Local SEO can be a tough nut to crack for most businesses. Those with multiple locations have an even greater challenge to tackle! Whether you operate a chain of local businesses or a franchise with locations across the country, it’s crucial you take the steps needed to provide each and every one of your storefronts with plenty of online visibility.
In fact, boosting the online credibility of your businesses can have a huge impact on your conversion rates. Consumers are using their mobile devices to find information about local stores with increasing frequency. The better your online visibility and credibility, the more likely you are to attract customers you may not reach through traditional marketing methods.
Our Guide to Boosting Online Credibility
Putting all these steps together may take some time, and won’t result in overnight success. However, building credibility is a process that’s well worth the effort. Here are some easy steps you can take to promote the visibility of your locations.
Build location-based web pages
If you have numerous locations, creating a single website isn’t going to benefit your brand as much as multiple, location-based web pages will. Having dedicated pages for each of your locations enables you to optimize your online presence for local searches. Just remember that your location pages can’t be identical—unique content is key. In addition, each page needs to include local business schema specific to the individual location.
After designing individual web pages for each of your locations, you can develop their Google My Business listings. Each listing should like to that location’s URL.
In order to create separate listings for each location, you’ll have to get them verified by Google. This entails waiting to receive a code by mail to corroborate the location-specific details, as well as taking and posting location-specific photos.
It’s also important to choose the right category when developing your Google My Business listings. Ensure that each location is listed under the same category, and avoid selecting categories that are too broad.
While this step is easy to overlook in the process of creating your listings, it’s actually crucial for you to select the most accurate category to safeguard your appearance in relevant local search results.
Inconsistencies in your business citations across various channels, such as Yelp, Google, and Yahoo Local, can cause major problems for your SEO efforts and make it harder to attract locals to your storefront. What’s most important is that your business’s NAP—shorthand for name, address, and phone number—stays the same from channel to channel. Google recognizes consistency in this area as credibility; any discrepancies may cause you to be pulled from aggregator sites.
Location-specific reviews are a huge factor in boosting the credibility of your business. Consumers often place the same level of trust in online reviews as they do recommendations from people they’ve met in person, making reviews a signal of legitimacy. Plus, reviews are now a prominent feature in online search results, meaning they’ll be one of the first things people see when they search for your business location.
Of course, there is a downside to encouraging customers to review each of your locations: you open yourself up to the possibility of receiving negative reviews. Be prepared to draft a thorough and professional response to any neutral or negative reviews that appear so that you can make the most of this opportunity to leave a positive impression on potential customers.
Businesses with multiple locations can utilize backlinks to increase their online legitimacy. One of the best ways to do this is to partner with local entities such as Chambers of Commerce, charities, and other local organizations whose links to your pages can bolster your standing as a fixture in your community.
While maintaining an appearance in local search results is essential, it has also become crucial for local businesses to promote their presence on social media platforms. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can use networks like Facebook and Twitter to connect with consumers in your community and remain relevant in the minds of previous and potential customers. Creating a listing for each location on these platforms and posting fresh and engaging content will only help support your online credibility.