If you’re a small business owner, it can be tough to make friends with Google. You have to provide fresh content regularly that’s relevant enough to make your readers care what you have to say. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, one of your main goals should be getting people through your front door, which means you have to optimize your content such that it encourages people to want to come and see what you’re all about. If your business has multiple locations, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies can be particularly challenging.
Let’s pretend Fake Joe’s Auto Shop has two different locations — Denver and Dallas. While it’s important that Fake Joe’s Auto Shop stays true to its brand, logo, and messaging, the company also needs to adhere to location-specific SEO strategies that will attract an audience from each of the respective areas. Here are are a few things the company can do to maximize traffic to each respective location.
Location-specific pages create a user-focused experience that turns search engine queries into in-person interactions. Be careful not to create location-specific pages that are only available through a search or branch finder. The more hidden your pages, the more likely they are to be passed over by the Googlebot when it’s doing its sweeps, which could leave your pages un-indexed.
Each location should have its own page. This will allow you to provide your visitors with unique, well-optimize content that’s specifically geared toward their needs, such as:
- Hours of operation
Advantageous URL Real Estate
Your URL is important. A unified naming convention for each location – built from your primary URL – will allow each location page to take advantage of ranking and brand authority that’s established by the company as a whole over time. This will help with other strategies, such as Google My Business as well (more to come on that in a moment.
When Fake Joe’s Auto sets up its locations pages, the URLs might look something like this:
As you can see, the primary URL comes first. From there, the company chose to create subdirectories based on state, city, and the actual address of each location. This should allow Joe’s to appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) for geo-targeted searches that result from more generic queries, such as “Dallas body shop.”
Google My Business
Google My Business can be a business’s best friend, and it’s an essential tool if you want to appear in Google’s line of products, such as Search, Maps, and Google+. It’s free to set up an account, but you don’t want to get what you pay for, so to speak. It’s important to follow Google’s guidelines to a T; otherwise, you could inadvertently violate the search giant’s expectations, resulting in invisibility from the searching public.
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