Transcript For Using Location Pages Versus Creating New Websites for Each Location – 133;
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan. You’re with Bob Brennan, Sue Ginsburg.
Sue Ginsburg: Hi.
Jesse Dolan: Here to answer questions from the realm of SEO. Looking kind of realm-ish in the background there, Sue, right? Where are you virtually here today, kicking us off?
Sue Ginsburg: I’m coming to you virtually from Donegal, Ireland, where a listener asked us a question. In honor of that, we are here at Donegal, Ireland, which is a pretty good looking place to be by the looks at this picture.
Jesse Dolan: Heck, yeah.
Sue Ginsburg: The question comes from Donegal, Ireland. The question is, if your business targets two locations, should you create two separate websites to optimize, or can you simply use individual location pages in one website? Since we are working with more and more businesses with multiple locations, which is a separate question, but I also wanted to add that in. If you have multiple locations, same question. Are you better off having one website including those, or having a separate website for each location? That’s the question with a few different pieces for today.
Quote for today is, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still.” That’s a quote by a gentleman named Michael Gillman, renowned coach in the Baltimore area, known for his ability to motivate his athletes, team, colleagues, and anyone else lucky enough to have him on their side. He’s all about moving forward and not getting stuck. I found this quote appropriate, because the listener who asked the question has a website business, yet he was asking this so he can keep learning and moving forward and not standing still. I love this quote. Big believer, if you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still. Just to again relate this to the real world.
We have a client with a dental clinic in Brisbane, Australia, who we have been working with to get them found and attract more leads online and patients to their clinic. He recently asked us a version of this exact question. Here they are in their location. What can they do to get ranking in other surrounding areas, where people are close enough that they can still come to his clinic? He was asking that about his GMB. I think it’s also an appropriate question, and relevant to ask about your website. Since we had two people asking the same question, different setting, I thought there’s many, many more listeners out there who want to know the same thing. Whether that’s a location that you’re targeting, or a separate location that you have, if you’re a multiple location business. So tossing that up to Jesse and Bob. Tell us what you know about that. Fill us in.
Jesse Dolan: I think first, Bob, I don’t know about you. The quote Sue gave for this week. I just have Ricky Bobby running through my head. You know, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” I mean it’s the same thing, just said a different way, right? No. Any time you can work in some Ricky Bobby into a conversation-
Bob Brennan: Yeah. That’s good.
Jesse Dolan: Is always worth it, I guess is my main point.
Bob Brennan: Some people quote the bible.
Sue Ginsburg: Right.
Jesse Dolan: I’m on fire. I’m on fire.
Bob Brennan: If you’re not at the other end of the deal.
Jesse Dolan: All right. In all seriousness though. I do think it is a really good question, Sue. Not only for if you have multiple locations, but also something I’m going to kind of twist it around a little bit, is talk about… Bob, we’ve mentioned it before on the podcast. Your website is a great tool for you to get into other locations, where you’re not maybe in there yet, to test out the waters.
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: Whether you’re talking about a location, or even a new product or service to your website, that is one of the great parts about digital marketing with your website. It’s not totally free. You have some equity, sweat equity or paying somebody to do it. You can get out there, before you even have a physical location in some cases, with your marketing and test the waters. Directly for this, Sue. The question of, if I’ve got two locations, two brick and mortar, two physical locations for my business in two different cities or states or whatever they may be, but just separate geographic locations, should I have two different websites, one for each location? The short answer is no. Absolutely not. I mean, as long as these are the same business, right? Like if they’re both auto repair shops. If one is, whatever, basket weaving, and one is auto repair, then yeah. You’re going to want two different websites because they’re two different businesses.
