Although global brands are popular in the US, the American business landscape has a thriving local economy. Most customers prefer buying goods and services from nearby providers because the approach is convenient and cost-effective. The best part is that small businesses provide quality products and services to beat the competition and retain their customers.
It spells great opportunities for small businesses, but building a customer base as a local seller is hard work. It is not just about going the extra mile with quality. You must also invest in a robust online marketing strategy because surveys show that 90% of buyers rely on online platforms to search for a local business. Additionally, more than half of ‘near me’ searches lead to a physical store visit.
These statistics are enough to highlight the value of a local SEO strategy. But before implementing it, business owners must understand the challenges of targeting multiple locations.
The Challenges of Targeting Multiple Locations
While most small businesses invest in a local SEO plan, things can get complicated for the ones selling across multiple locations. From customizing your listings, content, and landing pages, there is much you need to do to make your business stand out across all locations.
The more locations you target, the heavier the workload. Consistency is another area where you may falter as you need to keep your brand looking the same for all customers, regardless of location.
You must ensure that your stores are visible in ‘near me’ searches for all locations. If you have stores in New York, Boston, Washington, and more cities, customers should see your brand on top of web and mobile searches.
A strategic approach can help you cover all the components of SEO across multiple locations. For a business headquartered in New York, collaborating with the best SEO company in New York is the ideal solution. Statistics show that 67% of businesses outsource SEO instead of hiring an in-house team, and it makes even more sense when multiple locations need to be targeted.
The DigiTech Era notes that a robust online presence is the cornerstone of business expansion and profitability. Outsourcing is a wise move because it makes digital marketing affordable even for local businesses with shoestring funds. Moreover, with experts doing the heavy lifting, business owners can focus on success and growth.
Optimizing Local SEO for Multi-Location Targeting
Here are a few tips for targeting multiple locations with a well-rounded local SEO plan:
Manage Your Google Business Profile
Google My Business (GMB) signals topped the local search ranking factors in 2020, taking the largest share of 33%. Other factors, such as reviews (16%), backlinks (15%), and on-page (15%), were far behind. Managing your business profile for differing locations can give your local SEO plan a winning edge.
Start by adding the URL of each location page to your profile. You must also optimize location listings according to Google’s guidelines, such as:
- Verifying each location
- Adding photos and maps
- Listing accurate opening hours
- Ensuring brand name and category consistency
Businesses serving different purposes at different locations may skip these rules.
Create Location Pages
Stuffing all the information about your business and offerings on a single landing page seems easy, but it can hurt your local SEO strategy. Conversely, location-specific landing pages provide customers with crucial information, improve search visibility, and enhance each location’s online presence. Consider the following factors to create effective and optimized pages:
- Conduct extensive keyword research to understand user intent and pick relevant keywords for your content
- Perform SERP research to identify navigational, informational, and transactional search queries
- Conduct a competitive analysis to organize your campaign priorities
- Build a logical URL structure for geo-specific locations
- Include compelling content covering information visitors need to know
Encourage Positive Local Reviews
Did you know that 88% of buyers trust online reviews when it comes to choosing brands? Getting more positive online reviews from local shoppers can help you win the SEO game for multiple locations. It takes more than requesting happy customers to leave a positive word for your business on your website, social media, or local listings. You can try these tactics to get favorable reviews for your business:
- Go above and beyond with quality
- Ensure great customer experience
- Respond to your reviews
- Offer incentives
Star ratings and user reviews show up on your local listings. That means they are visible to potential buyers when they search for your business online. Positive reviews spell a great first impression, with many buyers deciding to buy from a local seller even before stepping into the store.
A local SEO plan for multiple locations sounds complicated, but it is simpler than you imagine. You need to be diligent with your listings and creative with the localized landing pages. Positive reviews from local buyers take your business the extra mile. Together, these factors create a well-rounded strategy that works for a small business targeting two or two hundred locations.