Most businesses today rely on Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business or GMB) as a way of driving organic traffic.
Whether you are a multi-location enterprise or a small local business with a single storefront, map listings have become an important part of any SEO strategy. Local SEO has branched into its own field within the overarching industry of SEO, with experts dedicated to the practice of improving local search rankings.
For new businesses, or even for multi-location enterprises, setting up Location Landing pages on your website can be daunting. They need to provide value for customers, and they correlate to your local rankings, so it’s crucial to ensure your location landing page information correlates to your GBP listing.
Providing value for customers is crucial, especially for multi-location businesses. It’s not enough to simply change the city name in the H1 and the Page Title but serve out the same content for all your locations.
Whilst it may seem hard to find a unique proposition for each location, especially when all your stores sell the same products or offer the same services, there are things you can do to create unique content for each location whilst delivering value.
How to create unique content for multi-location businesses
The first thing to understand when it comes to creating unique content is to appreciate that content covers all mediums, not just copy. Images, videos, and graphics all contribute to the uniqueness of the content on any given page, and this should be the first thing you think about when you are considering how to deliver value to customers landing on those pages.
It’s also important to understand that not everything on your location landing pages needs to be unique. Boilerplate content – content that is repeated across multiple pages – is perfectly acceptable and a great way of saving time, however, it should not make up the majority of the content on a page.
Showcasing your services, the payment types you accept or even your mission statement is perfectly acceptable. Most customers will not visit multiple locations, so you are not being judged on the content you serve across your locations. Boiler plating content that is consistent to all locations is a great way of building out pages quickly. You just need to ensure there is enough scope on the page to add unique content that outweighs the boilerplate content.
If you are managing multi-location businesses, you need to think about how you are going to add value to customers on each of those location pages. If every page is simply a duplicate with different addresses, then you may as well have a single page and list all your locations in one place (don’t do that!).
Unique content is content that is specific to the exact location. It is not found anywhere else – either on your site or off it – and it is content that is going to help the customer find out more about that exact location.
This type of content is more time-consuming to create or curate, however, it is an essential part of building unique, high-performing location landing pages.
How to build a unique location landing page
At Digital Hothouse, we work with a number of multi-location businesses and over time, we have worked hard to create unique landing pages. This is because the local map-pack space has become a crucial part of their SEO strategy. Ranking in the top three in the map pack could be the difference between a business making their sales targets or not.
Whilst our initial focus was on creating high-quality GBP pages, we soon realised that local SEO performance was also strongly linked to the location landing page the GBP profile was linking out to.
Initially, like most agencies, we focused on matching the NAP (Name, Address and Phone) and ensuring this was consistent across all citations as well as the website and GBP listing.
We then looked at taking the next step and creating exceptional location landing pages. We realised that these needed to be unique so we carried out an audit to identify any element that could be considered unique to the exact location. We then set about finding these unique elements for each location.
Through our research, here are some of the unique attributes we identified that can be built into a unique location landing page:
1. Paragraph-form content
The most common type of content on a page, paragraph-form content is often the type of content that gets the boilerplate treatment, but it doesn’t have to.
We worked hard with our clients to add unique value through paragraph-form content. This included things like:
- Unique location information – directions to the store, what street it is on, what stores are nearby
- Accessibility information – is there disabled parking, is there a lift access etc
- Specific information about the location – where relevant, we might talk more about the wider area to add context
There is room for boilerplate and unique paragraph-form content – just ensure the unique content outweighs the boilerplate content.
2. Location-specific FAQs
One of the best things we implemented for clients across a range of sectors was location-specific FAQs. This helped to tick off two key boxes. First off, it helped to create unique content that truly adds value. Including FAQs for a specific location help to tackle any pain points a customer might have before they come to visit. These questions tend to be specific and unique to the location so they really help contribute to the uniqueness of the content.
Secondly, we were able to add FAQ structured data markup to those questions, helping to improve the overall appearance of the page in the search results. We found that these location landing pages now took up a much larger piece of real estate within the SERPs, helping to improve the overall CTR.
