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SEO for Businesses With Multiple Locations In The Same City

February 18th, 2008
27 Comments


Multiple Locations SEO

A while ago David Mihm asked if I could provide guidance on how to optimize a business with multiple locations in the same geographic area. Well Dave, here at Local SEO Guide we aim to please, eventually:

1. Assuming all the businesses are branded the same (e.g. Dazzle Dental) I would create a different page on their website for each location. The URLs would be something like this: www.dazzledental.com/lichtfield-park/ or www.dazzledental.com/avondale.

2. Each location page should have the complete address and phone number for the location listed twice. Once in standard mailing address format and once in a single line across the bottom of the page which helps mobile search robots determine that the data is in fact an address and phone number. Of course each location page should have the relevant location in the Title Tag and the H1 of the page.

3. Each location page should be crawlable from the home page and have multiple internal links from other pages on the Dazzle Dental site using targeted anchor text (e.g. “Avondale dentist”, etc.). It might even make sense to have a separate page for each service the dentist offers and link to each location page with the relevant service and location in the anchor text (e.g. “teeth whitening in Avondale”, etc.).

4. For each location submit the address, phone numbers and all other relevant brand, product, services, business hours, credit cards accepted, etc. to Google Maps and other online yellow pages submission services. If you are having trouble getting shown on the first page of Google Map results you may need to get a new location closer to the centroid that Google Maps is using for your business category.

5. Get inbound links from other locally and topically relevant sites to each location page. Local chambers of commerce, business groups (e.g. Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.), not-for-profits, papers, etc. are all good targets to get inbound links. Make sure the links have targeted anchor text with the relevant location included.

6. Run a promotion to give free teeth cleanings, or some other valuable service, to your customers who write a positive review of your business on one of the local business reviews sites and email them to you. Add these reviews to the relevant location page.

This is probably more than enough for most businesses. If this doesn’t do it then you most likely will have to start developing more content that is targeted at your locations, such as blog posts, and you probably will need to do better at getting relevant inbound links.

I would also look into more guerilla tactics to target customers in the specific neighborhoods such as using Freecycle to market your business.


Tags: Google Maps · Local Data · Local Search · Mobile Search · Online Reviews · Small Business Marketing

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David Mihm

    Andrew, what a terrific post. I particularly love your idea of pointing your local links from rotary clubs, etc. directly at your pages targeting the same location.

    When you submit to G Maps / other IYPs, would you list your URL as the EXACT page as well, or just use the homepage?

  • 2 Andrew Shotland

    I am pretty sure, but not 100% sure, that G Maps rolls everything up into the root domain but I don’t think it could hurt to submit the location page. My bet is the IYPs would display the location page URL but I am not 100% sure about this. Certainly worth a test.

    The bottom line for GMaps seems to be location, location, location.

  • 3 MiriamEllis

    Oh, what a great post, Andrew! This is super, and I was nodding my head to everything.

    I would add, it might be nice to include a little content on the page that is relevant to the neighborhood the business is in.

    And, that makes me start to wonder about local link building. I wonder if Google’s algo would ever stretch to valuing neighborhood links as endorsements from the businesses in small, defined geographic area, regardless of them being from widely different industries.

    In other words, if the cafe, the hair salon, the toy store, the hotel and the video store on your block all link to your clothing boutique as a store they love, could local endorsement from neighbors ever be given added value by Google’s algo. A random thought.

    Great job on this post. A real treat. Going to go sphinn it now.
    Miriam

  • 4 Teresha Aird

    Great post, very, very good info for small businesses and all doable without too much effort or expense.

    As to IYP allowing local url’s, Bizwiki does. Each branch of a company is allowed its own record complete with its own detailed write up (opening hours, specialities and so on), contact details and url. We do however verify the details of each branch before allowing the record to be published. So a webpage on the main website about the branch is ever so helpful.

    Unfortunately, few businesses have a webpage per location – maybe your post will help sort that out :-)

  • 5 Wingnut

    Great advice. Was just working on doing this very thing for the new company I am working at… Technically 2 locations (although rather close to eachother) with different phone numbers/addresses.

    We’ll see how it goes.

  • 6 Marc Phillips

    Hi Andrew,

    We recently found that a 3rd party feed was choking the client server on some local seo pages and your advice was fantastic. As always, we appreciate it.

    Marc

  • 7 kris

    what about hcard? and can you give an example of one line address

  • 8 Andrew Shotland

    It couldn’t hurt to use hcard – for those of you not familiar with hcard check out microformats.org/wiki/hcard – but I have never found that having the hcard makes a difference. Down the road as more site adopt these microformats and crawlers start relying on them as a primary way to understand the content it might be prudent to always use them.

    Re the example of a one line address I mean exactly that – put the street address and telephone number on a single line.

