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Digital Marketing Tips for Your Multi-Location Business

As your business grows, you generally have a few different options. One, you can simply stay where you are and attempt to meet growing demand in your same space. Two, you can move the business into a new location altogether. Or three, you can open up a new location in addition to the original.

If you chose the third (or are considering doing so), there are specific challenges you will face. One of the most common is figuring how to effectively advertise your different locations. While billboards and TV spots help, your online presence is the most important piece of any marketing efforts. Luckily, it is also the easiest one to get right – if you know how.

Follow these tips to maximize your digital marketing efforts for your multi-location business:

  1. Update Google My Business

Having accurate Google My Business listings for each of your locations is vital for ensuring a strong online presence. While in the past it may have been complicated to have full control of search results listings, Google has made it easier than ever. In one simple dashboard, you can change nearly every detail Google has about your business.

Within your listings, make sure each location has a unique physical address and phone number. For example, if you own a laser hair removal center in Boca Raton, it should have completely different contact information than your location in Miami. If you ever move to a different location, updating this information should be your top priority. Otherwise, potential clients and customers may find themselves at the wrong location- or even one now owned by a competitor.

  1. Create Citations for Each Location

When you open a new location, Google wants to know you are committed to that physical address. The best way to demonstrate your dedication is through citations. By having your location listed on sites such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, your local chamber of commerce and other directories, you show Google that you aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Perhaps the best citation to receive is a Google Virtual Tour, a.k.a. Google Business View. Hiring a certified photographer to create a 360-degree tour of your location adds another layer to your search results listing and demonstrates commitment to Google. As such, the search engine is much more likely to list businesses with a virtual tour above those without one.

  1. Eliminate Duplicate Content

As you open more locations, it’s highly tempting to simply copy and paste web pages, then change the city name. While doing so would certainly save time, it is also quick way to destroy your search engine rankings. Even if you are just copying content from yourself, Google considers it plagiarism- a fatal blow to any business.

Instead, you will need to create unique pages for each location. While the general ideas can- and should- be the same, the wording should be original. No page on your website should flag as more than 10 percent identical to other pages when run through plagiarism services like CopyScape. Since Google considered plagiarized websites as low-quality, avoiding identical copy at all costs is an easy to make sure your search results don’t plummet.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

Here are a few parting thoughts to consider. First, when you are writing your new location pages, keep this rule in mind- quality over keywords. While keywords and phrases are still important, Google is smart enough to know whether a page is actually discussing a particular topic and when it simply has related words stuck in there. Low-quality content will practically never rank anymore, no matter how many keywords are in the copy.

Second, keep backlinks in mind. You want other websites to link to your site, especially your location pages, but you want to be smart about it. Backlinks from sites that have been penalized by Google, have thin/useless content or are simply unrelated to you won’t help your digital marketing efforts; in fact, they can be harmful. If you find that you have a host of harmful backlink, Google’s disavow tool can be your best friend.

Digital marketing for your multi-location business may seem like a daunting task, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, you can create a launching pad for a holistic plan to dominate your local markets.

Paul Watson is the Content Marketing Specialist at EverSpark Interactive in Atlanta, Georgia. When he’s not working, Paul enjoys spending time in local coffee shops and defending his choice of Savannah Smiles over other Girl Scout cookies.

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