How does Local SEO work with businesses that have multiple locations?

multiple locations
McDonalds – has multiple locations

Franchises have multiple locations

There are many businesses that have multiple locations and for some, such as franchises, that is their business model. Even very small businesses may have another location, either within the same town or in one nearby; and this can easily be managed with Local SEO.

The same test applies to each location – can they obtain a legitimate Google My Business listing? There are guidelines available from Google on the eligibility criteria and genuine branches there will be a way to comply.

When it comes to a business’s website, there are some special requirements to take advantage of. The business owner should create different pages for each location, known as Landing Pages. The Google My Business listing should contain the URL to the location landing page rather than the home page.

Each location page should contain content that is unique to that location. This would include its address and phone number, hours of business and, ideally, an embedded Google Map. Google can then combine the local and organic search results and the business will benefit in terms of page rank.

It is also good practice to have a “store locator” prominently displayed on the website. This helps customers to quickly find the branch closest to them.

Local search is growing in importance.

Local search is growing in importance generally and multi-location businesses can leverage the trends. Loyalty programmes work very well for multi-location businesses as they encourage people to use the same business wherever they are.

There are some very good SaaS (Service as a Business) platforms for multi-location businesses to manage their profiles on Google My Business and Facebook etc. These enable a central office to control and monitor all of the locations and to compare their Analytics. This introduces conformity and enables best practices to be adopted in all locations. It also means that fewer people have to be trained to manage the local SEO aspects of the business.

Remember, Local SEO is meant to target customers that are close by. For instance, a user might search for “burgers Norwich” and get the 3-pack showing the nearest three burger businesses.

If a user was hoping to find McDonald’s and the nearest one is too far away then they will eat elsewhere. McDonald’s may have multiple locations within the city, but perhaps only one has been set up or optimised with a Google My Business listing? If so the user may get results only for the location furthest away from them. McDonald’s would lose out simply because they did not have a separate listing for that location.

In summary, treat each location as a separate business from a Local Listing perspective. If there is a website, separate landing pages should be created per location rather than having separate websites. Use a tool to centrally manage multiple locations once you get above a certain number.


About MyLocal

We work with your website designer to improve your ability to be found in Google and other search engines. Also, to look good wherever you may appear online. We specialise in local SEO and most of our work is off-site. But there still needs to be some on-site work undertaken by your webmaster to complement what we do. If you would be interested in finding out more, please use the Contact Form on our website.


Can a business rank in another city?

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