You’re probably aware that multi-location search engine optimization is a critical piece of the overall search ranking puzzle. Whether you or your SEO clients operate a hotel chain spread across the country, a few franchised restaurants in various cities, or a network of hospitals and clinics in one city, it’s essential that you speak directly to each locale with your web presence.
This is because the location is such an important aspect of SEO. After all, 64% of customers use search engines to find local businesses, and half of these visit the location the same day. Being visible online to your target audience is essential to gain a foothold in your industry on a local scale. That said, in order to be found by potential customers in each of your geographic spheres of influence, you’ll need to establish an online footprint in each.
Local SEO for Multiple Locations in One City
When your multiple locations are all situated within one city, creating a tailored local SEO for multiple locations plan for each can be both easier and more difficult. It’s certainly possible to create a framework for each location and alter it to suit each one. However, each must have content unique enough to its specific area within your city to be returned in search by hyper-local users very familiar with the nuances of the region.
You will need to consider whether to have one website that showcases the entire brand and all of its locations, or whether it would be best to use separate sites for each location under your umbrella. There are also hybrid models that utilize content syndication. For instance, if you had five restaurants in one city, you might choose to use the same “Best Wines to Pair with Chicken Dishes” blog post on each in the month of October. Since the content would appeal to the audience for each restaurant, this approach could be effective. Keep in mind, however, that search rankings might drop for these pages, since each would not be unique. It’s best to find ways to customize each blog post for the specific location.
Similarly, you will need to strategize on the social media front. Will you employ several social media managers, one for each of your locations? Will one entity plan all content and deploy it for each location? Or will you have just one social media account for your entire brand? A good balance of these options could be to have a social media account for each location, use some content shared between each, and post regular unique content to each, as well. For instance, if you run several hair salons in Chicago, you might share photos of great hair styles or color work from each location on its individual page, but share information about brand-wide specials on all accounts.
Don’t Forget Large-Scale Brand Content
Even though you need to include hyper-local geographic keywords and information to reach users who are searching for your (or your clients’) locations based on their physical placement, it’s important to create evergreen SEO content for your site that still speaks to your brand as a whole.
For instance, say your SEO client operates three different hotels within the same city, all under the umbrella of one brand. You should ideally have one website, yourbrandname.com, that includes an about section, blog and news content, social media feeds, and general information about your brand and what it stands for. Depending on your client’s needs, you can choose to use one site for all locations and the central brand hub. This is something to be carefully considered based upon your SEO strategy.
This content should include long-tail keywords that are very specific to what users will be seeking when they turn to their search engine of choice. Thanks in part to algorithm changes like Google’s BERT update, it’s important to be specific and unique with your keywords and content. This will help separate your site from the sea of others tackling generic, very popular search terms.
Consider Target Audiences
While you might be tempted to deploy one set of content across yours or your clients’ multi-location brand websites and social media channels, consider the target audience of each location. Does your popular New York City bagel shop in Flatbush reach a different crowd than the one on the Upper East Side? Maybe you’ll decide to name certain menu options after nearby subway stops or notorious residents. Perhaps you’ll want to include keywords related to your location near the Financial District to appeal to businesspeople, or to shopping-oriented tourists if you sell bagels on Fifth Avenue. Fleshing out who will buy from you at each location is a critical step before designing a site and social media content plan.
Once again, don’t overlook evergreen content. From time to time, it’s okay to share blog posts, news articles from outside sources, or videos and photos that relate to all of your locations. Say your chain was featured in the New York Times for its fabulous pomegranate cream cheese. If this item is on the menu at all of your locations, the article could (and should) be shared across locations.
Divide and Conquer
When making your SEO plan, it’s wise to entrust your strategy to 2 groups: the enterprise experts and the local gurus. Just as you’ll want to cater to your overall brand and its individual locations differently, you’ll likely find that your enterprise team and local team can focus best on their unique projects if not bogged down by one another.
An enterprise SEO team should deal with overarching brand website structures, any quality control issues, and supporting the broad needs of each location. Local teams should deal with interfacing with each site’s marketing team, creating unique, location-specific content, and dealing with things like local business listings and audits.
At Galileo Tech Media, we understand the nuance between these teams and can provide both services to benefit you and your clients. In addition, we are adept at producing specific, scalable keyword-driven content and SEO-based strategies that will benefit brands on the global and location-specific levels. Entrusting your multi-location needs to an expert like our team is safe way to ensure these nuances are not overlooked, misunderstood, or underutilized. Contact us today to learn more about how we can serve your multi-location SEO needs.