Local SEO can be difficult for corporate brands because it means knowing how to do a “national” SEO, Google Business Profile, and then learning how Google handles your priority search queries in various markets.
This means that there are endless challenges in local SEO for enterprise search marketers. So what are the most common challenges in local enterprise SEO? Let's find out.
1. Knowing When To Prioritize Local vs. National SEO
One of the biggest challenges businesses face is knowing when to focus on a “local” SEO strategy instead of a “national” SEO strategy and vice versa.
This is understandable because it's not always immediately obvious whether your priorities are better served by one or the other. It can be difficult to tell if your top target keywords have local intent.
However, it is critical to the success of your overall strategy, as it will have a significant impact on how your initiatives serve your business goals.
Understanding which terms Google considers local can help you develop your keyword strategy and determine how to approach and support your SEO investment.
You could be losing a lot of traffic due to poor site design or keyword strategy.
Understanding Local Search Intent
So what exactly do we mean by local search intent?
By understanding search intent, you know what kind of features will show up in search results and what content you should prioritize.
For this discussion, there are four main types of search intent to focus on:
You can tell what type of intent your target search queries match with the features displayed on the SERPs, for example:
Queries with National Search Intent
SERPs have no state/city specific pages and no map pack (example).
Screenshot of search for [newspaper article], Google, September 2022
The fact that there are no “local” results in this SERP likely means that Google sees no local intent for these queries.
As soon as a large chunk of searchers start re-running that query with location information like “Pleasanton Newspaper Article,” the SERPs will likely shift to results that have local results, which brings us to…
Queries with semi-national search intent
SERPs don't have state/city specific pages, just a map pack (example).
Screenshot of [bank] search, Google, September 2022
Semi-national queries such as [bank] can include a map pack, as local and national click counts are equal. This may be because some users are looking for a bank branch near them, but others are looking for the main bank homepage.
Queries with local search intent
SERPs feature partial to full state/city specific pages and map pack (example).
Screenshot of search for [plumber], Google, September 2022
For a term like [plumber], Google will offer a map pack of nearby plumbers, and the rest of the first page of results is filled with location pages. Google predicts that the user intends to find a plumber near him.
Queries with hyper-local search intent
Hyper-local keywords are where the location of the searcher is most significant and significantly impacts SERP results (example).
Screenshot of search for [car insurance near me], Google, September 2022
In the case of hyper-local intent queries, the distance between the user and the business matters most. You can see that the map pack is dominating the SERP real estate for this query. So Google probably thinks [car insurance near me] requires hyper-local results to be useful to the user.
How To Identify Search Intent
How To Build A Strategy For Different Types Of Search Intent
National strategies will need a ton of content and authority.
Your main website should be where you invest the most of your SEO budget if you've determined that your target keywords are in queries with little or no local intent. It will help you get that ranking by generating backlinks.
Semi-local keywords will require the bulk of the attention to build your main site content and authority with an extra point of attention. Since semi-local keywords generate a card pack, you need to optimize your Google Business Profile listings.
Your site structure will become much more important if you have determined that Google treats your keyword as local. You can increase the volume of searches if you create a directory of state or city pages.
When your priority keywords are hyper-local, it's best to create a directory of pages at the state and city level and optimize them for nearby keywords with special location pages.
Layers will likely look different depending on your vertical, but roughly they could look like this:
2. Having A Single Source Of Truth For Location Data
With the advent of local ad management companies such as Yext and Uberall, this is no longer an issue.
However, we still come across multi-location businesses that don't have a “single source of truth” for all of their location information.
If you don't have it yet, set it up.
3. Optimizing Store Locators
Many brands outsource their store locators to third-party vendors. There's nothing wrong with this in theory, but there are a few ways we've seen it go wrong:
Search-Only Store Locators
For SEO, an effective store locator should be a basic linked set of state, city, and location pages that a bot or user can easily click to access each page. But many brands often build their store locators a location page with a search box to find your location.
