SEO for Multiple Locations: The Ultimate Guide to Ranking #1
Article by Kevin Cook Last updated
Search engine optimization is one of the hottest digital marketing trends out there, and if you are ready to take advantage of this useful, engaging, and valuable technique then there is no better time to start than today. Whether or not you are familiar with SEO for a single location, making the jump to an SEO campaign that is meant for multiple locations can be overwhelming to take on without the proper planning and approach. As with any digital marketing campaign, deciding where to begin can be one of the most overwhelming steps to take, and with all of the information out there it can be hard to tell even where to look for help.
Luckily for you, the team at On The Map Marketing has over a decade in the SEO industry, and many of our expert teammates have even more experience than that. We spent some time gathering top tips from our in-house SEO experts about how to best approach a multiple-location SEO campaign, including planning hints and more. Take a look below to gather this valuable information so that you can start reaching your target audience in every location that you are targeting so that you can offer your products or services to a wider range of those who will greatly benefit from having them.
If you decide that taking on this big of a project alone might be more than you bargained for, contact our team today and we will be happy to discuss the services we provide, and how we can help you drive conversions for each of your locations with a multi-location SEO campaign. When you have a team of experts running your campaign, you can focus on providing top-quality service to your new customers while we focus on lasting and measurable change to your web presence.
SEO for Multiple Locations: Where To Start
The most daunting step of any new experience is the first step, and when you are starting out with SEO—either brand new to SEO or expanding into multiple locations—this is equally true. The following tips are a great way to start your research and planning phase.
Tip 1: Do Not Write Anything*
When you sit down and decide that you want to start a multiple location SEO campaigns, the urge to sit down and start to write SEO content for your new audience can be tempting, but don’t do it! This is the research and planning phase, and you will thank yourself later for putting in this initial work before diving headfirst into new content.
*Ok, we encourage you to write notes. DO NOT write content, DO write notes that will guide your process.
Tip 2: Study the Local Competition
When a brick and mortar business decides to expand into a second location, as you may be doing alongside your expanded SEO campaign, it is important to have an idea of what the competition is doing; in fact, WHO the competition is at all is an important first question to answer. Once you know who you are up against, you can start to study their own online tactics in order to understand what you are competing with for the coveted top spot on the Google organic search results page.
If the competition has a strong SEO strategy in place, or if you are trying to get penetration in a highly-saturated market, it is important that you understand this so that you can contextualize your expectations and understand what your short-term, mid-term, and long-term definitions of success will be.
Tip 3: Map Out Your Site
If you plan to target multiple locations with an SEO campaign, you will need a different page for each location. If you try to cover all areas on a single page, Google and the other search engines will not know what to do with the overage of keywords on that page and will ultimately drop your page score for every location. Instead, you will need to create a new landing page for every location in a logical and organized manner. Remember that Google’s crawlers grade your website based on your sitemap, so this is a key step,
If you take the time to physically draw out your site structure, you will be able to identify any inconsistencies. More importantly, looking at your sitemap will be very helpful as you organize and structure your URLs, which we discuss in the next tip.
Tip 4: Organize Your URLs!
As with your sitemap, web crawlers judge you based on the structure of your URLs. The following template is a basic structure that you can follow, in tandem with a consistent and navigable sitemap, in order to help your new customers find you:
Page 1 – www.yoursite.com/location1/
Page 2 – www.yoursite.com/location1/service1
Page 3 – www.yoursite.com/location1/service2
Page 4 – www.yoursite.com/location1/service3
Page 5 – www.yoursite.com/location2/
Page 6 – www.yoursite.com/location2/service1
Page 7 – www.yoursite.com/location2/service2
Page 8 – www.yoursite.com/location2/service3
Notice that pages 3 and 4 are both for Location 3, and are further divided into “Service 1” and “Service 2.” If you install pools in Orlando and Tampa and offer pool cleaning or liner replacement in Tampa, then you will need to make sure that each service gets its own page under the location.
SEO for Multiple Locations: Time to Write
Once you have built a logical site structure and mapped all of your pages, it is time to fill each page with useful, location-specific information for your visitors. These tips are specifically about the type of content that you will be creating, and the way that you will be using keywords to effectively signal to Google and your target audience that you are available to help.
