Home Blog The Value of Parent and Child Listings Hierarchy in Local Search

Sometimes, there are elements of the business that exist in the real world but can’t effectively be displayed in your local listings descriptions and attributes. For example, if your department store brand has ATMs in some store locations, this isn’t necessarily information that fits in your business description or that you can indicate in your listing otherwise. 

Similarly, a grocery store with a floral center might list this information on the website, but where does it go on your Google My Business (GMB) listing?

A parent/child structure on a website has a main page and related sub-pages in the same place, with the use of internal links. This allows users to find the main information quickly or be taken to the main page from a specific search in local listings.

Much in the same way as you might have parent and child web pages or categories, this relationship and structure can be beneficial in local listings, too. In this post, we’ll look at how parent/child relationships work in local listings, what the benefits might be for your brand if applicable, and how you can incorporate it.

The Benefits of Parent and Child Local Listings

When you have specialty product and service lines or specific subsegments of the business, such as medical departments for certain specializations or music instructors teaching at different locations, it is important that each of these has a visible presence in local search. Nearly half of all Google searches have local intent, and these queries tend to produce a MapPack in addition to organic results on desktop.

Your local search presence is even more important for mobile users, who only see the MapPack when Google believes they’re searching for something nearby.

Having a focused, optimized GMB listing for each of your locations demonstrates the relevance of your business to specific types of queries. What’s more, the primary category you designate on your GMB listing impacts the types of attributes available to you for that listing. 

When you have these unique, specialized segments of the business, using a parent and child structure can help:

  • Improve the relevance of your listing with unique hours of operation, business description, local reviews, address, and more
  • Offer local searchers a better experience by giving them all of the information they need
  • Prevent listing filtering, a common issue amongst insurance brokerages and their agents, banks, medical facilities, and their doctors, etc.,
  • Enhance your visibility and improve local search rankings for that part of the business.

Parent & Child Local Listings in Action

A more focused listing enables you to rank for keyword terms specific to that line of business or specialization. Petco is a great example here, as in addition to the main retail store they also have dog grooming and dog training lines of business, among others.

If a customer is already familiar with the brand and just wants to find the right location for one of these services, they can do so through Petco’s store locator.

If the customer is searching locally for pet stores or searching Petco by name, they’ll find the “parent” listing:

Petco Parent Listing

But what if a person is just looking for dog grooming or training services near their current location? Unbranded searches for broad terms like “dog groomers” and “where to find dog trainers” are a key aspect of your brand’s discoverability at the local level.

Using a Local Page and GMB profile for each of these “child” services improves the searcher’s experience by getting them directly to the information they need.

A local consumer looking for dog trainers would see this, for example:

Petco Child Listing for Dog Trainers

And a person searching for dog grooming would get this result:

Petco child listing for dog grooming

Although these distinct services operate out of the same location and share a common phone number, they have different hours of operation, target different types of keywords, and serve users with different needs.

Here’s another example.

Let’s say that ABC Hospital has 15 departments and 140 medical specialists onsite. People are unlikely to call around to various hospitals to ask if they have a cardiologist, write down names, etc. Today, people go straight to Google and search “cardiologist near me”.

But cardiology is just one of many, many services and specialties offered at ABC Hospital. How is Dr. Jones going to be found for these types of searches?

With a parent/child local listings structure, Dr. Jones has his own separate listing and appears for different types of searches than the facility (or facilities) he works in.

How to Set Up Your Parent and Child Local Listings 

Parent/child local listings can be an option to improve local search visibility for:

  • Insurance, banking, mortgage, and other types of brokerages and their agents
  • Medical facilities and their doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical specialists, especially doctors who practice at different locations on different days of the week
  • Department or grocery stores with specialized departments or services such as in-store pharmacies, ATMs, florists, etc.
  • Retailers with specialized departments or in-store services

Want to learn more or need help setting up child listings? Talk to your Account Director to explore whether this is the right solution for your multi-location brand and how your brand can gain meaningful insight into each of your child locations in Local Manager.