Hey business folks,
Are you having some trouble with your online business?
Ranking your local business store in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) is troublesome? We have got you covered!
You might already know that branding and online presence are important, but local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can make a significant difference in your sales.
There is an exponential increase in the screen time of netizens due to novel coronavirus and lockdown. As a result, people are searching more about local businesses to know their operations and availability. Here are a few statistics by HubSpot to prove the fact:
- In 46% of all Google searches, people are seeking local information.
- 88% of consumers visit or call a store within a day after performing a local search on their smartphone.
What Do Local SEO & Multi-Location Business Mean?
Local SEO includes several tasks to optimize your business ranking in SERPs for a limited geographical area. These tasks are optimizing Google My Business (GMB) page, adding citations, having good reviews, etc. All this is done to market the business or increase sales for specific target locations.
There might be quite a few chances that you may only have one store of the same business. So, when you have multiple business locations, i.e., multi-location business over a city, state, or even country, you need to make sure that every location gets appropriate visibility online (search and map both). A sound amount of online visibility will result in more foot traffic, ultimately boosting sales.
For example, you own a franchise of McDonald’s all over Delhi NCR. By having a local SEO strategy for the multi-location business, you’ll make sure that a person searching about McDonald’s from Nehru place doesn’t get the search result of an outlet in Noida.
It would be best if you have an integrated and robust franchise SEO strategy to get indexed on the first page for both local and organic SEO results.
Difference Between Local SEO & Organic SEO?
The only difference between the local SEO and organic SEO is the addition of a target location in local SEO. In local SEO, the user wants a store to visit, whereas, in organic SEO, the user only wants the answer to his/her search query.
If your product or service is visible on SERPs for the problem you are solving, then it’s a great advantage as your business will be in front of your customers at every stage of their buying journey.
Factors Affecting Local SEO
Let’s dive into the crucial factors of Google local search ranking and a few secrets of winning the result pages:
- GMB is as indispensable as your business’s website. The ‘Map Pack’ is generated only if your GMB profile is on point.
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) citations are a notable consideration factor for local SEO. Try to be consistent with your business citations as Google cross-check them for verification purposes.
- Receiving positive reviews can help your business in local SEO but try not to produce fake reviews. Even if you have a few negative reviews, try to reply to it. It will build trust among the audience, which is a key ranking factor.
- Don’t forget the organic SEO as it has a significant impact on the local SEO. According to Google, the higher your rank in organic search, the higher you’ll rank in the map pack.
Local SEO Optimization Tips For A Multi-Location Business
Now, as we know which factors we must consider while working on our local SEO, it’s time to understand how to do it.
1. Location-specific pages for a multi-location business
If you are operating with multiple stores, handling all the stores on one landing page would be very chaotic. Individual store’s queries, offers, and sales would not be differentiated with one master landing page.
Create a separate landing page for each of your locations and get great opportunities for your business. Here is a process that can help you develop a profitable landing page.
a) Keyword Research
The first task for creating a landing page of your business will be conducting thorough keyword research. Think from a user perspective and decide which of the search queries can result in your business as a solution. In simple words, the problem that you resolve for your customers.
Tools like SEMrush, Moz, Ahrefs, and Google keyword planner can help you look for the keyword difficulty, volume, competition, audience demographics, CPC (Cost-Per-Click), etc. These metrics will let you decide whether to shortlist the keyword or not.
Understanding user behavior through keywords is a foundation of any local SEO strategy. It furnishes an idea about which audience you want to capture as leads.
b) Competitor Analysis
Analyze the backlink strategy of your competitors to outrank them by quality link building. Appropriate and quality links strengthen your trust flag on Google. Investing some time in scrutinizing their content strategy can also help you develop a competitive plan for the on-site SEO.
c) Location-specific URL for the multi-location business
While creating location-specific landing pages, don’t forget to build the URL structure logically. For instance, you want to create a URL of the landing page of a digital marketing agency in Gurgaon/Gurugram. The logic structure would be http://www.hodigital.com/gurgaon.
Metrics like NAP citations, description, Google map, reviews, title and meta tags of the page should be unique according to the location. Ensure you get the page crawled and indexed from Google search console.
2. Organic SEO
As we know, organic SEO is a part of the local SEO, and we have to first perform organic SEO to rank in the map pack. Moreover, to earn site-visitors or audience, one must make SEO his/her priority. Optimize your website for local search by focusing on SEO and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
Follow these on-page optimizations techniques to rank well and target customers:
- Include geo-targeted keywords
- Optimum keyword usage in the title, headings, meta title, meta description, and body content.
- Optimize page speed for both desktop and mobile
- Mobile-friendly site
- Alt-text for images
- Interlinking and external linking for good site score
- Design an SEO-optimized sitemap
Once the user is on your website with the SEO efforts, it’s time to convert him/her into a customer. We have jotted down the best practices of CRO to create a high-converting landing page:
- Have a clarified and predefined path for your submission forms
- Include relevant call-to-action (CTA) texts and buttons with right placements
- Avoid the use of multiple elements as it gives a clumsy impression
- Have a design and content that can be interactive, engaging and convincing
- Don’t haunt customers by asking for a lot of their information
- Try to incorporate a video instead of a long text
3. Google My Business profiles
GMB page is a supercritical factor for ranking in the local results. If you already have one, optimize it to the greatest extent. And if you don’t have it yet, set up right now as, without a GMB page, you can’t get your business in local search.
Keep in mind that you need to create a separate GMB profile for every location, and there you can link the specific landing page you created before for that location.
a) Fill out every data point
Provide data such as the listing name that should be exact as your business name, working hours, photos, reviews, address, contact details, categories, services, products, and so on.
Ensure that the ‘primary category’ you select matches a category they already have, as Google doesn’t provide an option to add one of your own. Most importantly, don’t forget to add the ‘secondary category’ as it has a direct impact on searches and keywords your business can rank for.
If your stores everywhere serve the same purpose, you need to be 100% consistent with your NAP citations. Even a typo can lead to Google’s red flag.
b) Manage reviews
Ask your customers to leave a review and get as many reviews as possible because it is one of the most important local SEO of multi-location business parameters. We already discussed earlier that we should respond to every review, whether negative or positive, as it improves business credibility and makes your business legitimate in the eyes of Google.
Making the process of procuring reviews from customers easy, we have a trick—Head to ‘Get more reviews’ section after you log in to the GMB account. Generate a shortened link for your GMB profile and send it to your customers so that they can quickly leave a review.
Above all, keep your crucial business data accurate and up-to-date on your GMB, and verify your listing. Here’s some more information on Google’s guidelines to create a thriving listing.
Target more qualified local leads by investing in SEO optimization and see your business flourishing in the time of economic crisis too. Get consultation and tailor-made SEO strategies for your business by experts and boost your online visibility.