SEO - Search Engine Optimization

How to optimize Google My Business listings for multi-location businesses

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Being listed on Google My Business (GMB) is an essential part of any local SEO strategy. But how can businesses with multiple locations make sure they aren’t penalized in search rankings? Produced in association with SweetIQ. Google My Business Google My Business was rolled out in 2014 to make it easier for local businesses to be found via search. It had an added benefit of allowing businesses to stay on top of reviews, and to perform analytics on interactions like clicks, views, calls and requests for directions. In other words, it became the first step in any local search marketing strategy. Today, a well-maintained GMB listing remains a vital source of traffic and, ultimately, revenue – especially for businesses competing for location-specific keywords. Google’s ‘three pack’ of local search results, which is triggered by search terms with local intent like “restaurants Venice Beach”, is given significantly more prominence than organic results in both desktop and mobile SERPs. In fact, organic results are not even visible above the fold for mobile users. Google’s mobile SERP for ‘restaurants Venice beach’ (left) vs ‘Venice beach’ (right). Screenshots courtesy of Andy Favell Essential for SEO Since Google reduced the number of local results from 7 to 3 in 2015, it has become more important than ever for businesses to feature as high as possible in these results. And with 1 in 3 Google searches now having local intent (according to digital marketing expert Jordan Kasteler) there is more traffic up for grabs than ever. On the flip-side, competition for this traffic is fierce, meaning mistakes can cost you dearly. The Local Search Association estimates that over $10bn worth of potential annual sales are lost because of missing or conflicting information in Google My Business listings. For businesses with multiple locations, this is a real problem; each business location has a unique address and contact details. How can big businesses ensure they aren’t penalized for conflicting information on their Google My Business profile? First steps Luckily, Google is well aware of this problem, and allows business owners to claim multi-location business listings. However, in order to be verified by Google as such, a few conditions must first be met. A business must: Have at least 10 locations Not be a service business Not be an agency managing several clients The local 3-pack for ‘pizza delivery New York’ returns Domino’s Pizza – a chain with many hundred locations Optimize your multi-location business After claiming your multi-location business on GMB, the next step is to optimize your listing. But before you can do this, you must first understand what factors influence your chance of appearing in the local ‘three pack’. The most important of these is accuracy across all…

Source: How to optimize Google My Business listings for multi-location businesses

About the author / 

Chris Camps

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