A strong local search presence and visibility has always been important for multi-location brands. Google continues to make this increasingly so, with local branded and non-branded terms playing an ever greater role in search results, thanks to the Knowledge Graph and Local Carousel.
Ninety percent of consumers now use search engines to shop locally; these queries are happening from the desktop, on the mobile web, in apps, from maps, and even from GPS and other in-vehicle devices. Each and every internet transaction has a local connection, via the user on a device tied to a geo-coordinate.
Basically, wherever your consumer is whatever device they’re on you need to be there when they are displaying intent and searching locally for either your brand or your service.
Local SEO and local listing management are two completely different tactics, yet completely intertwined, and the top brands should know that each is critical to ranking individual locations on Google. The search giant ranks multi-location brand websites based on three common sense factors:
Local SEO and SEM are time consuming and tedious, though. In order to achieve optimal results at scale, you need to automate processes where possible.
With these factors and challenges in mind, let’s explore the steps necessary to deliver the best possible chance of ranking each of your locations for local queries. Crossing each of these concerns off the list is a multi-location brands’ blueprint for scalable local SEO.
Local SEO best practices are the core foundation necessary for ranking in organic search for local terms. Map rankings can easily improve when pages with localized URLs are attached to Google, Yahoo, and Bing map listings.
Employ these simple (yet high-impact) best practices:
If you’re still unfamiliar with structured data, get yourself up to speed. Google has increasingly relied on microdata to better understand web content and recommends that webmasters utilize the Schema.org structure.
Although structured data isn’t a ranking factor (meaning all other things equal, you won’t rank higher than a competitor based on schema alone), it enables the showcasing of rich snippets, which enhances the search user’s experience through additional text and images.
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Local SEO & Listing Management: A Blueprint for Multi-Location Brand Success