If you have a business which operates in or serves multiple geographical areas, there are various steps you can take to ensure that your single website is optimised to capture traffic from each of those areas.
Before I begin, it is worth pointing out that a business with a physical bricks and mortar address will often perform better in local search, especially for search queries which trigger localised result information such as Google Plus Local listings and maps.However, there are (often less competitive) markets out there which a business may rank for if the correct keywords are targeted and the right signals exist on and off the webpage.
By following these steps you will give your business the best chance of ranking successfully for key search terms across multiple geographical locations.
Claim your Google Plus Local Listing
If you have multiple business locations with physical business addresses, then it is vital that you claim your Google Plus Local listing for each premises and verify your business with Google. Ensure that you link your website to your Google Plus profile and that you edit your details so that the completion status of your profile is at 100%
Create location specific pages on your existing website
Ensuring that your website includes the functionality for you to add additional location specific pages is important for several reasons; firstly it will allow you to add well optimised content to your website which reflects your business location; secondly it enables you to incorporate the correct local signals such as the business address and telephone number, and thirdly (and not at least importantly) it helps your visitors to establish where you are based.
Optimise your location specific pages
It is important to ensure that your localised pages incorporate best practise onsite SEO techniques. From the outset ensure that you build the pages to include a keyword rich URL structure such as example.com/local-business-nottingham. In addition, craft your Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Headings and Image Alt Tags to include the keywords you are targeting and ensure that you write some unique well written copy which is specific to the location you are targeting.
Include the correct local signals on your webpages
To help the search engines understand your physical location you need to include key information regarding the location of your business on your web pages. Most importantly, ensure that your full business address is included on the web page, along with your phone number, and be sure include the local area code.
Help Google to understand your content
Once you have included the details of your business address and phone number on your website, you should ‘mark up’ this information using schema to create structured data on your webpage. Including structured mark up across your web pages can help the search engines to understand content and therefore return richer results on search results pages. It is possible to mark up a range of information using schema, including local business information, product information and review data.
Reference your business across the web
Another important signal which the search engines use to establish the location and authority of a business are citations. Citations are essentially mentions of your business address which appear across the web on third party websites.
Common citation sources are popular and high level business directories, but it is also possible to receive citations from sources such as social networks and related authority sites within your niche, which may include governing bodies and trade organisations.
When listing your website on local business directories, take extra care to ensure that your website is placed into the correct business category.
Build links to your local content
If possible, you should try to gather some inbound links to the location specific pages from websites and sources based within your location. It is also important to link internally from your websites home page to your local pages in order to distribute some authority that the main domain holds.
Gather reviews about your business
Reviews for local SEO are ever growing in importance, not only from an SEO perspective but also from a customer service stance. Reviews send signals to the search engines which can effect rankings, but they also help to showcase your previous work and experiences to any potential new customers.
You should build asking for reviews and testimonials into your customer service process and steer people towards your related Google Plus local profiles where they can leave feedback on your services.