How To Optimize Your Brand's Website When You Have Multiple Locations
When you have a business with multiple locations, digital marketing can be confusing. You can find yourself with a lot of questions about how to set up your website and online presence.
You might be asking:
- Do I need a website for each location?
- Can the content be the same on each website or location page?
- Do I need a Google My Business listing for each location?
- How can I boost local SEO when I have locations in different cities?
These are important questions, and failing to answer them correctly could be the difference between a local customer finding your business or never coming across your brand in search.
To help you through this process, we created a guide to show you how to optimize your regional brand’s website for multiple locations.
If You Have 5 or Fewer Locations...
If you have five or fewer locations, the process for optimizing your website is a little different from brands that have more because you have less content to manage.
Build one mobile-friendly website for all of your locations (maybe). Almost all businesses that have multiple locations can use one website to manage their online presence. Brands can create one main business website that introduces the overall brand and offerings and then drives users into the details for individual locations.
There may be an exception for businesses that have two or three locations that are very different. You may want different websites if the core offerings and branding are highly unique and specific for each location.
Add each location addresses in the footer. To optimize your website for your different locations, add the address of each in the footer of your website. This adds the city of each location to every page on your site sending good local SEO signals to search engines.
Create a page for each location. Develop unique pages on your website for each of your locations. Include information that is specific to the location, such as the address, phone number, and hours. Also, embed a Google Map and optimize the page for local keywords to help search engines identify where the business is located.
NOTE: When creating location pages, add unique content to each page. Do not create the same page multiple times and only change the location name and address. Duplicate content can cause your pages not to rank, so focus on developing unique pages for each location.
Segment your audience by location (maybe). If you want to quickly drive users to information about a specific location, use a homepage design that segments audiences by prompting them to choose a location. This isn't a requirement for good local SEO, but it can create a good user experience as website visitors can easily find the most relevant information.
Add each location's address to the contact page (maybe). If you don’t segment audiences into sub-pages for locations and you use a primary contact page for the entire brand, include the address and contact information for each location on the contact page.
Create a Google My Business page for each location. A Google My Business page is the core of a strong local SEO plan. It sends signals to Google to connect your brand to your area and the people around it. Create an individual page for each location. You need to have a physical location to create a Google My Business page, so you can’t create pages to target areas where you don’t have a business. For example, if your business is in Tampa, but you want to also target St. Petersburg, you cannot create a page for St. Petersburg unless you have a physical location there.
NOTE: Don't just build a Google My Business page for each location. Also build other business directory pages and social profiles. Each relevant citation adds local SEO authority to the location. For each citation, add business contact details and make sure the NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent.
Recommended Reading: If You're a Small Business Owner, You Need to Know About NAP Consistency
If You Have Six or More Locations…
If you have six or more locations, it becomes a lot more information to manage. You may not be able to segment audiences as easily as you could with a four-location business. Use these strategies to keep your website optimized for local SEO, user experience, and regional marketing best practices.
Build one mobile-friendly website for all of your locations. When you have six or more locations, it is more definitive that you need just one website for all of your locations. It would be difficult to manage a website for each of your locations otherwise.
Create a page for each location. As you would for a business with five or fewer locations, create a unique page for each location. On the page, include relevant location details. (Remember, don't duplicate the same page and only change out the location as it can lead to duplicate content problems.) If you have many locations and the content creation process seems daunting, start with the most important locations first and then grow out your pages to eventually create a unique page for each place.
Create a locations page. A locations page is what it sounds like, a page on your site that lists all of your locations. This page should also link to all of the individual location pages on your site. The layout and functionality of this page will change depending on how many locations you have.
- If you have less than twenty locations, you may be able to list them all.
- If you have many locations in multiple regions, organize them by city, state, or some other category that makes it easier for people to find their closest location.
- If you have a large number of locations (20 or more), consider adding a store locator or search feature that allows people to find the business closest to them.
Create a Google My Business page for each location. As a rule of thumb, you should have a Google My Business page for every physical business location you have. You can create these under one account, but there should be a page for each location.
Also, add each location to relevant local business directory and social sites, like MyArea Network. Add your businesses today for free.
Learn More About Multiple Location Marketing
Now you have some answers about how to optimize your brand's web presence when you have multiple locations.
To take it one step further, use our Guide to Local SEO to learn more about optimizing your website for local search.
And, come back to the blog next week to learn how to optimize individual location pages to make them more useful to customers and more attractive to search engines.