Photo Credit: laihiu via flickr
Local SEO is not just for ‘Mom & Pop’ businesses. Ever since Google’s Pigeon Update, any business can take advantage of showing up in Google’s search results for search queries that have local intent.
Being visible in local search is an incredible way to attract people who are ready to buy. Local search queries have a much stronger intent to buy (as opposed to non-local search queries).
According to the Google Think Study on Local:
- Consumers search with their location in mind. Four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information.
- Fifty percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their Smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34 percent who searched on computer/tablet did the same.
- Local searches have higher purchase intent; 18 percent of local searches on Smartphones led to a purchase within one day versus seven percent of non-local searches.
Enterprise local SEO is similar to local SEO, but it also requires a deep knowledge of scaling SEO practices for companies with hundreds or thousands of locations.
Enterprise local SEO Strategies are hugely dependent on a number of factors: industry, number of brick and mortar locations, budget, current market placement, agility, aggressiveness or risk tolerance, existing infrastructure and multi-team stakeholder buy-in.
With that said, these are the top five enterprise local SEO strategies that apply to a good proportion of enterprise-class websites.
enterprise local SEO strategies
1. Accurate Location Data
When working with millions of pages, it’s important to leverage dynamic content.
Consider the insurance industry: home and auto insurance companies understand the need to have and maintain content that describes their services. This is a small amount of content that should be easy to both create and maintain.
However, this industry also has a huge amount of region-specific searches. Take the following phrases for example: “Condo Insurance in New York” or “Car Insurance in Fort Lauderdale.” How does one create powerful, persuasive, and useful pieces of content that will pull in that aspect of the insurance market?
For each service and location pages, such as “Condo Insurance in New York,” you need to have unique content that meets the need of the user. In this example, having access to data sources is key. This allows the location page to answer questions such as:
- How much have condo or homeowners in New York paid in damages in the past 10 years?
- How many natural disasters have occurred?
- Has the cost of condos and condo maintenance been rising? Is that cost high comparable to other cities within the state?
- How common is theft in New York?
- Is incidence of theft rising?
- Is the city more at risk than other cities within the state?
- What kinds of cost savings can a New Yorker get through government programs?
- Have local users left positive reviews for us?
Each of these data points can be put into dynamic content and used to tell a persuasive story. They are available through various APIs, which allow the creation of these dynamic pages on a massive scale.
Note: Implementation can change dramatically between industries, what we’ve listed here is a general strategy.
2. Keyword & Content Mapping
From a SEO expert’s perspective, a website is a series of pages that are strategically planned. Keyword research is the act of doing the research around which ideas are most valuable and represent a market. Keyword research is considered the groundwork that provides the foundation of any website.
Enterprise websites have massive foundations. While the scope is somewhat intimidating, it’s even more frightening to consider that the foundation may have had little to no thought behind it, or that it’s old and falling apart.
In many cases, we find that the best strategy for both short and long-term results is to refine this foundation, retargeting and expanding the keyword and content map to dominate the market.
3. Unique Local Landing Pages
Every specific phrase and search query that you want to rank for should have a preferred landing page (PLP) that is targeted to that keyword. Often, we don’t see a landing page for each keyword that an organization wants to rank for or they have a thin page that does not deserve to rank for that keyword.
The strategy is to create PLPs rich in content that are scalable and still provide great UX to improve conversions.
4. Site Structure Optimization and Local Store Locator Optimization
A site’s structure is like a web where each node is a page, and each page is connected to other pages by links. Links to your pages from your website are called internal links, and links from other websites are external links.
Internal links connect the pages of a website together. This allows users and search engines to navigate through a site and discover content. These links may be website navigation, in-content links, breadcrumb links, footer links, or even pagination links. Every link on a site, whether humanly visible or not, matters for enterprise SEO.
A good rule of thumb is that your preferred landing pages should have the highest number of internal links.
Consider your site navigation: since navigation is available on every page of your site, it means that every link within the navigation is also on every page. Therefore, these navigation links must direct to extremely important pages. If your navigation links to pages that are not important, they’re stealing ranking and traffic power from other pages.
Using this thought process; we organize enterprise sites so that the most valuable pages get the most activity. Enterprise websites have complex structures and, within these structures, it’s important to ensure that the most valuable pages get the appropriate amount of internal links.
An extremely effective strategy for enterprises is to establish the priority of each page (across sometimes millions of pages), and create an implementation plan that results in each page being internally-linked to according to its search potential and ability to achieve business objectives.
5. NAP Data Syndication
NAP stands for name, address and phone and to Google it’s like the fingerprint for each location. That fingerprint must be clean throughout the local ecosystem. Incorrect information listed on any of the local data aggregators can lead to duplicate listings and confuse the search engines. It can dilute the power of any of your citations and split reviews between multiple listings. There are endless problems if your NAP data is not correctly syndicated.
The solution is to understand and control the sources of the local data aggregators so that only clean local data is syndicated. When this is done, business locations will gain better visibility, and ultimately provide a better experience for their customers.
In conclusion, understanding these key principals is just the first step towards mastering enterprise local SEO. One key thing to bear in mind is that enterprise local SEO is not a quick-and-easy endeavor and it requires patience and acumen, — but when mastered, it can become the cornerstone of your business’ marketing and lead generation strategy.
Matthew Hunt is an ex theatre-actor turned Internet marketing junkie. He’s the CMO and VP of Sales at Powered by Search. He’s been helping Fortune 1000 companies with their digital marketing for the last 10 years. He’s worked with brands like FedEx, RE/MAX, Allstate, Valvoline, Rogers, and many more. Matthew has worked with over 350 CEOs and business owners and helped them exceed their business goals by leveraging digital marketing. To learn more about Enterprise Local SEO download the free guidebook “The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO for Enterprise Businesses”