A powerful way to make the most of your local SEO efforts and bring more customers in the door, is to rank higher in Google Maps. After all, what’s better than navigating customers directly to your business?
But if you have multiple business locations, or will be opening more than one location, it can get tricky to optimize for Google Maps to be sure each location is ranked as high as possible. To help you make the most of these local local searches, here’s 10 ways to rank higher in Google Maps for multiple locations.
1. Location-specific Web Pages
Distinguish each location with it’s own page on your website. Include the location’s unique contact information and relevant content that’s different from the other locations.
2. Embedded Google Maps
Embed a Google map on each location’s page. This will help Google understand how many locations you have and where each one is located.
3. URL Structure
Have clean, consistent, location-specific URLs to make it clear to Google which web page is most relevant for specific location-based search results. Think of each location as it’s own microsite where you can create content specific for each location (such as testimonials and contact information). For example, your URL structure may looks something like:
4. Submit a Sitemap
Add a sitemap to your website to provide Google with a blueprint of your different locations. This way, there will be no unanswered questions when Google crawls your location-specific pages. Once you have your sitemap, submit to Google through Google Search Console.
5. Verify Google My Business Locations
Create & verify your Google My Business profiles for each location. Be sure not to skip the verification process. It can make a big difference in your Google Maps rankings.
If you have more than 10 locations, you can use Google’s bulk verification process. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually verify each location through your centralized Google My Business account. Additionally, be sure you select the correct business category for your business, and you can add up to five categories to help diversify your local SEO keywords.
6. Location-specific Google My Business Profile Information
Fully complete each profile with:
- Unique contact information: List the correct address for the location and provide a unique phone number with a local area code (if possible).
- Hours: Specify the hours for each location.
- Unique URL: Link each profile to your location-specific web page on your website.
- Description: Provide a different description for each location optimized with local SEO keywords. The description may look very similar to your other location(s) if you offer the same products and services. But having a slight variation in the description from other locations is another indication to Google that each location is unique.
- Photos: Add enticing location-based photos in addition to your location-neutral photos (like pictures relating to your products and services).
7. Google Reviews
Social proof is not only a powerful way to attract new customers, but Google also places a lot of value on it. Google tries to provide Google Map results with businesses that have reviews because they know their searches find it helpful. So the more reviews you have, and the closer you are to 5-stars – the better. Start asking customers to review your business locations on Google.
Seek out relevant, quality directory listings. Some of the most visited and important directories for organic SEO purposes include: Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages. But don’t forget about other (potentially more relevant) local or industry-specific directories. These more niche listings can be especially helpful for getting that local SEO boost you’re looking for to rank higher for location-based searches.
Before you create new listings, check to see if your business is already listed. Claim existing listings, and watch closely for duplicates that may be misspelled or contain the wrong contact information.
9. Matching NAP
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. And it’s critical to have matching NAPs on your website, Google, and all your directory listings. Attention to detail is key here. You’ll need to make sure the information is identical.
For example, if you have “123 Main Street Vancouver, WA” on your website but “123 Main St Vancouver, WA” on Yelp, Google may view those as two different locations since “street” was written two different ways. This can harm your search ranking, so be sure to make sure you’re consistent for each of your locations.
10. Content and Links
As a general SEO reminder, focus on providing high-quality content that adds value for your audience. Get creative and create content specific to each location. For example, feature location-specific events, biographies on your staff members, or highlight your loyal customers. The more links pointing to your website, the better. Google views links as votes of approval, so it is a good way to get your business ranked higher in search results.
There are many ways to manage your multiple business locations to rank higher in Google Maps. To make the most of those local searches, be sure you:
- Don’t just focus on Google’s platform. There’s also important updates you can make on your website and across the web (like directory listings).
- Treat each location like it’s own microsite with it’s own listings, URL, and content.
- Remember that consistency is key. Be sure NAP (name, address, and phone number) information is identical across all sources.
- Help Google help you. Get customer reviews on Google, create location-specific webpages with a clean URL structure, and submit a sitemap to Google to help them understand your business structure.
If you’re ready to take the next step in pursuing local SEO for your business, check out the rest of our SEO 101 series. For example, learn what factors have the biggest impact on your SEO success with the 3 Top Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2018. Or if you’re still a little unsure if SEO is worth all the effort, check out our post on Why Local SEO Matters for Your Small Business.
Infographic Cheat Sheet for 10 Ways to Rank Higher in Google Maps