  • 9 Brett Borders

    Great post, Andrew! Some quality, usable, specific tips. Sphunn and bookmarked in Del.icio.us.

  • 10 kris

    Why is it suggested to have the address twice like you have mentioned?

  • 11 James Wilson

    Has anyone had any luck geting landing page URLs to show up in Google Maps rather than a home page link? I work for a company with many locations, each of which have their own landing page. I’ve tried testing various methods and have optimized these pages. They rank well in Google’s main web search, but don’t appear at all in Google Maps.

    I’d love to hear more about everyone’s succcess and/or failures in treading water in this murky pond.

    Thanks!

  • 12 Stuart

    I too wld be interested to hear more about landing page URL’s in Google Maps, can inner pages, ie. location page, be linked to rather than the homepage? Is it ok to set up a listing for each location?

  • 13 Zachary

    So what do you do when you have one location that serves multiple cities? It is difficult to take the same approach for obvious reason. What can I do for on-page SEO to rank well for different cities. (They are all well within a geographic area) In other words I am not talking about optimizing for Tokyp and Chicago. I am talking about Beaverton and Portland Oregon.
    Any opionions greatly appreciated.

  • 14 Andrew Shotland

    Z – I would probably create a page on your site that targets each city and link to it with the city name in the anchor text. The title of the page would probably target my main keyword (e.g. Pleasanton Locksmith) and I would make sure to include other keyword targets in the body of the page as well as unique text including the city served. Of course if you don’t have an address in each city it will be tough to get your listing in the 10 pack.

  • 15 Matt

    I have a question about the domain name you choose to list for each location. You suggest that we put domainname.com/location.

    What about having different domain names for each location and creating a small brochure style website. You could have the area mentioned in the domain name in addition to the page name.

    Thoughts?

  • 16 Celeste Nelson

    Thank you for your post. Really useful ideas for landing pages. Having trouble explaining the reasons a client wouldn’t want to put up 50 listings on Google maps for home addresses so that they can canvas the area – anyone have some ideas that may help?

  • 17 Cindy Lavoie

    Terrifically helpful post, recommended to me by the folks at Planet Ocean, as I’m currently working on local search optimization for a 10-site Medical Center. Additional question for you, if you don’t mind: if I include the business name, city and state in the title tag, will it help, hurt, or not affect my ranking if I also include the nearby cities that the location is also served by? For example: “Pacific Medical Beacon Hill covers Seattle, Burien, Des Moines, and Normandy Park”

  • 18 Andrew Shotland

    I might go with separate pages for each city served or else put them in text on the page instead of in the title tag which should just have the primary city served

  • 19 Rich Angstadt

    Hi Andrew,
    Any advice for title tags for a business with 10 locations all within the same city? Each location will have a unique page and and content, but if I use “City, ST – Keyword Target”in the title tag they will all be the same.

    I was thinking of either including zip code (12345) or neighborhood (downtown) within the title to make in unique. Any thoughts on what would be best? Thanks!

  • 20 Andrew Shotland

    so many ways you can go with this. If they all have different phone numbers try that

  • 21 Sachin Bisaani

    Perfect answer.

  • 22 Jeff

    Andrew,

    Per your #3, what about for clients that have multiple practice areas and service different cities. In your dentist example, let’s say they offer exams, whitening, fillings, etc. in multiple cities. If client wants to hypothetically win for “dental exams avondale” , “dental exams lichtfield park” , “teeth whitening avondale” , “teeth whitening lichtfield park” etc.

    I assume you would just have ONE location page for Avondale and one location page for Lichtfield. Then on each service area page , link to each location in the copy?

    IF client only had a couple location, you could use the practice page to win for each location. For example the title tag could have “Teeth Whitening | Dentist serving Avondale & Lichtfield.

    Your thoughts?

  • 23 Andy F.

    Hey Andrew, Thank you for the awesome information! We have 4 Pronto Income Tax locations in Los Angeles and this is something that is much on my mind. One thing I have been wondering about is what is the best approach to take on Facebook for the multiple locations. It appears to me that Facebook does not allow to have multiple addresses or locations to exploit these local SEO angles. I would love to hear your or any other commentors’ thoughts on how to approach Facebook in terms of multiple locations and local SEO on Facebook. Thanks again, killer post

  • 24 Search Marketing Post

    Hi
    Which one is more important? number of citations or getting links from local businesses? My colleges believes citations are more important for google map,. Thanks

  • 25 Aylin Poulton

    Hi Andrew,

    Does #4 still apply if I have a client with 3 locations but in different cities?

    They’re all branded with the same name.

    Thank you.

  • 26 Andrew Shotland

    Yep. Hadn’t revisited this post in a long time. Nice to see that the old stuff still holds up :)

  • 27 Aylin Poulton

    Great post! Thanks a million for the reply!

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