Anyone who’s attempted to optimize a site and rank on Google for multiple business locations knows how much a challenge it can be, especially when competing against other sites that are just in that one location. Here are a few tips for optimizing multiple business locations on your website and through Google Places for Business and Google+ Pages.
A model website for ranking in multiple cities:
Here’s a site that I think has a good model for ranking in different locations…notice how much content there is behind each city (every tutor has a page under the city where they tutor).
Here’s an example of one of the final pages that houses the bulk of the content.
The coolest thing is that all the content is user-generated by the tutors that create listings. The structure of the website is very well crafted. Take a look at the hierarchy of pages with location information and tutoring subject for some takeaways for your own efforts.
Most small businesses or organizations will not be able to generate user-generated content like Wyzant, so…
Here are some tips for ranking in multiple locations…
#1) Link your Google Places for Business listing and Google+ Page to a page on your website that relates to that business location:
Like 24 Hour Fitness does here.
This can all be completely be done from the Google Places for Business Dashboard. Thank you Google for finally making it easy for us 🙂
#2) Develop unique content related to your locations
Basically, I’m talking about what Wyzant did in the example that I showed you before, but tailored to your business or organization. First there is the technical website structure elements (organizing your website in a way that allows search engine spiders and users know you have a strong presence in your locations). Just as important, write about what you do locally.
Are you hosting any local events, local initiatives, or partnerships with local organizations? Do you have a local team? Develop your website with content specific to what your Write about them and structure it in a way that the content falls under the city location. Your website structure should look something like this:
#3) If your website is big enough, use a subdomain (or a separate site for your local presence)
Either of these options require that you are able to create a substantial amount of content, otherwise they’ll be pretty barren sites. There are some subtle differences between the two, but the choices are similar when compared to housing everything on a single site (as subdirectories).
A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away Matt Cutts said:
“My personal preference on subdomains vs. subdirectories is that I usually prefer the convenience of subdirectories for most of my content. A subdomain can be useful to separate out content that is completely different. Google uses subdomains for distinct products such news.google.com or maps.google.com, for example. If you’re a newer webmaster or SEO, I’d recommend using subdirectories until you start to feel pretty confident with the architecture of your site. At that point, you’ll be better equipped to make the right decision for your own site.”
#4) Link to your location-specific portions of your website
Besides your Google Places listing and Google+ page, when you can get a link from another website (e.g. an online directory), link to your specific location pages when applicable. Don’t send all the links to your homepage. Give their webmaster specific pages to link to.
#5) Stay persistent and dilligent!
It’s not easy ranking for multiple locations! Make sure your technical ducks are in a row, your listings are working correctly, and you’re plugging away on making location-relevant content and connecting with people locally.
What other ways have you succeeded in ranking for multiple locations? Sound off in the comments!