Chris Smith has written an extremely informative article for Search Engine Land’s Local Search Week. The article discusses how bricks-and-mortar companies with multiple stores, offices, hotels spread out across a city or region can optimise their site for local search.
According to Chris, hotels like the Marriott chain have mastered the art of optimising a site for local search results in multiple cities. They do this by creating dedicated pages to each hotel with specific details for that location and the hotels amenities, which make the page significantly different from pages about other hotels in the same city or other cities.
The main tips Chris shares on optimising multi-location business sites for local search are:
- Create a unique, dedicated page for every office / store / branch / hotel location. Provide the address, contact details, and opening hours for that location. Add specific details about the area, amenities and facilities provided in that particular location and a map and photographs if possible.
- Provide search engine friendly links to each and every page. If need be, set up a directory-like structure with the links neatly organised according to location. For a super market chain this could be in the form of a list of counties, which when clicked yield a list of towns and cities, which can be further opened up to yield a list of localities within the city.
- Create search friendly URL structures that mirror regular directory structures e.g. www.supermarket-name.com/greater-london/north-west/
- Create unique, descriptive Meta Data for each and every localised page. Use popular key phrases, queried by searchers, in the Title tag. For example, “Mortgage Advisor In Oxford Street, Central London”.
- Use individual branch promotional budgets to obtain links from other local businesses, newspapers and charities direct to the store location.
- Ensure all locations are listed on the Google Local Business Centre. The bulk upload facility will facilitate this. Discuss providing a feed of the locations and their updates to other local search sites such as Internet Yellow pages.