One of the very common issues with enterprise brands which have been around for years is the ability to branch out and connect with customers or clients online to get them to visit their office or business location eventually. One way to go about this would be to develop a user-centric experience, with a separate landing page for each of your physical locations on the primary domain. What this does, whether you are a franchise owner or a multi-location brand, is that it returns these individual, localized, and more relevant pages to the users based on their local queries, thus increasing the likelihood for business visits.

How to Leverage Local SEO

Most local queries are by users who are looking for products or services near them but do not have specific brands in mind. By tapping into geo-specific terms and phrases, you can make the most of these local SEO features and generate in-store sales. Another common strategy employed by some brands is the creation of separate landing pages and domains which are branded and also include the location explicitly like companyname_location.com or primesalonlosangeles.com, for example. Another option is to have a geo-modified domain name, but an unbranded one like childrenhaircutlosangeles.com where you use a keyword in the domain name to drive up traffic.

Brands nowadays are conflicted over which SEO strategy to adopt for multi-location local SEO; the choices being a centralized strategy, which manages all local SEO in a hierarchical, general top-down approach, or a decentralized one which allows the individual locations to have their own domains and manage their own SEO.

The Decentralized Approach

Having a decentralized strategy would involve you giving the responsibility as well as the freedom of digital marketing programs and strategies in their entirety to your franchisees. You are not expected to guide them, oversee them or manage them in any way, as this is entirely their job. What this does, however, is makes the management of SEO so multifaceted that it becomes hard to have a unified approach. Every single property will have to streamline and build a content strategy, a web analytics setup and so on, which requires a lot of resources and time. The linking to your brand will be spread across several local domains, but not on your central domain, thus reducing its value. Also, none of the domains belong to you, meaning if you split with one of your vendors, you will find it difficult to get back the real estate on SERPs which they had attracted. Having to compete for rankings for local SEO phrases across so many different domains also calls for a lot of inconsistencies and complexity, the least of which is the need of huge amounts of content production.

The Centralized Approach

The centralized strategy would ensure that you, as the franchisor or the brand management team, are in control of all aspects of decision-making and strategizing for the centralized as well as local SEO techniques, including position, messaging, marketing initiatives, engagement and so on. You can also hire a single SEO agency Mumbai to handle the entire strategy for you, rather than having to worry about how each location manages its SEO. Having a single primary domain with sub-domains for each local office puts the brand in a much better position in the future, and also allows improved link acquisition for non-branded geo-modified search queries.

You must ensure the creation of pages for all your locations so that your brand will appear in all relevant SERPs. Each of these pages must, in turn, have all the appropriate structured data, metadata, and quality content to drive them higher on organic local search result pages. The ideal URL for this strategy would resemble http://companyname.com/cityname/branch_locality_and_address, such that it is set up as a subdirectory of your website’s root domain, allowing the root domain to drive ranking authority and internal linking, as well as earning valuable ranking points to the central domain. If you have metro pages within your main domain, you will also be able to harness larger regional and geographical phrases rather than just the small block or locality. This way, the metro page could list out all your locations within that one city. The URL for this would be like http://companyname.com/metro/cityname. Once this is done, your brand’s URL now covers all hyper-local, regional as well as state-level search queries, all in one place, with one unified, centralized strategy. You are in full control of all the content as well as structuring as well.

Conclusion

Subdirectories on the main domain for local landing pages proves to be beneficial in the short as well as the long term for management as well as the health of your strategy, especially if you have several locations to manage. In general, it makes a lot more sense to have all your efforts focus on your primary domain as this works both ways, improving the ranking of lower-level location pages and also driving up the ranking of the primary page due to high-traffic landing pages. No matter what approach you undertake, it is crucial that you have a solid foundation for your brand’s SEO strategy to gain the competitive edge in capturing local customers.

online marketing firm in Mumbai. He also runs a personal blog for sharing SEO tips,

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