A few years ago, we looked at the locators of the top 100 US retailers and found those with search-only locators ranking for about 50% fewer keywords than those with a > city > architecture of the place.
So make sure your locator architecture is built that way.
Location Page Content
Often brands will budget for the creation of a locator on their site but leave nothing for the content.
There's nothing wrong with a basic location page with business name, address, phone number, product/service categories, etc. But a location page with unique, reinforced content relevant to the location and topics you're trying to rank for can improve SEO performance.
This is where your managers can come in handy. We often see successful brands use surveys of their location managers to get unique local content.
Other sources may include local customer reviews, local syndicated POI data, and popular products in the specific market.
Most e-commerce queries these days show local results near the top of the SERPs.
We often see brands win in local packs linking their location pages to their key categories.
Consider this a signal to Google that your placements are relevant to those categories.
4. Google Business Profile Management And Optimization
Google Business Profile (GBP) really shouldn't be a challenge – I mean, it's just a simple set of yellow page listings for your locations – but there are a million ways it can go wrong for businesses. .
Here are some challenges and opportunities with GBP.
Beware Of Duplicate Listings
Surprisingly, duplicate listings are always a thing with GBP, but I just spoke to a service area company that was having ranking issues. It was quite easy to see that they had duplicate GBP listings.
The minute they removed the duplicate listings, their rankings went up 15 positions for the primary keyword they were targeting. So, keep an eye out for those.
Monitor Your GBP listings
Your GBP listings are in a constant state of flux. Users add photos and reviews.
Google can overwrite your data if it trusts another party's data more than you.
GBP is not a “set it and forget it” thing. Create a system to regularly monitor changes to your GBP pages.
Although you can see many changes through the GBP Dashboard, it will not capture everything. This is one of the reasons why we have created this free and open source tool to monitor changes in the image of your GBP.
Scale GBP Posts
GBP Posts are short announcements that you can attach to your GBP. These can be an inexpensive way to drive high-converting visits to your site. Messages can include text, photos or videos.
The challenge we often see is that companies are often not set up to produce content for every location. If you want to publish in GBP for multiple placements, implement a system for creating GBP-ready marketing materials for new promotions so they can be published.
This often involves creating a GBP version (400 x 300) of approved marketing images and a copy for GBP as part of each new promotion.
You will also want to make sure to tag the links in your GBP posts with tracking parameters to measure performance.
5. Building A Local Search Presence For SABs And Marketplaces
Not all local business brands have locations.
There are many local marketplace brands like Yelp, DoorDash, and Zillow, and service area businesses (SABs) like plumbers and roofers that target local search queries but aren't eligible to appear in local packs. This is because they don't have a physical location in their target markets.
And that means they're missing out on a lot of potential clicks and revenue.
This won't work for all brands, but for those with a suitable business model, setting up a “store within a store” at a partner brand's location is a great way to gain additional local exposure. on the packs.
FedEx OnSite services located at Walgreens are a good example of how this can work:
Screenshot of Google search, September 2022
And, of course, if lead value is high enough, you might want to consider opening physical locations in certain areas to try and rank well in local packs.
As I said up top, there are an endless number of local SEO tactics that enterprise brands can deploy.
When rolling out new tactics, be sure to test, measure, and iterate like any other marketing channel.
Feature image: GaudiLab/Shutterstock
Which SEO techniques are most popular today?
- 12 SEO techniques you need to use in 2022. …
- Find the best performing pages of your competitors. …
- Inform your content strategy with keyword gap analysis. …
- Use digital PR to gain authority backlinks. …
- Improve your organic CTR using PPC testing. …
- Optimize for “People also ask”…
- Steal your competitor's broken backlinks.
What are the 3 main features of a quality backlink?
Many factors go into creating a good backlink, but most quality backlinks share these three characteristics: The link text appears naturally in the context of the page. The referring domain is reputable. The referring page is relevant to the link destination.
