If you have multiple branches of your business, you don’t need to multiply the time you spend on SEO by that many arms. You simply need a sound strategy in place for optimizing your core offering – using multi-location SEO best practices. We wrote about this previously, and discussed how multiple location SEO strategies supports your overall SEO goals nicely. Tweak it a bit based on the geolocation of each of your offshoots to provide optimal search results placement for every individual outlet in your company.
Once you have an overall SEO campaign for your brand, you adhere to this as you develop websites for all of your multiple locations. But, you also add an additional layer of optimization that can be replicated across all locales, with geotargeting for each being the primary difference in approach. Here’s how you do it.
Based on your budget, you perform as much research as you can into each geo area’s population numbers, characteristics and buying cycles. You assess the local market to find out the best way to spend your money on SEO and to identify trends. And, you research local and hyper-local keywords, making note of those that clearly represent your business and indicate what consumers want from the given locale.
Evaluate the Competition
There will likely be several companies doing what you do in each of your local markets, which means you have to evaluate the competition for every leg of your company to see how to stand out and dominate. You need to find out how easy or difficult it will be for you to rank for particular keywords, and for phrases, based on who’s already ranking. And, you have to examine how others are linking and whom they’re linking to, as well as what their content strategy is.
Another one of our multi-location SEO best practices is to get your on-page local optimization right for each location. You need to use your researched keywords to create geo-focused content that spreads throughout your title tags, meta descriptions, H1s, H2s, page content and internal and external links. You must remember to mention the exact location of your business in your on-page content too, in text form.
Let’s break down how to optimize for local search, for a page on one of your branches’ websites.
Your title tags for all pages should be between 50 and 60 characters in length, including spaces. They should include your researched local or hyper-local keyword or keyword phrase, and they must include your branding. A properly optimized title tag will look something like this:
Article Title with Local Keyword Inserted
- Meta Descriptions Optimized for Local Search
Meta descriptions should be between 150 and 160 characters, including spaces. It’s important to insert a local keyword into your meta description and it should be the same one you’re using for that page’s title tag. In both cases, the local keyword must sound natural and not forced. You can use secondary keywords also, but again, the description has to flow naturally and it shouldn’t contain stuffed keywords.
- Local-Focused H1s and H2s
You will want to use your page’s focus keyword in your H1 and again in one of your H2s. This is essential for on-page optimization. As always, you have to make sure your keywords make sense within your content. You don’t want to be outed for spammy content or penalized by Google.
- Optimize Your Content for Local and Hyper-Local Search
Of course, you need to optimize your page content for local and hyper-local search. Your landing pages, blog posts, articles and even pages like your contact page have to include your focus keywords. Text is a great place to insert secondary keywords, and these can be keyword or phrases that fit in with your company’s overall optimization strategy.
- Link-Building as Part of Multi-Location SEO
Additionally, but certainly not lastly, optimization for an individual location within your business means that each separate branch’s website will need to reflect a solid SEO linking-building plan. You should link to area companies that compliment yours. For instance, if you’re a hotel chain, each hotel can link to restaurants and attractions nearby. If you run a real estate firm, every local agency under your brand can link to staging experts or photographers in their neighborhood.
Hopefully you can begin to see how this works and begin to get a picture of your SEO map, or web, in your mind. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, but it’s certainly not something you can whip up overnight. The takeaway from our multi-location SEO best practices should be this: even though the keywords, content and links may change from one location in your company to another, the approach to optimization is the same for each. Based on your level of SEO expertise, you might want to hand the entire plan over to someone who does this kind of thing day in and day out.
Galileo Tech Media implements multi-location SEO strategies for several international, national and local businesses. Check out our Case Studies! We love creating comprehensive optimization plans for our clients, and we can do the same for you. To tell us about your business and find out how we can reduce your SEO load, fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch.