You Ask, I Answer: Local SEO Strategy?

Chad asks, “Starting on a new website build and incorporating multiple drop off locations in various states for the business. Would it be best (for seo value) to build stand alone sites for each drop location or keep each location as a page under main site?”

Generally speaking, you want to follow a logical organizational system that adheres to the way Google likes to see site data. That means along the lines of one large organizational unit and then separate sub-units within that container. For this case, that means one main website and separate pages or directories as needed for each location. In your JSON-LD or Schema markup, you also want that reflected, with one organizational container and individual locations inside that container. Finally, Google My Business pages for each of the locations will help you get found. Bear in mind that all this work may mean a potential decrease in organic search traffic because of zero-click search results. Watch the video for full details.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode chat asks, starting on a new website builder and incorporating multiple drop off locations in various states of the business would be best for SEO value to build standalone sites for each drop location or keep each location as a page under the main site.

So generally speaking, when it comes to technical SEO, which is what we’re talking about sort of the infrastructure underneath the website, you want to follow a logical organizational system that adheres to the way that search engines especially Google, like to see site data.

So that means you have one large organizational container of some kind, and then separate pieces and parts units within that container.

So for a website that has multiple locations, you have one main website, and then you have either separate pages or separate directories as needed.

For each location.

Now, bear in mind, there’s three parts to SEO.

Right? There is technical SEO, there is content that is on the site.

And then there is what you do off site, which is link building and such.

And technically, there’s also a fourth step on competitive landscape.

But that’s for another time.

Technical is all the stuff that you’re going to do to make the site finable easily indexed and, and discoverable.

One of the things you’re going to need to do is implement what’s called JSON LD or some form of the schema.org markup.

json LD is JavaScript.

Object Notation is JavaScript that goes either on the site or in Google Tag Manager.

And it tells Google and other search engines.

Here is what this site is about.

Here is what this company is about.

Here’s what this page is about.

And it’s something that you configure, either on a per page basis or If you’re using Tag Manager, you would fire different containers depending on a different JSON containers depending on where someone is on the site.

So inside that you would have sort of a consistent piece that says this is the organization on the page of the company.

And then on a per location basis, you would have location specific details like address, phone number, individual hours and things in each of the sections.

It’s a lot of work to put this together.

But it’s important because it helps Google figure out here’s what’s going on.

Right, here’s the details that you need to know.

And then the sort of the third part for local search, besides having good directory structure, and the JSON LD or the markup is to have those Google My Business pages set up.

And those are set up on a per location basis.

You probably want to use management software for that.

There are companies like Yext for example that will make that a little process A little bit easier, especially if you have a lot of locations, if you got like two locations fine.

But if you got like 20, or 30, or 50, you definitely want some software to help manage all that and manage the reviews.

It’s always fun.

So those are sort of the three parts that you need to make this work to stand out for local search.

Here’s the catch.

And this is something where you’re going to need very, very good attribution analysis and data collection throughout.

If you do this, well, you may not see an increase in organic search traffic.

Why? Because people won’t be coming to your site.

When you design the site with great technical SEO, you’ll get what’s called a zero click search results.

So somebody goes to Chris’s coffee shop, and they Google for that and I’ve done my job right? And they type in Chris’s coffee shop hours.

You’ll get that result panel right and Google that says, you know, here are the hours of this business.

They don’t have to click anything.

They don’t have to do anything other than know that that’s the answer they were looking for.

And then they show up at the coffee shop door.

If I don’t ask that person when they walk in the door, hey, how did you hear about us? Oh, I searched for you got it.

I don’t know that that what I was doing with my technical SEO, his show is being reflected in the business that I get when somebody walks in the door.

So part of what you have to do is very, very strong tracking very, very strong attribution to make sure that you are keeping track of these technical efforts that may not drive traffic to your website, but will drive traffic to the front door of the business.

Right.

So that’s one of the catches of doing technical SEO really well.

You may not get a lot of search traffic.

You will you if you want traffic to the website.

Your focus there is get the technical in good condition and then do a lot of content marketing, a lot of content creation.

Lot of targeting long tail keywords and topics and phrases and ideas, thought leadership, all that stuff is we’re without blogs if you want to attract a lot of traffic to the site, but in terms of those operational details, that’s probably going to be zero quick search results.

And again, you got to track that very carefully, you will get some of that data as well from Google My Business like number of searches, number of searches involved with location involved maps, things like that.

So that’s the local SEO strategy, at least as of the time of recording, which is sort of the end of 2019.

And if you’re watching this after that period of time, as always, things are subject to change based on how the engines do their changes, but that’s the way I would go with that.

Leave your follow up questions below in the comments box.

And as always, subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter, I’ll talk to you soon.

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