Business owners that have to manage multiple locations and franchise owners that have to keep their franchisees in check have a unique problem on their hands. Not only do they need to manage and optimize the parent brand, but also need to avoid common mistakes and optimize the entire digital presence of every location in order for the outlet to thrive in their market and community. After all, engaging with the local community is the hallmark of good business nowadays, and you can’t expect your main office across the country to spark an emotional connection with a customer a thousand miles away.
Not only that, but you can’t expect your locations to rank high on Google this way either, especially if you haven’t done a comprehensive SEO audit in the last year. With all of that in mind, let’s break down the five tips that will allow you to master multi-location SEO and drive your brand forward as a whole.
Making an impact in the local market
As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, making an impact in the local market and ranking high in local search matters. When each and every one of your locations executes a strong SEO strategy, it can surpass other local competitors, and position itself at the top spot in the relevant SERPs. The key here lies in the word “relevant”. Understand that people residing in a different community will resonate with local brands, so you need to establish a web page for every location.
Not only do the customers like local brands, but so does Google, especially when people search for terms that fit your company’s scope of work and add location tags. Without a separate web page for each location, you stand a very small chance of appearing in those searches. So, let your franchisees stand out by developing a page for every outlet.
Build brand identity with content marketing
Content marketing has risen to prominence in recent years as one of the most powerful inbound marketing tools for growth-oriented businesses, and also for companies looking to fully optimize their SEO presence. Nowadays, content serves the unique purpose of educating and empowering the digital audience, complementing your acquisition strategy and bringing interested customers and franchisees to your doorstep.
By providing the insights and detailed franchise information about your brand to prospective customers and aspiring business owners through your content, you can easily boost word of mouth as well as the shareability of your pieces across the web, thus inspiring them to take action. Moreover, incentivized individuals will share this content with their friends and bring them to your website as well.
Keep in mind, though, you will need to develop a separate content strategy for every location in order to unlock the true SEO potential of every outlet. Google loves informative content but doesn’t care for duplicates or plagiarism, so make sure that every outlet generates content tailored to their local audience, using local keywords in order to appear in local search.
Leveraging the SEO power of GMB
There is a nifty little tool out there called Google My Business that can make all the difference for multi-location businesses and franchises. Google uses this tool to index and rank companies in its apps and search results in general. When you type in your business information into the tool, you company will rank for relevant search queries as well as complementary apps such as Maps and reviews.
Needless to say, this is immensely important for your ranking in the SERPs, especially when you’re trying to rank multiple locations in their area. Be sure to create detailed listings for every outlet, so that Google recognizes them as separate entities within your brand architecture. Don’t worry, you will find detailed guidelines on how to do this on the official GMB site.
Use online reviews to rank every location higher in the SERPS
User-generated content is also one of the more powerful marketing tactics modern businesses are not leveraging enough. You need to generate 1st party reviews on your website in order to rank higher in the SERPs and pass social proof in order to improve word of mouth within your target demographic.
However, it’s not just about generating reviews for your parent site, it’s also about generating locally relevant reviews in your architecture so that they rank higher in their local area. After all, why should someone across the country care that a customer a thousand miles away had a great experience with your brand? No, they want to see honest opinions from people in their town, their state. That’s what matters to them, and to Google.
When running a business with multiple locations, you need to approach the problem of marketing from a unique angle. Promoting a single location on the website will not suffice, nor will your primary marketing strategy work in every market. Instead, be sure to implement these tips in order to give every location within your franchise the tools it needs to thrive in their own communities. In turn, this will propel your brand forward as a whole.