Nowadays when customers need to find a business’s contact information, they’ll most likely turn to a search engine like Google to get the job done. The most accurate information will be on that business’s website with their “Contact Us” page. If a business has multiple locations, then the contact information will be on their branch locator page for effective Local SEO. These are called landing pages and they’ll typically have a business’s address, phone number, store hours, and the like on it. A business with multiple locations needs to have individual landing pages for each location so that Google can properly identify each location and all the information associated with that location. This will also allow customers to easily find the local store information they need when they are searching locally.
Tip #1: The information of each location/branch should be accessible on separate webpages
Have a “Contact Us” page for a single location business or a landing page for each location if you have multiple stores. Having a unique URL for each location lets Google’s algorithms bring up the page for relevant search queries.
Take for instance the example below. On the top is Taco Bell and on the bottom is McDonalds. When you are searching for a Taco Bell location, the results that show up don’t have specific landing pages, just drop down menus. With McDonalds, I’m able to go to the homepage of the McDonalds on 12th Street in San Diego. Not only is it easier for customers to get information on that specific location, but the chances of that location showing up in Google’s search will increase.
Tip #2: Let Googlebot find, crawl, and index the location pages
Make sure your website’s robots.txt file allows the crawling of the location pages or else your information won’t show up in the Google search results.
Tip #3: Have your location information shown in an easy-to-understand format
This will help out your customers but also Google’s algorithms. Here are some specific tips:
- Avoid complex or nested tables. Complex layouts are harder for users and Google's algorithms to understand, and may not display correctly on mobile devices.
- Use a simple format, and don't have overrides without schema.org markup. For example:
- Describe your opening hours as "Monday to Wednesday and Friday: 9am-5pm, Thursday 10am-4pm instead of "Monday through Friday 9am-5pm, except Thursday 10am-4pm"
- Say "Open 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm" instead of "Open 9am-5pm but closed for lunch 12pm-1pm".
- Use common names and abbreviations. When describing the day of the week, use the complete name ("Monday") or one of the common abbreviations (such as "Mo" or "Mon" for Monday).
- Use 24-hour format or specify AM/PM. The time format should be what's customary for the location, either the 24-hour format ("15:00") or specifying AM/PM ("3PM" or "9am").
- Be explicit on the opening hours times. Instead of saying "open from 11am to close", or "open from 11am till dusk", say "open from 11am-11pm" since the closing time isn't immediately obvious otherwise.
- Split off each department separately. If a service or department available at the location has different information (e.g. a different phone number or different opening hours), split off the department into its own section to display the information.
Tip #4: Use schema.org structured data mark up
Add schema.org markup to describe your content to Google’s algorithms, which will help them understand your location pages and help surface them in the search results better.
Tip #5: Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Most of the time people are using their cell phones to search for something when they’re out and about so it’s crucial that your website is mobile enabled.
As you can see below, the mobile friendly website is much more visually appealing on a mobile device. Customers don’t have to strain to read or zoom in on the page and then not getting the full effect of the website.
We hope you found these tips helpful and that you’ll be able to implement them into your Local SEO strategies. Good luck!