Tip 5: Know Your Keywords
It’s no secret that keywords are the backbone of a strong SEO campaign (but only a small piece of a much bigger picture). Doing a lot of research before determining the keywords that you will focus on can save you a lot of time and wasted effort if you simply throw in the first keywords you think of and get to writing. Of course, even this approach is better than not writing any content at all, but the difference between a mediocre SEO campaign and a campaign that converts is the research that goes into it.
These keywords will be used in tandem with your location targets. For example, “Orlando pool cleaner” and “Tampa pool cleaner” are two separate keyword queries that are highly specific to their locale.
Tip 6: Provide Useful Information
Too often, an SEO newcomer (or unethical service provider) will focus more on their keywords and less on the actual content, which can lead to getting flagged by the search engines for keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is an easy way to have Google lower you on the result page, but it is also a great way to show your potential customers that you will cut corners with the work you provide to them, too.
Effective SEO content is engaging, informative, and indicates to your visitors that you are an expert in your industry. Keep a content calendar (learn more in Tip #9) to make sure that you have plenty of topics to keep your content fresh.
Tip 7: Location, Location, Location
You might have guessed that this tip was coming, but it is very important that you write location-specific information for each of your pages. If you are trying to reach an audience for pool installations in Orlando and Tampa, then you will need to write two different, unique pages of content discussing your services as they relate to the target locations. In addition to the content itself, you will need to be sure that all of your meta tags, descriptions, headers, and alt tags are all specific to your target location to further signal the specificity of your page.
If, in your time providing services in multiple locations, you recognize specific trends for specific locations, this is an important detail that will be a great help for your SEO strategy. Writing about winterizing pools in West Palm Beach is probably not going to do much for your audience, but writing about prepping your pool for a hurricane is likely highly useful.
SEO for Multiple Locations: Keys to Long-Term Success
Tip 8: Google My Business
In addition to your own site, leveraging third-party tools like Google My Business is extremely important to ensure that you are casting a wide net. Google My Business will allow new visitors to see your location, user reviews, your opening times, contact information, and a link to your website on the right side of the results page. Essentially, a Google My Business listing is another opportunity to get in front of your target audience, and a great way to add credibility to your site.
Do the same with other business pages like Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and TripAdvisor to give yourself the opportunity to capture traffic from a variety of platforms. These administrative steps can feel like a grind, but they will pay you back with diverse web traffic.
Tip 9: Use a Content Calendar
If you sit down once a month for a few hours to come up with your topics for the month, this can save you a lot of frustration throughout the coming weeks and is a great way to build a “bank” of content that you know your audience is searching for. Each time you speak with a client and they ask a question that you think would make a good article, make sure that you make a note so that this can go into your content calendar.
You may find that after you get into the habit of noting important topics that your content calendar is full for months in advance, which is a great sign that you are thinking about your customers, and they will think of you when they need to find an expert in your industry.
Tip 10: Track Your Performance
Good SEO takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t hitting the top search result in your first month. You will need to track your performance metrics, such as impressions, page ranking, bounce rates, conversions, and other important indicators of success so that you can continue to fine-tune your strategy and keep building a robust and successful SEO campaign. Remember that the ultimate indicator of a successful campaign is new conversions because at the end of the day every other data point is a vanity metric.
If you are consistently the top-ranking pool installation service in Orlando, experience high volumes of traffic, but don’t even get an inquiry, then something is wrong. You need to take a deep dive into your site and identify where visitors are dropping off, or “bouncing,” and take immediate corrective action.
Our Final Advice: Contact On The Map Marketing Today
If all of this sounds overwhelming or time-consuming, you heard right. Running a successful SEO campaign, especially across multiple locations, is a complex operation that requires a lot of attention and ongoing work. If you would prefer to focus on your work in your own industry, especially with an increase in customers, then let us do the SEO work for you. With our years of experience and a long history of successes in a range of industries, working with the team of experts at On The Map Marketing is the best way that you can launch and sustain a successful SEO strategy.
Contact us now to speak with one of our representatives so we can discuss your goals, your budget, and how we can help. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin our work together and help to take your website to the next level.
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Article by Kevin Cook
I am the SEO Director at On The Map Marketing overseeing strategy for our clients as well as the products we provide. I have overseen over 100 SEO campaigns and begun our structured SEO testing experiments. In my free time, I purchase expired domains and run numerous testing experiments with SEO and website development. Outside of SEO, I’m a big fan of snorkeling and exploring nature.