You own two businesses, not two locations. Just to be clear, we’re talking about the same business with two different locations, that serve the same customer base and do the same products and services. You definitely want that all under your single dot-com. With Google right now, you’re building your brand and your entity. The more you can do to add to the gravity and the mass of that brand, the better. If you’ve got two locations, there’s really no question even if you should have two different websites. No, you should have your one dot-com. Now you’re going to want location pages for each one. You mentioned in GMB, Sue, you definitely want to have a GMB for each location. Then for each location, you don’t want to link your GMB just to your homepage. You want to create a location page for each of your physical locations, and then you want to link the GMB to that.
What we’re talking about there is, if you’ve just got autorepair.com is your website, and if you have a Minneapolis location, you want to go autorepair.com/minneapolis, in the most basic level, and then /stpaul if you had a location in St. Paul and a location in Minneapolis. That’s going to direct all the traffic to your website, all of your SEO, all of your back links that you’re obtaining, any of the references you’re putting out there. You’re pushing everybody to that same website, that same brand. That dot-com is just going to get more gravity, more relevancy, more authority within Google, and it’s going to benefit then both locations. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander here.
Whereas if you had two separate websites, you’re literally replicating all of your efforts. You’re having two brands, two dot-coms to try to get noticed, to try to get ranked, trying to build all this information. Whereas, instead if you just look at it as two locations on one website, both locations are getting all the benefit of anything that comes to the domain as its own. You just can’t go wrong in that sense, compared to having two locations. That’s such an uphill battle in terms of building your brand and getting ranked for SEO. For me, this is a pretty simple question for this episode. It’s point blank. No, you want to have multiple locations on one website.
Sue Ginsburg: Jesse, what about if you’re targeting… Just say you’re targeting Austin, Texas, Lakeway and Round Rock, which are close suburbs. Can you have a GMB in the areas that you’re targeting if you don’t have a physical address?
Jesse Dolan: There’s definitely some gray space there. I mean, you have to have a physical address to initially create and obtain that GMB. Then you can make that GMB a service area business to then hide the address. As long as you can create a GMB, you can set them up wherever you’re based out of. I’m not going to do a deep dive into the regulations and guidelines for Google on what constitutes a location. What’s legitimate to use for setting up a GMB or not. That’s kind of the gray area. It depends on how aggressive you want to be. If you’re using your aunts and your uncles and your second cousins and everything else to get addresses. Or if you’re like, “Nope, I’m renting office space and this is my address.”
The bottom line is you do need a physical address to obtain a GMB. Then from there, yeah, you’re going to want to do that in every city that you’re operating in, where possible. All that should be linking back to your website. They should all have their own location pages. You can also create these location pages, even if you don’t have a GMB. We were talking about that, Sue, a little bit before we started recording the episode here. Those suburbs you’re mentioning there, if you’re based in Austin, but you want to reach into those suburbs and you don’t have the means to get a GMB in those suburbs. You can still create location pages to target those locations.
Now you’re not going to show up in the map pack for the GMBs inherently. You’re going to show up in the natural search listings. But, depending on the proximity of these suburbs in these locations that you’re trying to reach out to, there’s a chance your current GMB in Austin, let’s say, may expand its radius, if you will, for how far it will reach. All that’s going to definitely depend on your niche, how competitive your market is, what market you’re in, and how far apart these things are. There’s a whole discussion within that. In general there, again, bringing it back, flex your website. Flex your main dot-com to create location pages for every city that you want to target.
Sue Ginsburg: Great. Bob, what’s your experience with this?
Bob Brennan: Yeah, I mean I tend to overdo it. Jesse has to rein me back on the whole GMB deal. They can self-sabotage to some degree, is that right, Jesse?
Jesse Dolan: If you’re putting them a mile apart or something, or things like that.
Bob Brennan: Yeah, you can’t get crazy with it. The name of the game is presence. There’s a psychological element to it. If you’re nearer in suburbs, and somebody types in tree removal near me, and you’re showing up in this suburb and this suburb in the GMBs, that plays a role in who a person might call along with reviews and everything else. It’s really having as much presence as you can legitimately pull off. It’s important. If you’re an accountant, and technically I think accountants can work out of their home, I don’t know what to tell you. If your son’s an accountant too, and he lives in another suburb right next door, can you use that as a GMB? I don’t know, you’ve got to look at the rules. The same with attorneys, to some degree, and realtors obviously. There’s some of those fringe services that you can kind of bend that, or just bring it right up to the deal and whatnot. Having as much presence out there is a huge psychological factor in terms of who people are going to call first.
