Brands with many brick-and-mortar locations across the country, or even within the same city, use store locator tools to provide consumers information about those specific locations (i.e Name, Address, Phone Numbers, Promotions, and more).
Too often though, these store locator mappers are missing the local search optimizations that make their locations appear prominently on search results pages. They’re missing out on a huge opportunity to drive more visitors to the brand’s website. Not only that, but they’re missing out on an ability to own that traffic on their domain as well as generate more in-store traffic at these physical locations. Finally, they’re missing a chance to capture additional revenue as a result.
So, why is it better for you to target individual stores, even if you’re a brand with multiple locations?
- Local Branding – Consumers prefer to engage with brands the old way: by choosing local brands they know and trust.
- Effective, geo-targeted content – In order for Google to index and deliver your content to your intended audience, you need to make it locally relevant and speak to the consumer.
- No penalties involved – If executed correctly, local SEO for companies with multiple store locations will help you avoid duplicate content and link networking penalties.
Here are a couple of simple ways to optimize your store locator for local search engine visibility.
Create an Organized Hierarchy with Location Landing Pages
First, create location landing pages for each of your locations, with an organized linking hierarchy based on city, region, or state (and in some cases neighborhoods). It’s good to have less than 100 links on a single page, but you’ll probably want to reduce the internal linking structure even more to improve your user experience. Also having a thorough breadcrumb navigation is beneficial for internal link equity which is a local SEO signal.
If you have more than 100 locations, start out at the state level. Link and narrow down to city level, then provide links to each individual location within that city. Make sure that the links in your navigation structure are search engine crawler-friendly; the shorter, the better. However if possible, make sure the links contain keywords relevant for the individual locations.
Populate Local Store Pages with Relevant, Unique Info
For each of these location pages, provide relevant information about the store’s location and address, phone number and hours of operation. Make sure you include a map!
Make each store’s profile page as unique as possible; for example, you can mention nearby locations of interest. For example, landmarks or event centers, social media feeds, local images, and even products that are available. This helps the search engines understand your relevance to the local area.
Craft Search Engine and User Friendly Location Page Titles
Draw from your search query data to better understand how users search for your business, and use that insight to inform your page titles. Use your brand name, the city, and business type within the title. It is also recommended to optimize for “near me” variations.
For instance, “Sweet Cupcakes Bakery Near Me in San Diego, CA”. Search engines love when this text is optimized by location. This is so that consumers know exactly what they are going to be presented when clicking on your links.
Upload Store Locator Data to Google
Using Google’s My Business Location Bulk Upload tool, you can deliver your store locator information directly to Google Maps. This allows Google Maps to directly associate each of your locations to a unique landing page.
Expand beyond your traditional SEO
It’s one thing for people to look for your brand, but what about people that don’t know your brand? Good local SEO takes advantage of unbranded keywords, and Rio’s hyperlocal Speciality Pages make that happen.
Imagine you are a pet retailer. Imagine trying to reach pet owners actively seeking out services and items tailored to their pet’s needs, but not specifically for your store. By creating and optimizing specialty pages for services within your store, you can reach these potential customers while they’re actively looking for local services.
Here’s a case study on how this pet retailer used Rio SEO’s Specialty Pages to develop a hyperlocal Specialty Pages for their dog training, grooming, vaccinations and aquatics. Comparing year over year, the retailer drove an additional 1.4 million visits to their website. They also saw a 42% lift in search volume.
Optimizing all your store locations can be tedious and time consuming, but has major benefits. Using a store or dealer location tool like our Local Pages allows you to save time and resources, reduce errors, and ensure all locations are optimized to rank prominently when searchers are looking for businesses like yours.
Karisa Macias has extensive expertise in local search, digital marketing, and technology.