Maybe it was the pandemic. Maybe it was the “shop local” movement. Maybe it was the rapid proliferation of smartphones and searches conducted on those phones either through text or voice. Maybe it was actions on the part of local businesses and multi-location brands to boost awareness of the big benefits that local businesses have to offer.
Maybe it was some combination of all of the above.
Whatever it was, there’s no disputing the fact that local search has grown significantly over the past several years as Google and other search engines have come to recognize that close to 50% of the searches consumers conduct are for local goods and services.
Think about it. Whether searching for an HVAC contractor, a hair stylist, or a restaurant, you’re likely searching locally.
Local search continues to be hot in 2023 and is likely to remain so for some time. So what are the trends we’re seeing in local search and how can you leverage them to boost your multi-location brand while serving the needs of your local reps, distributors, and franchisees?
In this two-part series we take a look at the local SEO trends you should be on top of.
1 - Recognize the power of local brand presence.
The first step is recognizing the power that your local brand presence represents and ensuring that your corporate-level marketing efforts take these opportunities to heart, allocating resources to support local organic marketing efforts, content development needs, and as applicable paid ads.
2 - Enlist local reps in your efforts.
While much can be coordinated at the national level and approval processes certainly need to be in place, you need some input and assistance from local reps to help you ensure that their content is truly relevant to local markets. That will likely not mean that you relinquish the control of local sites to local reps. It likely will mean, though, that you offer them opportunities for updating certain content (info on sales and events, for instance) to help it be relevant to local audiences. Making it easy for them and as seamless as possible will boost the odds that they’ll participate in these efforts. Showing them the real results of localization will help even more.
3 - Consider “only local” offers.
A national ticket brand did this by focusing on “Only Local Tickets” relevant to each of its many local sites--”Only Indy,” “Only Fort Wayne,” “Only Miami,” for instance--where local residents or visitors could readily find out what’s happening near them and get the tickets needed to attend these events. It worked well and represents a model that can readily work for any number of multi-location brands.
4 - Optimize for local search.
With the recognition that so much search is local, make sure you’re optimizing each of your local sites to capture that organic traffic. When someone searches for “X near me,” or “X in My City,” you want to show up in the top three positions to gain maximum exposure, clickthroughs, and sales.
5 - Make sure your local site is robust.
Each of your local sites is competing with local “mom and pop” offerings that have the ability to focus only and specifically on the local market. You want to replicate that focus as much as you can by ensuring your local site is robust and contains the information and answers members of the local market are looking for. It’s not about having hundreds of generic pages on your national brand’s website that lists local addresses and phone numbers—it’s about having dedicated local pages that provide the local information and relevance needed to stand out.
For instance, if you’re an HVAC contractor you shouldn’t be talking about heating in August if the local site is in Florida--or about air conditioning in February if the local site is in Wisconsin.
In Part 2 of this two-part series we take a look at some additional SEO best practices you should consider to boost your local SEO results in 2023.
MarketSnare’s local marketing automation platform empowers marketers to efficiently scale local marketing programs across many locations through unique centralized tools and services designed for multi-location businesses. Take control of local websites, listings, reviews, social media, lead nurturing, and digital ads to create marketing programs that deliver unrivaled results in each local market.