With the increase of mobile and local search, many businesses, especially franchises, can have a very hard time with local search for multiple business locations.
One aspect of local search is “nearby” or “near me” searches. In 2015 Google announced that “near me” searches had doubled in 2015. It is expected that this movement will not slowdown.
While any local business can take advantage of the “near me” searches, large and multi-location businesses can benefit the most from the “near me” options.
Challenges for Multi-Location Search
Getting ranked on the first page of local search has always been difficult. Now, there are only three spots within the local map option. For organic results, it can be extremely difficult to compete with big directories.
In the event you have 7, 8, or even more locations within the same region, it can be very challenging to rank – especially when all these locations are a single brand! It is very difficult and unusual to manage to have more than a single location listed on Google’s first page.
The increase in “near me” searches is due to users increased mobility, and on-the-go users. More users need businesses that are within their proximity. This is especially true for people new to an area, or unfamiliar with their surroundings.
For food businesses, if a customer searches for “Toronto + Chinese food delivery,” and finds one of the top chains. The client calls and then learns that this chain doesn’t deliver to their location, and must start the process all over again. Chances are that this customer will end up ordering from another business.
While Google could determine the searcher’s location and give them appropriate results. Google could also possibly just provide the most relevant results for the City; as opposed to the users exact location.
Enter “near me”
Had that customer searched for “Chinese for near me,” they possibly could have found a closer store within their search results.
Even though “Near me” does have its challenges, multiple locations within a town or city can benefit form its services, and rank better for customers who are nearby.
Optimizing for “near me” searches
Here are a few optimizing strategies:
– To Ensure that you clearly index your business, address and phone number on your website. Try to have a separate page per location. All of your locations should be displayed.
– Include structured data within your NAP information. Click here for further Google instructions.
– Encourage customers to leave reviews – specifically for Google. Local map pack rankings will be impacted by Google reviews.