In many of our previous webinars, we’ve talked extensively about the challenge and importance of optimizing and managing your local listings at scale. Yet, Local Pages is an often overlooked component of a comprehensive local marketing strategy that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
Local Pages present numerous opportunities for enterprise brands, but at a high-level, they allow your users to engage directly with your brand and, when done well, can prompt online conversions and/or drive in-store traffic.
During our most recent webinar, we assembled a panel of digital marketing experts to discuss how enterprise brands can leverage local pages at scale. Our panel included Lauren Etter, VP of Client Services at LSM, Steve Wiideman, Senior Search Strategist at Wiideman Consulting Group, and Dani Owens, Local SEO Consultant and Owner of Pigzilla, and was moderated by Scott McNulty, Director of Business Development at Rio SEO.
Our expert panel shared their insights on:
- How to optimize location pages at scale
- Why personalization across all your location pages is key for discoverability
- How to improve your on-page conversions
- Why metrics matter when determining the success of your location pages
Below, we will share key insights and takeaways our experts shared during the webinar. Additionally, you can access the full webinar on-demand here, and download the accompanying Local Pages Playbook here.
Local SEO focuses primarily on ranking higher in your local area. Organic SEO meanwhile focuses on ranking for a much broader range. How do location pages help assist with both of these areas?
Proximity plays a key role in determining the results returned any time a user conducts a search. Knowing Google’s algorithm looks closely at where a user resides, your location pages can serve as an opportunity to surface location-specific keywords in your on-page copy. For example, if your brand is a day spa with locations across the country, your location pages should contain not only the location’s business information but also localized terms such as “facials in Nashville” or “best day spa in Nashville”.
Well done SEO is meant to satisfy a user’s search intent. How do you bring this logic into developing a winning location page? What are some essential features/elements brands should incorporate to build successful location pages?
To best satisfy the user’s intent, you need to consider what a searcher might be looking for when they visit your location pages. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers may be wondering if they can shop in your stores or buy your products online. Develop custom content to highlight the products and services you are currently offering to satisfy your user’s intent.
In addition to custom content, our expert panel also suggested brands implement the following elements to develop a winning location page:
- Coupon or QR codes to boost online to offline attribution
- Review schema to highlight native reviews
- Surveys or questionnaires to gauge what your customers are most interested in seeing
What are your tips for mastering location pages at scale?
As with many marketing efforts, testing is crucial to determine your local pages’ impact and to identify opportunities to adjust on-page elements. Some of the elements you may want to test include location pictures, videos, content, and events.
Additionally, you can solicit the feedback of your website visitors to determine what you can improve. Create a brief survey to learn what they would like to see on your web page or what would entice them to shop with you more. This unbiased feedback helps your brand determine what your customers want to see and improves the overall user experience with your site.
What are some best practices brands should consider when developing a local page template for their locations?
The challenge multi-location brands face when creating local pages is the time and effort it takes to diversify the content for each of their locations. However, if all of your location pages have similar or duplicate content, they can be seen as not high quality to search engines. Unique content is helpful for improving your ranking and being seen in search. A few pieces of unique content that can be added to any individual location page to help differentiate the content include:
- Location’s business name
- Location’s address
- Location’s phone number
- Any services that location offers
- Highlighting team members for that location
- Links to social profiles for that location
“Add unique images specific to the location. When we added custom images to our client’s local pages, we saw as high as a 20% lift in their metrics (such as bounce rates, time spent on-page, and more).” – Steve Wiideman
How can brands surface COVID-19-related messaging in the SERPs through their local pages?
It’s now more critical than ever to convey the special products and services you may be offering related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are aware your stores are not operating normally. Some questions they may have before visiting one of your locations include:
- Are you fully open?
- Are you offering online orders or to-go orders?
- What are your guidelines for visiting your stores?
- Are you allowed inside?
- Do you need a face mask to enter your stores?
- Is contactless payment an option?
Tell your customers how you’re handling COVID-19 by adding a small banner on your landing pages and a jump-to link that takes readers directly to the COVID-19 section of your landing page. To make the most of your COVID-19 section, brands should consider what people are searching for now and revise content to reflect this. For example, restaurant brands only offering outdoor seating should surface this information prominently in localized content.
How can brands with many locations differentiate their content?
It’s difficult to write custom content for thousands of locations. Lauren Etter recommended multi-location brands start with drafting three paragraphs of content. She then recommends making 8-10 variations of that content, adding in content modifiers such as city, state, phone number. After that, put this content into a randomizer. The result will be content that is custom enough that it’s not viewed as duplicate and in turn, Google will rank it more positively.
If you have only a few locations, consider adding custom neighborhood information such as nearby streets or recognizable landmarks to your local pages.
What are your thoughts on using (“borrowing”) images and quotes from Google My Business as UGC?
Our local search expert panel agrees Google encourages brands to use images and quotes from GMB. They also recommend adding a GMB widget on your local pages to see if and how users interact with it.
Do you have any tools you would recommend for developing content to help guide a brand’s on-page content strategy?
Dani Owens recommends brands use Phil Rozac’s Local Visibility System questionnaire to help identify content gaps. In the questionnaire, you can assess if your local pages:
- Are detailed
- Have correct Schema/Product Markup
- Correctly embedded Google Maps
- Have a reasonable number of City pages
- Have a page for each branch or location
- And much more
Additionally, our digital experts recommend looking at Google Search Console to see what terms people are searching for when they find your website. Once you’ve determined these terms, you can better do an in-depth analysis of the terms you are currently ranking for and optimize content further to build rankings.
Why is it important for brands to have an optimized dynamic locator?
This powerful, customizable mapping tool embedded seamlessly in your website empowers searchers to find services, advisors, agents, and vendors by city, zip code, or even points of interest. If you don’t have a locator tool, your customers won’t be able to quickly find the location most convenient to them and may turn to your competitors instead.
What metrics do you recommend tracking for determining the success of local page performance?
For all brands, the ability to accurately measure revenue and conversions is paramount. To accurately determine which location pages are prompting conversions, brands must track which of their location pages led to a conversion (such as a phone call, form submission, online purchase). A local marketing partner can also assist with tracking and help provide transparency into your Local Pages conversion insights.
Having an array of keywords you’re tracking across each location is also an indicator of local success. Monitor your top keywords you’re trying to rank for on a monthly basis to ensure you’re on track.
Are there any industries you think should prioritize location pages?
Our panel agreed that every business that has more than one location should have a location page—whether you have a brick and mortar store or a territory.
What Are Your Final Tips For Optimizing Local Pages?
We asked our expert panel what brands should keep in mind as they move forward with optimizing their local pages. Here are the top pieces of advice they shared:
- Maintain the integrity and accuracy of your data
- Continue to nurture all your local landing pages
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
- Security and privacy are key
- Own your reputation and reviews strategy
- Ask neighboring businesses to promote your events and cross-promote their events
- Produce helpful content your customers want to read
- Seek out natural backlinks
Want to learn more useful Local Pages insights?