword-stuffed and not forced.
Page titles and subheadings: Instead of just HVAC installation as the main heading, name it HVAC Installation in Melbourne. With that thought, consider creating multiple product and service pages that are localized. Have service pages with headings that read similar to “[Service Name] in [City], [State].”
Title tags and meta descriptions: Title tags and meta descriptions appear in search engine results. To optimize better, consider including your keyword next to a business location in the meta description. It goes a long way in improving your local SEO efforts.
#6 Building local content silos
Content silos are how your site appears in multiple city searches with one website. They are like regular websites, but they target one specific service area. Each silo must have its own area-specific local website page, address, and phone number.
For instance, you offer digital marketing services for Virginia, Atlanta, New York, etc. The Virginia and Atlanta silo can look the same, but the Atlanta silo should obviously have the Atlanta office address and area code.
The content is focused on Atlanta, and the URL structure is formatted differently from the others.
These are the 6 essential things you need to remember in order to optimize your business locally if you’re located in more than one area. But at the core of it all, never forget the importance of having a search-engine and user-friendly website, as well as mobile-first web pages.
Implementing the 6 tips shared plus remembering what’s needed to rank in search engines is critical to your local SEO success.
Al Gomez is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Dlinkers and Sagad. With more than twelve years of digital marketing experience in search engine optimization, paid search and email marketing, he has contributed to a variety of online publications including Moz, Semrush and Wordtracker.