In the increasingly competitive landscape of local markets, the importance of a strong online presence cannot be overstated. With the majority of consumers turning to search engines to find local businesses, effective local SEO strategies have become crucial for enterprise companies looking to gain a competitive edge.

However, navigating the complexities of local SEO is no easy feat, and enterprises often face unique challenges in their efforts to dominate the local market.

In this article, we will delve into the five biggest challenges faced by enterprise companies in their local SEO endeavors and provide expert insights on how to overcome them.

From managing multiple locations to creating hyper-localized content, we will explore the key strategies and techniques that can help enterprises tackle these challenges and emerge as frontrunners in the competitive world of local SEO. So, if your enterprise is ready to take its local SEO game to the next level, read on to discover the secrets to conquering the local market and driving business growth.

Difficulties in Optimizing their Local SEO

Enterprise brands often face difficulties in optimizing their local SEO due to the complexity involved in mastering both “national” SEO strategies and effectively managing Google Business Profiles. Additionally, understanding how Google prioritizes online search queries in different markets adds another layer of challenge.

Consequently, enterprise search marketers encounter an extensive array of obstacles when it comes to local SEO. Now, let’s delve into the prevalent challenges frequently encountered by enterprise brands in the realm of local SEO.

1. Knowing When To Prioritize Local vs. National SEO

One of the primary obstacles that enterprises often encounter is the dilemma of deciding when to concentrate on a “local” SEO strategy instead of a “national” SEO strategy, and vice versa.

This predicament is comprehensible considering that it may not always be immediately evident which approach would serve their priorities better. Determining whether their target top relevant keywords possess local intent can be a daunting task.

However, it is crucial to the success of their overall strategy since it significantly influences the effectiveness of their initiatives in achieving their business goals.

Gaining an understanding of which terms Google recognizes as local can assist in the development of a well-informed keyword strategy and provide guidance on how to approach and support their SEO investment.

Neglecting the importance of site design or having an inadequate keyword strategy could result in a significant loss of business website traffic.

Understanding Local Search Intent

To gain a clear understanding of local search intent, let’s delve into its definition.

By comprehending search intent, you can discern the specific elements that will populate search results and determine which content should take precedence.

In this discourse, it is crucial to concentrate on four primary categories of search intents:

  1. Search queries encompassing a national scope.
  2. Search queries with a semi-national scope.
  3. Search queries indicating a local focus.
  4. Search queries denoting a hyper-local emphasis.

By grasping the nuances of these search intents, you will be equipped with valuable insights to strategize your content and optimize your search results accordingly.

Determining the nature of your target search queries can be achieved through careful examination of the characteristics presented on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Queries With National Search Intent

The absence of state or city-specific pages and map packs in the search engine results pages (SERPs) indicates that Google perceives no local relevance for these queries. When a significant number of users begin incorporating location information, such as searching for “Pleasanton newspaper article,” the SERPs will likely adapt to display results that include local content.

This suggests that search results will become more tailored to the specific location, leading us to consider the following information.

Queries With Semi-National Search Intent

In search engine result pages (SERPs), instead of state or city-specific pages, a map pack is often featured. This is particularly observed in semi-national queries such as “bank,” where there is a balanced proportion of local and national clicks.

The presence of a map pack in these cases can be attributed to users having diverse intentions. Some users may be seeking a nearby bank branch, while others may be interested in accessing the bank’s primary homepage.

Queries With Local Search Intent

In search engine result pages (SERPs), there is a prevalent inclination towards showcasing state or city-specific pages along with a map pack.

For example, when searching for a term like “plumber,” Google typically displays a map pack consisting of nearby plumbers. Additionally, the majority of the first page results are occupied by location-specific pages. This approach by Google is driven by its prediction that the user’s intention is to find a plumber in close proximity to their current location.

Queries With Hyper-Local Search Intent

When it comes to hyper-local searches, the searcher’s location plays a vital role and greatly influences the search engine results page (SERP). Particularly for queries with hyper-local intent, the proximity between the user and the business becomes crucial.

It is evident that the map pack occupies a significant portion of the SERP for such queries. Consequently, Google understands that providing hyper-local results for searches like “Auto insurance near me” is essential in order to meet the user’s needs effectively.

