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Multi-Location Firms | WhitehardtMany mobile and desktop users today are searching for local products or service because it makes the overall buying process easier. Because of this, more users are including “near me” at the end of a search query to bring up specific, local locations that relate most to the query. Accordingly, law firms with multiple locations or those wishing to expand their local presence must realize the important of pursuing SEO-related keywords and search rank with local presence.

“Near me” is a relatively new addition to the search query, thanks to the overall rise in mobile users and the desire to satisfy needs and wants now. Google recently noted that “near me” and “nearby” searches have essentially doubled in 2015 alone. With the rise of more and more mobile users, particularly those with smartphones and consistent internet access, it’s easy to see the need to cater search terms more specifically to engage that audience.

One of the biggest winners of this new phenomenon is multi-location businesses, especially large companies that have many locations within the same city. Why is this?

Ranking on the first page of local search rank results and SEO is not easy, especially in a large city. There are currently three spots immediately seen at the top within Google, with more options below. Theoretically, with multiple locations in the same business under one brand, it seems like there would be a definite challenge and lack of online space. It’s often quite rare to see multiple locations listed for one service close by. Because of this, brands with multiple locations have a greater chance of ranking when customers search for “near me,” as that will return a more specific answer.

In order to put this in plan into action, it’s essential to understand the basics of Google’s algorithms. When an interested consumer adds “near me” to the end of a search query, Google’s algorithm increases the importance of distance from that person’s location. Some other beneficial tips include:

  • Make sure things like business name, address, and phone number are listed prominently near the top of your website in an easy-to-index format. It also helps to list multiple locations as separate pages to create a higher search rank and improve overall SEO. All locations addresses should at least appear once on the website.
  • Create structured data to benefit all NAP information that relates directly to the businesses.
  • Ensure that Google My Business is set up correctly and optimized to provide the most relevant information quickly. Each location should have a separate Google My Business listing to ensure that customers know which location is closest to them. Also seek to provide the name, address, and phone number of each location listing, making sure that it matches the content available directly on the company website.
  • Strive to receive multiple good reviews for each location, to build further credibility and add a personal touch to a large company with multiple locations. While reviews on other sites can help, it’s best to focus on Google reviews as those will have the largest impact on local map pack rankings.

Optimizing and developing a specific strategy for “near me” searches is both a great opportunity and challenge. However, it’s essential for larger companies with multiple locations to focus on this growing search opportunity and seek to capitalize growth and progress.

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