Posted on September 29, 2022 by Michael Cortez If you’ve been struggling to gain traction with your multi-location SEO efforts, it may help to know that you’re not alone. A lot of businesses — not to mention the SEO agencies with whom they partner — struggle to gather any momentum with multi-location SEO. We’re here to help. I chatted up this topic with Webfor’s founder, CEO, and director of digital strategy Kevin Getch. We want to share that conversation with you. This is a complex topic, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. There are business- and industry-specific wrinkles that will need to be ironed out and deployed over time in order to make any headway. Still, there are some fundamentals to multi-location SEO that will bear fruit for just about any business owner. In this blog piece, we’re going to talk about five of them. These fundamentals can help build successful multi-location SEO strategies that touch on a wide range of platforms and initiatives. These include local landing pages, on-page SEO, schema markup, NAPs, Google Business Profiles, business reviews, and more. Let’s dig in. Multi-Location SEO and Your Business Multi-location SEO has many positives, one of which is that it can be quickly implemented by businesses of any size. Those businesses often see huge results within a few months of implementation. People are shopping locally. With multi-location SEO, businesses have the ability to update information at scale across all their properties. With these crucial updates, businesses can begin to reap the rewards of local SEO, including the potential to appear in front-page SERPs as part of Google’s Map Pack. Here are five ways to take advantage of multi-location SEO. 1. Dedicated Location Pages Businesses would do well to create dedicated local landing pages for each of their locations. Often, websites will list that business’ various locations on one page. Other sites won’t have location pages at all but will instead list locations in the site’s footer. Others rely on local directories to provide this business information and contact information for them. Three words to remember: prominence, relevance, and proximity. Having a permanent footer with locations listed is helpful from a user experience (UX) standpoint, and when it comes to targeting and attracting traffic, location pages are the way to go. Google’s algorithm places a great deal of importance on three key areas when it comes to local search: prominence, relevance, and proximity. Local landing pages found organically that provide a helpful experience for the user will rank high for that business and that location. Businesses should always assume local intent when building product or service pages. They should use targeted keywords, optimize local pages, and try to build up their local SEO for multiple locations. 2. On-Page SEO The next step in leveraging multi-location SEO is to make sure your on-page optimization efforts are such that Google will recognize the intent of the page you’re creating. This means focusing on the basics, including: quality content informed by data headers with keywords (H1, H2, H3, etc.) appropriate URL structure title tag with location keyword (aka KW plus geo: e.g., Vancouver plumber) meta descriptions (with KW plus geo) calls to action internal links (more on this below) These on-page efforts and others will guide search engines toward an understanding of your page’s purpose. This in turn helps search engines understand what to rank your pages for and which keywords, if any, are relevant for that page and for a specific search. 3. Internal Linking If only it was this easy … A big part of multi-location SEO and on-page optimization success stems directly from internal linking. It’s here that one’s SEO efforts can really bear fruit. Internal links from location pages to service pages are especially important. They tell search engines that there is even more value for users embedded within a location page itself. Thus, in addition to scoring well for location SEO, one can also begin to accrue ranking factors for services provided at that location, as well. Of course, this information will need to be included in the high-quality content that we’ve produced for a specific landing page. Boasting about it on social media is helpful, too. 4. Schema Markup Search engines are becoming increasingly powerful and sophisticated. With AI and machine learning continuing to expand their capabilities, schema markup may become less relevant in the future. But not yet. Schema still represents an opportunity to help search engines understand what your content is about (locations, services, etc.), who it is for, and which important KWs are embedded within it. Local business schema, specifically, can still help businesses looking to grow by driving up their relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines. Schema is a markup language (code) that’s added to a website to help search engines better understand a site’s intent. Nobody sees it other than search engines and people with access to a site’s backend. It’s a language created by search engines to help crawlers better understand what a particular website or page of a website is for. Better understanding from search engines leads to better rankings. In short, schema helps Google and other search engines understand your brand: who you are as a brand and a business; what services you provide; and where you provide them. As we’ve written, “some of the top types of schema that can help Google better understand your entity include: Organization, LocalBusiness, FAQ, (and) Products.” 5. Google Business Profile Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a must-have for any business looking to gain traction in its local market. GBP can have tremendous impacts on businesses in terms of visibility, conversions, revenue, trust, authority, and much more. It’s no exaggeration to say that a properly run GBP can make a business, especially a multi-location business. GBP can have a big impact on business visibility, conversions, revenue, and more. It’s also important from a more fundamental perspective: GBP helps businesses maintain their online rankings for a wide range of information, including NAP (name, address, phone numbers), website URLs, Google Local Packs, and business reviews. Google Business Profile is the hub for all of that important information. You’ll want to tie it to your local landing pages. Finally, we also want to stress the importance of citations: consistency/quality, quantity, and the authoritativeness of websites that reference and validate the business NAP. Consider: If you refer someone to a business and they have a bad experience, how many more times are you going to refer them? Search engines are the same way. Search engines like Google had to create an algorithmic way to determine trust and relevance. If your business NAP has a lot of inaccuracies throughout the authoritative citation sites, that’s going to lower your trust factor. Listen to the entire podcast above or go here. And be sure to like, follow, subscribe, hit that notification bell, and share with your colleagues, depending on your podcast platform of choice. If you ever have any questions about this or any other digital marketing-related topic, you know where to find us.