How To Identify Search Intent

  1. Evaluate the present search engine results page (SERP) outcomes in various geographic locations.
  2. Investigate the SERP for the inclusion of a map element.
  3. Inspect the presence of state or city-specific pages.
  4. Assess the titles and URLs for review.
  5. Analyze the level of consistency and determine the underlying intention.

How To Build A Strategy For Different Types Of Search Intent

National Strategy

When devising strategies with a national scope, it is crucial to produce a substantial amount of high-quality content and establish authority in your industry. If your research shows that your target keywords are commonly used in searches that do not have a specific local intent, it is advisable to allocate the majority of your SEO budget towards optimizing your main website.

By doing so, you can enhance your chances of achieving a higher ranking by attracting valuable backlinks from authoritative sources.

Semi-Local Strategy

The primary emphasis in constructing the content and authority of your main website lies within the realm of semi-local keywords, requiring a substantial amount of attention. Given that semi-local keywords generate a map pack, it becomes imperative to optimize your Google Business Profile listings.

Local Strategy

If you have discovered that Google categorizes your keyword as local, it is crucial to pay close attention to your site structure. Emphasizing the organization and layout of your website becomes considerably more vital in such cases.

An effective strategy to enhance the number of searches is to establish a comprehensive directory comprising state or city pages.

Hyper-Local Strategy

If you wish to focus on highly localized keywords, it is recommended to develop a directory comprising pages specific to different states and cities. Furthermore, it is advisable to optimize these pages for keywords related to nearby locations by creating distinct location pages.

The appearance of the layers is likely to vary based on your specific industry or sector. However, generally speaking, they may exhibit the following structure:

  • Locator Index Page: This webpage serves as a comprehensive index, allowing users to easily navigate through various locations. It provides a bird’s-eye view of all the available states, cities, or regions.
  • State Page: This dedicated page focuses on a particular state or province, offering detailed information about the various cities or areas within that specific region. Users can gain a comprehensive understanding of the state’s offerings, attractions, and services.
  • City Page: Zooming in further, the city page provides users with a wealth of information about a specific city or urban area. Visitors can explore details about local businesses, tourist attractions, events, and community resources.
  • Location Page: At the most granular level, the location page furnishes users with specific information about a particular establishment or site. This page contains detailed meta descriptions, contact information, opening hours, services offered, and other pertinent details.

By organizing information in this hierarchical manner, users can easily navigate through layers of data, gaining increasingly specific insights about various locations within their vertical or industry.

2. Having A Single Source Of Truth For Location Data

Thanks to the emergence of local listings management firms like Yext and Uberall, the aforementioned issue is now a thing of the past. Nevertheless, we continue to encounter multi-location enterprises that lack a unified and accurate repository for all their location data.

If your business falls into this category, it is crucial to establish such a system without delay.

3. Optimizing Store Locators

Numerous companies opt to delegate the task of managing their store locators to external vendors. While this approach may seem sound in principle, we have observed certain pitfalls that can arise from this practice:

Search-Only Store Locators

When it comes to optimizing your website for search engine optimization (SEO), it is crucial to have a well-designed store locator. This entails creating a basic structure of interconnected state, city, and location pages that are easily accessible for both users and search engine bots.

However, many brands often opt for a different approach by constructing a locator page that solely relies on a search box for finding specific locations.

Several years ago, we conducted a thorough analysis of the store locators of the top 100 retailers in the United States. Surprisingly, we discovered that those using search-only locators ranked for approximately 50% fewer keywords compared to those employing a more efficient architecture of linkable state, city, and location pages.

Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your store locator is built in a manner that follows this recommended architecture. By doing so, you can significantly improve your website’s SEO performance and enhance the overall positive experience.

Location Page Content

Brands often prioritize budgeting for the development of a locator on their website, neglecting the importance of investing in quality content. While a basic location page with essential details like business name, address, and contact information is necessary, enhancing it with unique and relevant content can significantly enhance SEO performance.

To accomplish this, brands can leverage the expertise of their location managers. These individuals can play a pivotal role in providing invaluable insights and information about the specific location, enabling the creation of tailored content that aligns with desired ranking objectives.