3. Location attributes and services
GBP is a great place to look for inspiration when it comes to creating unique location landing pages. One of the key features of a GBP profile is the location attributes. These are constantly being added to and you can certainly look to pull the most relevant ones out and include them on your location landing page, especially if they are unique.
These will sometimes act as boilerplate content as a lot of the attributes and features of your store will be similar, however, these are some of the main ones we have included on the location landing pages we have built:
- Delivery options
- Pick up options
- Payment types accepted
- Wi-Fi available
Whilst these are some of the most popular and common fields from GBP, don’t limit yourself. If you have attributes that you think would add value to a customer and would be something helpful, make sure you add them on your location landing page.
4. Staff profiles
One thing we were keen to add was a section for staff profiles. At the end of the day, it’s your staff that really makes a location, and showcasing them to customers before they even visit the store really helps to put a face to a name.
It helps to show the human side of the business and hopefully showcase how much staff love working for the business. It can be tricky to get these across the line as staff can be reluctant, however, these don’t need to be too detailed – a simple photo and a short paragraph about how long they have worked for the business and why they love it is all you need.
User-generated content (UGC) is gold no matter what page you are trying to create and location landing pages are no different. Reviews are a great way to add unique content to a page and they are also a great way to build trust.
Google loves reviews. They are one of the key ranking factors in the local map space and showcasing them on your location landing pages as well as your GBP profiles is a great way to reinforce the message.
If you have GBP set up, you should be getting unique reviews for those locations which you can pull into your page, or you can set up a separate review platform on your website to capture specific location reviews, adding to the unique content on the page.
One thing we have noticed about the GBP profiles that we manage is the importance of managing your photos. Customers like to add photos of your business. They are promoted to do this if they use the Google Review platform. Sometimes, however, these photos are not very good. Unfortunately, Google prioritises recency over quality and this means the photos that are displayed on your GBP profile are not always the most relevant to the customer.
On your location landing page, you don’t have this issue, however, it’s still a good idea to add unique photos of the location on a regular basis. Publish date is still a ranking factor for your web page as well as your GBP profile so updating the page on a regular basis with up-to-date images is a great way to maintain or improve your rankings.
You can tie this to updates on your GBP profile, helping to showcase the photos that you want to display rather than photos from your customers that might not be as relevant.
7. Products or departments
We work with one of New Zealand’s biggest and most loved e-commerce brands and one of the things we introduced on their location landing pages was displaying which departments were available in specific locations.
We found that not all stores stocked the same products from the same departments. Some would have a Men’s section for example but others wouldn’t. Whilst people could order online and pick up any item from their local store no matter what the department, people looking to shop specifically in-store would be better served if they knew what products were likely to be available and which weren’t before they arrived.
For another brand we managed, we listed the types of vehicles that were available for rental from that specific branch so people would know what to expect.
This can sometimes end up as boilerplate content if the products stocked across all stores are the same, however, it is still valuable content for the customer.
8. Nearby locations
People might not always be aware that you have other stores close by. Showcasing these is a good way to get raise people’s awareness of your other branches, especially if you have a bigger store that is located close by.
If you have included some of the other elements above, particularly the information about products and departments, then people might choose to look at your other location pages if they are looking for something specific that is not stocked at their closest store.
We have perhaps left the most important piece of information ‘til last, however, the Name, Address and Phone Number is the key piece of information on your location landing page and links your location information across all sources online. Consistency of NAP is an important ranking factor for Google so ensuring this is displayed at the top of the page is important. It is also crucial that this is consistent across every location it is found online – particularly your GBP profile and your linked location landing page.
Most people are looking for this information when they are looking for details of a business so make it easy for them to find. Another additional piece of information that should sit with your NAP is your opening hours. People want to know when you are open so make this easy for them to find at the top of your page.
We would also recommend embedding a map that makes it easy for them to find you and you get directions to your store.
Creating unique location landing pages is easier than most people think. Whilst there is more work involved, the benefits are well worth that effort. We have seen some outstanding results by focusing on creating unique location landing pages. Depending on how competitive your niche is, appearing in the top three in the map pack can be make or break from an organic perspective.
If you are struggling to rank in the local organic space, talk to the experts at Digital Hothouse today and discover how we have maximised our client’s organic traffic by prioritising local SEO.