In the United States, there are approximately 1,664 IHOP locations and nearly 2,000 Applebee’s restaurants. That’s a lot of buttermilk pancakes and Bourbon Street Steak with an Oreo Shake.
If your company has more than one location, you have a clear opportunity to promote each and every one of them in order to occupy Google’s most valuable local real estate: The Local Map Pack.
Single-location brands may be able to get by with a well-thought-out Google My Business profile linked to their website, but for multi-location businesses that want to rank in search engine results for “near me” or city-specific queries, creating a separate and unique Local Landing Page (LLP) for each location is essential.
A 300-page study on how to create and optimize these multi-location web pages revealed the following key areas where you should concentrate your time and energy:
- The Most Important Content for Local Landing Pages
- Optimize Hyperlocal Content with Technical SEO in Mind
- Other Critical Ranking Factors: Mobile-First Page Design
The objective of multi-location SEO
Keep your eye on the simple prize of multi-location SEO: increasing the number of qualified visitors from unbranded search engine queries like “restaurant near me” on a regular basis. Simply put, someone searches Google for the products and services you provide in the area you serve but does not include the name of your company. If you’ve done your local SEO correctly, you should be ranking in Google Maps and local organic search results, capturing traffic from the billion different ways your customers search.
Content that is required for local landing pages
Make sure you understand what a Local Landing Page (LLP) is: these are standalone web pages that are created for each business location. LLPs allow each location to have its own separate listing in Google My Business (GMB). Many industry experts agree that Google Maps GMB listings are a significant ranking signal.
According to our multi-location study, you should pay attention to and implement the following content elements on your location pages:
- Include hyperlocal content on each page.
- Provide distinct links to each location’s social media profiles.
- Include a link to your location’s directions.
- List your business hours and an obvious “Open Now” status.
- Include “native” reviews on your LLPs, particularly those that are hosted directly on your website (instead of third-party reviews like Yelp or Facebook)
- Include coupons with trackable QR codes or barcodes.
- Include keywords that highlight your products or services, as well as your location.
Our research found that pages that included many of these elements in their LLPs had a significant search engine ranking advantage (measured in percentages) over those that did not.