Local searches have spiked in recent years. The phrase “near me” in addition to a clear intention of making a purchase had seen a 500% growth between 2015 and 2017. Furthermore, local search statistics reveal that 97% of consumers use search engines to find businesses within their local area. More than half of consumers do so at least once a month and 12% will even perform a daily local search.
Having a well-written website that follows basic SEO guidelines is the first step in making sure potential customers can find you and reach out to you. However, if you run a local business that relies on customers from within a certain area, you will need to do a bit more in order to ensure you are visible to your target audience.
One of the most important strategies when it comes to local SEO is having a location page. Whether you are a tradesman, a local doctor, lawyer or restaurant owner – location pages are essential as they will significantly increase your chances of being seen by the community.
What are location pages?
Local searches online have increased dramatically over the last few years. A location page is designed to capture these searches and put you on top of the search results. It typically provides your business’s specific location, including operating hours and contact details.
NAP and map
The most important data that needs to be displayed on every location page is called NAP – name, address, phone number. This data needs to be regularly updated and maintained to make sure it is consistent across all your business listings. In addition, customers want to see your days and times of operation. An embedded Google map will further help your audience decide whether your business is relevant for them and how best to find you.
Google Business Profile
For improved visibility, location pages usually work alongside your Google Business Profile. Having both interlinked will help Google validate your business and act as proof that your business is located where you say it is as well as it offers the services and products advertised.
Local Business Schema
You can further optimize your local SEO by applying local business schema to your location page. This is a special code or structured data added to your website to make it easier for search engines to determine what kind of business you are and what you have to offer.
If you are working across several townships or cities, make sure you include those on your location page. That will increase the likelihood of customers from all your service areas being able to interact with you.
Featured products & services
Consumers prefer having all the information they want in one place, clearly visible and easy to find. In addition to your basic business data, including an overview of your main products and services on your location page with links to each of them will add great value to potential clients and help them decide whether it is worthwhile visiting your store.
Call to Action
Every location page should include a contact form where visitors can engage with you. This could be by sending you a message, requesting a quote, booking a free consultation or making a general enquiry.
Operating in multiple locations
If your business has physical stores across a range of cities, you will need to create a location page for each one to make sure you are not missing out on potential customers for example in small urban or rural areas. Depending on your industry, your brand might be established in the bigger cities, but you might be losing against smaller shops in local communities that solely focus on just one service area.
Having a designated location page for each of your stores will help Google understand how your business operates and provide search engine users with the relevant information for their specific area.
You would also need a separate Google Business Profile for each location and make sure you link the appropriate location pages together.
One of the biggest mistakes website owners make when creating multiple location pages is duplicating content. While this might not be penalized by Google, it will most likely mean that not all of your location pages are displayed in search engine results. Google generally displays the page that it deems most authoritative, meaning that you might be missing out on attracting potential clients in some of your service areas.
Creating unique content for all your landing pages is not only considered best practice. It also gives you the opportunity to broaden your reach and grow location density which means that more of your website pages will show up in search results.
A local authority
Unique content can include focusing on products or services that are specific to each location, introducing the team at each physical store or promoting and talking about industry-related events in each area. The more you portray yourself as a local authority in each of your service areas, the more you will reap the benefits when users perform local searches.
While it might seem time-consuming to create, optimize and maintain your location page or pages, the benefits for your business will be highly significant. Expanding your reach over multiple locations while at the same time increasing your visibility in each local service area will ultimately lead to more visitors for your brick-and-mortar shops and an overall increased revenue.
If you need help with creating or optimizing location pages for your business website or would like to know more about setting up a Google Business Profile, talk to the friendly experts at Energise Web today. We can take a look at your local SEO, discuss options on how to increase visibility for your website in the community and ensure that local customers can easily find and interact with you.