Jesse Dolan: You bring up something, Bob, with the psychology. That’s important too. If you have multiple locations, usually you’re going to kind of flex that on your website, right? Like find a location or serving these markets. You’re somehow making that known on your main dot-com. or this one single dot-com.
Drawing a contrast on, if you have multiple locations. Again to the core question, do I want multiple domains to multiple websites for each location, or do I want them all under one dot-com? There’s also that psychological factor of, if you go to a website and see they have multiple locations, I think that helps edify the business too. Kind of like you’re saying, it gives-
Bob Brennan: Right.
Jesse Dolan: You’re not exposed to all of them, but you’re realizing that they have a wider reach and there’s just more substance there. If you’re having a new website for each of your locations, you’re kind of losing that too, right?
Bob Brennan: Yeah.
Jesse Dolan: You’re not flexing your muscle as much as you could there.
Bob Brennan: Yep. You’re not going to see that… The person may find one of your locations, which is great, but they’re not going to see the fact that you’re everywhere.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. They’re not all bound together. Yeah.
Bob Brennan: Well established. By the way, we need a location in Ireland, Jesse, or in the homeland there. Donegal-
Jesse Dolan: That might not be bad. We always say… I’m only 25% Irish. I know, I’m one eighth, not even one quarter. But it’s still the homeland, outside of all of my other background.
Bob Brennan: It’s still your homeland. Right.
Jesse Dolan: It’s just the way we roll. No, Sue, does that give you a pretty good answer though? We took a couple different tangents there, expanding off of it. It is a good question, and it’s something that we do get often. Business owners out there, they’re always thinking like… There’s a little smoke and mirrors with SEO, or Pandora’s box. Like, “I know I need to do SEO. What is SEO, and how many websites do I need? Should I buy all these?” A lot of questions that to us seem pretty like, “Hey, this is easy. This is straightforward. No, we should all be on one domain.” Easy for us to navigate, being the experienced people in it. Good question. Hopefully we get the right answer out there for everybody.
Sue Ginsburg: That’s great. Really, really, really good. I will say with that, if you remember one thing and one thing only, remember this. You want to build locations into your brand, on your website, on your GMB, and anywhere else that you are representing, sharing, communicating your brand. Both of these things are part of your brand. Every location is part of your brand. Whether you’re targeting two different locations, or you have two or more locations, you want to use that as part of your brand. Build your brand everywhere your brand is getting put out there. Again, the quote for today, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still,” by renowned coach Michael Gillman. We want to thank Michael from Donegal, Ireland, for the great question. Again, for helping us out identifying the author of the quote that I couldn’t find the author of a few weeks ago. Thank you, and thank you both. I think everybody listening is a little bit smarter on this topic now.
Bob Brennan: Thank you.
Jesse Dolan: Good. If you are listening and you have a question, reach out to us. Go to localseotactics.com. Scroll down to the bottom, click the button for submit a question, and we’re happy to answer it. We keep saying, “If you’re thinking about it and we haven’t answered it yet, there’s somebody else out there that has the same question.” To Sue’s point, recently we had this same question from two different people. Kind of just emphasizing that fact. Send us your question. We’ll use it on the show.
If you would be so bold as to call it in and leave a voicemail, we’ll play the audio on the show instead of just reading it. If you do that, we’re going to fire you off a tee-shirt as well. I’d love to hear from you, localseotactics.com. Click on the button for submit a question. All right. Good question and answer this episode. Thanks for your input, Bob, helping out, and Sue for kick starting the question and giving us that Ricky Bobby… I mean, no, I’m just kidding, quote. All right. That’s good for this episode.