In addition to utilizing location managers, brands can also explore other valuable sources for generating informative content. This may involve gathering local customer reviews, incorporating syndicated local point of interest data, and identifying popular products or services in the specific market.

By prioritizing the creation of high-quality content alongside the development of a locator, brands can effectively optimize their online presence, attract greater visibility, and ultimately drive better SEO results.

Priority Categories

In the present era, local results have gained significant prominence in search engine result pages (SERPs) for ecommerce queries. A noteworthy trend is the success of brands that strategically connect their location pages to their essential categories, leading to their prominence in Local Packs.

This can be viewed as a way to effectively communicate to Google the relevancy of your locations with respect to these specific categories.

4. Google Business Profile Management And Optimization

The management of a Google Business Profile (GBP) should ideally be a straightforward task, resembling a basic compilation of yellow pages entries for your various business locations. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the multitude of potential pitfalls that businesses may encounter while navigating this process.

Consequently, it is equally important to recognize the array of opportunities that can arise from effectively handling your GBP. Let us explore a handful of these challenges and prospects associated with managing a Google Business Profile.

Beware Of Duplicate Listings

Interestingly, the persistence of duplicate listings remains prevalent within GBP. However, I recently engaged in a conversation with a service area business that encountered difficulties in achieving a favorable ranking. Evidently, it was apparent that they possessed duplicate GBP listings.

Upon promptly eliminating the duplicate listings, their rankings experienced a significant surge by 15 positions for their primary keyword focus. Thus, it is imperative to remain vigilant and pay attention to such occurrences, as they can greatly impact your online visibility and performance.

Monitor Your GBP listings

The status of your GBP listings is constantly changing as users contribute photos and reviews. It is important to note that Google has the ability to replace your data if it deems information from another source to be more trustworthy than yours.

Maintaining your GBP pages requires an active approach rather than a passive one. It is essential to establish a monitoring system to regularly track any modifications that occur.

Although the GBP Dashboard provides visibility of many alterations, it may not capture every single change. This is why we have developed a complimentary, open-source tool specifically designed to monitor any modifications to the images associated with your GBP.

Scale GBP Posts

GBP Posts serve as concise announcements that can be attached to your GBP. They present a cost-effective approach to driving visits to your website and have the potential to yield high conversion rates. These posts enable you to incorporate text, photos, or videos into your announcements.

However, one common hurdle faced by businesses is the lack of preparedness to create content for each specific location. Should you wish to utilize GBP Posts for multiple locations, it is crucial to establish a system that facilitates the production of GBP-compatible digital marketing material for new promotions.

This involves creating a GBP-friendly version (400 x 300) of approved marketing visuals and accompanying text for each promotional campaign.

Furthermore, it is advisable to incorporate tracking parameters in the links featured in your GBP posts. This enables you to effectively measure the performance and impact of your announcements.

5. Building A Local Search Presence For SABs And Marketplaces

Not all local enterprise brands operate from physical locations. Numerous local marketplace brands, such as Yelp, DoorDash, and Zillow, as well as service area businesses like plumbers and roofers, focus on catering to local search queries but are unable to feature in Local Packs.

The reason behind this is their lack of presence in the specific markets they target.

Consequently, these brands are potentially missing out on numerous clicks and revenue opportunities. While this approach may not be suitable for every brand, those with a suitable business model can consider establishing a “store within a store” concept at a partner brand’s location.

This strategy can be highly effective in enhancing their local pack visibility and expanding their reach in the market.

In addition, in case the leads hold considerable value, it might be worth contemplating the establishment of brick-and-mortar establishments in specific regions, aiming to achieve favorable rankings within the Local Packs.

As I mentioned earlier, enterprise brands have an extensive range of local SEO tactics at their disposal. It is crucial to adopt a diligent approach by testing, measuring, and iterating these tactics, just like any other marketing channel.

In Conclusion

Enterprise local SEO presents a unique set of challenges, but with the right strategies and tools, it is possible to overcome them and dominate the local market. By prioritizing accurate and consistent local business listings, managing online reviews, optimizing for mobile, utilizing local content and partnerships, and implementing local SEO best practices, businesses can effectively reach and convert their target audience.

With a strong local SEO strategy in place, enterprises can establish a strong local presence and drive growth and success in their respective markets.

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