Domain Structure of a Multi-Location Local SEO Strategy
Enterprise Business with a major Brick-and-Mortar Presence, have a different set of challenges with digital marketing: connecting with consumers online, with the intent to make them purchase products from them by visiting their local stores.
By creating an unique user experience, by creating separate landing pages for local physical business location, franchise system and multi-location brands can coax visitors to visit their local stores.
By creating local landing pages within the primary domain you can create and hold important location in the SERP’s and rank more prominently on local search results either in Google or other search engines such as Yelp and Insider Pages.
While starting off in the sales funnel, a customer is looking for a product and is mostly brand agnostic. Converting them into customers to visit your retail stores in the local area by tapping into geo-specific, non-branded search terms and phrases.
It can be seen that many franchisees and stores have allowed local stores to create their own landing pages on separate websites instead of creating location pages on the primary brand domain.
There has been a lot of debate whether to take the top down approach of holding landing pages in the main domain or creating separate domain in individual locations to manage SEO.
This strategy involves brands to consider their own strategy in branding by running their own digital marketing programs by themselves, with no guidelines, management or oversight by the brand or corporate teams.
In SEO, this strategy would involve marketing many domains- creates the challenge of having to manage each domain separately, costing the brand the chance to build valuable ranking authority around one primary domain. Each domain would require its own analytics setup, content strategy and SEO services. This would be even harder when the number of websites which are there would be in the thousands.
The holy grail of search engine marketing is to drive incremental visits on your website from visitors who want to purchase certain commodity from a provider but have no idea which website offers it. So basically, you are trying to guide visitors when entering things like “Screwdriver with hardware kits” to your website which has worked on ranking in relevance to this term. Try to compete for these terms when the number of landing pages are in the thousands creates a vastly more complex world for your SEO practice.
This strategy means that the domain authority which was for the main website will be spread around more and more local domains instead of being concentrated on one central source. This builds that the authority because the search engine signals are being spread too thinly across multiple domains.
Establishing this strategy means that the franchiser or brand management team is in ultimate control over the decision making on key aspects of both national and hyper-local strategies. These key aspects can include the brand position, messaging, important seasonal and direct marketing initiatives.
With a single domain fighting for authority on the Search Engines. you can afford yourself a much better opportunity for improved link acquisition, which is one of the main signals that helps drive up your ranking by allowing you to appear higher on geo-modified non-branded queries.
From a local standpoint, it’s also important to create metro and location pages so that your brand appears in SERPs for non-branded and geo-modified phrases. These pages can be associated with your local business listings by using the appropriate location URLs. Its important to ensure that those pages also have the appropriate content, metadata and structured data in place to appear.
Most of these links should appear such as the location pages are in a sub domain of the root domain so that this page with internal linking strategies to drive more ranking authority. If your goal is to make customer purchase goods from a local store, it should appear under the metro directory and show useful things such as updated inventory by store location which can help the consumer more useful information as they decide where to make a purchase.
A sub domain with the metro name, can be used to target geo-modified search terms such as regional phrases but populating several locations under one domain and structuring the content to focus on those larger regional phrases.