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Ways Multi-Location Businesses Can Increase Their Presence in Local Searches

Ways Multi-Location Businesses Can Increase Their Presence in Local Searches

Helping local businesses with their search marketing strategy is difficult. However, those of us that assist businesses with hundreds, in some cases thousands, of locations understand that the task comes with unique circumstances. Getting one business location to rank is a feat, let alone hundreds of locations that are many kilometres apart.

The purpose of this guide is to offer tips to anyone that performs enterprise local search. Many of these tips are applicable to any business that has multiple locations, however, the tips in this guide are designed for enterprise-sized corporations and businesses with at least 50 locations.

1. Each Location Needs a Unique Landing Page
One of the most important aspects of enterprise local search is having a well-designed local landing page for every location. If you do the following, you will rank high in local search results.

Title and Meta Tags
Your title tags need to be unique to each location. Make it a point to keyword optimize the tags. The meta data needs to include the business’s state, city and zip code. Each page needs to have its own meta description.

Name, Address, Phone Number
Your businesses name, address and phone number (NAP) in a highly visible place on your web page. Your NAP needs to look consistent on each page. For example, if the state is abbreviated on one page, it needs to be abbreviated on every page.

Google Local Map
Do not rely on generic maps with your business’s address. Embed a Google Local Map onto your website.

Schema helps businesses increase their online customers. It is beneficial to implement a schema markup that works with your type of business. Doing this will allow search engines to easily display the business’s information like hours and reviews.

Photos and Video
Videos and photos help to elevate your listing above all of the others. People are more likely to interact with a local landing page when there are photos or videos. A photo of your storefront and interior shots are ideal photos to use. For a more professional look, add photos of employees with a brief biography.

Unique Local Content
Generating unique content for every local landing page is a difficult mission for businesses with multiple locations. A lot of businesses use similar content on all of their pages. Doing this came look “spammy”. Spam does not lure in potential customers. Nor does it help improve a business’s search ranking. Each page needs to have localized and original content. Examples of content to add to your landing page includes:
• Listing your business hours and the products or services your business offers.
• Write a description of the city and your business’s neighborhood. If there are any festivals, nearby landmarks or anything that makes the location standout in a positive manner is a good to add. You may also want to mention the business’s cross streets.
• Mention all types of public transportation that are in proximity to your business.
• If your business has received any awards mention them. Add any badges to you landing page that are associated with organizations that people trust. For example, add a badge for BBB (Better Business Bureau) approval.

Optimized URL
The URL for your local landing page needs to be optimized in a manner that is easy for both search engines and people to understand. A good example of an optimized URL would be www.website.com/city-state-zip. To differentiate between multiple locations in the same zip code, you can add a store number or neighborhood identifier to the URL. By creating an original page for each business location and following these suggestions, you will establish a foundation for successful searches.

2. Build Citations
In regards to search engine optimization, a citation is the mentioning of your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on another web site, even if there is not a link to your business.

When you start to build your citations, it is recommended that you begin with data aggregators like Infogroup, Acxiom and Factual. Then shift your focus to well-known local directories like Bing, Yahoo, Yelp and Google.

Moz also has some helpful tools that will show you important local business directories that are related to your city or industry. When you have a list, ranked from most important to least, it’s time for you to begin.

Using data aggregators can be costly when marketing in multiple locations. However, they are important to local searches. Data aggregators are the quickest way to circulate local information for many locations. Take advantage of as many of these services as possible. It will spare from you from having to make individual submissions to hundreds of local directories.

If this is your first experience with enterprise-level local marketing, you will be surprised to find that many local directories do not allow users to bulk upload data for multiple locations.

If you need to create more than one listing for a business that has several locations, you will more than likely have to repeat the upload process several times. Why? Because there really is no other options. Some services that do allow bulk location uploading will charge you for the privilege.

Having said that, the following local directory services that allow for bulk uploads without charging.

Google My Business
Google gives users an unlimited amount of uploads. So, this is a good starting point. It should be noted that this system does have some glitches, so you need to be prepared fix a few errors.

Bing Local
Bing has a more involved upload process than Google Business. However, this is an important local directory service. The entire process takes around a month to complete.

Foursquare is user friendly and has added some helpful features. It also has become a credible source of local information.

Look over all of the information that you submit to data aggregators and local directories. Make sure that your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) that is listed matches the way it is presented on your website.

Consistency is important to local search visibility. It helps to ensure that the search engines identify each of your business listings as a single location, helping to increase the number of citations you have for a location.

3. Fix Existing Citations

Correcting issues with existing citations is an overlooked. The oversight is usually by larger businesses with multiple locations because of it’s a grueling and time consuming in nature.

Using Removal Tools
Some local marketers look through each directory listing. They clean up duplicate listings, add new listings and make sure the content is accurate. There are tools available to assist with removing duplicates. However, these services are not free.

The cost of duplicate removal is expensive. These services might be better for businesses that only have one location. The costs for businesses with more than one location can start to add up. Whitespark, Yext and a Moz’s new tool, Moz Local are a few of the services that can help with the removal.

The first thing you need to do is assess all of your listings. There are some free tools you can use that will search the internet for your business and find an inaccuracies with your business’s name, phone number, address and other important information. Moz Local and Yext have a free tool to do these searches.

Using these tools will help you save time and get an idea of how much work you will need to do for each one of your locations. There is a good chance that you will find errors.

Manual Searches
If you are doing your search manually, search for each of the locations under each directly. If it is necessary, you may need to try searching in multiple searches using the business’s zip code or phone number. Doing this will help you find out if you are listed in a directory and find any duplicate listings.

If duplicate listings are found, keep the accurate listing and report the other listings as duplicates. Locating all of your listings will help you manage them. You should continue to increase your citations and remove any duplicates. The task can take a lot of time, but the effort is worth it.

Not only should you try to have as many local business listings as possible, you need to make sure they are accurate. Make note of any duplicates and make sure they are removed. You may need to contact an administrator to remove those listings.

Make Your Business’s Presence Known in Local Search Result
The following strategies should help your business successfully dominate search results. To be successful, you need to create an original page of each location, use data aggregators and optimize all of your business pages. Do not forget to increase your citations and make sure these citations are accurate. These approaches will help your business’s search results increasing your internet presence and your traffic.

On: 09 Mar 2015