The approach that needs to be taken to SEO by businesses that operate on in multiple sites and locations is somewhat different to that for single-site businesses.
The basic principles are basically the same but given that you would want each individual site to rank highly for searches related to that location, there are some local SEO techniques you can implement to help with that cause.
These tactics come under the heading of ‘Multiple Location SEO’ and this can apply in a number of scenarios such as the three below.
1) Your business has more than one physical location/store/site and you wish to optimise for each of them.
2) Your business is online, rather than a brick and mortar business, and you wish to target multiple locations.
3) You operate a franchise business and wish to do SEO for individual franchisees in different towns and cities.
Multiple location SEO can be implemented when there are just two locations, two hundred locations, or two thousand locations that you wish to optimise for. One of the keys to this is to make sure that the search engines and especially Google have accurate and up to date information relating to each location.
In effect, you are creating multiple businesses that you are trying to rank, all under the umbrella of your main website so that they can benefit from the authority that it may have, but at the same time, rank for local searches when they occur on Google and the other search engines.
Here are just four relatively simple SEO techniques and tactics that you can implement if you have multiple locations, and whilst they are not especially difficult, their cumulative effect is powerful enough to help you rank not just one website page, but several of them.
Create Pages for Each Location
This is based on the fact that Google ranks pages, not websites, so instead of competing against all the homepages of your competitors, you create a location-specific page.
It might seem like a lot of extra work, especially if you have numerous locations rather than just one or two, and a lot of the content on those pages might seem to be repetitive. However, every page you build gives you a chance of receiving traffic from the searches when searches that include those locations occur.
Optimise Every Location Page
Ok, so you have your pages created for each location, but creating them is not enough, as you now need to optimise each of those pages for the benefit of the search engines. This will start with your page title which is likely to be something along the lines of your business name plus your niche and location.
In addition, you need meta descriptions, H tags, and other metadata to be optimised for each location page. If you have an SEO or marketing agency building your pages for you, they will know what the best metadata and keywords to use are.
Each optimised location page is a means to generate traffic from the search engines that your competitors will not be seeing, especially if they are trying to rank their homepage for each and every location they have.
Create Optimised Content For Each Location Page
Now that the pages are created and the SEO framework is in place to optimise each page, it is now time to create and add the content for your pages. The temptation here is to simply create a piece of content, then copy and paste it into every location page, and simply change the location anytime it is mentioned in the text. Wrong!
Of course, there can be certain sections that remain the same, but you want to each piece of content to be valuable in its own right, in terms of the information it provides. You will want to talk about the local area or anything that is specific to that town or city, with regards to your products or services.
To make it really stand out as local page you could include photographs and images of the location. You will also want any sub headers to include the town or city name, for example ‘”Reviews From Our ‘Location‘ Customers.
Create A GMB Listing For Each Location
Every local business owner should have a Google My Business profile for that business, but what of them do not realise is that they can have a GMB profile for every location their business operates in.
Bear in mind you need to claim each listing and therefore you need to ensure whoever is stationed at each location is looking out for the card that Google sends as part of the confirmation process.
One point that should please you is that you can have each GMB profile under a single account which you can oversee as the business owner, rather than each location manager having access to the relative individual account.