Solving duplicate content for multi-location businesses and local SEO issues
It can sometimes be difficult for businesses with multiple locations to have unique, rich content for each individual location page. What can multi-location businesses do to help improve their location pages and avoid the filter? Following are four tips for putting together rich, unique location page content.
1. Use testimonials
Business examples of this are insurance companies, restaurants, and retail stores. In Houston, TX, Allstate Insurance has 146 offices, State Farm has 173 offices, and Farmers Insurance has 232 offices. Each one of these offices has a unique location page, but they are all technically competing with each other for the same exact keywords, like “auto insurance Houston” or “brand name + Houston.” This is what causes Google’s filter to kick in, and the majority of the pages will get filtered from the search results for being too similar.
One of the ways that businesses have combated this is by incorporating reviews. There are services that automate the process of collecting and publishing customer reviews. FindIt, by BH Digital Services, gathers reviews from across the web, and allows you view and respond to them individually. Both Google and Bing utilize reviews to show authority and relevance to rank you on search engine results pages. This is just one of the many things that FindIt will do for local businesses.
Businesses can improve their reviews by including more (natural) keywords in their responses. For example instead of, “Thanks Bob!” put something like, “Bob, it was our pleasure to help you save money on your auto insurance! I hope you enjoy driving your new Toyota Prius and choosing us as your insurance agent.”
Utilizing content rich review responses, results in a great amount of fresh content that is unique for each location. When you look up a branded search for “Allstate Houston,” you’ll see the agent pages occupy the top six results and get the gold stars on their organic presence as well. Allstate’s website as a whole manages to snag the top nine organic spots before the rest get filtered and Google starts showing third-party sites like Indeed and Yelp.
2. Write out driving directions
A second great way for businesses to make their location pages unique is to write out driving directions to their individual locations. Often, people just link to Google Maps, but writing out driving directions gives you unique content that is also helpful to users. It also allows you to get more local signals on your website.
3. Create employee bios
This is another easy way to get rich content on the page and make it different from the other locations. Adding detailed employee bios gives you a natural way to include keywords (by listing their expertise) on the site, as well as geographic areas.
4. Add photos
Most businesses fail to add photos of any kind, let alone multiple photos to their location pages. Most are just a single generic picture, whereas users (and Google) would love to see multiple. Photos of the inside of the office, the outside of the office, parking, neighborhood, building, employees, employees serving customers, products/services, accomplishments/awards and events are often overlooked.
This is a major missed opportunity, since photos allow you to add descriptive keywords and alt-text. . Examples of this are kentwood1-web.jpg, you should instead go for file names like jakes-fireworks-kentwood-mi.jpg, which would get their city name and keyword side by side.