This is part one of a three-part series on creating the best business location landing pages for your website. Local search ranking factors put a strong trust signal on the location information your own website provides and we'll explore how to best create your landing page design, experience and data for single location businesses, multi-location businesses (2-dozen) and mass location business that need a location finder or geo search tool.
Single Location Business & Web Design
If you are a small business with a single location, the rules are simple for producing a location page that is valuable for your users and highly trusted by the search engines.
Even though it's simple, small businesses often botch it by committing one or many common errors.
Let's look at how to make sure your business location information is always "Open" to your customers and the search engines.
Common Landing Page Pitfalls for a One Location Business
- Address is missing. You'd think I wouldn't have to type this, but I do. I've seen more than my share of websites with a phone number and city name ... but no address!
- Contact info in a graphic. The business name, address and phone number appears on the website only in a graphic, image or flash -- not in HTML. This information needs to be crawlable by Google and Bing.
- Contact info not prominent across website. The business's location information is only on a contact page and poorly formatted. It can be unclear for the search engine, but even worse, you really make the user have to click around to find out how to contact you. Location and contact info should be everywhere on your site! In addition, make sure your website has just one phone number listed -- improper use and display of call tracking numbers or other numbers can confuse the search engines and hurt your local search rankings.
Creating The Best Single Location Business Web Page
So you've looked at the three location page pitfalls and you've fixed them or realized you're not that bad off. Now let's look at making your location page one of the most robust and HELPFUL pages on your website.
Location Page Content & Content Types:
- Contact info. Phone, address, email, fax, any and all methods to reach out to you.
- Overview of the location. A short snippet of a few sentences on your location, its specialties/services/products, history, geo area or even neighborhood(s) served.
- Integrated map. Dropping in a Google or Bing integrated map is easy. Offering a quick link to get driving directions from Google Maps is also a time saver and a win for your user.
- Directions. Driving, walking or public transit directions to your business is helpful and easy. Consider both directional (from East, from West) by main roads or transportation type as well as directions by landmark. The same directions and helpful hints you'd give over the phone can be extremely valuable content.
- Standard Business Data. Hours, payment types and many others. A great idea is to look at directories like Yelp or CitySearch and view the business criteria they report on and make sure you offer that same information on your business.
- Photos. Having multiple photos of the exterior or interior of your business is a great way to build trust and give a visual reference for those arriving at your location and more. Taking great photos of your location, staff, product and more gives you an arsenal of visual content to use all over the web in many ways.
- Video. A 30-second to 90-second video introduction of your business, its location and your offering has never been easier. Even shot with your iPhone, the user will benefit from the visual and audio you can deliver.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bGWpib_hmI*Pro Tip: Add your video to YouTube and optimize your video title with a geo term and a service keyword like "Auto Repair Denver."
- Staff. Listing contact information for specific management or staff can be a great customer service move. Give people direct access to your staff.
- Certifications, Associations, Awards. Are there certifications, awards or special recognition your location has achieved? Logos or badges if you belong to the Better Business Bureau, local Chamber of Commerce or a professional association are great to display. This is a great trust builder.
- Specialties. List things that you have niche expertise in and/or offer. This can also be used to help consumers compare your business and offering to your competitors.
Guess what? There are more. You likely can't do 25 of them, but determine the best ones needed by your customers to help you WIN competitive/comparison situations and business.
Location Page SEO & Technical Enhancements
In addition to the content components outlined above, there are further optimizations you can apply on your location landing page.
- Main service and geo location in META title of the location page.
- Include your geo location in your URL. Example: drycleaner.com/new-york.
- Geo location and, if possible, the main service/product keyword in your H1 page header.
- Use Schema.org and rich snippets for your location information and any other Schema content types if possible.
- Tag Content. If you're leveraging all or many of the content types I have listed in this post, make sure you are rounding it out. Photos can be optimized with Geo and Service keywords in the file name and alt tags (example: dry-cleaner-ny.jpg with ALT="new york dry cleaner").
Good Examples of A Single Location Web Page
Let's take a look at a couple of small, single-location businesses that have utilized many of the content elements outlined above for a great local search optimized location page.
1. Fulton is a Minneapolis brewery that puts together a solid location page for their tap room that includes an overview, hours, map, events calendar, map/directions, video, photos and more.
2. Second Ascent is a Seattle-based outdoor and sporting goods retail shop that offers a page on their store location that gives the user photos, a video, a store overview, hours and a map/directions.
Next: Multiple Location Businesses with 2 or More Locations
Our next post in the series will look at businesses with a few, to possibly a few dozen, locations where your website doesn't need a store locator or location finder-type feature, but you do need to handle more than one location and information within your website. Read part 2: Designing Business Location Website Pages for Multiple Location Businesses