Why are high quality backlinks important? Backlinks are important because they help build trust and authority with many search engines. Quality backlinks also bring you new customers, readers, and prospects because they come from relevant sources like mainstream media outlets, trade publications, and niche blogs.
What do you consider a quality link?
A quality link, or high quality link, is a link that comes from a high quality website. Backlinks are one of the pillars of an effective SEO strategy. They are essential for driving organic traffic and increasing your site's authority. Additionally, search engines consider them one of their top three ranking factors.
What are the three types of link?
In general, there are three types of links: Internal links – hyperlinks that lead from one page to another within your own website; External links – hyperlinks that lead from your website to another resource; Backlinks – hyperlinks that lead from another site to yours.
What makes a quality backlink?
A quality backlink is a link that comes from a high domain authority website that is trusted by search engines and web users. In other words, not only robots trust the website, but real people also trust the website.
What determines the quality of a backlink?
There are 5 criteria to evaluate a backlink and/or a link profile: Relevance of the anchor text. Link the relevance and quality of the content of the page. Associate quality and relevance of the field.
Do location pages help SEO?
According to Moz, having accurate location data on your website is one of the most important factors in improving your organic local SEO rankings.
What is a location page? A location page, also known as a city landing page or service area page, is a highly targeted web page that encompasses all of your business location's key information for customers and search engines. research.
Is SEO based on location?
Location-based SEO, also known as geo-targeting, is the practice of optimizing your content to appear for your target location. It's fair to say that Google is getting better and better at creating location-based search results on more generic topics, where people are looking for something.
Is SEO country specific?
Domain Names for International SEO Some domains, known as country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), default to a specific location. Other top-level domains (TLDs) can be geo-targeted to point to specific countries. The subfolders and subdomains of these TLD domains can also be geo-targeted to different countries.
What is SEO based on?
Google's algorithm decides your site's ranking largely based on the content you post. And we all know content is king. So you need to write awesome SEO content, focus on the right keywords, and structure your website in a way that Google understands. It's a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run.
Does SEO depend on location?
The location of a hosting server impacts your website speed and SEO ranking. The further away your server location is from the target users, the slower your website is.
Is SEO different in different countries?
4. SEO is not that different around the world, but you still need a strategy for each country. Since platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo still have a global presence, optimizing your website for them won't be that different from country to country.
Are maps good for SEO?
If you can get your website to the top of relevant search results, you're in good shape. And here's the thing: your digital map can actually help boost your SEO. For a variety of reasons, this can help you leverage the map as content that attracts more visitors and improves your Google results.
Are location pages good for SEO?
Global SEO location pages are always relevant It's best to create these pages in a way that integrates with the rest of your website to make them look as natural as possible, making sure they adhere to the UX (experience user).
Does the usage of Google Maps affect your SEO rankings?
There are many benefits to using Google Maps for your business. Not only does this help customers find your business, but it also provides Google with important information about your business. This can help improve your SEO rankings and drive more traffic to your website.
Do Maps Help SEO?
Does Google Maps integration affect a landing page's SEO and ranking? Yes and No: Yes, if you use it on your “contact” or “about us” page or similar. No, if you create a large number of pages containing different Google Map locations. It wasn't always like this.
What is SEO checklist?
On-page SEO checklist. On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the actual content of your page. It includes optimizations to visible content and content in source code. Let's see how to do it.
What is a technical SEO checklist? Technical SEO is an integral part of any SEO strategy, which is why the site must meet all recommendations from search systems. The technical audit checklist includes several aspects in order to analyze and classify the technical parameters of the content and structure of the website.
What is SEO on-page checklist?
On-page SEO checklist. On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the actual content of your page. It includes optimizations to visible content and content in source code.
Which is example of on-page SEO?
Here are some examples of on-page SEO action items: Optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions. Write in-depth and quality content. Cleaning up your site's code.
What are on-page activities in SEO?
On-page SEO, or on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing various front-end and core components of your website so that it ranks high in search engines and drives new traffic. On-page SEO components include content elements, site architecture elements, and HTML elements.