If you run an estate or letting agency from one or multiple branches, your local presence is key. You cannot ignore Local SEO. Here are my six steps to make sure people find the right information about your agency, no matter in which area.
Create branch location pages
Many multi-branch agencies list all their information on one landing page, such as the contact page. This is a big mistake for SEO. You need to create separate, properly optimised pages for each branch location. These should not be identical. Include:
- The branch name (e.g. Homefinders South Kensington), address, and phone number
- Location-specific content (staff info, opening hours, reviews, news snippets.)
- An embedded Google map
- How to get to your branch, landmarks that Google can connect as entities
- Location-specific Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
- Images from inside your branch and the team members that work there.
Your location pages should act as microsites and expand with relevant, location-based content. Optimise your content, title tags, meta descriptions, etc. with location-specific keywords. Submit a Sitemap to Google to ensure these branch specific pages are discoverable by Google.
Optimise Google My Business listings
In Google My Business you’ll be able to create listings for each of your branch locations. Add the URLs for each of your branch specific pages to your business profile. For best results:
- Verify each location
- List accurate hours
- Add images
- Manage and respond to reviews (this is very important)
- Also keep in mind some important rules about multi-location listings:
- The listed names for each of your locations must be consistent.
- All locations should include at least one category that represents the business as a whole (e.g. all branch locations would have the category “Estate Agents”).
If your listings are inconsistent, it can impact negatively on your SEO.
Utilising Google My Business Insights
Google My Business Insights can save you time when you have to monitor multiple locations. You can access a month’s worth of data on the queries that people used to find your branches, such as:
- How vendors or landlords search for your business
- Where customers view your business (listing on search or listing on maps)
- Customer actions (visits to your website, direction requests, and phone calls)
Manage your citations
Google looks at how your name, address, and phone number (NAP) appear across the web, to determine how to rank your agency in the local search. If your listings are inconsistent, it can impact negatively on your SEO. Ensure your NAP is consistent for each of your branch locations.
Look for popular aggregators (such as Yell and Yahoo Local) and local or industry directories (such as Zoopla and Prime Location) where your business might appear.
Build links to each of your branch location pages
Backlinks pointing at your site are still (unfortunately) important for SEO. So, to rank your location-specific pages, you need to improve the PageRank of each of them.
To do this, you should develop a link-building strategy focused on each of your branch pages. For example:
- Sponsor someone: a local school, local events or charities. This will help you build local links to your landing pages from schools, colleges, event websites and local news publications.
- Hosting events at your office will create buzz about you and build local links.
- Start content marketing
- Create engaging and interesting local content that people want to read, watch, listen to and share. Host a blog on each microsite to attract interest and links, then use email marketing, social media marketing and paid ads to attract readers.
- Local event sponsorship
Finally, managing reviews for each branch is key. Many agents with multiple branches focus on garnering reviews for their business as a whole, forgetting about location-specific feedback. Branch specific reviews can make or break your SEO, Google displays reviews with your business listing in search results. If you don’t encourage positive reviews and do damage control for negative ones, you risk losing business to your competition. Include calls-to-action at your physical branches and on your location pages to encourage customers to leave reviews.
When negative reviews appear, respond quickly, try to resolve the issue and make that customer a happy one. Then try to encourage at least 10 positive reviews from happy clients to push the negative one down the list.
Local SEO for multi-branch agencies can be a lot of work to set up and maintain, but the payoff is worth it.
Any questions, book your agency consultation with me personally, and we can identify at least 3 things you can do right now to improve your SEO.