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Business has 3 locations. Right now I have the 3 G+ listings linking to their respective location pages on the website. Is this "best practices" or should I link to the home page of the site on all 3 G+ listings? Or maybe I mix it up - have one or two listings link to location pages and one link to the home page:confused:

Travis
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Travis,

The best practice is to link to the specific location page. This can be especially effective if the location page is laser sharp optimized for that location (think Phil and Miriam's epic posts on the subject).

With that said, I'm sure there are situations where it would be optimal to use the home page.
 
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@Colan:

What instances would it make sense to use the home page? I was leaning towards using the home page as the link on all the listings thinking that the home page has more authority than an interior landing page.

For example, if I find that the home page is ranking organically for the primary keywords for these locations instead of the location pages, wouldn't it make sense to use the home page as the link?

Travis
 

Mark Warner

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As far as the link juice goes, those links are nofollowed so technically they shouldn't be passing any Pagerank. There might be a small amount of weight due to the fact that there are a few people (I just read someone's blog today about it) who think that nofollowed links are just like citations, and I also have a few theories that do involve certain nofollowed links helping with rankings as well, but I wouldn't really sweat the link juice at all.

I think that conversion rates are likely to be the more valuable factor to consider there. I'd expect the inner page to convert better, but it is worth testing both for conversions before assuming. Crazy things happen, nobody can ever say for sure how your website will convert until they test it.
 

Linda Buquet

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I've posted this a bunch of times and go into much more detail on it in my Local SEO training. Below is my most detailed post on the strategy. (Copied from a post I made to Travis 1/13.)

(Note this post is assuming 3 locations like Travis asked about. If we are talking 100 locations, different story.)

I strongly believe the home page is too high authority to waste. That's considered by Google the most important page of the site AND is normally the easiest to rank. The home page is the page that has all the natural backlinks from local directories and if you've ever been mentioned on the news it's likely been the home page, not home.com/branch/georgia/atlanta.html.

So ideally you optimize home page for the most important location OR location in biggest city that's hardest to rank.

To rank well in local your home page NEEDs local NAP. SO one of locations ideally should be prominent and that one goes to home.


As far as HOW to set it up, it kind of depends on the situation, as there are so many variables.

EASY EXAMPLE: Main office in the big competitive city, 2 branch offices in smaller cities. You'd optimize home, footer and contact for the main office that's in the hard to rank big city. At top of page and on contact us you'd make the other locations REALLY CLEAR for customers. And in footer too, put links to other locations.

We have 3 Locations to Serve you. Click the location that's most convenient:
New York, Philadelphia, Boston

So then Home and contact us would be optimized for main office with links to the other 2 location pages which would be optimized as I explain further down.

HARDER EXAMPLE: Let's say it's a Dentist. 3 offices ALL same city. ALL equal in importance.

A) They are all competing with each other in the rankings and likely only one may rank on page 1.

B) Only 1 can be on home and footer and that's likely the one that will rank highest, or at least will be the easiest to rank.

So in the 2nd scenario they just have to pick one to be most prominent in Google. And the easiest to rank also MAY be the oldest location. So I'd ask Qs to try to figure out the best one to optimize as sort of the main office on home, footer and contact us. But then make the other locations super prominent in a graphic at the top and on every page. "Click here for our downtown office, here for Northend, here for south end."

But then there are all kinds of examples that are different than the 2 above.

Then as far as the link on the G+ L page, I would link the main office to home and then location 2 and 3 to their location pages.

HOWEVER keep in mind that organic ranking still rules so those location pages would need to be optimized for city and keywords too in order to rank. So would need to be a location page with NAP for that location and a map PLUS KEYWORD CONTENT and services offered.

So each location page needs to be like a combo home page and contact us page.
BUT each page must have unique content. Can't just be duplicate content with city changed.


If I remember right Roto-rooter does a decent job with location pages and they usually rank pretty high. Have not looked at them for awhile and I think they have tried different strategies and some location pages were better than others. So I'd search plumber in a few cities and find some that rank #1 and look at them.

REMIXED NAP on SAME PAGE:

Just like Places violations, you can get away with multi NAP on the site and many people do. It's just that if it goes south and YOUR listing is the one that ends up with a big ClusterF merge, then it's a big pain and hours of extra work.

In addition to the potential merge problem the other issue that can come up with mixed NAP is location confusion. If all locations are on home page or in footer on all pages and if all G+ L pages link to home - then Google can sometimes get confused and just drops you out of the pack.

So best practice to try to avoid merges and getting dropped from the pack is no mixed NAP.

Here are some other posts that may help:

http://localsearchforum.catalystema...ges-local-search.html?highlight=landing+pages

http://localsearchforum.catalystema...er-local-landing-pages-yellow-brick-road.html

http://localsearchforum.catalystema...ine-optimization-strategy-multi-location.html

http://localsearchforum.catalystema...ation-franchise-common-corporate-website.html

TONS MORE HERE at the hashtag: <a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/tags/multi-location.html">#multi-location</a>
 

Linda Buquet

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Just to wrap it up full circle Travis, the other question you asked today was I think about the same thing:

<a href="http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/local-seo-ranking/17583-business-w-3-locations-what-city-s.html">Business w/3 Locations: What City(s) Do I Use in Home Page Title Tag?</a>

So I linked it back to this post too.
 
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Holy cow, Linda. You schooled me on this one!! Great stuff here. I haven't had to deal with multiple location businesses much so I'm still trying to wrap my head around them. They are way more complicating to deal with then a single business location.

You've answered my questions and then some. I'm going to bookmark this post for future reference. I should probably dust off the Local SEO training too:eek: I quickly glanced through the videos but I haven't sat down to take notes and absorb everything. Clearly I should.

Have a good one and thanks for your help.

Travis
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Travis,

I think you upgraded to the new Local SEO video training. That just came out in Feb, so not that long ago. Maybe you didn't get to the end.

But the advanced tips and tricks section (video #4) that's where the new expanded multi-location strategies are explained. In fact that whole section is greatly expanded with new tips including stuff like how to rank in organic in surrounding cities.
 
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Ya, I didn't get through them all but I'm going to make it a point now to sit down and watch them all and take careful notes. You know how it is. You keep saying, "I'll do that tomorrow," and then something comes up and it keeps getting pushed out. Suddenly it's 2 months later and you still haven't done it:mad:

Travis

Hi Travis,

I think you upgraded to the new Local SEO video training. That just came out in Feb, so not that long ago. Maybe you didn't get to the end.

But the advanced tips and tricks section (video #4) that's where the new expanded multi-location strategies are explained. In fact that whole section is greatly expanded with new tips including stuff like how to rank in organic in surrounding cities.
 

ToddB

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If we use the city page do we also want to use that city page in all the citations? Or just in the GMB page?
 

Linda Buquet

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If that city page is linked to your G+ L listing you want to build authority to that page, so I would use it in citations.
 

Sperry7

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Hi,

My question is similar to @ToddB...

Is it best practice to link Google AND citations sites to the location page on a website for a single location business? (Assuming the location page is enhanced with schema, directions, etc.) Or do I only need to worry about Google?

Thanks for your advice!
Sarah
 

Scott Rawlins

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For a single location business, I would link to the Home page. And have schema on all pages.
 

Shane Pollard

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Hi Linda, thank you for the info. It may be outdated but you mentioned for locations of over 100 it is a different story.

Could you point me in the most current direction for multi location 150-250 locations set up like a franchise but are not exactly a franchise.

Appreciated thank you.
 
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